Meet discusses loss in terms of foodgrains, marine wealth
Public meeting in city on May 4
Project to affect 20 lakh hectares in eight districts
VISAKHAPATNAM: Representatives of several NGOs, people’s organisations and some political parties from coastal districts have expressed their opposition to creation of industrial coastal corridor. They have decided to launch an agitation to put pressure on the government to withdraw its plans.
The massive loss to people in terms of food grains, marine wealth and the extremely bad effects of pollution caused by industries that would come along the State’s coastline were explained in detail by speakers at a meeting held here on Thursday. Nearly 30 organisations from Srikakulam to Guntur participated.
The Industrial Coastal Corridor Nirmana Vyatireka Porata Committee, which brought together several organisations, would hold a massive public meeting in the city on May 4 to oppose the project and to create awareness among the people about the ill-effects, committee convenor and advocate K.S. Chalam said.
The political parties did understand the problems but their support to the struggle was either not in full measure or depended on whether they were in power or in Opposition.
It was time for them to come out with a clear statement on the issue, said secretary of the AP Vyavasaya Karmikula Sangham P.S. Ajay Kumar. It was not just fishermen who would be affected by the coastal corridor or other projects being initiated by the government, but farmers and girijans too would be displaced and their lifestyle destroyed, he added.
Development was welcome, but the livelihood of fishermen should in no case be affected.
The fishermen community must be allowed to carry out their traditional way of fishing by allotting them their own space on the seashore, demanded president of the A.P. Mechanised Boat Operators’ Association P.Ch. Appa Rao. Effluents from chemical industries in the district were already destroying the marine wealth, he pointed out.
The coastal corridor should not be allowed as 20 lakh hectares in eight districts would be affected and the food grains grown on this land and the marine wealth would disappear, thanks to the many industries that would come up in the corridor, said president of district unit of A.P. Civil Liberties Committee T. Sreerama Murthy.
A leader of TDP Lalam Bhaskara Rao said the SEZs being formed in the district must not be allowed to take shape as thousands of acres of fertile land would be taken over for industries rendering farmers landless.
Koona Ramu of environment protection organisation of Srikakulam district demanded that no chemical industry be allowed as farmers in the district were facing a lot of problems due to one such industry.
Mutyala Raju of Chodavaram, Kottapalli Venkataramana of Jai Bheem Cultural and Welfare Organisation and several others spoke.
Director of Vizag Defence Academy V. Ganesh Kumar released a brochure brought out by the committee on the ill-effects of coastal corridor and SEZs.