Kerala

Centre usurping coastal communities’ rights: Pinarayi

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan arrives to inaugurate a fishworkers’ meeting organised by the Matsya Thozhilali Federation at the Tangasseri harbour in Kollam on Saturday.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan arrives to inaugurate a fishworkers’ meeting organised by the Matsya Thozhilali Federation at the Tangasseri harbour in Kollam on Saturday. | Photo Credit: C. SURESHKUMAR

With the new policies of the Centre favouring corporates, the fisheries sector is headed towards a perilous phase, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Saturday.

Inaugurating a fishers’ meet on Kollam beach, he added that the Centre was trying to take away all the rights of coastal communities and their anti-people stand was reflected in all sectors. “It was the Narasimha Rao government that opened the seas for foreign trawlers and now the BJP government has gone one step further by snatching the power of States. They are introducing new laws to help the corporates and this will pose a serious threat to the safety and welfare of fishers,” he said.

The Chief Minister added that preventing the intrusion of foreign trawlers was very important and members of fisher cooperatives were being trained for the purpose. “In the initial phase, vessels will be made available for six groups and the Cochin Shipyard has started the construction of vessels.” Talking about the recent surge in kerosene prices, a matter of major concern for traditional fishers, he said that the State had demanded to revise the policy regarding kerosene subsidy and quota in the NITI Aayog meeting.

₹5,000-cr. package

Pointing out the housing and welfare schemes introduced by the government, Mr. Vijayan said all Left governments in Kerala had made serious interventions to protect the fisherfolk. “The government is implementing a ₹5,000-crore package for the development of our coastal belt. In order to ensure the safety of fishers, areas most susceptible to sea surge were identified and seawalls were constructed. Though its construction is yet to be completed, the tetrapod seawall has brought much relief to the residents of Chellanam. Many sea erosion-prone parts of the coast have currently become safe,” he said.

‘Through discussions’

Urging the fishers to help the government solve their problems through open discussions, he added that coastal community had always supported the Left. “Some people may want to destroy that equation but there are no issues between the government and fishers. If there are any problems, we will solve it together,” he added.


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Printable version | Sep 4, 2022 5:52:00 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/centre-usurping-coastal-communities-rights-pinarayi/article65765876.ece