THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The distress left by Cyclone Ockhi remains in the hearts of the fisherfolk in the capital. Along with their mental anguish, the lack of compensation further aggravates the issue. “We were severely affected by the cyclone. Those who had lost relatives had received their due, but people who lost their fishing nets and boats are yet to receive the amount promised,” said Thadeus Ponnayyan, Congress president of Poonthura ward.
According to the records of the state government, as many as 143 people lost their lives in the cyclone. Among them, only 51 bodies were found. A few dependents were provided with an aid amounting to `22 lakh. Though some were employed at the Muttathara net making unit, the educated dependents are yet to receive jobs. Those who lost their homes are yet to be provided with houses.
The fisherfolk continue to await financial aid, scholarships and marine ambulances promised by the government. Citing the data of financial aid distributed to the victims through an RTI filed, Thadeus said: “Around `46 crore from the Ockhi fund was given to Kerala State Electricity Board. From the `25 crore sanctioned for the protection of fishermen, only 20 people benefited with satellite phones after availing `9,000 each. Also, the fishermen were charged `1,500 each for 875 Navik equipment distributed. The compensation alotted has not reached those deserving.” He urged the government to undertake an audit to evaluate the money spent.
“Protection and safety gear that was promised by the government is yet to reach many fishermen. Around 400 fishermen are facing trauma in the capital district alone. In Thoothoor, Tamil Nadu, around 500 fisherfolks are left to suffer,” said T Peter, secretary, National Fishworkers Forum.
According to government records, as many as 143 people lost their lives in the cyclone, but only 51 bodies were found. A few were granted aid amounting to H22 lakh. The educated dependents are yet to receive jobs