Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Union Minister of State for Agriculture K.V. Thomas will inaugurate a people's convention for the protection of the fishing sector in the State from pollution near Varapuzha market on Saturday at 4 p.m. Minister for Fisheries S. Sarma will deliver the keynote address at the convention being organised by the district committee of the Kerala Fisheries Coordination Committee (Inland). M.H. Hareesh, chairman of the coordination committee, will preside. The convention will give shape to protest measures to protect the fishing sector.

District convener Charles George will present the topic. MLAs A.M. Yousuf, V.D. Satheeshan., and M.K. Purushothaman, panchayat president K.A. Antony, trade union leaders including M.M. Lawrence and A.B. Mathew would be among those present.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, representatives of the coordination committee warned that Periyar and Vembanad lake, which were the lifelines of Central Kerala and the primary source of fish wealth that provided livelihood to thousands of fishing workers, were facing serious problems owing to rising pollution levels.

Accusing that the Pollution Control Board was a remaining a mute spectator, they said that encroachments affecting the normal flow of water had further worsened their situation.

The committee demanded steps to control unchecked pollution, restore the normal flow of water in the backwaters, and alleviating the hardships of the fishing community.