Move to make Chellanam a model fishing village

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KUFOS Vice Chancellor K. Riji John said that a detailed action plan for the project would be ready in three months

A brief on the proposals for turning Chellanam into a model fishing village will be ready in four weeks and submitted to the State government.

Vice-chancellor of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) K. Riji John said here on Saturday that a detailed action plan for the project would be ready in about three months.

The detailed report will contain proposals on responsibilities of the University as well as other agencies involved in the implementing the programme, he said.

The Vice Chancellor was addressing a consultative meeting organised at the University on addressing issues facing the people of Chellanam and its 17-km sea coast. He said in his introductory remarks that life had become totally uncertain for the people of Chellanam village. They are unable to sleep in peace and a permanent solution had to be found.

The government had earlier announced that KUFOS would adopt the Chellanam village and all programmes will be implemented under its supervision.

Fisheries Minister Saji Cherian, who inaugurated the consultative meeting via video conferencing, said the Chellanam Model Fishing Village project will be a model for the whole of Kerala.

The government’s effort is to find a permanent solution for all the problems facing the people of the coastal village, he said and promised that the implementation of the model fishing village programme will also see that all infrastructure requirements of Chellanam are addressed.

Industries Minister P. Rajeeve, who presided via video conferencing said that KUFOS effort was part of a programme by the government to involve educational and research institutions in the lives of the people. The people-institution relationships need to be built up and they cannot be separated, he said.

Former Fisheries and Tourism minister K. V. Thomas moderated a round of discussions on various issues facing the coastal village. K. Babu and K. J. Maxy, MLAs, were among those who participated in the consultative meeting.

The State government had earlier announced a ₹18-crore package for immediately addressing the issues of sea erosion and threat to life and property in the village. The amount is in addition to the ₹ 8 crore already sanctioned for completing the geotextile tube works to temporarily prevent sea erosion and incursion of sea into the coastal homes.

Besides, ₹2 crore from the emergency fund of the government will be utilised to clean up the homes that were flooded early this week following heavy rains triggered by cyclonic storms.

The government has also proposed using tripods along nine segments of the coast of Chellanam to prevent sea erosion. These segments suffered the worst of sea erosion as they do not have any protection from the conventional granite sea walls.

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