Fishermen happy as CM relaxes curfew on Sunday

With the chief minister announcing a relaxation of curfew on Sunday morning, hundreds of fishermen began to unload their catch in Bunder, Mangaluru, on Saturday.

The fishing community on Saturday heaved a sigh of relief when Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, responding to their request, ordered relaxing of curfew on Sunday morning, to help fishermen sell their catch.

Trawl Boat Owners’ Association President Nithin Kumar told DH that nearly 350 fishing boats with 600 tonnes of fishes had returned from deep-sea fishing. The fishing community through MLA D Vedavyas Kamath had appealed to the chief minister to lift the curfew for a few hours to help fishermen sell their catch on Sunday.

"The relaxation from 3 pm to 6 pm was inadequate to unload our catch from the boats", Kumar added. The fishes once removed from ice will start decomposing rapidly, he said when asked on why the fishermen had not auctioned the fishes when the curfew was relaxed on Saturday evening.

"If the curfew is not lifted on Sunday tonnes of fish catch would have rotted", Purse Seine Boat Owners’ Association Honorary President Umesh Karkera said.

He said when a city shuts down due to a bandh or curfew, the biggest sufferers are fishermen. Karkera said five to six purse seine boats and about 50 trawlers had returned to Bunder port from deep-sea fishing unaware of the curfew on Friday itself.

"These boats were sent back and asked to come back again on Saturday", Karkera told DH when contacted.

Due to the curfew, the required quantity of ice to increase the shelf life of fishes was not supplied to the Bunder for past two days. But boats have sufficient ice to prevent the fish from getting spoiled until Sunday.

He said the fishing community faced the entire brunt of a curfew. As many as 5,000 people who are directly or indirectly dependent on the Bunder port are forced to stay indoors, he explained.

No sooner the curfew was relaxed for two hours, taxi drivers were flooded with requests to ferry them outside the city. An entrepreneur in Uppinangady, Prashant D’Costa said the disconnection of internet facility in mobile had caused tremendous losses to entrepreneurs residing in villages.

"All our attempts to conduct online transactions including transferring money from our account with the help of bank’s applications yielded no results", he lamented.

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