Staff Correspondent

Families of seven fishermen who drowned recently should be compensated: Moily

Main demandsReduce insurance premium for fishing boatsPurchase dredger to remove silt from harboursOpen permanent fire station at Malpe Fisheries Harbour

UDUPI: The former Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily said here on Saturday that the State Government should take steps to help fishermen who had lost their boats and fishing equipment in the heavy rain lashing the coastal areas.

Addressing presspersons, Mr. Moily said six fishermen from Udupi district and one from Dakshina Kannada had drowned in the sea recently. The Government should release Rs. 2 lakh as compensation to the family of each of the victims. Eight fishing boats, including three from Udupi district, had been damaged in the heavy rain. The loss had been estimated at Rs. 8 crore, he said and added that the fishermen had not insured their boats. The Government should compensate the affected fishermen, he said.

He said he had asked fishermen's organisations to prepare a memorandum seeking a reduction in the insurance premium for fishing boats. The memorandum would be presented to Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, he added.

Dredger

He urged the State Government to purchase a dredger to remove silt from the harbours in the State. As a dredger cost Rs. 8 crore, the Union Government could be approached to finance it, he said.

Though work on the second stage of the Malpe Fisheries Harbour had been completed, there was no place to moor country boats. The State Government should provide space where such boats could be moored.

A permanent fire station should be opened at the Malpe Fisheries Harbour.

As in the case of farmers, fishermen should also be provided loans at four per cent interest, Mr. Moily said. This would go a long way in helping the fishermen.

Udupi Zilla Panchayat president B.N. Shankar Poojary, District Congress Committee president M.A. Gafoor, the former Minister Vasanth V. Salian, the former MLA Gopal Bhandary, Dakshina Kannada Mogaveera Mahajana Sangha president Pramod Madhwaraj and District Youth Congress president Murali Shetty, were present.

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