THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has announced financial assistance to fishermen families who lost houses in sea erosion. The Cabinet on Tuesday decided to provide financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh to fishermen families whose houses have become uninhabitable due to sea attacks. Also, the government decided to shift the families staying within 50 m of the shoreline.
Those whose got their houses partially damaged will be given Rs 50,000 while those houses which suffered minor damage will get Rs 15,000. The state will urge the Union Government to enhance its support to sea erosion victims.
Briefing the Cabinet decisions here, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said earlier there used to be Central support. But with new criteria, only a meagre amount is given as financial aid. "The government has decided to seek better financial assistance from the Centre. However, since we cannot wait till then, the state will take urgent action," Pinarayi said.
No houses close to the sea
In the wake of increased incidents of ocean fury, a decision has been taken not to let fishermen stay within 50 m of the shoreline. Coming up with a scheme to rehabilitate fishermen families staying close to the sea, the Fisheries Department said Rs 10 lakh will be given to families willing to shift their houses away from the sea.
"The effort is to ensure better safety for those in coastal areas. Also, there are measures being taken to strengthen seawall. The lack of solid rock has been posing a major threat. The District Collectors, using their special powers, should ensure that quarries in their jurisdiction provide a fixed quantity of rock for the purpose," the Chief Minister said.
The families can shift their houses according to the availability of land. Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma said a decision has been taken not to let anyone stay within 50 m of the shoreline. "Of the total amount, Rs 6 lakh is for land and Rs 4 lakh for house construction," she said.
Houses for fishermen families
The department's housing complex for fishermen families is under construction at Valiyathura and will be handed over soon. About 350 families will get houses there. Similar projects are being undertaken at Karode where about 102 units would be constructed while about 200 units are being built at Anchuthengu.
The department is coming up with a master plan to rehabilitate vulnerable coastal population who will be affected owing to sea erosion. Funding for the same would be from CMDRF and KIIFB projects.
The government will also take measures for coastal protection. Considering the shortage of solid rock for wall construction, the District Collectors using their special powers will ensure supply of a fixed quantity of rocks from quarries under their jurisdiction. Along with rock, tetrapod will also be used for construction to ensure better strength. Harbour engineering department has been given permission for the same.
Totally damaged 10, partially damaged 35
Alappuzha - Totally damaged 2
Rs 4 lakh for total damage
Rs 50k for partial damage
Rs 15 k for minor damage