Speakers at a convention on sea erosion in Chellanam panchayat urged the State Government to give an ear to suggestions by people’s groups instead of promoting projects like K-Rail, which involved enormous investments.
Social and environmental activist C.R. Neelakandan, who inaugurated the convention here on Thursday, said the Chellanam-Kochi Janakiya Vedhi, which leads a movement demanding Government action, had put forward various proposals to contain sea erosion.
The Vedhi has been on protest mode for the last two years, and Thursday marked a new phase of action by its members, said V.T. Sebastian, its convenor.
The Vedhi said the programme to rehabilitate people from coastal areas and the Blue Economy proposals would not help coastal residents. It felt that the proposal to set up tetrapods to resist sea erosion should be implemented in a scientific manner.
Jackson Pollayil, secretary, Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, an independent union of fishers, too said the Blue Economy proposals would not help coastal residents.
The convention demanded a time-bound completion of the ₹344-crore project to contain sea erosion along the Kochi-Chellanam coast. There is also a demand to extend tetrapod protection measures from the Chellanam harbour area to Cheriyakadavu, CMS, Kattiparambu, Kaithaveli, Manasseri, and Saudi.
One of the earlier proposals was to use materials dredged from the Kochi shipping channel nourishment in areas along the Chellanam coast.