Nagercoil: Members of the AIADMK observed a fast here on Thursday urging the Government to commence the construction of Thengaipattinam fishing harbour.
The former Health Minister, N. Thalavai Sundaram, who led the fast, said that during the AIADMK regime, the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa decided to construct a fishing harbour at Thengaipattinam at an estimated cost of Rs.30.55 crore in a phased manner. In the first phase, a sum of Rs.2.73 crore was sanctioned to carry out preliminary works during 2005-06. The decision was taken on the basis of a recommendation made by the then Director of Fisheries that there was a felt need to develop fishing harbours along the west coast of the State to create safe landing and berthing facilities for mechanised fishing vessels operating from Kanyakumari district.
In the absence of this infrastructure, the fishermen community was facing a lot of problems. Keeping this in view, the Director of Fisheries came up with the proposal of constructing a fishing harbour at Thengaipattinam. However, the DMK did nothing to pursue the project, alleged the former Health Minister.
The deputy secretary of the district unit of MGR Mandram, Rajamani (50), who fainted during the course of the fast, was declared dead when he was rushed to a nearby private hospital. On hearing the news, the cadres observed silence for two minutes as a mark of respect.
The district secretary, K.T. Pachaimal, and former Minister, K.P. Rajendra Prasad, spoke.