KOCHI: It has been almost two years since the fish landing centre at Kumbalam (in the first ward, near the panchayat pond) was opened. Unfortunately, the facility still does not have a power connection and the fishermen are forced to work in the dark. Despite repeated requests to the panchayat to install power connection and bear the charges, there has been no development, say fisherfolk.
It is also strange that two other fish landing centres are now functioning in the neighbourhood — one 400 metres away and the other around one kilometre away. Fishermen in the area claim even the initial work for setting up the electrical connection has not started yet.
“The officials at the panchayat said that the funds for the power connection to the fish landing centre is not yet ready. Now, we are planning to get an extended connection from a house nearby. They have agreed to it and we will have to pay a portion of their power bill. At least then, the panchayat authorities will feel the heat,” said Sujith P S, CPI local committee member and AIYF Tripunithura vice-president.
Now, the fishermen bank on torchlights or mobile phones to carry their catch ashore. Heavy works like moving the boats and collecting the catch from the net can be dangerous without ample light. Accumulated silt makes the job tougher. The fishermen also want treet lighting in the area.