Special Correspondent

Small industries' forum supports project; samithi writes to VS in protest

CPI(M) defends move to widen road

Samithi seeks probe into police action

Kozhikode: The Communist Party of India (Marxist)'s district secretariat on Wednesday strongly defended the Kinaloor four-lane project and rubbished charges that Industries Minister Elamaram Karim had an axe to grind in supporting it.

T.P. Ramakrishnan, CPI(M) district secretary, claimed the project had the support of local people. Eleven meetings of residents who would be affected by road-widening were held. A majority promised to give land for developing the 12-metre road to a 20-metre one. They were promised decent compensation and employment for a member of the family in KSIDC's industrial park. Six other families were promised help to rebuild houses. “The fact is most of the people accepted these offers. Yet some outsiders attacked officials and the police when they went to do survey,” the CPI(M) district secretary alleged.

The CPI(M) leadership reiterated its charge that the attack on police in Kinalur was led by a few radical communal outfits He also challenged the critics of Industries Minister Elamaram Karim to produce evidence to prove their charge that the Minister and his relatives owned land in Kinalur.

Industries' support

Meanwhile, the Kerala State Small Industries' Association has saod that the agitation would scuttle development. Association president M. Khalid, on Wednesday, said the industrial growth centre developed over 15 years would remain stunted if good roads were not built to attract investors. A Malaysian company that had come forward offering to launch a project had already pulled out, dissatisfied with the condition of roads.

Mr. Khalid said the four-lane road would be an impetus to the growth of the footwear park for which 100 acres had been allotted in the growth centre. The footwear park would generate many jobs. By blocking the road project, its detractors would hamper industrial development in the district, he said.

VS petitioned

In an open letter to Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, the Jana Jagratha Samithi of Kinaloor has appealed to take immediate measures to prevent further harassment of people for opposing the government survey for the four-lane road project there.

“The police tried to crush a democratic protest staged by the people against a project that will damage the delicate eco-system of Kinaloor…You (Chief Minister) had seen in TV channels the way the police behaved and was kind enough to call back the police…even women and children were not spared. Though the police action was stopped, policemen are still hunting us. We are being condemned as anti-development communalists and Maoists,” the letter said.

‘Withdraw cases'

It was also critical of Industries Minister Elamaram Karim for defending the police action but was confident that the Chief Minister would intervene on behalf of the local people who were opposing the project.

The samithi demanded a probe into the police action at Kinaloor, abandonment of the Malikadavu-Kinaloor project and withdrawal of cases against the people.