Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 03 December 2022 12.54 AM IST

If Vizhinjam port comes up Kerala will grow economically, cannot be stopped, says CM; Will send him back to Kannur, says archdiocese


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The construction of Vizhinjam port cannot be stopped, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The current strike is pre-planned and it cannot be said that only the local fishermen are participating in the protests, he said in the assembly.

Vizhinjam port is one of the major projects implemented for the infrastructure development of the state. Whenever projects are implemented, it is natural for concerns to arise. However, there should be no attempt to create an atmosphere of fear to fuel it. There is no need to implement the projects. Let the economy of the state remain stagnant… there are all anti-people approaches, criticized the chief minister.

Although some people filed petitions in the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the construction of the Vizhinjam port, those were rejected. As per a study by an expert committee of the Ministry of Environment, the project was not found to be harmful to the coastal area. The cyclones and low-pressure areas in the Kerala coast are the major reasons for coastal erosion, he said. After the construction of Vizhinjam port, there has been no coastal erosion within five kilometres of the project area. The coastal erosion at Valiyathura and Shankhumukham cannot be said to be caused because of the port project.

Concerns are only natural whenever a big infrastructural project is implemented. The plans to end the Vizhinjam project are moves against the future generation. If Vizhinjam port comes up, then the economy will grow quickly. The government has taken the issues of the fishermen seriously. The government has made timely interventions whenever the fishermen faced a problem.

A total of Rs 20 lakh was given to the families of the victims of Ockhi disaster. The application for title deeds of coastal residents are under the consideration of the CRZ. It has been presented before the central government as an issue. The relocation of those living in camps, after losing their houses, are also being considered. Houses will be immediately built at the land allotted for the fishermen. There is no need to worry in the regard, said the chief minister. We have actively intervened to resolve issues in all phases. In every phase, the government stands with the fishermen. No need to worry on that matter, he explained.

Meantime, the archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram, which is leading the strike, stated that they will not end the strike unless Adani Group stops construction of the Vizhinjam port and goes back. “The port minister is a fool. The minister’s speech is filled with lies. If he has taken bribe from Adani, then it should be given back. We will not back down from the strike until the construction of the port, which affects the lives and livelihoods of fishermen, is halted, said Father Theodacious D'Cruz.

He levelled harsh criticisms against the chief minister as well. Don’t tell the fishermen to ‘get out’. These are fishermen. We will rest only after winning this strike, even if we have to send Pinarayi Vijayan back to Kannur, said Fr D’Cruz.

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