BJP condemns the developments in Chaatimetta village of Vishakhpatnam district of Andhra Pradesh where a calcinated petroleum coke factory is proposed to be set up by a private company ignoring the apprehensions and concerns of the people living there, of which the majority are fishermen. BJP supports the agitation led by the fishermen against the proposed factory and also shares their apprehensions regarding the threat posed to the marine life of Vizag coast by hazardous lead and mercury let out from the factory.

The fishermen apprehend that this factory which will produce petroleum coke needed for steel industry will pollute the sea through its harmful effluents. They also apprehend that compensations or settlements in any form will not be given to villagers. As it happened in case of BRANDIX apparel factory in the nearby Atchyutapuram mandal that continues to leave effluents in large quantities into the sea by which the marine life is highly affected, this again was suspected to become another case in which the government will never pay heed to the woes of the fishermen. Around 40 villages will be affected due to this petro coke factory.

There is also a worry among the people that the public hearing will not be transparent as it happened in all such public hearings in the past when people opposed similar projects, the authorities never considered the people’s opinion. Even the villagers fear that the authorities will dupe the villagers and after the public hearing, will go ahead with their original plans ignoring people’s view. The party is on the side of the fishermen who are actually not opposing any projects for development, but demands transparency and consensus in the process of executing such projects.

The fishermen of East coast face a multitude of issues already. The fisher folk are caught in deadly trap of debts due to in sufficient credit. There are also other demands like unhindered access to the sea for fishing, insurance cover, protection of their interests in international treaties, educational and health facilities etc. Apart from all these the fishermen face two major issues – dumping of industrial effluence into the sea and land acquisition in fishing villages without the consent of fishermen as well as without giving their due share.

Therefore the party finds the issue very serious and demands the Andhra Pradesh government and the Central government to safeguard the livelihood of thousands of fishermen and the marine life of the coastline of Andhra Pradesh. The party demands the Central government to evolve a ‘National Fishing Policy’ taking into account all these issues faced by fishermen all over the country.