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Gujarat Chief Minister talks to fishermen as part of ‘Mokla Mane’ interactive session

    Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held discussion with nearly 65 fishermen from 15 coastal districts, extending from Saurashtra & Kutch to south Gujarat, as part of the state government’s ‘Mokla Mane’ interactive session at his residence here today.

     Speaking on the occasion, he said that a Rs.1,200-crore project to build nine new harbours in the state has been started in consultation with the Central Government. The state will take steps needed to develop inland and marine fishery in sync with Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi’s call for total revolution. “Fishermen’s children will live so long fishlings live,” he said.

     He said the state government considers fishermen as ‘Sagar Khedut, meaning ‘farmers of the sea’. Issuing Kisan Credit Cards to them is under the consideration, so also providing big trawlers to small fishermen for their survival. The state also mulls issuing permits to fishermen of neighbouring states for fishing in the Gujarat’s territorial waters.

     Mr. Rupani said that a problem typical to Gujarat’s fishermen is the state’s territorial water bordering that of Pakistan, inadvertently entering one another’s territory or being forcibly captured – a sensitive international issue. Gujarat has asked the Central Government to ensure early release of such Gujarati fishermen from Pakistan’s detention. The state government provides financial assistance of Rs.300 per day to the families of each of such detainee.

     As to fishermen declared missing in high sea during storms or cyclone, he said, the state government provides ex gratia compensation as compassion towards the kin of such fishermen who do not return for five years.

     The farmers’ representatives from Devbhumi-Dwarka suggested Mr. Rupani should inaugurate the new harbour at Okha. The fishermen thanked the Chief Minister for patient hearing and solving their problems.

     Mr. Rupani had earlier held ‘Mokla Mane’ interactive session with representatives of slum-dwellers, teachers, differently abled and nomadic tribes.

    Source: Information Department, Gujarat