CHENNAI:A PIL petition has been filed in the Madras High Court for a directive to the authorities, including State Election Commission, to delimit the fishing villages in the 13 coastal districts and declare them before the local body elections as separate village panchayats, if they satisfy the eligible criteria.
A division bench of Justices T S Sivagnanam and Bhavani Subbaroyan, before which the PIL from Fisherman Care, by its president LTA Peter Rayan, came up for hearing on Friday, issued notices to the departments concerned, returnable by August 17.
Petitioner said there are 13 coastal districts in the State, consisting of 608 fisherman villages with a population of 9.24 lakh. The Mandal Commission had recommended inclusion of fishermen community in the list of SCs/STs and to carve out the areas where they are concentrated, as separate constituencies at the time of delimitation and to create a sepa-rate ministry for their development.But, the government and the
Delimitation Commission ignored the recommendations. Similarly, empowerment of fishing community by declaring their villages as village panchayats had not been done. 90 per cent of 608 fishing villages in the coastal districts satisfied the eligibility criteria for delimitation. But it was not done. Hence, the plea for a directive to authorities to consider his representation on the subject.
608 hamlets in 13 coastal districts
The empowerment of fishing community by declaring their villages as village panchayats has not been done despite 90% of 608 villages satisfying the eligibility criteria