PANJIM: The All Goa Purse Seiners Boat Owners Association (AGPSBOA) has urged State government to provide swab testing facility for its workers, who would be returning back from their native places to resume fishing business, at respective jetties at reasonable rates.
Nearly 1500 mechanised trawlers continued to remain off-sea even as the new fishing season, officially kicked off on August 1, in absence of labour shortage coupled with poor weather conditions. Majority of skilled labour workers at the jetty are from Karnataka and unskilled are from Jharkhand and Orissa, who are stuck in their native States due to COVID pandemic.
In a letter to Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant, Association president Harshad Dhond said the fishing sector is reeling under tremendous financial and labour pressure. “Our season officially started from August 1 but due to pandemic the industry, which is traditional and provides daily diet to people, has taken severe hit,” he said.
Dhond said the industry is in very precarious situation with having to fight for basic survival on all fronts.
Stating that the association intends to get back its labour force following due Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) laid down by government, Dhond urged the Chief Minister to provide swab testing facility at the respective jetties at Panjim, Betul and Vasco.
“We also request to provide the swab testing facility at very reasonable rates as our financial condition is very bad and the prevailing rates are unaffordable as we are desperate to start our business back,” Dhond urged.
The Government is currently charging Rs 2,000 for swab test for asymptomatic patients.