CPT shows peace flag to fishermen

With the fishermen community keen on recovery of land being taken away from them for expanding the 1.6 km road from the port gate as part of Ennore Manali Road Improvement Project, the Chennai Port Trust (CPT) is geared up to make peace with them.

“We wa-nt to have a dialogue with them. They shouldn’t feel they are cheated,” CPT chairman Atulya Misra told this newspaper. He added that the port didn’t want to create any conflict with the fishermen and is looking forward to an amicable solution.

While the CPT planned to evict the fishing stalls hampering the road improvement work near the port main gate on August 4, fishermen went to court asking for a stay on the road expansion works itself.

With the court directing them to have a meeting with the port officials, both parties met at the collectorate on Tuesday.

“The fishermen were organised in their protest. So, we have decided to address their grievances and try to satisfy most of their expectations,” said Mr Misra.

He said that there was no point in creating panic among fishermen. “We want to take them along. We are not their enemies.

We don’t want their livelihood affected. We request the fishermen to allow EMRIP work,” he said, adding that the port is ready to reclaim required area of land from sea and also carry out dredging, which are fishermen’s key demands.

The CPT chairman said officials would conduct a reconciliation meeting with fishermen on Friday and share with them the land survey details while also taking suggestions on routes they prefer. He said the land required for expansion of EMRIP belongs to the fishing harbour.

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