Tamil Nadu

High Court summons Director of Fisheries

Madras High Court in Chennai   | Photo Credit: V. Ganesan

The Madras High Court on Monday summoned the Director of Fisheries to appear before it on March 16 to explain how the State spent the ₹300 crore allotted by the Centre under the Blue Revolution-Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries scheme for rehabilitation of fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on the charge of crossing the maritime border.

Justices Vineet Kothari and R. Suresh Kumar also directed the State government to file a detailed counter affidavit to a public interest litigation petition filed by Fishermen Care, a non-governmental organisation, represented by its president L.T.A. Peter Ryan, seeking funds for rehabilitation of affected fishermen.

They wanted to know when the funds were received from the Centreand how they were spent.

In its counter affidavit filed last month, the Centre told the court that it had released ₹184.93 crore in the last five years to the State government for the implementation of the Blue Revolution-Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries scheme. Further, another ₹300 crore was allocated for providing assistance for deep sea fishing and constructing a fish landing centre at Kunthukal in Ramanathapuram district.

A specific advice had also been issued to the State government to give priority to fishermen, who had lost their boats, while granting assistance, it said. The scheme was being implemented for the benefit of fishermen belonging to Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram and those who fish in the Palk Bay region. They were being provided financial assistance for provision of housing, drinking water and construction of community halls, it said.

The fishermen were also being trained in deep sea fishing, long lining and on-board processing of fish and the Centrally sponsored scheme provides for conversion of trawlers into resource specific deep-sea fishing vessels through 100% subsidy with a ceiling of ₹15 lakh per vessel, the Centre said.

It also informed the court that since 2015 Sri Lanka had stopped releasing boats of Indian fishermen apprehended on charges of trespassing into foreign waters and involving in illegal fishing.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 11:37:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/high-court-summons-director-of-fisheries/article30967097.ece

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