Lift ban on fishing, demand assn; DC fails to budge

Lift ban on fishing, demand assn; DC fails to budge

'Section 144 in place until contractor provides compensation'

Lift ban on fishing, demand assn; DC fails to budge

The efforts of the members of Fisheries Development Association to convince Deputy Commissioner V Anbu Kumar to lift the ban on fishing at Hemavathy reservoir proved futile.

The members who gathered in front of the DC’s office staged a protest and demanded permission to continue fishing activities in the reservoir and lift section 144. However, Anbu Kumar was adamant that the ban on fishing at Hemavathy reservoir will not be lifted until compensation to the families of fishermen, who drowned in the reservoir recently, be paid by the fishing contractor. The members also presented a memorandum to the DC in this regard.

Speaking on the occasion, Anbu Kumar said that the negligence of the contractor in not providing life jackets and other facilities has resulted in the tragedy, which claimed lives of three youths last month.

The fishing contractor has not even responded to the calls made by the district administration. “Who will provide compensation to the mishap victims,” he questioned. The kin of the deceased are visiting the DC’s office every day in the hope of getting compensation amount.

The dead are not covered under any insurance scheme and the contractor has not contacted the authorities concerned so far, after the tragedy, he added.

Meeting

He has convened a meeting of senior officials on September 30 and invited the association members to attend the meeting to arrive at a solution.

The fishermen appealed the authorities to lift section 144. They even assured to pay Rs one lakh each for the deceased’s family on behalf of the Association, as it is one of them, who had been awarded fishing contract.

However, the DC did not budge and clarified that he would not give permission to begin fishing until the problem is solved. The district administration has taken this decision keeping the welfare of the fishermen in mind, he clarified.

Association president Jagadish who spoke to the media before meeting the DC said that there are 170 members in the Association. The contract for the next four years has been bagged by the Association. Fifty per cent of the profit goes to the Association and the rest to the fishermen, he said.

He clarified that those who lost their lives were not fishermen, yet they were ready to pay the compensation on humanitarian grounds.

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