KARACHI - Sindh government has taken initiatives to launch fifteen development schemes for growth of shrimp, prawns and other projects for the welfare of local fishermen worth Rs 1.3 billion. The progress on five schemes is underway and these would be completed within three to five years, said Anwarul Islam, Director Fisheries Sindh (Research and Development), at a press conference held here on Tuesday. He said the fishing industry had been neglected by the previous government while for the first time the present regime has initiated to upgrade the fishing sector and to encourage the local fishermen and also to provide them required facilities. Providing the details about the projects he said that, the provincial government is financing in thirteen schemes while the federal government is providing financial assistance in one project called 'Master Plan development Aquaculture and Shrimp Farming Project, cost Rs 2.00 billion, similarly the other project of community development is being executed by Sindh Costal Development Authority (SCDA) in the collaboration with Asian Development Bank (ADB). The projects to be launched includes housing scheme for fishermen, in the name of 'model villages for the local fishermen of Dabla Para, Zero Point, Badin Manchar Lake & Keenjhar Lake Thatta,' in which hundreds of houses would be established for them in each locality with an estimated cost of Rs 481.825 million besides state-of-the-art supply of drinking water and other basic civic facilities. Second project is the provision of landing platform, storage & processing facilities at Zero Point, Keenjhar Lake, Manchar Lake and Hora Jetty with Rs 334.836, he said. For the post-harvest, facilities such as landing platform and landing centre at Zero Point, Keenjhar Lake and Manchar Lake will be established. Chilling storage unit will also be established at Zero Point, Keenjhar Lake and Manchar Lake besides fish jetty at Karachi Fish Harbour. The official further said that Rs 24.763 million has been allocated for the project of 'Marine Fisheries Surveillance in Coastal Area of Sindh, to ensure the strict enforcement of Sindh Fisheries Ordinance regarding ban on shrimp in close season, regulate mesh size in the creeks and prevent indiscriminate fishing all around the year. Similarly, Rs 15.226 million is allocated for another scheme in coastal creeks of Sindh with an aim to introduce pen culture there. 'Low Cost Feed Development for Brackish and Marine- Fish Culture' scheme is worth Rs 21.317 million aiming to develop, 90-100 tones annually various type of commercialised low-cost feed for culture of marine and brackish water shell fish in the province while a small feed mill unit will be set operational for research purposes. About Rs.32.958 million has been allocated for the scheme of 'Aquaculture Development in Coastal Area of Sindh'. The fishermen population of approximately 48,000 living along the coastal belt of Sindh are socio-economically down trodden and needs awareness. Therefore 20,000 acres of land have been selected to launch satellite information through SUPARCO and a comprehensive plan has been devised under the supervision of foreign consultants from Philippines. The federal government will set up a shrimp farm on 10-acre area and introduce cage culture at Kinjhar Lake while a shrimp farm on 300 acres will also be established. The courses for capacity building of officials of Fisheries department through training are under process with a cost of Rs 39.993. An awareness and training programme for the capacity building of Marine and Inland Fisheries in Sindh has been initiated with Rs 100 million.