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Kerala CM calls protest against Vizhinjam Port unjustifiable, even after demands are conceded

Kerala CM calls protest against Vizhinjam Port unjustifiable, even after demands are conceded

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan termed unjustifiable the protest against the Adani's under-construction Vizhinjam Port even after the government conceding six of their seven demands by the state government.

He said that after each rsound of discussions with the representatives of the protesters, an agreement on six of the demands was reached and the detractors indicate that some resolution has been arrived at.

"But the protestors continued with the agitation demanding stoppage of the port construction, despite being told during the discussions itself that it was not possible. Such a stance on their part is unfair," Vijayan said while speaking to reporters on the evening of Tuesday, October 18.

On Monday, despite a prohibitory order, the protesters led by the Latin Church had disrupted public transport by blocking roads, gathering in large numbers at eight points from Attingal to Poovar in the Thiruvananthapuram district. State-run buses were stopped, and so were college buses. Latin Archdiocese Vicar General Monsignor Eugene H Pereira had said on Monday that the protest was against the authorities who ignored their agitation, adding that the fishing community would get together and intensify the protest in the coming days. The Kerala High Court recently asked the government to remove the obstructions created by the protesters at the entrance of the port on a plea moved by Adani.

The government on October 7 had constituted a panel to address the concern of coastal erosion the local fishermen have if the port was built. Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) received environmental clearance (EC) from MoEF in January 2014, which prescribed the course of action, environmental management, monitoring and reporting during the construction and operation of the port, it had said. The clearance, however, was challenged by various parties, but it was upheld by the National Green Tribunal with clear directions to the government of Kerala to proceed with the project.

A large number of people on the coast have been staging the protest outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose seaport at nearby Mulloor for a few months. They were pressing for their seven-point charter of demands that include stopping the construction work and to conduct a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project. The protesters have been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls as part of the upcoming Vizhinjam port, was one of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion.

PTI Input

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TAGS:Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Protest against Vizhinjam Port Adani Group 
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