A field study conducted with the cooperation of experts from the fisheries sector has brought to light the poor living conditions of the fishermen living on the Beypore-Elathur stretch of the Kozhikode coast.
The study, coordinated by the Malabar Coastal Institute for Training, Research and Action (MCITRA), found that over 500 fishermen families were yet to get houses and nearly 30 per cent of the total households lived with poor toilet facilities. Of the total population, 20 per cent were totally illiterate and kept themselves away from all literacy programmes.
A major concern raised by the study was the ‘poor road access’ to fishermen settlements, which could hamper rescue operations during calamities.
Fishermen from Beypore, Kappakkal, Puthiyappa, and Elathur were now cut off from the city’s main centres including the Civil Station and Kozhikode Medical College Hospital due to lack of connecting bus services.
The need to set up better solid waste treatment facilities, healthcare centres, small-scale industrial units, and learning centres too was stressed in the report, prepared as part of implementation of a new master plan for Kozhikode’s development.
It called for stern action against the violators of the Coastal Regulation Zone Act and the people who undertook unauthorised constructions along the coastline.
“The report is for the consideration of all people who are currently connected to the planning and implementation of various fishermen welfare programmes. We have taken into account the development concerns of the community and the possible solutions for resolving them,” say T.Y. Vinod Krishnan and Baby John, who steered the study for MCITRA.
They said the migration of people from various locations to the coastal areas was paving the way for the slow evacuation of the fishermen community from their abode.
A panel of 10 experts working on fishermen welfare projects contributed to the project report, which would be circulated among various government agencies.