Gujarat Govt to build 9 new harbours

Gandhinagar, Saturday:

Gujarat government Rs.1,200-crore project to build nine new harbours in the state has been started in consultation with the Central Government. The state will take steps needed to develop inland and marine fishery.

The state government considers fishermen as ‘Sagar Khedut, meaning ‘farmers of the sea’. Issuing Kisan Credit Cards to them is under the consideration, so also providing big trawlers to small fishermen for their survival. The state also mulls issuing permits to fishermen of neighbouring states for fishing in the Gujarat’s territorial waters.

A problem typical to Gujarat’s fishermen is the state’s territorial water bordering that of Pakistan, inadvertently entering one another’s territory or being forcibly captured – a sensitive international issue. Gujarat has asked the Central Government to ensure early release of such Gujarati fishermen from Pakistan’s detention. The state government provides financial assistance of Rs.300 per day to the families of each of such detainee.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held discussion with nearly 65 fishermen from 15 coastal districts, extending from Saurashtra & Kutch to south Gujarat.

As to fishermen declared missing in high sea during storms or cyclone, he said, the state government provides ex gratia compensation as compassion towards the kin of such fishermen who do not return for five years.