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Home / India / Kerala govt agrees to allot 10 acres for Adani port families

Kerala govt agrees to allot 10 acres for Adani port families

What is needed is concrete and immediate action and not just promises: Auxiliary Bishop
Protesting fishermen sail towards the Vizhinjam seaport in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. They were  joined by hundreds who broke into the  construction site from the land route.
Protesting fishermen sail towards the Vizhinjam seaport in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. They were joined by hundreds who broke into the construction site from the land route.
The Telegraph

K.M. Rakesh   |   Bangalore   |   Published 23.08.22, 12:57 AM

The CPM-led Kerala government on Monday agreed to allot 10 acres to rehabilitate families displaced by coastal erosion attributed to the construction of the Vizhinjam deepwater seaport by the Adani group in Thiruvananthapuram.

The decision was announced as protesters took the land and sea routes to highlight their demands.

No consensus has yet been reached on the main demand: halt construction until a fresh environment impact assessment is carried out. This and the other outstanding demand — allocation of heavily subsidised kerosene for fishing boats — have been  left to be decided by the state cabinet.

A cabinet sub-committee on Monday decided to build 3,000 flats across 10 acres in Muttathara near the coast in keeping with the demands of the protesters led by the Latin Archdiocese of Trivandrum.

The sub-committee decided to give priority to the 335 families who were displaced by coastal erosion and then accommodate fisherfolk from neighbouring areas who lost their homes.

The decision came on the seventh day of the ongoing agitation in which thousands have held a sit-in led by the church.

At a meeting on Friday, fisheries minister V. Abdurahiman and minister for road and water transport Antony Raju had agreed to fulfil most of the seven demands put forth by the protesters.

The protesters urged the government to quickly follow up their promises with action. “What is needed is concrete and immediate action and not just promises,” Auxiliary Bishop Kristhudas Rajappan told reporters at the project site in reference to the cabinet sub-committee’s decision.

“While we are happy at today’s decisions, the government needs to remember that all these displacements are being caused by the construction for this seaport and more houses will be destroyed and even more people will be displaced as the work progresses,” he said, urging the government to halt construction and meet the protesters’ demand to conduct an impact study.

The protesters and environmentalists blame the coastal erosion in Vizhinjam and nearby beaches on changes in wind and wave patterns that they say have been caused largely by the breakwater of the deepwater seaport.

The Rs 7,525-crore seaport is a public-private partnership between the Kerala government and Adani Vizhinjam Port Pvt Ltd.

Although the state government has made it clear that work at the port site will not be halted, construction has stopped since the protest began on August 16.

The protesters on Monday continued with their now-daily forays into the project site. However, this time they used the land and sea routes to express their opposition to the project and highlight their demands.

A large number of fishermen sailed from nearby fishing harbours to converge at the seaport while several hundreds of men and women took part in a march till the port entrance. The fishing boats carried black flags and remained anchored just offshore for a couple of hours before returning to their bases. The marchers also returned to their designated protest site, promising to continue the agitation until the government met all their demands.

The fisherfolk had laid down seven demands before the state government that include a rehabilitation package, immediate steps to mitigate coastal erosion and prompt payment of compensation for families of fishermen involved in sea accidents.

The other demands include minimum wages for the days fishermen are forced to remain on shore because of inclement weather and resolution of the issue of dangerously high waves because of alleged faulty construction of the fishing harbour that are blamed for several accidents in a fishing village.



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