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Andhra Pradesh - Visakhapatnam Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Plan to set up fish kiosks in colonies

By Our Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM, FEB. 9. The Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Fishermen Cooperative Federation (AFCOF), Mattu Prasad, has said that fish kiosks will be set up in every residential colony in the State in a bid to improve the lot of fishermen.

The kiosks, each costing Rs. 4,000, will have an ice-box and a weighing machine, and fish, caught by beneficiaries of the AFCOF, will be purchased and sold to the kiosks. This enables those running the shops to sell fish at a rate lower than the market price. Fishermen will be preferred in the allotment of kiosks.

The AFCOF was also ready to open fish counters at all rythu bazars, Mr. Prasad said at a press conference on Wednesday. He also promised to better the lot of fishermen in the areas of education and medical care.

``We don't want fishermen to continue with the practice of putting their thumb impression. We will ask the educated among the community to teach others,'' Mr. Prasad said.

There was practically no money left with the AFCOF and the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) would be approached to provide Rs. 30 crores. For the last 11 years the funding was routed through the Department of Fisheries, but the AFCOF would take the responsibility, he said. More than half of the 6,000 fishermen primary co-operative societies were bogus and an exercise would be launched to identify the genuine societies, he said.

He did not delve much into the fiber boat scam, but said that from now on the beneficiary would be asked to purchase or build his or her own boat and the loan would be handed over to the beneficiary.

During his visit to fishermen villages, Mr. Prasad was told that the benefit through the Velugu scheme was not reaching them.

Tsunami damage

The Assistant Director of Fisheries, M. Swarna Kumari, informed him that 60 fishing villages were affected by tsunami. Five boats were washed away while 543 were damaged. As many as 511 fishing nets were lost and 228 were damaged. The total loss was estimated at Rs. 1.02 crores.

Due to an "along the shore current'' water level rose suddenly at five villages in the district on the night of January 29 due to which 26 beach landing craft and plastic `teppas', and 34 motor engines were damaged and 84 nets were either lost or damaged, causing a loss of Rs. 18.37 lakhs.

The Assistant Director of Velugu, M.A.Y. Basha, was also present.

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