After looking into the issues of water problems and rent compensation for project-affected persons (PAP) of the Tarapur nuclear power plant, the state has now been asked to look into the relocation of 53 families of the fishing community.
The fisherfolks had complained that they have been relocated to a place 10km away from the coast, affecting their livelihood. They also said they don’t have a place to maintain their boats, nets and other necessities.
A division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice RG Ketkar on Thursday observed that rehabilitation does not mean just providing houses to stay and should be a complete package.
"They should be given necessary facilities because that (fishing) is their only livelihood and they are not trained in any other skills," justice Desai said. "So the state should consider the matter seriously."
The court was also told that there was a report that has been submitted to the collector of Thane regarding relocation of the fishermen to a place nearer to the coast. However, the court noted that the report has not been acted upon as yet.
The court directed the state to contact the collector and ensure that the report is produced before the court on the next date. The deputy secretary (relief and rehabilitation department) has also been directed to file an affidavit indicating the state’s response to the issue, independent of the report of the collector.
"We don’t know if the collector’s report is in favour or adverse to the fishermen," the court said. "A positive approach is expected from the state government."