The families of around 450 fishermen linked to the 45 mechanized boats destroyed in a massive fire at Vizag Fishing Harbour on November 20 are deeply concerned about their livelihoods.
V. Parvathamma, a fisherwoman, expressed her distress, stating, “The boats my husband worked on have been destroyed. His sole source of livelihood is gone. While the government announced compensation for 80% of the total boat value damaged in the fire, no provisions were made for the boat workers. Fishermen’s leaders need to consider our lives. We are helpless now.”
M. Jaggunaidu, CPI (M) Visakhapatnam district secretary, called for the government to provide 100% compensation for the boat value and address the challenges faced by the 1,000 families dependent on the gutted boats.
Arjili Dasu, National Fisherfolk Forum general secretary, demanded the government pay a monthly assistance of at least ₹15,000 to each affected boat worker. He submitted a memorandum to Fisheries Minister Seediri Appalaraju on the matter.
Vasupalli Janakiram, president of the Andhra Pradesh Mechanised Boat Owners’ Association, emphasized that the government should be made aware of the issues faced by fishermen who lost their livelihoods due to the fire. The association has brought the matter to the attention of the Fisheries Minister.