Vessels worth about Rs. 25 lakh were damaged

Cyclone Nilam caused five big fishing boats to sink at the Kasimedu Fishing Harbour on Wednesday.

Waves pushed by high velocity winds made the boats knock against the wharf and damaged them causing them to sink. Another five boats also ran aground and a few FRP catamarans were damaged.

According to P. Sesha, of the association of Chennai Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram districts mechanised fishing boat owners, the big fishing boats knocked against the wharf and sank. “We don’t know the condition of the boats as it had become dark by then. We hope the government will announce some relief to the owners,” he said.

Sources said that insurance would not pay enough to procure new boats that cost Rs. 20 lakh – 25 lakh each. “There are fishermen waiting for over ten years for insurance claims. The amount they might get is just Rs. 7 lakh for big boats. FRP catamarans cost around Rs. 2 lakh each,” said M.D. Dayalan of Indhiya Meenavar Sangam.

Many fishermen also lost their nets. Anandan, a fisherman of Kanathur, said each boat owner would have at least 30 varieties of fishing nets that would be used according to the season and the kind of fish.

“We couldn’t possibly store every net in our homes. As we are quite close to where the cyclone crossed, many nets were either washed away or have been buried in the sands. We don’t know if we will be able to retrieve them,” said Anandan, a fisherman of Kanathur.

Meanwhile, water entered Nettukuppam in north Chennai in portions where there were gaps in the seawall.

“Our many representations to authorities have remained unheard. We also have not had any government representative coming to the village asking us if we need anything. Many of us who have not gone to the sea have not eaten properly in two days,” said Kathiravan, a fisherman.

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