Dredging will begin today, Ministers call on kin of deceased
The government is launching measures to remove the sand accumulated near the harbour mouth at Vizhinjam as it poses a danger to fishing boats entering and exiting the fisheries facility, Fisheries Minister Saji Cherian has said.
If the weather permitted, the dredging would begin on Saturday, Mr. Cherian said here on Friday.
Several small fishing boats had met with accidents at the point on Tuesday night, leaving three people dead. Only a timely, night-time rescue mounted by the Coast Guard and the police had saved the lives of several others. Following the incident, the local fishermen had alerted Mr. Cherian and Transport Minister Antony Raju about the sand accumulation when they visited Vizhinjam.
The channel leading from the harbour to the sea is 93 metres wide. Wave action deposits sand in this area. As this phenomenon posed danger to fishermen, a study had been initiated for finding a lasting solution, the Minister said.
With the southwest monsoon at the doorsteps, Mr. Cherian urged fishers to exercise caution while going out to sea. They had been directed to use life-saving equipment, including life jackets. Fisheries officials should be informed about their fishing regions, the Minister said.
Mr. Cherian and Mr. Raju visited the homes of Davidson, Joseph and Xavier alias Shabariyar, the three fishermen who died in Tuesday’s mishap, and handed over an interim relief of ₹10,000 each to their kin. The Ministers promised the family members that the financial assistance would be handed over in full as soon as the official procedures were completed.
Several fishing boats had met with difficulties and capsized near the harbour mouth in the lashing winds and rain on Tuesday night. Six fishermen were rescued by the Coast Guard, while two others swam to safety. The body of Davidson was found on Wednesday and those of Joseph and Xavier on Thursday.
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