Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 05 February 2023 10.09 AM IST

Restraint and patience shown by police in Vizhinjam issue is exemplary, law doesn't work according to individuals: CM Vijayan


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Chief Minister on Tuesday said the police have registered a case against priests and others for violating the High Court order not to obstruct the construction of the port.

"It is not possible to exclude only a few who called for the strike. Maintaining law and order is the responsibility of the police and the government. The government is only adamant that the project cannot be abandoned", he said while speaking during the discussion on the emergency resolution held in the Legislative Assembly regarding the Vizhinjam strike.

The chief minister said that the cabinet sub-committee held discussions with the protesters on August 19 after the strike started on August 16.

"Discussions were held again on August 24. It was done two more times. Unofficial discussions also took place in the meantime. The government has held talks in a timely manner without any delay. Five of the seven demands of the strike committee were accepted. Of the remaining two, one was to stop the project. The government has informed that it is not possible. Another is coastal erosion caused by the project. Multiple inspections have been conducted as part of the project. There are reports of it. It is clear from the studies that coastal erosion will not occur as part of the project.", he said.

"However, after the discussion, I informed the protest committee that the government may appoint an expert committee to check whether coastal erosion has occurred. They fully agreed to it. I held a discussion with the main leader of the strike."

"The demand for more people in the cabinet sub-committee was also accepted. Even if the discussion ends on a good note, the issues got worse later. This is what happened. It is doubtful whether some others are controlling the struggle. This doubt was there before. Babu, a minister in the previous government, asked the central government to investigate the matter."

"About 80 percent of the Vizhinjam port project has been completed. Before starting the project, an expert inspection was done on coastal erosion. Based on this, the central government has given environmental clearance."

"The government has a sympathetic approach towards the rehabilitation of local fishermen. The government is making every effort to address the concerns. The 'Punargeham' project is being implemented to rehabilitate those who lost their homes and land in the sea rage. This is a project worth Rs 2450 crores. According to this, 276 houses have been completed and handed over to the customers. Flats for 340 families and houses for 475 families were constructed in Thiruvananthapuram district alone. Eight acres of land in Muttathara was handed over to the remaining ones for constructing flats. It will be completed in one and a half years. 284 families have been handed over the amount in the form of rent."

"A subsidy of Rs 25 per litre on kerosene will continue to be allowed. The government has also decided a one-time subsidy for switching to non-conventional fuel. Since 2016, Rs 252.68 crores have been given as a kerosene subsidy."

"In case of incidents of violence, the case is registered by the officials in charge. It is not the government that decides who should be included in the case. The state police is handling law and order well. The restraint and patience shown by the police in the past few days is exemplary."

"There is a false propaganda that the government didn't oppose the demand of the port builders that they need the security of the central forces. According to the port construction contract, there is a provision to provide protection for the port construction as and when required by the contracting company."

"The government has a warm relationship with the Latin Church. The Church's general stance isn't that of the Vizhinjam strike committee. The government stand is with the fisher folk", the CM added.

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