Kutch fishermen threaten to boycott Lok Sabha polls

Bhuj, April 20 (Inditop) More than 5,000 fishermen across the Kutch region in Gujarat Monday threatened to boycott the Lok Sabha polls if the state and central governments do not stop a proposed water front project at Mundhra port near here, which they claim would affect fishing.

The fishermen have been opposing the proposed Water Front Development Plan (WFDP) of the Adani Group near the Mundhra port. If constructed, they say, it would facilitate berthing of a total of 50 large ships at a time and affect small fishermen in the Mundhra’s coastal waters. The WFDP is promoted by Mundhra Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd of the Adani Group.

“We threaten to boycott Lok Sabha polls if the state and the central governments do not concede our demand of not considering the WFDP for implementation,” Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti convenor Ismail Majhalia said in a statement Monday.

He said there are 16 all-weather natural fishing harbours on the 100-km stretch of the Mundhra port which would be completely destroyed to make way for the project. This would affect 10,000 families of fishermen in the vicinity of the Mundhra port.

The fishermen in the region have been catching 10,000 tonnes of fish per annum in the Mundhra coastal waters.