SL Govt. neglects Jaffna fisheries, TRO to build ice factory

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 July 2003, 18:45 GMT]
No assistance has been provided for the development of the fisheries sector in the Jaffna district by the Sri Lankan state since 2000, and international non-governmental organizations have come forward to develop the fisheries industry in the peninsula, said the Assistant Director of Fisheries, Mr.A.Joseph, addressing a meeting following the opening of a second ice factory at Point Pedro at a cost of three million rupees with the aid of the UNDP Friday afternoon.

The UNDP’s Jaffna district representative, Ms. G. Sivapathasuntharam was present at the opening ceremony presided over by the Vadamarachchi North Fisheries Co-operative Society Secretary, Mr.P.Suriyakumaran.

Though 11 ice factories were operating in the Jaffna peninsula prior to 1990, only 2 are operating now, and the resulting lack of ice supply is causing great hardships to the fishermen of the Jaffna district, Mr. Joseph said.

There were three ice factories at Katkovalam, Myliddy and Polikandy, producing 10, 50 and 15 metric tons respectively of ice daily before they were closed down due to the war situation, fisheries sources said.

The Tamil Rehabilitation Organization has taken steps to reopen the ice factory at Katkovalam, which has remained closed due to the war situation, and build a new boat-building yard there, TRO sources said.

The UNDP has taken steps to distribute 132 catamarans, 30 big fiberglass boats and 6 small fiberglass boats among fishermen, and action has been taken to supply them to each of the fifteen fisheries co-operative societies in the Vadamarachchi division, fisheries sources said.

In the meantime, the proposed construction of an ice factory at a cost off 22 million rupees at Maruthankerni in Vadamarachchi division is getting delayed due to the nonfunctioning of the Subcommittee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN), fisheries sources said.


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