KOCHI: Fisheries Deputy Director S Mahesh said: “The fishermen have to get an invoice from a boat yard run by Matsyafed or private parties. The Fisheries Department will approve the estimate and transfer the money to the yard. The government has taken a very lenient approach as the fishermen have volunteered to save hundreds of flood victims.”
Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma said any fisherman who suffered loss due to damages to his boat can approach the department.“According to the report compiled by Fisheries Department, 99 boats have suffered damages and we’ve repaired all of them.
The fishermen can repair their boats at a yard of their choice. As many as seven wooden boats suffered severe damages and we’ve decided to provide them with new ones. It’ll take some time. I’ve instructed the officers to sanction the amount for repair of boats and ensure there’re no procedural delays,” she said.
Nediyiruppil N T Suresh, a fisherman from Vypin Kalamukku, said: “We refused to accept the reward as it was a God-sent opportunity for us to save the people in distress. When we arrived in Aluva, the situation was alarming. Water had entered the first floor of houses and people had lost hope of being rescued. Hundreds were screaming from rooftops on either side of the road for help. At many places we steered the boat into the rooms and save families. On the first day (August 16), we worked on empty stomach. The rescue operation that started at 7 am went on till midnight.”
Kanappally John, another fisherman, said: “A team of 23 fishermen from Vypin went to Aluva with 14 boats on August 16 for rescue operations. The engine of my boat got damaged and I got it repaired spending `15,000 from my pocket. The wooden hull plank of three boats got damaged and we need around `30,000 to repair them.”