BHUBANESWAR: IN its renewed drive to strengthen coastal security, the State Government on Wednesday directed the Fisheries department to issue waterproof biometric identity cards to fishermen by end of this year.
As per the survey conducted jointly by National Population Registrar (NPR), Ministry of Home Affairs and the Fisheries department as many as 3,46,948 fishermen were identified. Photography and biometric fingerprints of 3,45,649 fishermen have been completed.
Distribution of biometric identity card to fishermen living in coastal areas were reviewed at the State-level coastal security committee meeting presided over by Chief Secretary AP Padhi here.
The Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), a Central Government agency preparing the ID cards, will be requested to deliver the biometric cards by this month end, official sources said. Padhi directed to fix Distress Alert Transmitters (DATs) in all motorised boats and put in place appropriate monitoring system of DAT signals in convergence with coast guard.
According to the Fisheries department, 22,289 fishing boats of different types such as non-motorised, motorised and mechanised were registered online up to last year. During the current year till September 30, 1620 new boats have been registered.
As of now around 93 per cent of the fishing boats have been colour coded. The meeting decided to fix DAT machines in all the motorised boats. The owners of the mechanised boats will be asked to fix DAT machines in their boats within a month, the sources said.
Meanwhile, 18 marine police stations have been made functional on the Odisha coast. The State Government has sought advanced motorboats from the Centre for efficient functioning of these police stations. As the boats received in the first phase were not suitable for shallow creeks, the State Government requested for boats that are suitable for movement in shallow creeks and mangrove forests, sources said.
The meeting further decided to request for more Central assistance for construction of jetties and procurement of interceptor boats.