Kerala's Vizhinjam Port stir enters 100th day

Latin Church to strengthen the revolt in Vizhinjam by holding protests in land and sea to mark the occasion

Published: 27th October 2022 05:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2022 05:07 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The coastal protest that blocked the work of the Vizhinjam International Transshipment Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport, one of the largest infrastructure projects in the state, will enter its 100th day on Thursday. The protest began on July 20 in front of the secretariat and later shifted to Mulloor, which is where the main entrance to the port is located, on August 16.

The protest has sharply divided public opinion and posed a challenge to the government. Even when Ports Minister Ahammad Devarkovil expressed the hope of commissioning the port by next Onam, there is less clarity on the protest coming to an end anytime soon.   

The state government has declined the demand for halting the project to study its impact on the nearby coast. Yet, the protestors led by the Latin archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram have no plans of vacating the protest site. They moved from protest gatherings to hunger strikes during which parishioners under the diocese and activists participated. They are now openly speaking of stopping the port work.

On Thursday, the Latin Church plans to strengthen the stir by holding protests in the land and the sea. They have chosen Vizhinjam and Mulloor for the land protest from 8.30am to 5.30pm. At the same time, the fishermen will enter the sea at Muthalapozhi, located 40km away from the port, to protest. Addressing the issues concerning the Muthalapozhi harbour is one of the seven demands raised by the protestors before the government. The fishermen community blamed the unscientific construction of Muthalapozhi harbour for the rise in sea accidents. Muthalappozhi is also a strategic location for carrying construction materials for the port, by sea.

Thiruvananthapuram Latin archdiocese vicar-general and protest general convenor Eugine H Pereira said the coastal people had no other option but to fight for their survival. “We have revived our protest after the pandemic. We demanded that the project should be stopped because it is going to be an ecological and economic disaster. Several independent agencies have already stated that the project is unviable and would spell doom for the coastal folks,” he said.

The Church has been mobilising protests through the parishes under it. All parishes under Thiruvananthapuram diocese read out the six consecutive pastoral letters issued by Archbishop Thomas J Netto asking the community members to strengthen the protest, during the Mass last Sunday. Their road blockades disrupted the traffic movement in the city and resulted in over 70 people missing their flights on October 17.


June 10, 2015: Cabinet decides to award the project to Adani Ports and SEZ
August 17, 2015: The Kerala government and Adani Ports decide to sign the construction agreement
December 3, 2019: Missed the first deadline to complete the port work
June 2023: The new deadline set by the government for Adani Ports to complete the work

July 20, 2022: Protest begins in front of the Secretariat
August 16: Shifted to Mulloor
October 17: Road blockade protest
October 27: Land and sea protest planned
Five rounds of talks with cabinet sub-committee
Latin Church reads out six pastoral letters to mobilise community

The Church started the protest by demanding the government to stop port construction and study its ecological impact by involving coastal people, fair compensation and rehabilitation for loss of property and houses, compensation for fishermen who lost work days due to adverse weather warnings, ensuring smooth navigation at Muthalapozhi harbour, providing subsidised kerosene as done in Tamil Nadu, rent-free accommodation for people who lost houses and rehabilitation of families affected by sea erosion


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp