Mangaluru: MLA of Mangalore South constituency, J R Lobo held a press meet at his office in regard to the city’s proposal for the second round of the Smart City initiative, here on June 3.

Addressing the mediapersons Lobo said that there was a lot of disappointment when Mangaluru didn’t make it in the first round as everyone thought that Mangaluru would definitely be selected. He said that unlike Davangere and Belgaum, Mangaluru did not focus on its own unique selling points. “Davangere focused on its Mandakki colony, Belgaum sent proposals that focused on its cantonment area and hence they were selected.”

Speaking about Old port, Lobo said that the city has a long history in fishing and sea trade. “These are our city’s unique selling points and this time, we have decided to focus more on these points. The old port at Bunder once used to thrive at sea trade, and was used to ferry goods to countries in the Middle East, Africa, etc. Trade with Lakshadweep islands was also being done exclusively back then, but today, more than 80% of the trade from Lakshadweep goes to Kerala.” He further said that if city officials hadn’t got cold feet and had rather developed and improved the port, the situation might have been different.

“We need to go back to our roots and focus on developing and re-invigorating these activities that make Mangaluru unique. We have already signed an MoU last year with the Lakshadweep administration to construct a dedicated berth at Bunder at a cost of Rs 50 crore. More activities are being planned for the port. We also need to improve our fish markets and fisheries too, and use activities like fishing and angling to attract tourists. We have been preparing the proposal for round 2 of the smart city project by focusing on these points,” added Lobo.

Corporators Lancelot Pinto, Sabitha Misquith, A C Vinayraj, Arun Coelho and others were also present.

Courtesy: Mangalorean