Left, BJP join hands in favour of Adani Group’s Kerala project, facing fisherfolk protests
The protesting fisherfolk allege that the construction of the Vizhinjam international seaport project, which began in 2015, has caused coastal erosion, leading to loss of livelihood and dwellings
In the first such instance, the ruling Communist Party in Kerala and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) joined hands in support of the Adani Group’s Rs 7,500 crore Vizhinjam international seaport project which is being opposed by the local fisherfolk.
CPI(M) district secretary Anavoor Nagappan and BJP’s district president VV Rajesh addressed a march, formally led by the ‘Save Vizhinjam Port Action Council’ which aims to counter the agitation against the port.
Both Nagappan and Rajesh said that their parties would “provide support” to the Action Council to ensure that the port plan would be completed.
The BJP supported the project, saying it would significantly boost the state’s development. On the other hand, the CPI (M) urged the protesters to stop the agitation against the project. It also termed the protests as an attempt to ‘unleash a riot in the state’.
Nagappan ascribed “ulterior motives” to an unnamed group which he claimed was controlling the protests.
Thousands of protesters from nearby areas have been pressing for their seven-point charter of demands that include stopping construction work and a coastal impact study. The protesters have alleged that the ‘unscientific construction’ of groynes, the artificial sea wall, as part of the upcoming Vizhinjam port, was one of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion.
The state had witnessed a major protest by the fisherfolk led by the Latin Catholic archdiocese against the Vizhinjam project. Last week, the demonstration marked 100 days of protest, as protesters blocked roads and set a boat on fire.
The protesting fisherfolk have alleged that the construction of the port, which began in 2015, had caused coastal erosion, leading to loss of livelihood and dwellings.
The agitating fisherfolk say the government is taking arbitrary decisions with the aim of misleading them.
The Kerala High Court on November 1 directed that obstructions placed by protesters on the road to the under-construction sea port must be removed.
The Adani Group’s Vizhinjam international seaport project construction work has been significantly affected after the fisherfolk launched protests against it in the state.
Earlier this month, the state government appointed a four-member committee to study whether there has been any coastal erosion as a result of the construction of the seaport. But the Church rejected the decision, saying the committee did not include a representative from their side, and that the exercise was meant to tailor a report in favour of the Adani Group.