Several Telugu Desam Party activists on Thursday staged a dharna at the Collectorate on Thursday demanding a package to compensate loss of income for fishermen during 47-day annual holiday which came into force from midnight of April 14.

TDP leader Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar sat on a fast seeking payment of Rs.4,700 to each fishermen along with 45 kg rice and education grant of Rs.5,000 to Rs.7,000 to their children during the holiday period. During the dharna, the party exhibited a boat with posters to explain the plight of the fishermen.

Addressing the protesters, TDP polit bureau member and former Union Minister K. Yerran Naidu said it was unfortunate that the State Government was not providing succour to the fishermen during the holiday period whereas the governments in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry were giving adequate compensation to the fishermen.

Senior leader Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy said without government help, fishermen would lead a miserable life due to loss of income. As the holiday was being observed at the behest of the government for a long period, reasonable compensation should be paid to them.

Visakha East MLA V.R.K. Babu and Mr. Ganesh Kumar alleged that the government was taking away lands from the fishermen all along the coastal areas for development of PCPIR, industrial parks and Special Economic Zones. Fishermen in the State were in deep distress due to steep fall in catch they said and asked the government to come out with a policy to safeguard the interest of the fishermen.

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