GSPC drilling: 16654 fishermen to get Rs 80 crore

By Express News Service

RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: The state government has issued administrative sanction towards payment of Rs 80 crore as compensation to 16,654 fishermen who lost their livelihood when the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC), now known as ONGC, took up drilling activities to extract oil from the sea in Mumidivaram of East Godavari district in 2012. 

A GO has been issued by the Fisheries Department in this regard. The GSPC, after months of protests by the affected, had agreed to pay Rs 6,500 per month to them for a period of 13 months. Of the total Rs 130 crore that was supposed to be paid, the company made a payment of Rs 50 crores and stopped. 

The affected fishermen had submitted a representation to YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, before the elections, and requested him to look into the issue. Jagan had assured them that if his party formed the government, he would try convince the oil company to pay up the remaining amount, or his government would compensate the affected. Accordingly, a government order was issued on Friday. According to sources, the amount would be distributed on November 21 at an event where the chief minister would be present. 

Commenting on the development, Mummidivaram MLA Ponnada Venkata Satishkumar said: “I know the problems the fishermen have been facing for several years now. I and Malladi Krishnarao, Yanam MLA at the time, had fought to get justice to the affected. GSPC ignored our requests and stopped the payment in the middle. The previous government had also ignored this issue.  Finally, CM Jagan agreed to settle this issue.”

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