Jana Sena Party (JSP) president Pawan Kalyan has said that his decision to provide relief to the fishermen, who lost their boats in the recent massive fire at the Visakhapatnam Fishing Harbour, is to “make the YSRCP government realise its responsibility and announce fair compensation” to them.
Mr. Pawan Kalyan distributed cheques for ₹50,000 each to 49 fishermen who lost their livelihood, at a public meeting at the fishing harbour harbour here on November 24 (Friday) evening.
Mr. Pawan Kalyan said that ₹50,000 was not enough for the victims to recoup their losses. “I wanted to bring the government into action. I have never seen you (fishermen) as a vote bank. Though I want to give you more, we have limited resources. The money I gave you was partly from my own funds, while the rest was from the donations made to my party. The JSP supporters from Mahboobnagar in Telangana contributed after hearing about your tragedy,” Mr. Pawan Kalyan told the fishermen.
Even as Andhra Pradesh is blessed with a 974-km coastline and abundant fish resources, fishermen are migrating to other States for livelihood, he said.
“It is due to the neglect meted out to the fishermen by the YSRCP government even as the fisheries sector is contributing ₹16,000 crore to the State exchequer in the form of taxes,” said the JSP president.
He said that the fishing harbour did not have even basic amenities such as adequate lighting.
Referring to the JSP-TDP alliance, Mr. Pawan Kalyan said, “We want to win the elections with a huge majority. The YSRCP has only four more months after which the JSP-TDP combine will form the government. We will build harbours. We will construct jetties in every 30 km along the coastline on the line of Gujarat and Kerala.”
The JSP president said that the ‘fishermen wing’ was the first to be set up after the formation of his party. The JSP strongly opposed the G.O. 217 as it was detrimental to the interests of fishermen, he said.
Saying that ₹400 crore would be needed for the construction of a harbour, the JSP chief said that instead of spending about ₹450 crore on the transit offices of the Chief Minister, it could have been spent for the construction of a new harbour.
JSP Political Affairs Committee chairman Nadendla Manohar also spoke.