CHENNAI: Even six months after notifying the death of seven Kanniyakumari fishermen in Cyclone Phyan, the state government has not issued compensation for the families of the deceased and fishermen representatives want the state government to provide compensation for the dead fishermen.
“The state government issued a gazette notification on June 3, this year, notifying the death of seven fishermen in Cyclone Phyan in 2009, but even after six months of issuing the notification the state government had not disbursed the compensation to the families of the deceased fishermen who are struggling for livelihood for 13 years. They have been declared dead and what is preventing the state government to provide ex-gratia to the families of the fishermen,” P Justin Antony, founder president, International Fishermen Development Trust (INFIDET), an NGO based in Kanniyakumari, told DT Next.
According to the gazette notification, the state government had formed a committee to find out whether the seven fishermen went missing in Cyclone Phyan and the committee submitted a report stating that Mariya Rajan, Dasan, Romans, John Cleetus, Aneesh, Stalin and Jimmi Kuttan, all seven from Kanniyakumari district, went missing in the cyclone and they are presumed to be dead. However, if anyone has the knowledge of missing persons being alive they were asked to report about them to the officials at the rank of Tahsildar or RDO or sub collector or the district collector within 15 days, from the date of issuing the notification.
Justin Antony said that 15 days passed and none submitted any report to the officials. “In that case there is no reason to hold back the compensation amount. Like the previous government which provided Rs 20 lakh each to the deceased fishermen in Cyclone Ockhi, the ruling DMK government should provide the same compensation amount to the families of seven fishermen,” urged Justin Antony.