Chellanam residents protesting against the state government for the delay in finding a permanent solution to sea attack, by blocking Fort Kochi-Alappuzha coastal road at Kannamaly on Friday
Chellanam residents protesting against the state government for the delay in finding a permanent solution to sea attack, by blocking Fort Kochi-Alappuzha coastal road at Kannamaly on Friday PHOTO| AKHIL K S

Chellanam residents accuse Kerala govt of apathy, stage road blockade

Following the talks with district collector N S K Umesh, the agitation was called off.

KOCHI: Residents of Chellanam panchayat affected by sea erosion on Friday blocked the coastal road at Kannamaly from 6 am as part of an agitation launched by the Chellanam Kochi Janakeeya Vedi (CKJV). They accused the state government of a lackadaisical approach in coming up with a lasting solution to the issue.

Around 1 pm, District Collector N S K Umesh arrived and held talks with the agitators, said V T Sebastian, convenor of CKJV. “He assured us of meeting our demands and promised that the second phase of the Chellanam coastal tetrapod seawall construction and installation of gorynes would be started soon,” said Sebastian. Following the talks, the agitation was called off.

“Next Tuesday, a meeting of the representatives of residents, port trust and irrigation department has been called in the collector’s chamber. The agitation was temporarily withdrawn following an assurance that the collector would hold discussions with the CKJV leadership and take a decision on demands like dredging by Cochin Port and the dumping of soil and mud along the outer sea,” he added.

The collector informed us that discussions are on to source funds from the Centre for the second phase of the coastal protection project, Sebastian said. The work will start as soon as the money is made available. “We will wait till July 21, which is next new moon day, and if nothing is done by then we will go on an indefinite agitation until all our demands are met. We won’t be taken for a ride. We have had enough of the apathy,” said Sebastian. “We will keep a check on the effective implementation of government projects,” Umesh told protesters.

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