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Protests put Vizhinjam project all at sea

The people backed by the Latin Catholic Church had obstructed work at the port site on Tuesday alleging the piling work damaged more than 150 houses in the area.

Published: 26th October 2017 01:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th October 2017 09:58 AM   |  A+A-

People continued their stir against the mega project in Vizhinjam.

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The disruption to the ongoing construction activities at Vizhinjam continued on Wednesday, with the people continuing their stir against the mega project.

Though a section of the protesters led by the Church committee declared their intention to call off the agitation around 3.30 pm  following talks with the RDO, a major section comprising the locals vowed to continue the protest till the time an exhaustive rehabilitation package is announced.  Later by 9 pm,  the Church committee under severe pressure from the people also decided to revoke its earlier decision to withdraw from the stir.

The people backed by the Latin Catholic Church had obstructed work at the port site on Tuesday alleging the piling work damaged more than 150 houses in the area. On Wednesday, the RDO held talks with the demonstrators and announced the District Collector will convene a meeting here on Monday to discuss their demands.

"Despite the assurance, one section of the protesters had declared their intention to continue the stir  till October 30. A large group comprising locals reached the Church premises saying the stir has to go on. We are left with no option other than to resume the protest,’’  said Esac Johnny, secretary,  Church committee. Meanwhile, the Adani Group has temporarily stopped all work at the project site on account of the stir.

VS forced to return

CPM veteran V S Achuthanandan was forced to return without meeting the agitators. The police had stopped his vehicle from approaching the venue of the agitation citing security reasons. VS said he wanted to meet the demonstrators but was returning as the police had cited security issues. Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala has urged the government to ensure the rehabilitation package is implemented effectively..

PC George calls for govt intervention

MLA  P C George has said the Vizhinjam port works are causing severe environment destruction in the area. The shoreline width of the port has shrunk from 1,100 m in 1985 to 10 m, he said.

Urging the government to intervene in the issue, George said the piling works had damaged buildings in several kilometre radius. Deep gorges have been formed in the sea.

“The government should ensure the works are conducted ensuring the safety of local residents and environment. Compensation and rehabilitation of residents in the area should be conducted on a warfooting,” he said.

George alleged the LDF and the UDF were not taking up the issue seriously as both of them had received election funds from the Adani Group.



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