The fishing community of Uttan has demanded a hike in compensation from the government for damaged boats due to natural disasters.
The demands followed after gusty winds and huge tidal waves amid the inclement weather in the Arabian Sea unleashing its wrath on the coastline of Uttan near Bhayandar late on Saturday night.
While one mechanized fishing boat- Jeevan Shakti was completely damaged, the other seven to eight paddle boats toppled in the water despite being anchored at Bhatodi Bunder coast.
Four helpers (khalasis) who were sleeping in the boat had a miraculous escape as they jumped out just in time. The owner of the Jeevan Shakti boat Sebastian Chinchak and his family have been left devastated as the boat was the only source of their livelihood.
Battered by the waves and gusty wind, the boat drifted away and shattered after smashing into the rocks. Apart from the boat, other fishing equipments such as nets, tumblers and hooks have been washed away, the hulls, radars, pumps and engines of the Jeevan Shakti boat have been damaged beyond repair.
Fire brigade personnel from the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) reached the spot and assisted in retrieving the parts of the boat.
At a loss to make out the mechanism formulated for fixing compensation, fishing community leader Leo Collazo said, “Compensation paid for damaged boats is too meagre for the fishermen to resume operations. The government should hike budgetary allocations and increase compensations to justified levels.”
“The fishermen were caught totally unawares. Officials from the fisheries department inspected the boats to assess the losses, but the government should act fast and compensate the affected as soon as possible.” said local municipal corporator Sharmila Bagaji.
A mechanized boat itself is worth around Rs. 40 lakh and other fishing gear cost a few more lakhs. The quaint fishing villages including Uttan, Pali and Chowk are home to over 650 fishing boats in the region.
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Published on: Monday, January 24, 2022, 03:28 PM IST