THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Work on a service road leading to the proposed Vizhinjam international seaport was blocked for the second day on Sunday by local people who alleged that the construction was impinging upon their mobility rights. Local people, under the banner of the Vizhinjam Action Council, blocked work on the 600-metre-long road linking the Kalunku Junction and the Mulloor Beach on Saturday evening and later, on Sunday morning. The work is being implemented by the Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP).
According to the residents, the work on the road had blocked off three important bylanes in the region, namely a lane leading to the Mulloor Beach, the Thyvila lane which leads to the Panavila UP School and an Anganwadi and the Vayalinkara path. It also blocked off a canal at Mukkola Junction which acted as a stormwater drain during rains.
The demonstrators, which included women, called off the blockade after discussions with officials of the Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL) in the presence of the police and ward councillor C Omana.
External infrastructure engineer Pradeep A S represented VISL, a State Government company overseeing the multi-crore Vizhinjam seaport project.
According to the action council, they called off the blockade after the authorities promised to construct a drain along the new road, make the existing roads traversable, and to resume work on the new road after these promises were met.
When contacted, VISL CEO A S Suresh Babu said that he had held discussions with KSTP officials and asked them to implement the work without causing any inconvenience to the local people. ‘’It is a small issue. There will be no inconvenience to the local people,’’ he said.