Plan to relocate fishers to safer places yet to be a reality

Tough times: Incidents of sea erosion along the coastal areas of Kozhikode during the monsoon have left fishermen families a harrowed lot.

Tough times: Incidents of sea erosion along the coastal areas of Kozhikode during the monsoon have left fishermen families a harrowed lot.  

Many families refuse to accept relief package

The plan to shift around 2,600 fishermen families living along vulnerable coastal areas in Kozhikode district to safer locations has not turned a reality, with the authorities yet to identify a suitable spot for the rehabilitation project.

Objections raised by fishermen families to some of the proposals have also affected the realisation of the project.

According to sources in the Fisheries Department, only around 550 families have expressed willingness to accept the relief package and relocate from their existing locations. Most beneficiaries say that they deserve a better rehabilitation package with better monetary benefits.

Representatives of various fishermen’s organisations claim that the State government’s rehabilitation package gives only ₹10 lakh to a family to buy around three cents of land and build a house less than 600-sq. feet.

However, many beneficiaries say it is not sufficient to meet the actual requirement, considering the high value of land, its distance from the harbours, increasing cost of construction and the difficulty in accommodating larger families in small houses.

A field study conducted by the Fisheries Department found that all the families identified for the proposed housing assistance scheme lived within 50 metres of the coastline, which is highly prone to sea erosion.

According to the study, their relocation continues to be an important issue, considering the safety aspects and the increasing incidents of sea erosion every year.

At the same time, Fisheries Department officials say they are not in a position to compel beneficiaries to accept the package and shift to newer locations. According to them, they can only submit the list of interested beneficiaries to the government and implement the project in a time-bound manner.

The department is also on the lookout for cheaper land, especially the poramboke land under the possession of the Revenue Department.

Meanwhile, fishermen’s association leaders say no one will cooperate with the implementation of the scheme if the government is not ready to revise the existing package.

The new houses offered to them should be close to the coastal areas to support their vocation, they add.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 3:36:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/plan-to-relocate-fishers-to-safer-places-yet-to-be-a-reality/article31782606.ece

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