Fishermen demand kerosene at ₹25 a litre for boats

Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi to stage dharna on Friday

April 19, 2022 05:32 pm | Updated 05:32 pm IST

Special Correspondent

KOCHI

The Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi will organise a dharna in front of the BSNL office in Thoppumpady on Friday demanding kerosene for fishing boats at ₹25 a litre as well as increase in the quota of the fuel for the fishing sector. The Aikya Vedi leaders said that the State government had, in its election manifesto, promised to provide kerosene to the fishing sector at ₹25 a litre. The independent union fishermen also want the Union government to correct the Blue Economy programme that it has announced.

The fishermen feel that the Blue Economy programme will end up corporatising the maritime sector and alienate the fishing community from their traditional means of livelihood. The fishermen’s union said this being the lean fishing season, even traditional boats have to cover long distances to get a good catch. These expeditions have turned out to be more and more expensive with the price of kerosene prevailing at over ₹120 per litre in the open market. Fishing vessels with 9.9 HP engines are given 129 litres of kerosene at a subsidised rate while boats with engines of 20 HP are given 179 litres per month. The union said a boat would require an average of 2,000 litres of kerosene per month to stay in business.

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