Although ceded to Sri Lanka, the agreement, which set no fishing rights, allowed Indian fishermen to fish near Katchatheevu and dry their nets on the island. The sanctuary of Saint Anthony is the only building on the island. It is a church that bears the name of St. Anthony, considered by Christians as the patron saint of navigators. It was built by a wealthy Indian, an Indian Catholic (Tamil) fisherman Srinivasa Padaiyachi in the early 20th century. The annual church feast lasts three days. Priests from India and Sri Lanka lead the Mass and the automobile procession. Pilgrims from India are mainly transported by Rameswaram. Under the agreement between the Indian and Sri Lankan governments, Indian citizens do not need to possess a Sri Lankan passport or visa to visit Kaschatheevu. The island lacks drinking water. In 1991, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a resolution calling for the recall of Katchatheevu.
During the civil war and with northern borders under the control of the (expanding) LTTE, fishermen had easy access to fishing grounds. Later in 2008, Jayalalithaa moved the Supreme Court to annul the Katchatheevu Agreements of 1974 and 1976. During the state of emergency, when the Tamil Nadu government was dismissed in 1976 without consultation with the State Assembly and Parliament, another agreement was reached to establish the border in the Gulf of Mannar and the Bay of Bengal and prevent fishermen from both countries from fishing in the waters of the other. ARTICLE V: Subject to the foregoing, Indian fishermen and pilgrims will have access to Katcha Teevu as before and will not be required in Sri Lanka to obtain travel documents or visas for these purposes. Article VI of the agreement protects the right of Indian fishing vessels to venture and stay in Sri Lankan waters. “With the establishment of the exclusive economic zones by both countries, India and Sri Lanka will exercise sovereign rights over the living and non-living resources of their respective zones. Vessels and fishermen of India may not fish in the historic, coastal and exclusive economic zone waters of Sri Lanka without the express permission of Sri Lanka or India, nor may Sri Lankan vessels and fishermen fish in historic waters, the coastal sea and the exclusive economic zone of India; as the case may be, `, indicates the agreement. . .