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140 displaced fishermen families waiting for promised permanent jobs in Kattuapalli, TN

- May 14, 2022

Chennai, May 14 (BPNS)

140 families of Kattupalli Kuppam in Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu are in agitation mode after the promised permanent jobs to one member of family after they have displaced in 2009 are still a mirage. The families were displaced for shipbuilding and port building project in Kattupalli in Tiruvallur district and the family members and a group of senior citizens have petitioned the Chief Minister M.K.Stalin to bring a solution to the woes of the displaced families.

The 140 families whose members were traditional fishermen eking out a living by going deep-sea were displaced from the beach area where they live for a project of port and shipbuilding yard of a major private limited company. The beach access of these families was denied and they were provided housing at a place that was 2 km away from the beach.

Even though the company had assured in writing that one member of the family would be provided a permanent job, nothing turned up.

They were given appointments on a temporary basis and were trained and given jobs in welding, fitting, crane operation, and other such jobs. Sajith Lal, a person who was displaced from the Kattupalli beach along with his family while speaking to IANS said, “ We were promised permanent jobs by the company and the district administration had endorsed it. Presently each of us is getting a meager salary of Rs 16000 while those doing the same job and who are permanently employed are getting thrice our salary along with all other benefits.”

Sajith Lal said that the workers including him are on strike since February 2022 but the company and the district administration are not listening to them.  Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) also did not hear them properly and has not brought out a solution to their woes, the affected family members said.

Social activists who have taken up the cause said that a cooperative society of the workers was formed in 2014 at the insistence of the company and the government and the workers are employed through this society.

C. Rajeev, Director, Centre for Policy and Development Studies who is closely monitoring the development while speaking to BPNS said, “The government should not shy away from this and take up the matter with the concerned company and the rights of the ports are now with another company. Whoever is the owner of the company, the government, and the Tiruvallur district administration have a commitment to the fishermen and must provide all necessary support for at least one member of the fishermen’s family at Kattupalli Kuppam to be given permanent employment. We are taking up the matter with the state government and the Union shipping ministry regarding this issue.”