Biometric Cards Mandatory for Fishermen
Mangaluru: A grievances meet of fishermen was held at the Deputy Commissioner’s office here, on June 13.
Fishermen shared their problems with the Minister for Youth Services and Fisheries Abhay Chandra Jain, MLA Mangaluru South Constituency J R Lobo and officials.
The Fisheries department has decided to make biometric ID cards mandatory for the fishermen when they go out for deep sea fishing, the cards will be distributed to fishermen in coastal Karnataka from 20-30 June during camps organised by the department, said the director of Fisheries department H S Veerappa Gowda.
“Coastguards are very serious about the safety of the fishermen after the terror attacks in Mumbai and have made biometric cards mandatory. It is the duty of every boat owner to confirm that fishermen have their biometric cards when they venture into the deep sea. There are chances that terrorists may enter the country through the sea disguised as fishermen, which is dangerous for the security of our country. In the entire coastal Karnataka, camps will be organised for ten days from June 20 in the beaches and ports, and biometric cards will be distributed to fishermen,” he said.
The fishermen said that fishermen who come from other states to coastal Karnataka for fishing should also possess biometric cards.
In response, Minister Jain said that the rule to have biometric cards for fishermen had been brought to the notice of the central government. It has been decided that these cards will be provided to the fishermen of Karnataka and this will be mandatory for fishing along the state’s coastline. In other states, it is mandatory for fishermen to possess an Aadhar card.
MLA J R Lobo said, “We have to improve our fish markets and fisheries too, and use activities like fishing and angling to attract tourists. We have been preparing a proposal for round 2 of the smart city project focusing on these points. Once Mangaluru will be selected for Smart city, we will get more funds from the central government, and will be able to develop the ports.”
The work on the third phase of the old port has been held up due to delay in the release of funds. Minister Jain said that the issue will be brought to the notice of the Chief Minister and the central government.
Fishermen shared many problems faced by them from the Fisheries department, Port department and the Food department.
Fishermen face problems while procuring monthly subsidy in kerosene from the Food department. There is an option for fishermen to buy kerosene with subsidy till the end of the month but the officials in the Food department are pressurising the fishermen to get the kerosene by 20th of every month, said Ali Hasan.
Former weightlifter Geetha bai said that the fish market at State bank is in a pathetic state. “During the rainy season, fish vendors face problems as the roof leaks and they need to hold umbrellas within the market to sell fish.” She urged the ministers to take necessary steps to solve this problem.
MLA J R Lobo assured to look into the matter. He also said that a proposal has been sent to the National Fisheries Development Corporation for the development of the market.
Mayor Harinath, ZP president Meenakshi Shanthigodu and others were also present.