Traditional fishermen get relief with state-supplied industrial kerosene


Team Udayavani, Jun 12, 2024, 9:52 AM IST

Mangaluru: Traditional boat fishermen are relieved as the state government is supplying industrial kerosene this time. The central government had been reducing the supply of kerosene to states, citing pollution concerns.

In September 2023, the state government started direct procurement from industries for this purpose. It has been providing 200 liters of kerosene per license each month from September to May at a subsidized rate to 8,030 licensed fishermen in three coastal districts.

Typically, traditional boat fishing activities intensify after the ban on mechanized fishing. Therefore, they use the kerosene sparingly during other months and save it for the monsoon season.

Kerosene from HPCL

Currently, Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation is purchasing white kerosene from HPCL in Mangaluru and distributing it to the traditional fishermen’s societies in the three districts.

Previously, the central government supplied unsubsidized kerosene at Rs. 35 per liter. Due to only 4,000 fishing licenses being shown in the department, there was pressure to distribute kerosene to the additional 4,030 license holders as well.

Although the price has slightly increased, kerosene is now available every month. The current supply rate is Rs. 56.75 per liter, with the government providing a subsidy of Rs. 35 per liter. The Fisheries Development Corporation of the state government is implementing this scheme.

Battery Engines Not Available:

The central government had earlier suggested alternative systems for boats, stating that kerosene is polluting. However, traditional boat fishermen argue that stopping the supply abruptly without providing alternatives is not right, and battery engines are still not available.

“The state government’s scheme ensures continuous supply of kerosene. It is costly to travel far during times of fish scarcity. Thus, when other fishing activities halt during the monsoon, it benefits us a little,” said Ashwath Kanchan, President, Dakshina Kannada Traditional Fishermen’s Association.

Translated from Kannada article by Venu Vinod K. S.

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