Human chain to protect Chengottumala


Mass protest against proposed quarry project at Kottur today

With the support of environmental activists, youth organisations and students, an action committee of the residents of Kottur grama panchayat will form a human chain on Friday covering about 11 km around Chengottumala, where people have been on an indefinite agitation against a proposed granite quarry project.

About 12,000 people are expected to line up for the protest seeking the intervention of the Industries Department and the State government to cancel all the previously granted permits for the project. Local committees have been formed in all the 19 wards of the grama panchayat to ensure the maximum public participation in the human chain and make it the biggest protest in Kozhikode district against a quarry project, said leaders of the Chengottumala Samrakshana Samiti, who had spearheaded a number of local and State-level agitations against the project. The human chain would cover Koottalida, Narayamkulam, Chedikkulam, Thandappuram, Puliyottumukku, Moolad, and Avarattumukku regions. Residents from the nearby Nochad and Kayanna grama panchayats too would join protest, they said.

For more than a year, the action committee has been agitating against the project alleging that the private company which purchased hectares of land in the hilly area is trying to get clearance for the project without addressing the villagers’ apprehensions. According to the committee, the project is proposed in an area which have witnessed landslips and other natural calamities.

K. Biju, a coordinator of the committee, said the project was given environmental clearance without any environmental impact study. “A panel appointed by the district administration has found out this fact and reported it to the State authorities,” he claimed.

Mr. Biju said the project would displace hundreds of families and push the ecologically sensitive region into more calamities. “People are united against it irrespective of their political affiliations. We have also the support of the local panchayat,” he added.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 3:38:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/human-chain-to-protect-chengottumala/article30108511.ece

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