‘1,969 fish­er­men traced; search on for 855’

The Hindu - - TAMIL NADU - B. Ko­lap­pan

The State gov­ern­ment on Thurs­day re­vealed that 1,969 fish­er­men from Ock­hi­hit Kan­niyaku­mari dis­trict, who went miss­ing, have been found to be safe in other States. “We are still con­tin­u­ing ef­forts to col­lect in­for­ma­tion about 855 fish­er­men and ev­ery day, we are match­ing the de­tails with fish­er­men res­cued in other States,” In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary T. K. Ra­machan­dran, who is on spe­cial duty as ad­di­tional mon­i­tor­ing of­fi­cer in the cy­clone-hit dis­trict, told

A to­tal of 2,641 fish­er­men from Kan­niyaku­mari and other dis­tricts had gone for fish­ing in 282 boats. Mr. Ra­machan­dran said since fish­er­men them­selves from eight vil­lages wanted to take part in the search op­er­a­tion, the gov­ern­ment made ar­range­ments

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for seven of them to go with the In­dian Navy and Coast Guard. “They have come back and thanked the gov­ern­ment for the ef­forts,” he said.

Mr. Ra­machan­dran, who vis­ited fish­er­men vil­lages and met par­ish pri­ests, said the gov­ern­ment had traced 249 boats and 1,969 fish­er­men from Kan­niyaku­mari in other States.

“A team of se­nior of­fi­cials has rushed to these States to en­sure the safe re­turn of fish­er­men and pro­vide other ameni­ties,” said Mr. Ra­machan­dran in the pres­ence of Di­rec­tor of Fish­eries V. P. Dhan­da­pani and Di­rec­tor of Em­ploy­ment and Train­ing Jothi Nir­mala.

Two fish­er­men had died and oth­ers have reached 15 places in Ma­ha­rash­tra, Lak­shad­weep, Gu­jarat and Ker­ala safely. The group also in­cluded fish­er­men from other dis­tricts. “We are in re­ceipt of the names of fish­er­men who have reached shore. IAS of­fi­cers have gone to these States to as­cer­tain their vil­lages in Kan­niyaku­mari,” Mr Ra­machan­dran said.

Though peo­ple in fish­er­men vil­lages have come to the con­clu­sion that the fish­er­men, who could not be traced are dead, of­fi­cials said one could come to such a con­clu­sion only af­ter a year. “We are con­duct­ing an in­quiry in ev­ery vil­lage and re­lief should be dis­trib­uted de­pend­ing on the in­quiry re­port,” the of­fi­cials said.

While the fish­er­men claimed that 13 per­sons had been killed by Ockhi, the of­fi­cials said that af­ter their visit to vil­lages, they found that 135 of the 855 fish­er­men from eight vil­lages, in­clud­ing Neerodi, Vallav­i­lai, Chin­nathu­rai, Poothu­rai and Marthandamthu­rai, were safe. “They have gone in 75 mechanised boats and 11 boats have been traced in other dis­tricts. A to­tal of 130 fish­er­men were also found in the boats. The pur­suit is still on for 725 fish­er­men,” an of­fi­cial said.

Ex­plain­ing the rea­son for the de­lay in their re­turn, of­fi­cials said Ockhi had moved to­wards Gu­jarat and fish­er­men had been ad­vised to re­main in the State since the storm’s im­pact would be felt till De­cem­ber 8. “The re­spec­tive State gov­ern­ments are keep­ing them safe,” an of­fi­cial added.

Se­nior of­fi­cials have rushed to var­i­ous States to en­sure the re­turn of the fish­er­men

T. K. Ra­machan­dran Of­fi­cer on Spe­cial Duty

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