Goa fishermen to get bio-metric identity cards soon

Panaji: The Centre`s project of providing bio-metric identity cards to traditional fishermen as part of stepping up surveillance in coastal areas has been almost completed in Goa, a senior Government official has said.

State Fisheries director Nandkumar Verlekar said around 10,000-odd fishermen living along the Goa shoreline will be given these cards, which contain all relevant information about them in a coded format. "The cards would be distributed within a fortnight," he said, adding all fishermen in Goa have been covered under the project.

The students and faculty a Kerala-based institute completed this project after holding several camps in the state, Verlekar stated. Under it, the fishermen were photographed, their personal details and thumb impression documented and stored in the card, he said. The project was envisaged after the sea-borne terror attack in Mumbai in November 2008.

On June 15 every year, the fishermen will have to re-validate their cards, Verlekar said. "Data in the bio-metric cards can be decoded with the help of a machine," he said. Decoding machines would be provided to security agencies like Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Goa Marine Police, engaged in coastal patrolling.