KASARAGOD: The BJP government at the Centre will not allow US-based EMCC International to engage in deep-sea trawling off the Kerala coast, state president K Surendran said on Monday.
Surendran further said that the state government agreement with Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSCIN) was signed by flouting rules. "The Centre will not allow...we will make a strong intervention," he told the reporters in Kasaragof on the second day of BJP's statewide election campaign, 'Vijay Yatra'.
According to the agreement, EMCC will build trawlers and hand them over to fishermen. Further, the KSINC will build the basic infrastructure for the American company to make trawlers here and also create berthing space for the new trawlers to dock.
The fish would be sold through 200 outlets in Kerala and the rest would be exported, according to Shiju Varghese, president of the US firm.
Surendran alleged that the project was a conspiracy hatched by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to plunder the marine wealth of the country. "The government is trying to save its face by blaming the official concerned," he said.
To be sure, the MoU was signed by KSINC managing director Prasanth N and Varghese, but KSINC comes under the direct control of the chief minister. "The official (Prashanth) has said he met the chief minister at Cliff House (the CM's official residence). The chief minister, the minister for fisheries, and the political leadership knew about the agreement. All they wanted was to make money," he said.
Even though the Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala raised the issue, he appeared satisfied with the government's reply and was not following it up, alleged Surendran.