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Fishworkers observe fast

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PROTEST: Members of Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur District Fishworkers’ Federation at a day-long fast near in Chennai on Monday.
PROTEST: Members of Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur District Fishworkers’ Federation at a day-long fast near in Chennai on Monday.

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Several people of fishermen hamlets in the three districts of Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur observed a day-long fast in front of Government Guest House, Chepauk, on Monday demanding withdrawal of Coastal Zone Management Plan and increase of cyclone relief amount.

Members of Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur District Fishworkers’ Federation said the plan would affect the lives of those living on the coastal areas. K. Poobasha from Pulicat said: “We can’t shift away from coastal hamlets as our lives are dependent on fishing. Living far off the sea would affect our occupation.”

He demanded that retaining wall be constructed at several places along the coast. Mr. Poobasha said the cyclone relief amount provided to the fishermen must be increased from Rs. 1,200 to 12,000 for three months. Measures must be taken to construct a bridge that would serve as a link between 13 villages in Pazhaverkadu region, Tiruvallur district.

G.Selvi of Nochikuppam said fisherfolk must be included in the scheduled tribe community.

They must also be included in reservation quota for education and employment. Though a rally was organised in this regard and a petition submitted to Chief Minister in November last year, there has not been any response to it. The members plan to go on an indefinite hunger strike if action was not taken on the demands. The 15-point demand charter of the Federation include provision of Rs.1,500 as monthly pension to fishermen aged above 60 and better equipped hospitals in coastal regions.

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