Santosh Patnaik

VISAKHAPATNAM: Traditional fishermen displaced by the second naval base project near Rambilli have stalled the construction work.

The project, located about 50 km south of Visakhapatnam, has become a venue for protests by the fishermen against denial of sustenance allowance till they are given jobs.

About 15,000 to 16,000 belonging to Bangarammapalem, Revu Vatadda in S. Rayavaram mandal and Kothapatnam, Yatha Kothapatnam and Vadda Narsapuram in Rambilli mandal will be hit by the project.

Most of them eke out a living by fishing at the confluence of the rivers Varaha, Sarada and the sea near Bangarammapalem.

Activists insisting on sustenance allowance on the lines of package offered to the displaced persons of Gangavaram Port and training the illiterate persons, on Monday spurned the offer for talks by the district administration.

“We were invited for talks on Tuesday through the Joint Collector. But we want that talks should be held in the project site. We are not against the project as such and will call off our stir if a written promise is made to fulfil our demands,” Ummidi Govind, an activist from Bangarammapalem said.