Bhayandar: A fishing crew had a miraculous escape after their boat capsized near the Pali sea coast after hitting a sandbar late on Tuesday. The incident exposed the dangers lurking in the coastal waters.
Livelihood of hundreds of traditional fishermen in and around the coastal villages of Uttan near Bhayandar has been threatened due to the creation of sandbars on the channel connecting the Arabian Sea with the mouth of the Bassein creek.
“Wild weather has been churning up sandbars which act as underwater barriers for the fishermen when they try to enter the sea. If the government authorities fails to tackle the issue at the earliest then the entire fishing industry would be in a jeopardy.” said fishing community leader Bernard D’Mello.
The revenue wing has marked a departure from their age-old practice of awarding dredging contracts and since the past couple of years there has been no official dredging activities. Consequently. There has been large scale accumulation of sand, which in turn has created sandbars.
“The boat owner has suffered losses amounting more than Rs. 10 lakh, he needs to be compensated by the government.” said local municipal corporator Sharmila Bagaji, who has also demanded life jackets for fishermen.
With the threat of sandbars intensifying on the Posha Peer Island sea route, fishermen from the nearby Vasai, Kochiwada and Naigaon have been traversing on the Uttan segment to enter the sea, further narrowing the space for the proper movement of boats. Meanwhile, the boat ‘Blessing’ which sank on Tuesday night is still submerged as efforts to pull it out proved unsuccessful for the second consecutive day.