The people of Chellanam have expressed satisfaction over what their leaders described as an assurance from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday that the work on restoring damaged seawalls along the Chellanam coast would be expedited.
The assurance was given at a meeting of the representatives of Chellanam Janakiya Samara Samiti with the Chief Minister at the Government Guest House here, said Jerwin Joseph of the Samiti.
According to him, the people now expect the work to begin sooner than later. He also expressed hope that ₹8 crore required for the project would soon be sanctioned by the government. For the record, the residents of Chellanam had demanded construction of more seawalls and breakwaters in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi that wreaked havoc along coastal Kerala.
Mr. Joseph said the delegation that met the Chief Minister included Fr. Antony Kuzhivelil, a Catholic priest; president and vice-president of Chellanam panchayat Mercy Josey and K. D. Prasad and C.A. Dalphin. Earlier, John Fernandez and K.J. Maxy, MLAs, and CPI(M) district secretary P. Rajeeve had briefed the Chief Minister about the impact of the cyclone on Chellanam.
Protest at Thoppumpady
Meanwhile, people living along the coast between Fort Kochi and Chellanam held a protest at the BOT Bridge near Thoppumpady on Monday morning. The protesters blocked the bridge, bringing traffic to a grinding halt during the peak hour.
The protest was organised by Chellanam-Fort Kochi Theera Samrakshana Samiti, a group working for the protection of the coast between Chellanam and Fort Kochi. Fr. Samson Anjiliparambil, a patron of the Samiti, called upon the authorities to take up work on seawalls and breakwaters at the earliest. He demanded that breakwaters be built along the entire coast between Chellanam and Fort Kochi and added that piecemeal work would not be a solution.
He warned that the people of the region would launch a hunger strike if the authorities failed to take up work after a week.