Fishermen oppose dredging by Essar Company, to hold boat rally

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Surat, Apr 24 (UNI) The fisherfolk, residing in the costal areas of the city, would organise a boat rally next week, to protest dredging of sea by Essar company by ''illegally capturing'' hundreds of acres of villagers' land.

The agitating villagers alleged that without their knowledge, the Essar company was carrying out dredging activity in the coastal waters to deepen the sea by 40-50 ft for last few months. For this, the company had employed heavy machinery from its area to the sea, whereby it would enable the heavy vessels carrying iron blocks and ore to enter the area without any difficulty.

The villagers also complained that heavy slit has been deposited along the costal waters due to continuous dredging, thereby badly affecting the fishing activity of over 3,000 fishermen residing in the area.

Till now, 250-300 ft of dredging work in the 5 km area of the sea had been done by the company, which was totally illegal, a villager said, adding, due to dredging activity local fishermen have to park their boats 3 km away from the village.

The villagers of the coastal areas have submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Narendra Modi demanding action against the company.

They also alleged that the impact of the immense dredging could be seen on the Tapi river, whose water level has depleted to just 6 ft from 35 ft. Besides, the water has also become dirtier than before.

UNI XR/PVN SSS SV AS1650

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