The All-Goa Small Scale Responsible Fisheries Union in the Indian state of Goa has written to the Fisheries Secretary alleging various discrepancies regarding corpus funds and how traditional fishermen are not getting the compensation due to them following damage to their canoes.
Union President Shaila D’Mello and Secretary Laximan Mangueshkar referred to the meeting that was held in August about this issue and also RTI documents they received from the Fisheries department.
They argued that the meeting held by the Managing Committee of the Corpus Fund on May 17 was invalid due to the participation of a certain individual who they alleged had no gazetted appointment.
Thus, they said all decisions taken at this meeting were invalid including one to overlook payment of five instalments by one Sanjay Faterpekar to his canoe that got burned in accidental fire on March 19.
Faterpekar was sanctioned compensation based only on two instalments, not the entire five instalments. The Union said they disagreed with the stance taken by the managing committee about there being no provision in the scheme to do the correction. They also referred to their discussion with the Fisheries Director about the same topic as well.
“We however understood that if the department desires, the corpus fund scheme can be amended to suit specific needs. Therefore it is requested that attention should be paid to this issue, and if necessary, bring about the necessary amendment in the corpus fund scheme to ensure that Faterpekar gets justice by getting the remaining Rs 60,000 without any further delay and procedural hurdles,” the Union stated in its letter.
They then referred to the Gazette notification dated May 23, 2023 which stated that the corpus fund was created under the scheme ‘Natural Calamity Relief to Fishermen’ wherein accidental fire is covered.
They claimed that an official of the Fisheries Department was wrong in stating that accidental fire to canoes is not covered under this scheme and questioned why they were deliberately provided with false information.
They, thus asked that action be taken against the official concerned for allegedly acting against traditional small scale fishing communities’ interests and they asked that they be kept updated about this.