CHENNAI: Representatives of fishermen from Chennai, Kancheepuram and Thoothukudi on Friday met Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and submitted a representation containing a seven-point charter of demands to help the fishermen in Kanyakumari district affected by Cyclone Ockhi.
The fishermen met the Chief Minister at his residence and held discussions. Later, the fishermen’s representatives told reporters that the Chief Minister had assured them of all possible steps to help them and their families affected by the cyclone.
Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar also explained the steps already taken by the State government to trace the missing fishermen.
Referring to the charge that the government did not have data on the exact number of fishermen who ventured into sea for fishing, the minister said, “Fishermen in Kanyakumari district are mostly engaged in deep-sea fishing. They just go fishing and there is no record on whoever is going. But the government has made all efforts to ascertain who all had gone for deep-sea fishing when Cyclone Ockhi hit the coast and 11 IAS officers have been deputed to different States to help trace the fishermen.”
Divulging details about the number of ships and helicopters engaged in search operations, Jayakumar said Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambidurai would meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to seek further assistance from the Centre and to engage more helicopters and ships in search operations.