Witness, Visakhapatnam: The fire accident in Visakhapatnam fishing harbor caused a lot of panic. Visakha was shocked by this accident which happened like never before on Sunday midnight. This is the biggest fire accident in this fishing port which has a history of five decades. The fishermen of the city rushed to the harbor with the children as soon as they got the news of the accident. So they kept coming to the fishing port till Monday afternoon. The family members of the victim shed tears after seeing the boats burnt in the fire.
They lamented that they had borrowed Rs. lakhs and bought the boats, but now they have been burnt in the fire. Along with the fishermen who came in large numbers, the harbor surroundings were crowded with officials and media representatives. 60 boats sank and more than 200 boats were partially damaged in the Hudhud cyclone that occurred nine years ago. In this fire accident, 36 boats were completely burnt and nine boats were partially burnt. Tons of fish kept in about ten boats were also burnt.
The fuel for the fire is like this..
More fuel added to the escalating fire hazard in the harbour. All the anchored boats have hundreds to thousands of liters of diesel. Boats are made of fiber. Boats have nylon nets. Also the boats are fitted with old tires on both sides to avoid friction. When going fishing, the Kalasis carry two gas cylinders for cooking in the boat. These are kept in boats. All this has contributed to increasing the severity of the fire hazard. Moreover, the winds also helped to spread the danger to other boats. At present the north-easterly winds are blowing strongly. The fire first broke out in the Balaji boat anchored in front of Zero Jetty No. 6 shop in the harbor. From there, the fire spread to the nearby boats within minutes. Some of the boats anchored in the west and north-west directions went towards the boats in the number one jetty beyond the north-easterly winds. As a result, many boats there were burnt.
Adventure of youth
Some young fishermen who came to know about the fire accident rushed to the harbor. They cut the ropes tied to the jetties and tied the ropes to the boats and took them away from the harbor. This saved many boats from fire. Otherwise more boats would have been burnt.
On the other hand boats are not insured for years. Due to this, even if these boats are burnt or sunk by accident, the owner will not get the insurance money. They were insurable until about three decades ago. But after it was found that some people in the country were making false claims, the Center withdrew the insurance facility for boats. Since then the boats are not covered by insurance. Fishermen say that if there was an insurance facility, the boats burnt in this accident would not have been compensated.
My family lives on the income from the boat. There was no sleep all night because the boat was on fire. The fear of how to live is also haunting. The chief minister’s announcement to give 80 percent compensation for the burnt boat was very happy. Knowing this, I breathed a sigh of relief. Thanks to CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
– Polaiah, the boat owner,
I have been running a boat in the fishing harbor for the last 20 years. I have faced many ups and downs. It is unfortunate that something like this happened in the harbour. The government responded to the work done by some Akathayus and provided help. The government is helping more than expected. Thanks to CM Jagan Mohan Reddy and Minister Sidiri Appalaraju.
– Yaga Srinivasa Rao, Boat Owner,