Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: Diesel scarcity has severely hit fishing activity forcing the Boat Owners Association to introduce rationing for the first time in the history of fishing harbour here.

As against a daily requirement of 1.20 lakh litres, 48,000 litres was supplied on Wednesday. There was no supply at all on Thursday.

The shortage in supply for past few days has put the fishermen in a limbo forcing the associations to introduce rationing. Though each boat needs to carry 3,000 litres for a voyage comprising 10 to 12 days, the associations are giving 500 litres per boat. At present, 100 boats are voyage and 300 are waiting for a solution to oil problem.

The fishing boats need high-speed diesel and the State Fisheries Department has an arrangement for supply of diesel through Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.

AP Mechanised Boat Operators Welfare Association president P.Ch. Appa Rao told The Hindu that the shortage had come as a big blow for the boat operators after observing layoff for 62 days. Fishing activity resumed a week ago with lot of hope of bumper catch but the short supply dampened the spirit of fishermen, he regretted.