SHRI K. YERRANNAIDU (SRIKAKULAM): There are about 60 lakh traditional fishermen in Andhra Pradesh with different caste names such as Goondla, Gandaputra and Bestha in Telangana region, Agnikula, Kashatriya, Vada Balga, Kandra, Jabri Neyallu, Vasiyakula Kshatriya and Pattapu and Palli in coastal region. They have demanded that the fishermen community be included in the ST list.
A delegation of fishermen of Andhra Pradesh met the hon. Prime Minister in March, 1999 and urged him for introducing a Bill regarding inclusion of fishermen community in the ST list. But, there is hardly any progress made in this regard.
The fishermen of Andhra Pradesh are a poor lot who are oppressed by the vagaries of nature. They have to fight for their livelihood throughout the year. They need assistance from the Union Government for procuring modern mechanised trolley boat and gadgets for better catch and safety of their lives from the hazards of sea storm etc.
The Andhra Pradesh Government from their side have done their best to help them by constructing 25,000 houses for traditional fishermen and identifying them to provide tools under Adarna Schemes. But, if their demand for inclusion in ST list is fulfilled, they will be benefitted a lot for getting assistance under component plan of SCs/STs and other schemes like DRI Scheme etc.
Hence, I request the Union Government to initiate early action to include fishermen community of Andhra Pradesh in the Scheduled Tribes list at an early date.
(iii) Need to link Varanasi in UP by air