A meeting organised by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) officials to familiarise fishermen with the latest equipment on communication and life saving instruments did not yield desired results after they chose to raise civic issues, which the ICG has no control over.
The meeting was held on the premises of the Veerampatinam temple to demostrate to them the use of walkie talkies, life jackets and first aid.
However, the fishermen chose to raise the issue of land acquired for setting up an ICG station in the area, pollution of the sea due to dumping of plastic materials and the like.
Commandant of ICG, Puducherry, N Somasundaram repeatedly reminded the fishermen, present in good numbers in the meeting held after a gap of over four years, that it was not the right forum to raise such issues.
Following this, the fishermen listened to the Coast Guard officials and told them that the walkie talkies procured by some of the boat owners were not allowed to be used. Somasundaram told them that the instrument has permission to be used only in the sea.
The commandant remained them that their co-operation was very essential for CG as the fishermen are the eyes and ears of the coast guard, whose prime duty is to protect the sea boundaries from any terrorist strike.
Somasundaram also said that the Coast Guard was also equally concerned about the safety of the fishermen while at sea and added that they can contact them in case of distress.