Eight fishermen from Andhra Pradesh who had been languishing in a Bangladesh jail for the last few months were released on Wednesday.
The fishermen hail from Tippalavalasa village in Pusapatirega mandal in Vizianagaram District and had settled in Visakhapatnam. On September 24, 2019, they left Visakhapatnam fishing harbour in a mechanised boat named 'Amrutha'. On October 2, they were arrested by the Bangladesh Coast Guard while fishing in the Bay of Bengal close to the country's border.
“With the continuous efforts of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, we are able to free the fishermen,” Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department Mopidevi Venkata Ramana told reporters while addressing a press conference on Wednesday.
The fishermen were identified as Marupalli Polayya, Rayiti Appanna, Vasupalli Appanna, Marupalli Narasimha, Vasupalli Danayya, V Appanna, Rayati Ramu and Barri Ramulu.
Minister Venkata Ramana assured the fishermen community that 22 places were identified for setting up major and minor jetties across the state, in a phased manner.
“Jagan Mohan Reddy has a special interest in the welfare of fishermen community and as promised earlier, jetties will be provided in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts so that they needn’t go to other states like Gujarat for labour work. From now on, better facilities and opportunities for fishermen will be provided in our state itself," he said.
In the first phase, the state government plans to build major and minor harbours and jetties at Vuppada, Machilipatnam and Juvvaladhinne, while the second phase will cover areas like Budagatlapalem, Eddhuvanipalem, Pudimadaka and Kothapatnam.
"For the construction of each jetty, Rs 350 crore is going to be spent with 50% from the Centre and 50% from the state government. Also with Rs 100 crore, Visakhapatnam harbour is going to be modernised,” Venkata Ramana said.
He further stated that Andhra Pradesh has almost 40% share of marine exports in the national market.
“It is very much needed to boost the marine export sector and thus we are providing a subsidised price for electricity by charging only Rs 1.50 per unit, despite having a burden of Rs 550 crore on the state treasury. In the future, with advanced methods, fisheries sector across the state is going to be developed,” he added.