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Fishermen want cyclone shelters renovated

Staff Reporter

THANJAVUR: The fishermen of Thanjavur district have demanded the renovation of cyclone shelters in the district. The shelters were constructed with the assistance of the European Economic Community about 30 years ago.

Villagers sought refuge in them whenever there were floods. Due to lack of proper maintenance, they have now become dilapidated.

Ceiling damaged

The fishermen of Eeripurakarai, a hamlet in Pattukottai panchayat union, said the concrete ceiling of their village shelter was damaged.

They appealed to the district administration to carry out repairs. The shelter was opened on Sunday for administering polio drops to children below five years under the pulse polio mass immunisation programme. The building can accommodate about 1,000 people.

"The shelter remained closed all these years. It was opened by officials to be used as a pulse polio centre. The shelter can be renovated and kept under the control of the village panchayat," the fishermen said.

Such cyclone shelters can be found at Mallipattinam (this well-maintained cyclone shelter is under naval control], Kollukadu and Adaikathevan.

Fishermen in these villages want the shelters to be renovated and maintained by the panchayats. Fishermen of Eripurakarai also demanded the construction of a small lighthouse in their village.

Demand for drying yard

They also demanded a drying yard for drying fish, a community hall and a place for making fishing nets.

In some places, the cyclone shelters are being used by anti-social elements.

With a view to putting an end this, the Government should renovate the shelters, they say.

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