Kasimedu fishers cry for better infrastructure

The fishing harbour looks dirty and fishermen point out this as the reason for foreign traders not turning up here to buy the sea catch.

Chennai: Thirtyfive thousand fishermen in 1,500 key boats, 800 fiber boats and 3,000 catamarans venture into the Bay of Bengal from the Kasimedu fishing harbour, one of the largest in India located in RK Nagar constituency, to bring around 150 tonnes of different varieties of fish every-day.

But, fishermen are not able to export “high-quality” fish to European countries because of lack of facilities at the Kasimedu fishing harbour that keeps foreign traders away. Fishermen send their fish to Kerala and neighbouring states to be exported to foreign countries by paying transportation charges and complain of loss in revenue.

The fishing harbour that generates Rs 150 crore wants world-class infrastructure facility that would attract foreign traders to come here and buy and that would bring in more revenue both for the fishermen and for the government.

Though the AIADMK Government led by late J. Jayalalithaa augmented civil infrastructure to an extent at the fishing harbour, everything is not right there.
Fishermen, who constitute more than 50,000 of the total 2.6 lakh electorate in RK Nagar, want the Tamil Nadu government to infuse Rs 100 crore to develop the fishing harbour with world-class infrastructure to enable fishermen export their catch to foreign countries right from the harbour.

The fishing harbour looks dirty and fishermen point out this as the reason for foreign traders not turning up here to buy the sea catch.

The fishermen demand that the damaged wharf — where boats can dock to load and unload cargo — be restored to its past glory and other facilities be made available.

“Fishermen are the most ignored by every section of society and politicians are no different. Why should we transport our fish catch to Kerala, Karnataka and Goa to be exported to other countries? Why can't we export from here? All we ask from the government is to provide us with infrastructure so that we give revenue to the state. If we export from here, the state will earn crores of rupees,” P. Ravi of the

All India Fishermen Association told Deccan Chronicle. Ravi says members attached to his association have not yet decided on whom to support this election. “We have asked political parties to give us in writing what they intend to do after they get elected. This is the only way to ensure that they comply with what they promise to do,” he said.

Arokiyaraj, who docks his boat at the Kasimedu fishing harbour, says fishermen pay Rs 50 as transportation charge for per kilo of fish to be taken to Kerala or Karnataka which is a mere waste. “The fishermen who dock their boats at Kasimedu fishing harbour lose Rs 75 lakh every day only on transportation charges. Isn't this a waste? If the government develops the fishing harbour, then it would be beneficial to both the government and fishermen,” Mr Arokiyaraj

Another demand that the fishermen community places before the parties is redevelopment of the fish auction centre. “It is in a dilapidated condition and we need it to be redeveloped to ensure more sales and revenue,” another fisherman Michael said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story