Fishermen association welcomes regulations

CHENNAI: Contending that the notification of regulations of traffic in minor ports in the State would go a long way and would help in checking pollution near port areas, Meenavar Makkal Munnani Sangam has welcomed the notification.

“Rule that regulates ships’ movement in the areas near port would help fishermen, since most often fishermen face the menace of oil floating near port areas, which affect the fishing,” said J. Kosumani, President of Meenavar Makkal Munnani Sangam.

Recalling the oil spill which followed a collision of two ships off Chennai coast in January this year, Mr. Kosumani said that the incident has been a major learning lesson for officials in charge of ports, coastal security and pollution control.

The oil spill off Ennore at about 4 am on January 28 this year caught several agencies unaware and unprepared and by the time they responded to the mishap, the oil spill has spread too much too soon.

A lack of coordination among various agencies, the absence of a standard operating procedure and lack of specific procedures to be followed in case of various eventualities were felt during the clearing up of the oil spill.

Though the notification is expected to bring about a major change in the way marine traffic near ports are handled in Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Ennore and V.O. Chidambaram port, which handle major cargo for the State, wouldn’t come under the purview of the regulations notified.

Chennai Port Trust’s Traffic Manager (in-charge) B. Vimal clarifies that Chennai port and few other major ports in the State were under the control of the central government and would not be governed by the notified regulations.

“But still, there are other major ports near which our fishermen are fishing. These regulations are a good start and would help in reducing pollution in coastal areas,” mr. Kosumani added. (EOM) DSJ

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