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Chennai fishermen make peace with the sea

January 13, 2005 17:03 IST

The Chennai fishermen have made their peace with the sea.

For the first time after the December 26 tsunami destruction, the fishermen on Thursday ventured into the sea. Accompanying them was Tamil Nadu Law Minister D Jayakumar.

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While fishermen at Nagapattinam, one of the worst affected by the tsunamis, had ventured into the sea a week ago escorted by army jawans, Chennai's fisher folk took longer to put the disaster behind them.

Jayakumar flagged the fishermen off and then travelled some distance into the sea in a motorised fishing boat with them.

All the fishermen were from Kasimedu area.

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Meanwhile, the Kattumaram Makkal Medai, citizens' forum for tsunami affected in Tamil Nadu, said the state government is showing undue haste in evolving long-term rehabilitation plans for fishing communities.

The forum's representative, Dr V Suresh, told reporters that in the name of tsunami the government is trying to relocate fisher folk to distant places. "But government is silent about existing beach resorts, farm houses, aqua farms and other constructions on the sea coast," he said.

Suresh said it is important that the affected fishing communities be made a part of the entire planning process right from the beginning.

"Their livelihood is near the sea. You can't ask them to go elsewhere and settle," he said.

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