Communication facilities for fishermen to be enhanced
In view of safety their concerns, communication facilities for fishermen at sea would be enhanced, chief minister Oommen Chandy said.
The decision was taken at a meeting of officials of shipping, navy, coast guard and departments of police, revenue, ports and fisheries.
Chandy said in Thiruvananthapuram that an integrated marine safety project was proposed at the meeting on Sunday.
Suggestions that came up included introduction of communication facilities using GPRS and CDMA systems within 14 nautical miles from the coast and VHF radio beyond the distance upto 32 nautical miles.
For communication beyond 32 nautical miles, satellite-based high frequency radio had been suggested.
Additional chief secretary K Jayakumar had been asked to hold discussions with mobile companies to enhance their coverage at sea as it would enable fishermen to have easy access to the shore through mobile phones, he said.
The government would set up 10 more coastal police stations and all coastal stations would have efficient personnel to take adequate steps in the event of emergencies at sea.
Four experienced fishermen would be posted in each coastal police station as marine home guards. It was also proposed to appoint two retired staff from the Navy and Coast Guard in all coastal police stations.
The meeting was held in the wake of shooting of two Indian fishermen allegedly by marines onboard Italian merchant ship Enrica Lexie last month and hit-and-run sea mishap off the Kerala coast that left three fishermen dead on March one.
It was attended by fisheries and ports minister K Babu, Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral, K N Sushil; Director General of Shipping Satheesh, B Agnihotri; Advocate General, KP Dhandapani and chief secretary P Prabhakaran.