A 1.5km-long and 25-metre-wide canal dug up by Pakistan Navy, connecting Sughando and Othano rivers in the Sir Creek border area, was inaugurated by the provincial information minister on Wednesday.

The canal will provide fishermen enough catch for sustainability and save them from getting trapped by way of straying into Indian territorial waters.

According to a media release by the ISPR, the canal would obviate problems faced by fishermen and help them avoid any violation of geographical boundaries.

The inauguration ceremony was held in the forward Creek area. Information and Electric Power Minister Shazia Marri was the chief guest. She was received by Coastal Commander Rear Admiral Zafar Mehmood Abbasi.

Before the canal linked the two waterways, fishermen used to sail through the Lakki river route to reach Othano river for fish catch. En route at places, due to absence of any physical demarcation signs, they used to cross the unmarked boundary line.

At times Pakistani fishermen were fired upon by Indian forces. With the creation of this canal, commuters will now have a direct and safe approach to the fishing area. The area is regularly patrolled by Pakistan Marines operating through Jati Post, some 30km northwest of the canal.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Marri lauded efforts by Pakistan Navy to help fishermen. She reminded the local community of the hard job Pakistan Marines were doing by guarding the frontiers and providing security to fishermen. A significant number of Pakistani fishermen are still in captivity only because they had unintentionally blundered into Indian waters.

She expressed the hope that the canal would help prevent such incidents and bring relief to locals.

In his briefing, the Commander of Marines said that due to marshland and creeks, heavy machinery could not be moved to the area and the entire project was completed manually by the Navy.

The canal is of great significance as the area is rich in marine resources. Approximately 150 fishing vessels will use the canal monthly making a significant contribution to the domestic economy.