November 14, 2016
Chennai: Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao has, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, noted that the Sri Lankan Government apprehended and impounded 158 boats belonging to Tamil Nadu fishermen in 2014.
“It is disheartening to note that due to prolonged berthing without any proper upkeep, 16 boats were damaged beyond retrieval and had sunk in Sri Lanka.
Another twoboats sank while engaged in fishing in the traditional waters and also could not be salvaged,” he noted.
Stating that the Indian fishermen incurred huge losses for the repair of their salvaged boats and resumption of fishing, Rao said that despite repeated appeals, the Government of India is yet to agree to bear the losses suffered by Indian fishermen.
Urging the Centre to impress upon the Government of Sri Lanka to secure the early release of 105 fishing boats which are sustaining serious damages in Sri Lankan custody and return the boats in a refurbished condition, Rao also requested the Centre to suitably compensate the fishermen for their losses and provide necessary assistance to rebuild their lost means of livelihood.
“The cost of each fishing boat is around Rs 25 lakhs”, he pointed out.