ALAPPUZHA: The rescue operation carried out by the state’s fishermen during the mid-August flood has been invaluable that the government decided to implement insurance scheme for traditional fishing boats. The government has set apart `1 crore for the project, for which the Fisheries Department has begun registration process.
Fisheries Deputy Director (Marine) M Thajudheen said: “We’ve signed an MoU with the United India Insurance Company. The insurance is only for traditional boats which are below 16 metres in length. The government will pay 90 per cent of the premium, with the rest levied from boat owners. The vessel’s length will determine the premium.”
Though the fishers have been demanding insurance for long, the state governments turned a blind eye to them.The call turned louder after Cyclone Ockhi, but it took the flood to open the eyes of the authorities
Insurance: 1,600 boats to benefit in phase-I
The state government, which had paid compensation for the damage caused to boats involved in the rescue during the floods, now plans to give insurance support to around 1,600 boats in the first phase this year.
All traditional fishing boats will be brought under the scheme in the next phase. Alappuzha-based traditional boat owner Antony Kurisunkal welcomed the move.
“There are more than 20,000 traditional fishing boats in the state and they suffer damage during natural disasters. The Fisheries Department doesn’t normally compensate the loss to fishermen. The insurance scheme, that way, would come as a huge relief to the fishermen,” said Antony.