The State government will ensure insurance coverage for all fisherfolk in the State, Fisheries Minister Saji Cherian has said.
He was inaugurating the distribution of LPG kits to fishers at a function held on Omanapuzha beach on Sunday. LPG conversion kits were given as part of a scheme to convert fossil fuel-run fishing boats into LPG-driven vessels.
Mr. Cherian said that insurance was mandatory for all fishers venturing into the sea. “The government is responsible for the safety of fishers. Ninety percent of the insurance premium of the fisherfolk is paid by the government,” the Minister said, adding that the government was contemplating acting against those vessels going to sea without insurance coverage.
Mr. Cherian said that meetings in the presence of people’s representatives would be convened in coastal areas of the State in April and May to address issues pertaining to the fishing community. “Members of the fishing community can submit their complaints to the government through a designated portal. The issues will be resolved in the presence of people’s representatives at the meetings. In the initial phase, some 50 meetings will be convened across the State,” he said.
The Minister said the government was providing compensation of ₹5 lakh to fishers for accidents in the sea. “The government will compensate fishers for lost working days due to inclement weather warning at the rate of ₹200 per working day. As many as 1.65 fisherfolks will soon get ₹3,000 each for working days lost last year. A sum of ₹50 crore will be sanctioned from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund for distributing the compensation,” he said.
Mr. Cherian said that LPG kits were introduced on a pilot basis and if found successful, the scheme would be extended to the entire State. Shifting to LPG from kerosene could reduce the expense by 60%.
P.P. Chitharanjan, MLA, presided. Alappuzha district panchayat president K.G. Rajeshwari, Fisheries principal secretary K.S. Sreenivas, Director of Fisheries Adeela Abdulla, Mararikulam South grama panchayat president P.P. Sangeetha, and others attended the function.