PDS system extended in Odisha to make up for 7-month fishing ban

In a boost to beleaguered traditional marine fishermen living along Paradip coast in Odisha, the state government is all set to extend public distribution system (PDS) doles to over 5,000 fishermen families.

hidden June 19, 2012 12:47:22 IST
PDS system extended in Odisha to make up for 7-month fishing ban

Kendrapara: In a boost to beleaguered traditional marine fishermen living along Paradip coast in Odisha, the state government is all set to extend public distribution system (PDS) doles to over 5,000 fishermen families.

The economy of fishing villages in Rajnagar and Mahakalpada areas has taken a severe beating following the seven-month-long prohibition on sea-fishing to ensure the safety of Olive Ridley turtles.

PDS system extended in Odisha to make up for 7month fishing ban

To make up for the ban on fishing placed to conserve Olive Ridley turtles, the Odisha government has extended its PDS system.

Depleting livelihood stakes had triggered human resource exodus from villages predominantly inhabited by fishermen communities. The state government has resolved to extend social security to fishermen families who are being hit hard by fishing prohibition provisions.

Besides the launch of various livelihood stakes support project, the affected families would now be entitled to all PDS benefits including Rs 2 per kg rice.

"To extend PDS facilities, the exercise to enumerate traditional fishermen families is now underway. So far 5,400 families directly or indirectly hit by turtles’ conservation measures have been enumerated for PDS benefits,” Rabi Narayan Pattnaik, assistant director of marine fisheries, Paradip. Of the affected fishermen families, 3,000 are from Mahakalpada while 2400 families are from adjoining coastal areas of Rajnagar.

The enumerated fishermen families would now become eligible for PDS benefits meant for Below Poverty Line (BPL) category families. They would be provided with special PDS cards issued by civil supplies department, he said.

Every year, the state government clamps 7-month ban on sea-fishing in a 20 km radius sea territory stretching from Dhamara to Devi river mouth. In accordance with the Odisha Marine Fisheries Regulatory Act, 1983, the prohibitory orders on sea fishing remains effective from November 1 to May 31.

The legal embargo on fishing is put to ensure the safety of breeding turtles who perish in large number either by getting entangled in mono-filament fishing nets or by getting hit by propellers of trawls.

Reuters

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