Kannamaly residents plan road blockade on July 5

State govt apathetic in taking measures to prevent sea attacks, say residents.
The seawater that lashed the Kannamaly coast
The seawater that lashed the Kannamaly coast Photo | T P Sooraj

KOCHI: The residents of Kannamaly in Chellanam have decided to block the Fort Kochi-Alappuzha Coastal Road on July 5 in protest against the state government’s alleged indifference in finding a permanent solution to sea attacks. The protest will be held under the aegis of the Chellanam-Kochi Janakeeya Vedi (CJV).

The seawater that lashed the Kannamaly coast
Sea comes crashing into homes in Kannamaly area

“The government had promised to cover the entire 10-km-long Chellanam coast with seawall and tetrapod by 2021. However, work on only 7.36 km has been completed,” said CJV convenor V T Sebastian.

He said that the government gave administrative approval to build a stone sea wall and lay tetrapod up to CMS bridge, construct six bridge groynes in the Bazaar-Velankanni area and nine in the Puthenthodu-Kannamaly area. A sum of Rs 344.2 crore was set aside via the KIIFB.

Tushar Nirmal, Suja Bharti and Joseph Jayan Kunnel of CJV said the government’s argument that the allocated money was exhausted by the time the 7.36-km-long sea wall and six groynes were built was unacceptable to them.

“On June 9, 2023, Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine said Rs 320 crore is required for the next phase and the work will start on November 1, 2023. On October 3, 2023, Industries Minister P Rajeeve said Rs 247 crore had been spent on the second phase. However, he is now saying that since the Union government has imposed restrictions on KIIFB, the work will not be carried out. Saying there is no money for coastal defence when there is no shortage of funds for the coastal road and K-Rail is unacceptable,” said a CJV member.

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