Boat tragedy: Fisheries dept seek compensation

The wreckage of missing boat, Suvarna Thribhuja, was traced 33-km off the coast of Malvan in Maharashtra.

Deputy directors of Fisheries department in Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts have written to the director of Fisheries department seeking compensation for the families of seven fishermen, who were on board the ill-fated Suvarna Thribhuja fishing boat.

Though the wreckage of missing boat was traced 33-km off the coast of Malvan in Maharashtra after 140 days, the whereabouts of the fishermen are still not known.

Considering it as a special case, Udupi Fisheries Department Deputy Director Parshwanath has submitted details of bank accounts and other documents pertaining to Chandrashekar Kotian and Damodar Salian, who were on-board the boat, to the higher authorities for the release of compensation.

The Uttara Kannada Fisheries department deputy director too has submitted details of the five missing fishermen.

Speaking to DH, Parshwanath said that there was a provision to provide a maximum compensation of up to Rs 6 lakh under fishermen distress relief fund in case of death at sea.

“In the case of fishermen of Suvarna Thribhuja, they are still missing. In spite of it, we have written to the director by furnishing all the required details.”

He said, “Normally, compensation is given if the fishermen are dead at sea. Considering it as a special case, we have written to the director to release the compensation. Normally, an affidavit is collected from fishermen family that the released compensation will have to be returned if the fishermen return home. Considering the sensitivity of the issue here, we will discuss the issue with higher authorities and suitable decision will be arrived,” said the officer.

It may be recalled that the state government had given Rs 1 lakh as interim relief for the families.

Families in darkness

Though the Navy had tweeted on tracing the wreckage of the boat, missing fishermen families at Pavanjigudde in Badanidiyooru in Malpe are still not aware of the tracing of the wreckage.

Boat owner Chandrashekar Kotian’s wife Shyamala, Damodar Salian’s father Suvarna Tingalaya, mother and wife Mohini were not informed about the finding of the wreckage. There is erring silence in the houses of the fishermen. The family members are still hopeful of their return.

Kotian’s wife is spending her days waiting for her husband at her house in Badanidiyooru. While Damodar’s wife had left for her native after the boat went missing.

The tracing of the wreckage has been informed to Mohini’s uncle and Chandrashekar Kotian’s brother.

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