April 24, 2018
State Govt looking after all aspects of fishermen’s welfare
The State Fisheries Department has taken several important measures for the welfare of fishermen, including pension for the old, insurance schemes, providing tools and vehicles for transporting fish, distress alerts for fishermen at sea and measures to augment the production of fish.
Old Age Pension Scheme: Meant for old and infirm fishermen, there are 8,500 fishermen enrolled under this scheme so far who are getting a pension of Rs 1,000 per month.
Accident insurance: Under Fishermen’s Group Personal Insurance Scheme, financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh is provided to the family members of deceased or untraceable fishermen, and Rs 1 lakh to those of permanently disabled fishermen. During financial year (FY) 2017-18, about 2.17 lakh fishermen were covered.
Fish transportation facilities: Jal-Hundis numbering 2,230 have been distributed to inland and marine fishermen, as well as among fishermen’s cooperative societies. Bicycles fitted with insulated boxes have been given to 2,168 fishermen.
Khuti societies: The State Government provides financial aid for the development of khuti societies, that is, fish drying centres. A total of 53 khuti societies in Contai and Diamond Harbour areas benefit from this aid. Considering essential aspects, the aid includes money for the operation and maintenance of the khutis, including wages for khuti attendants and sweepers, development of khuti infrastructure like link roads, submersible pumps, solar lights, fish-drying platforms and bamboo structures, supply of hygienic materials and small equipments, and the repair of tube-wells.
Identity facilitation: Biometric identity cards are being issued by the Government to marine fishermen; about 2.47 lakh identity cards have already been issued. Marine fishing vessels are being registered under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (for mechanised boats) and the West Bengal Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1993 (for non-mechanised boats).
Distress alert: For the safety and security of fishermen, the Government has taken up a programme for the free distribution of distress alert transmitters (DAT), to be fitted on to the vessels. A total of 3,656 DATs have been distributed till now.
Brackish water fishery: The Government provides substantial aid for increasing the production of fish in regions of brackish water, mainly found in the Sundarbans delta.
Fish research: Research on fish and fisheries is being conducted at Pailan Research Centre in Pailan, South 24 Parganas district. At the Fresh Water Research Centre in Kulia in Kalyani, Nadia, research is being carried out on production of seeds for freshwater fish including endangered species, ornamental or aquarium fish and other types. The latter has a high export value. Rural women are being trained in ornamental fish production.
All these measures prove that the Trinamool Congress Government has paid the utmost attention to the welfare of all fisherfolk in the state, ensuring help in every way possible.