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Lakshadweep Admin Orders to Deploy Govt Officials in Fishing Boats

Calling the decisions a “mockery”, MP Mohammed Faizal urged the authorities to withdraw the decisions immediately.

Published
India
3 min read
Praful Khoda Patel was appointed as the administrator of Lakshadweep on 5 December 2020. 
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Despite assurances from the home minister regarding regulations in Lakshadweep, administrator Praful Patel has taken a set of decisions that have angered the islanders once again, including the deployment of government officials on fishing boats for intelligence gathering.

On 4 June, the Praful Patel administration in another notification issued a list of instructions on waste management.

The order directed the people of the islands to scientifically dispose of the tender coconut shell, tree leaves, coconut husk, coconut shell, trunk et cetera in and around dwelling public spaces.

The order reads, “All residents in the Union Territory limits should maintain their peripheral area of 25-metre radius of their household litter-free or else responsibility shall be fixed on dwelling house/resident,” The Hindu reported.

Further, failing to maintain the peripheral area “litter-free,” the order adds that a fine can be imposed and criminal proceedings against violators could be initiated.

The decision for surveillance through fishing boats was taken in a meeting chaired by Principal Secretary cum Advisor to the Administrator on 28 May.

It was also decided that security measures to monitor local fishing boats and crew will be strengthened. Further, instructions would be issued to intensify checking of motorised vessels reaching the islands and CCTV cameras would be installed at vessel berthing points and at helipads, the report added.

Undue Intervention, Shows Lack of Trust in Fishers: MP Faizal

Calling the decisions a “mockery,” Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal urged the authorities to withdraw the decisions immediately.

Faizal was quoted as saying, “The decision of the Lakshadweep Administration to deploy government officials on board fishing vessels under the garb of stepping up coastal surveillance speaks of lack of trust in fishers, and is among the latest of Centre’s undue interventions made in the life of islanders,” the report added.

Explaining why the deployment of government officials in fishing vessels has no rationale, Faizal said that the Navy and Coast Guard already have considerable presence in the islands. Meanwhile, the Navy has establishments in the islands of Minicoy and Kavaratti.

Moreover, the Kavaratti-based Coast Guard has a radar system that is capable of tracking almost the entire coast of the islands.

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Scientific Disposal of Biodegradable Materials Questioned

Questioning the order, which directed for scientific disposal of coconut leaves, shells, etc, Faizal said the land of Lakshadweep became fertile because the forefathers who lived in the islands buried them in the soil, PTI reported.

Faizal added that it is the responsibility of the administration to provide technology for scientifically managing waste.

Since his appointment as the Administrator of Lakshadweep in December 2020, Patel has brought about some drastic regulations in the Union Territory, like the Goonda Act, the two-child policy for Panchayat poll aspirants, and a beef ban.

Meanwhile, MPs from the Congress-led UDF in Kerala will organise a 'dharna' in front of the territorial administration office in Kochi on Monday, in a bid to step up their agitation against the “anti-people” reform measures.

Recently, expressing solidarity with the people of Lakshadweep, the Kerala Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution demanding the recall of island administrator Praful Khoda Patel and requesting the Centre’s immediate intervention to protect the lives and livelihood of the islanders.

(With inputs from The Hindu and PTI)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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