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Fishermen in Nagapattinam get back to their routine

Source: PTI
January 04, 2005 13:33 IST
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For the first time after the killer tsunami hit the coastal district of Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu, fishermen ventured into the sea on Tuesday.

The army, in an attempt to instil confidence among the trauma-stricken fishing community, sent its men along with the fishermen of Akkaraipettai, which has over 7,000 families.

The fishermen set on sail on three boats repaired by the Bangalore-based Madras Engineering Group of the army, Thanjavur District Collector J Radhakrishnan, who is supervising relief operations, told reporters.

"We have completed relief work and will now concentrate on rehabilitation. We want the cooperation of the people [tsunami victims] in this programme. That is why we repaired the boats and encouraged fishermen to go on with their routine. Their response is encouraging," he said.

Akkaraipettai village, a suburb of Nagapattinam, is slowly limping back to normal. For two days after the tsunami struck, the village had remained cut off, as boats that were washed away on to the roads by the waves blocked traffic and a bridge connecting the village to Nagapattinam had collapsed.

As part of its largest peacetime operation since Independence launched in Nagapattinam, the army cleared the roads, restored electricity and repaired boats in this village and in Keechankuppam, another hamlet of fishermen.

Both these areas were prosperous before the tsunami struck as fishermen used to get a good catch of prawns and some rare types of fish.

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