Dakshina Kannada District Gillnet Fishermen Association has urged the Central and state governments to release the quota of subsidised kerosene every month without any delay. The pending 300 litres of kerosene per permit should be released at the earliest.
"The shortage of supply of subsidised kerosenes have been affecting the fishing activities carried out by the traditional fishermen throughout the year," said Association President Ali Hassan.
"We have been demanding the subsidised kerosene for 12 months. However, the government supplies the kerosene only for nine months and that too irregularly. In the month of October, around 500 permit holders did not get the kerosene. While no kerosene was supplied in the month of December. Owing to the non-availability of kerosene, the fishing boats could not venture into fishing, thus affecting the livelihood of thousands of fishermen engaged in it," he said.
Stating that the district has 1,322 traditional boats using kerosene for its outboard engines, Hassan said the outboard engines were designed for the use of kerosene. The use of gas in these engines does not function properly.
A total of 30,000 to 50,000 fishermen are dependent on subsidised kerosene for carrying out fishing in the coastal districts.
Association Working President Subhash Kanchan said, ''We have to wait in a long queue to collect subsidised kerosene at the bunk, at 2 am. We require 35 litres to 105 litres of kerosene for one trip of fishing boat per day. Though the government order states that 215 litres of subsidised kerosenes will be supplied to the fishermen per month, it has not been fulfilled so far. The non-availability of kerosene in the open market has put us in hardship.”
There are 4,514 permits for kerosene boats in Karnataka. The kerosene should be supplied by 10th of every month. There is a need to find a permanent solution to the problem of shortage of supply of subsidised kerosene every month.
The demand in 2020 was 7020 KL kerosene. However, the state government has procured only 6775 KL kerosene from the Centre.
He urged the fisheries department officials to create awareness on various facilities for the fishermen from the government. At least 400 litres of subsidised kerosene per month should be supplied for the fishermen, he demanded.