Chellanam residents unhappy over coastal protection project

A file photo of Chellanam that witnessed heavy sea incursion during the monsoon. Residents of the coastal village have now sought comprehensive long-term package of measures to protect their lives and property.   | Photo Credit: ThulasiKakkat

Chellanam residents are ‘disappointed’ that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s announcement of a bunch of projects to protect Kerala’s coast did not hold anything new for the coastal village that has borne the brunt of severe sea erosion, made more severe since the Ockhi cyclonic storms hit the village in December 2017.

“The Chief Minister has only listed the projects that are ongoing. Work on geotube bags as temporary sea walls has been an utter failure,” said a spokesman for Pachima Kochi Theera Samrakshana Samiti on Saturday after the Chief Minister unveiled a ₹200-crore programme for coastal protection.

He said that even the project to build new breakwaters off Kannamaly and Malakhappadi coastal segment was an old one. “Contractors are not taking up the project despite the work being tendered,” he alleged.

Residents have called for a comprehensive long-term package of measures to protect their lives and property. The coastal segment between Fort Kochi and South Chellanam saw sea erosion and flooding during the first two weeks of August as the rain intensified.

Kochi Janakiya Vedhi too expressed its disappointment with the Chief Minister’s announcements. “It is an attempt to create a delusion even as elections to local bodies are around the corner,” said a statement issued by Vedhi leaders here.

The statement said that Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma had expressed the opinion that geotextile tubes were not effective enough for coastal protection. Despite that the Chief Minister highlighted works being done using the same technique, they said.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 6:52:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/chellanam-residents-unhappy-over-coastal-protection-project/article32763211.ece

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