CHENNAI: Actor Kamal Haasan, who has, of late, been hinting at his political entry through his statements and through his tough posture against the State government on various issues, stepped out of his favourite social media platform Twitter on Saturday and visited Ennore in the early hours without any media glare. He also interacted with the residents there, particularly women and youth, and enquired with them about the impact of encroachments on the Kosasthalaiyar river and the effluents being discharged by the thermal power plants.
The actor’s visit to Ennore took place a day after he tweeted a two-page statement on the encroachments along the estuary of Kosasthalaiyar and the reported efforts of Kamarajar port to occupy 1,000 acres in the disguise of expansion. He also charged that the thermal power plants in North Chennai and Vallur had been depositing their effluents into the Kosasthalaiyar river for many years despite opposition from environmental activists.
Kamal Haasan said that he was cautioning the State government about the impending danger in the form of floods during the northeast monsoon which has just begun. Just after the actor’s visit to Ennore, Tiruvallur Collector E Sundaravalli assured that officials would visit the Kosasthalaiyar area and if there were any encroachments, would take immediate steps to remove them. Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said, “In a democracy, anyone can visit any place and make suggestions to the government. Only when charges are made against the government with ulterior motives, we, the ministers, react to them.”
Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan said “I welcome the visit of Kamal Haasan to Ennore and will direct the officials to look into the complaint about effluents being discharged there. Kamal Haasan should undertake a State-wide tour to eradicate dengue.”
The video released by Kamal Haasan’s office showed that he was accompanied by environmental activist Nityanand Jayaraman and a few others to the Ennore port area. The actor was also seen interacting with the residents of Kattupakkam about their problems. Kamal was also seen perusing a map of the Ennore coastal area.
After his visit, Kamal Haasan tweeted : “I was moved by the gratitude expressed by the women and youth for visiting their place. What I did is not a help but a duty. We will meet soon.” In another tweet, the actor thanked VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan and Pon Radhakrishnan for encouraging his visit to Ennore. In yet another tweet, Kamal Haasan thanked the Thiruvallur District Collector’s immediate response and said the people of Ennore would be thankful to her.
A few days ago, Kamal Haasan said he would announce a mechanism for interacting with the people on November 7, his birthday. However, the actor scotched the rumours that he would be launching his political party on that day, saying that he cannnot do so just because of a media push.
Human chain on Elliot’s Beach
Close on the heels of Haasan’s surprise visit to Ennore on Saturday, around 200 people formed a human chain at Elliot’s Beach on Saturday evening, expressing their concern over the rapid industrialisation of Chennai’s northern coastline.