Chennai: The state government is taking steps to permanently station a helicopter in Kanyakumari district to rescue stranded fishermen, fisheries minister D. Jayakumar informed the Assembly on Friday. Also, in an effort aimed at improving the rural economy, the TN government has planned to encourage fish farming in the districts having potential water resources, he said.
Responding to the plea in the Assembly of Killiyoor MLA Rajesh Kumar (Congress) for deploying Indian Coast Guard vessel at Thoothoor, where deep sea fishing is the major activity, Mr Jayakumar said after the Ockhi cyclone lashed the coastal districts, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami took up the issue with the Indian Coast Guard for deploying a helicopter in Kanyakumari district aiming to launch prompt action to rescue fishermen stranded at sea.
"He (Palaniswami) spoke to the Indian Coast Guard officials in December 2017 and sought for the establishment of an exclusive rescue coordination centre in Kanyakumari district. He had highlighted the need for deploying a helicopter at the centre and efforts are on in this direction," the minister said.
Later, winding up the debate on the demand for grants for his department, Mr Jayakumar announced that the fish landing centre at the Chennai harbour would be extended to overcome the traffic congestion. The work would be taken up at a cost of Rs 5 crore.
Resource mapping planned for 6 districts: The government would prepare resource mapping in six coastal districts of Cuddalore, Villupuram, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Pudukottai and Thoothukudi at a cost of Rs 50 lakh. "This would will help analyse land use pattern, groundwater resource besides availability of water resources. The study will facilitate enhancement of production of fish and prawn and in addition help to step up exports," Mr Jayakumar informed.
Encouraging private sector to establish fish hatcheries, conducting special training programme on sea food preparation at Royapuram in association with TN Dr J. Jayalalithaa Fisheries University and establishing modern fish marketing centres, were among the 28 announcements made by the minister on the occasion.
Aquatic VR centre at Chetpet eco park:
The Chetpet eco park, established by the fisheries department, will soon have an aquarium-cum-aquatic virtual reality centre soon. The work to establish this centre at a cost of Rs. 6 crore is on, Mr Jayakumar said.