Chennai: Ramakrishna Nagar market maintained by the 50 fisherwomen wears a deserted look ever since the oil spill had occurred on the Chennai Coast. The collision of two merchant tankers B W Maple and Dawn Kancheepuram on January 28 this year has a ripple effect on the fishermen who closed their shops, due to poor sales. As the report (detailing compensation) submitted by the Director General (DG) of Shipping before the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday, does not include various fragments of the fishermen, the community is in a chaotic situation. The report does not include the ice sellers, fisherwomen and other non-registered members in the fisheries department.
“We have not opened the market as the sales are very poor. All our hopes were on the compensation amount. We don't know how to manage our families if the money is not settled,” said Tamilselvi, a fisherwomen at Beach Road, Bharatiyar Junction. As the locality was worst affected by the oil spillage, the sales had been bad, prompting many fisherwomen like Tamil Selvi to shutter down their shops.
There is a huge variation in the report submitted by the DG Shipping and the RTI reply received by the Meenavar Nalla Sangam, a registered society under fisheries department. Both the copies presented before the tribunal and are possessed by Deccan Chronicle shows a variation in the number of beneficiaries eligible to receive the financial compensation.
Though variation was not acknowledged, the bench comprising Justice P. Jyothimani and expert member P. S. Rao directed the DG Shipping to submit a new report. “Get the new claim forms including the names of the affected persons and announce a date of issuing the compensation within two weeks,” the tribunal had said. The bench had also ordered the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to inspect the incident area, to check if the spillage is completely removed.
The case holds significance as the Madras High Court had disposed a similar case pertaining to the compensation and pollution, thus laying the complete responsibility on the green tribunal. The tribunal had also asked the higher officials in police department to enquire the case, which is now being investigated by the inspector of Minjur Police Station....