Special Correspondent

Income of fishermen will go up: Minister

Puducherry. The Department of Fisheries here will soon take up a deep-sea fishing project to boost the income for fishermen and augment the revenue of the Union Territory, according to Education and Fisheries Minister M O H F Shahjahan.

He told The Hindu here on Monday on his return from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore that the government had already formed a committee to work out the proposals. He said he had, along with the Lt Governor Mukut Mithi, the Secretary to Fisheries Department, the Transport Commissioner and other officials seen for himself the impact of the deep-sea fishing programmes in Australia. Fishing is now done in a restricted manner in Puducherry. There was scope to expand and deep-sea fishing held the key.

An Australia-based private company would present a demonstration on deep-sea fishing, he said.

Mr Shahjahan said that during his visit he had acquainted himself with the traffic management and strategy adopted there (particularly in Singapore). There was a need for newer technologies and rapid transport system in Puducherry too. He said monorail or light rail or metro railways (as is in Delhi) could be introduced in Puducherry.

More than 3000 vehicles including a big chunk of two wheelers were sold every month in Puducherry. There was thus a need for a plan to handle traffic in the next two decades. He said he would call for expression of interest through global tenders for a traffic management scheme.

In a bid to enable children in both rural and urban areas to hone their skills in communication, a new programme called `Smart Schools' would be implemented. Seventy schools of the Department of Education spread over all the four regions would be selected.

Children in the first phase from kindergarten to primary school level would be taught as per the CBSE syllabus. Teachers needed to handle the classes would also be picked and trained to handle the Smart schools.

The schools would concentrate on spoken English, personality development, computer based education and adoption of special uniforms.

These schools would become operational from the 2007-2008 academic year. Each class would have 27 children.