RAMANATHAPURAM: The Centre was taking all efforts to find a permanent solution to problems faced by Tamil Nadu fishermen, Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries Pon Radhakrishnan said today.
Ninety-four fishermen, who were in Sri Lankan custody, had been released by the island government and steps were being taken to get back the detained fishing boats, Radhakrishnan, a senior BJP leader from the state, told reporters at Cooriyoor here.
The Narendra Modi Government would focus on the welfare of the fishermen and resolve their problems, he said, adding that talks had already been held with representatives of fishermen associations in the state in Chennai in this regard.
The Prime Minister would decide about forming a separate welfare board for the fishermen and a ministry for fisheries department, a demand made by the fishermen here, he said.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also was taking steps to resolve the fishermen's issues, Radhakrishnan said. However, the minster refused to give details of the steps being taken by the government to resolve the problems of fishermen, which include detentions by Sri Lankan Navy in the Palk Strait.
Referring to demolition of a fishermen's temple at nearby Thondi, where now a government building has come up, he said "if a temple should not be in a place, no other building should be there in that place".
He said the temple might have been removed without the knowledge of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. "If the Chief
Minister had known that a temple was in that site, she would not have allowed it to be demolished," he said.
Radhakrishnan urged police not to ban or put hurdles in the celebration of temple festivals, especially if they
were being held as per tradition and custom from time immemorial.