The medley of new schemes and bad implementation for Ennore fishermen

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The Government of Tamil Nadu introduced a slew of schemes to aid fishing communities in five districts with a budget of Rs. 20 crore in August this year; the targeted communities however continue to survive without much of the benefits.

The newly launched schemes include fish landing centres, cold storage, safer boat parking facilities, incentives to increase fish production and others. These schemes will join the long list of schemes already operational under the State’s Animal Husbandry and Fisheries department.

“The government should try upgrading the infrastructure at the mouth of the creek to ensure the ocean water gets sufficiently diverted into the creek. We already have an existing pier structure so why not use it,” says Suresh, head of Nettu Kuppam in Ennore of Tiruvallur district.

One of T. Rajjan's catch
One of T. Rajjapan’s catch

Lack of implementation of schemes haunts the lives of the fishermen in Ennore where they are seeing a drop in catch out due to heavy industrialization around the Ennore creek.
Untreated discharge of water from surrounding North Chennai Thermal Power Station and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation result in increased water temperature, often killing fishes. The most affected are small time fishermen who rely on fishing in the creek to sustain themselves. Despite writing incessantly to government bodies, the government has heard little.



“People from all six villages tried to approach government officials but they always end up giving excuses like ‘we will come and talk in your village’. Even the officials of Ennore sitting in their offices every day do not bother to listen,”

says T. Rajjapan who spends an average of five hours a day throwing hand nets in the creek.

Despite living beside a water body, the residents of Nettu Kuppam suffer from water crisis as most of the creek water is contaminated. A water tanker from the corporation reaches the Kuppam twice a week and its residents are charged Rs 4 per can for pure drinking water.

Nettu Kuppam leader, Suresh over looks the catch.
Nettu Kuppam leader, Suresh over looks the catch.

The Assistant District Engineer of the Ennore sub-division, Shanmugam, regarded Rs. 4 as ‘water tax’.

For the thousand odd households around Ennore, implementation of schemes calls for greater notice over new schemes.

This article would not have been complete without kind inputs from Raman (L) and Suman (R)
This article would not have been complete without kind inputs from Raman (L) and Suman (R)

With special inputs from Shobana Subbaraj.


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