The Mumbai Port Trust is in the process of developing two significant projects in Mumbai — the redevelopment of the historic Sassoon Docks and a floating hotel and floating restaurants off the coast. The land for both projects belongs to the port trust.
The 139-year old Sassoon Docks, located at Colaba in south Mumbai, will be rebuilt into a modern fishing dock with an aim to regaining its preeminence as the main fish loading and trading centre in south of the metropolis.
India’s Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, recently inaugurated the redevelopment project under the aegis of Mumbai Port Trust. In his speech, the minister laid thrust on increasing exports of marine products and said that Mumbai Port Trust was backing this initiative by creating physical infrastructure for the proposed harbour. Sea-bound shipping and inland water transport for the city were also on the anvil, he added.
Following the redevelopment, fishing activities will be restricted to New Sassoon Dock area while Old Sassoon Dock will be used for outfitting fishing boats and providing services like fuel, freshwater and ice for the boats. The existing open fish auction hall at New Sassoon Dock will be converted into a modern fish handling and auction hall. There is also a plan to provide an ice plant and an ice crusher shed.
The redevelopment project also envisages the construction of a dormitory, rest rooms, restaurant and a radio communication tower. A separate proposal envisages the setting up of a marine food park, seafood restaurant and an art gallery on Sassoon Dock premises. This project will be taken up in future.
For now, Mumbai Port Trust has appointed Central Institute of Coastal Engineering for Fishery, Bengaluru, as project management consultant to prepare the detailed technical report. The redevelopment project is estimated to cost Rs. 25.50 crore.
Earlier, the Mumbai Fishermen’s’ Association had submitted a memorandum to the minister demanding subsidy on diesel used in fishing vessels. They also sought subsidy on fishing implements, on the lines of subsidy extended to agricultural implements.
Built in 1875 on reclaimed land, Sassoon Docks is among the oldest docks of Mumbai. It was constructed by Albert Abdul Sassoon, son of David Sassoon, the leader of the Jewish community in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Port Trust has invited Expression of Interest for licensing out selected anchorages and landing points for operation of a floating hotel as well as floating restaurants within the port limits of Mumbai Harbour.