Visakhapatnam Fishing Harbour Workers’ Union has strongly resented denial of rice to all the fish workers enumerated by the Fisheries Department.

Union general secretary J.D. Naidu said the distribution launched on Wednesday would provide 31 kg rice per family of fish worker. Of 2,284 identified for getting rice during the fishing ban period, 990 would be given during first phase, he said.

Mr. Naidu said as per enumeration done by the Fisheries Department 4,880 were identified as eligible to get rice. “Unfortunately not even 50 per cent of the eligible workers have been selected to get it,” he regretted.

He said they met district Collector V. Seshadri and told him that on the plea of expiry of boat insurance and registration at Kakinada, the drivers and khalasis engaged by them had been denied the benefit.

“It is the responsibility of the boat owners to renew the insurance and have registration with fisheries officials in Visakhapatnam. Why the workers should be punished for the fault of the owners,” he asked.

The union also asked the Collector to take up with the government their demand for payment of cash compensation of Rs.150 per day during the ban period in lieu of loss of work.

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