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Churchill writes to PM over stranded seafarers

Margao: Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao, on Wednesday, said that he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah again requesting them to facilitate the return of around 7,000 seafarers that are  stranded in foreign countries. Speaking to the media at his office on Wednesday, Alemao said that the decision is ultimately is to be taken by the Prime Minister.

“Let them check the seafarers when they come to the state, and let them stay here. This power is with the Prime Minister and Home Minister. Almost every foreign country has a boat with Goan seafarers stuck on them. The Prime Minister should talk to each of the Indian embassies there and bring them back. The Prime Minister is doing a good job,” he said.

During Tuesday’s meeting which was  attended by Velim MLA Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Cuncolim MLA Clafacio Dias, Nuvem MLA Wilfred D’Sa and Alemao, the Chief Minister had said that the Prime Minister is working on bringing all those stranded in other countries, but  the first task is to bring those stranded on boats back home.

Alemao also said that the Chief Minister has assured on quarantine centres that could house up to 10,000 people at a time in the state.

“Chief Minister also told us that he has set up facilities at Verna, Taleigao and other places so that they can be kept under quarantine for 14 days. Even then I have sent another reminder to them today as well as the NRI Commission, CM and DG to work quickly,” he said.

On the issue of fish supply in the state, Alemao said that the state government should allow boat owners to venture into the sea.

“Goans cannot live without fish. Supply of vegetables is allowed. Similarly, fish should also be allowed to be caught and sold. We don’t want fish from freezer that has formalin in it. Every boat owner should be allowed to carry out fishing. There are many migrants who work on boats. And, suddenly they are asked to stop working, where will they stay? Some boats go out for more than 15 days. And, most didn’t know about the lockdown,” he said.

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