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Rs 69 lakh cyclone relief package announced for Diu fishermen

The package announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia compensation against completely damaged fishing trawlers of length 15 metres or more and Rs 3 lakh for completely damaged fishing boats of less than 15 metres length.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot |
June 26, 2021 2:27:42 am
Boats damaged by cyclone Tauktae in Diu. (Express Photo by Bipin Bamania)

THE ADMINISTRATION of Union Territories (UTs) of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu has announced Rs 69.85 lakh relief package for fishermen of Diu whose boats were damaged by cyclone Tauktae but some fishermen felt the government relief is inadequate.

Tauktae, the severe cyclonic storm had hit Diu on May 17 morning before making landfall between Una and Mahuva coast of Gujarat. The storm damaged 29 boats and uprooted or damaged around 15,000 trees on the island, local officers say.

On June 19, office of Praful Patel, the administrator of UTs of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Diu and Daman, announced a relief package of Rs 69.85 lakh for fishermen of Diu affected by the cyclone.

The package announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia compensation against completely damaged fishing trawlers of length 15 metres or more and Rs 3 lakh for completely damaged fishing boats of less than 15 metres length. The package also provided for relief to owners whose boats suffered partial damage.

“As per State Disaster Relief Fund norms, the size of relief package to fishermen was Rs 1.89 lakh only. But we knew that Diu was in the eye of the cyclone and the damage was large-scale. Therefore, to help fishermen get back on their feet, we activated our local scheme and increased the package to Rs 69.85 lakh,” Patel told The Indian Express Friday, adding, “the fishermen leaders are happy with the package.”

The UT district has around 1500 registered fishing boats. Diu collector Saloni Rai said that the cyclone completely damaged two large fishing trawlers and nine smaller trawlers. The storm, which brough winds gusting up to 179 kilometres per hour, also damaged 18 other boats partially.

“Compensation worth Rs37 lakh has already been paid against complete loss of boats. Another Rs 32.85 lakh has been earmarked for compensating fishermen against the partially-damaged boats. We shall reimburse bills of repairs of partially-damaged boats on actual basis with the ceiling of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh respectively,” the collector said.

However, some fishermen leader said the compensation could have been higher. “A fishing trawler costs around Rs 60 lakh and compensation of Rs 5 lakh is nothing against the actual value of the boats. While the fishermen may not demand to be fully compensated, had the government paid around Rs 25 lakh ex gratia, it could have helped fishermen find their feet again a little quicker,” Umesh Bamania, present of Vivek Fisheries Cooperative Society (VFCS), a cooperative organisation working for welfare of fishermen of Diu said.

Bamania added, “The other thing the government could have done is to help fishermen avail loans from National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) so that fishermen can finance purchase of new boats or repairs of damaged boats.”

Patel said that the cyclone uprooted or damaged around 15000 trees, including around 13000 in horticulture plantations in around 50 hectare private land.

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