K. Subramanian

"Do not entrust painting work to contractors"

NAGAPATTINAM: Fishermen of the 188 km-long coast of Nagapattinam district have welcomed the suggestion of Jagan Seshadri, Additional Director-General of Police and Head of the Coastal Security Group (CSG) to paint an uniform colour for both the mechanised and country fishing boats to help security agencies identify boats even from a distance.

A cross-section of fishermen said that work to paint the thousands of boats in the State should not be entrusted to contractors as the fishermen had a bitter experience on an earlier occasion. If the Government called for a tender and entrusted the job to contractors it would lead to large-scale corruption, they feel.

P. Rajendran, a senior leader of fishermen of Keechankuppam and also State president of `Tsunami Meenavar Maruvazhvu Membattu Iyakkam' and State Vice-President of Tamizhaga Meenvar Peravai, said that all the fishing boats were already having usual identification features such as National Flag flying atop their boats and registration numbers in bold letters. Besides, the fishermen venturing into the sea carry identity cards as well.

Mr. Rajendran suggested that the Government should give paint or money to the fishermen themselves for painting their boats instead of giving it on contract. It would cost Rs.10,000 to 15,000 for painting a big mechanised boat, and Rs.3,000 to 4,000 for a fibreglass boat.

"Officials can monitor"

The Government could appoint special monitoring officials from the Fisheries Department to monitor the painting work.