The walkie-talkie, which works in a radius of 35 km, would be of help during times of distress for fishermen.

Walkie-talkies, which will come in handy at times of distress, were distributed to 18 registered country boat fishermen by the Minister for Fisheries, K. A. Jayapal, at Mandapam in Ramanathapuram district on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the communication equipment was being given free for the first time to country boat fishermen of Ramanathapuram district among 13 coastal districts of the State, with approval from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

The Chief Minister, he said, had sanctioned Rs 7.73 crore for the purchase of the equipment, each costing Rs. 13, 081.

The walkie-talkie, which works in a radius of 35 km, would be of help during times of distress for fishermen. Communication towers to relay the signals had been installed at Pamban, Chinna Erwadi and Thondi and more walkie-talkies would be provided to fishermen after obtaining TRAI permission, Mr. Jayapal said.

The Minister for Handlooms and Textiles, S. Sundararaj, thanked the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, for sanctioning the post of Deputy Director of Fisheries for Ramanathapuram district.

Earlier, the Ministers, accompanied by the Secretary, Fisheries, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, and Fisheries Director C. Munianathan, inspected fish landing centres at Kilakarai, Mandapam North and Mandapam South.

They instructed the officials to prepare plans for expansion of the fish landing centres.

They also visited the Central Marine Fish Research Institute at Mandapam, according to an official press release.

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