CHENNAI: In the aftermath of the havoc wreaked by Cyclone Michaung, numerous fishermen coordinated with various government departments and participated in rescue work in the inundated districts. In many parts of Chennai, relief works had continued for three days.
Though these fishermen, who were deputed for rescue work, were reportedly assured a per-day payment of Rs 4,000 for each paddle boat and two fishermen, some have still not received the amount. Following media reports about the delay, the fishermen were assured payment at the earliest by the police department. However, the assurance has still not materialised. When contacted, officials from the police department were unavailable for a comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, some of the boats involved in the rescue works got damaged after they were used in inundated areas where water levels were low.
The affected fishermen said that they are unable to carry on with their work without fixing the boats, adding that it would take another Rs 5,000 to fix a boat. “Apart from paddle boats, we also deployed a motor boat for the rescue operations, and were promised Rs 10,000 for the motor boat. But we are yet to receive full payment. Some fishermen have paid out of their pockets to fix the damage, but not many can afford it,” a fisherman who was part of the rescue operations told TNIE. The police department had earlier felicitated the fishermen along with an honorarium of Rs 1,000 as a token of appreciation.