Ship breaking work affects routine at Mandapam fish jetty

A fish jetty has turned into a ship breaking yard at Mandapam in Ramanathapuram district. Presently, a 50-year-old ship is being broken at the jetty. The process which commenced on Monday would go on till September 10.
Ship breaking work affects routine at Mandapam fish jetty
Ship that is being broken at the fish jetty in Mandapam (Photo: Sethu)

Madurai

The fish jetty at Mandapam was constructed at a cost of Rs 8 crore and along with three other jetties in the district, the jetty at Mandapam was inaugurated recently by Chief Minister, Edappadi K Palaniswami. It is used by fishermen to unload fish caught using mechanised boats. But now with the ongoing ship breaking works at the jetty, unloading of fish has been affected. 
The ship that is being broken is 50 feet long and weighs nearly 40 tonnes. 
Workers who are breaking it with large hammers said that for every kilogram of iron broken in the ship they would get Rs 5.
The ship will be worth Rs 5 lakh after breaking (includes cost of the engine which is Rs 3 lakh). 
Fishermen said that the ship which is owned by a private company at Thoothukudi was used during the construction of jetty two years ago. It was used to carry construction materials. As it has crossed its licensed period of 50 years, it was stationed at the fish jetty. 
Now a private company from Madurai has won the auction in breaking the ship and all the iron used in the ship would be sent to Bengaluru. However, the breaking work causes a lot of hardship to the fisher folk. “The constant sounds of the tongs of the hammer and iron dust flying around as workers break it are causing a lot of inconvenience,” said fishermen.
Another difficulty perceived by the fishermen is lack of space as the ship occupies a huge area. “The jetty is a place to unload fish and not to break shops. We, therefore, request the officials to stop this process,” said sources. 

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