Fishermen of Nochikuppam on Thursday staged a protest demanding that they be allowed to continue selling fish in the stalls along the Marina Loop Road. This follows the move of the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) to remove the shops to implement an order of the Madras High Court.
The fishing hamlet has around 200 motorised country craft and 250 women selling fish and the fishermen did not venture into the sea on Wednesday and Thursday. “The women suffered heavy loss when the Corporation removed the shops on Wednesday. A basket of fish usually contains around 18-20 kg and would each cost around ₹4,500. On weekdays, they would make ₹500-₹700 a basket and on weekends, they buy and sell at higher rates,” said K. Bharathi, South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association.
The men and women blocked traffic on the road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. demanding restoration of their rights. “Apart from affecting livelihoods, our rights over the loop road are being threatened. Our cooperative society, through which we buy and sell fish, was registered in 1945. The road technically is located on land belonging to the row of fishing hamlets. Till the Corporation laid the road, it remained an internal road. Now, they are trying to appropriate it with the help of the court,” said Kabaddi Maran, a resident.
Fishermen have threatened to continue the protest till the government takes steps to safeguard their rights.