RAMANATHAPURAM: As a first step towards bringing back the 42 boats that were released by the Sri Lankan government on July 29, a team of 43 fishermen reached Sri Lanka on Wednesday to bring back seven boats from the island nation to India.
Led by an Indian Naval Ship (INS), the 43 fishermen from Rameswaram and Mandapam sailed to the island nation in seven boats to mend and bring back the seven boats that belong to them.
Three officials from the Fisheries Department, including Deputy Director P Isaac Jayakumar and Assistant Director of Fisheries Shivakumar, are also leaving for Sri Lanka on Thursday to coordinate with the Lankan authorities. “Out of the 42 boats released, seven will be brought back by this team in this voyage. Subsequent batches of fishermen from the remaining coastlines such as Pudukkottai, Karaikkal and Nagapattinam will be sent to bring back the remaining boats,” Jayakumar told Express.
“The trawlers which are to be repaired are docked at the Karainagar, Kalpitiya, Kiranchi and Trincomalee ports in Sri Lanka. They will be mended at the earliest and brought back to India,” added Jayakumar.
On August 17, a seven-member team from Tamil Nadu, headed by Additional Director of Fisheries G S Sameeran, was sent by the Tamil Nadu government to inspect the extent of damage in the 42 boats released. Based on their report, the government decided to bring back 33 boats which were identified as repairable. Following this, the government has now sent its first team to retrieve the first batch of the boats.
“The time needed to repair the seven boats cannot be determined accurately. However, it is expected to be completed in about three to four days,” said P Jesuraja, District Secretary, Tamil Nadu Mechanised Boat Fishermen Association, who was a part of the seven-member inspection team.
Team from TN had inspected boats
On August 17, a seven-member team from Tamil Nadu, headed by Additional Director of Fisheries G S Sameeran, was sent to inspect the extent of damage in 42 boats released. Based on their report, government decided to bring back 33 boats