A move by the Kozhikode Corporation to construct a compound wall for the proposed sewage treatment plant (STP) at Kothi in Kozhikode on Wednesday led to widespread protests and subsequent arrests.
Local residents, mostly women, tried to stop Corporation officials and workers as they arrived at the site on Wednesday morning for the construction of the compound wall. The work was undertaken with heavy police security under six Assistant Commissioners as the injunction order issued by the Kerala High Court against construction on the plot had been removed. However, locals maintained that they would not allow the construction of the STP at the site, as it was a thickly populated area, and that they feared the project would affect environment.
The police took eight protesters into custody after they staged a blockade on the national highway at Kallai.
Several political leaders, including District Congress Committee (DCC) president K. Praveenkumar and Indian Union Muslim League leaders rushed to the spot and tried to prevail upon officials to stop the work. However, a part of the compound wall had already been built during the day. The Corporation is also determined to go ahead with the construction of the plant as the injunction order had been withdrawn.
On the other hand, local residents are adamant on their opposition to the project until it is shifted to another location.
There has been strong public opposition to the construction of the proposed STPs at Kothi and Avikkal Thodu, under the first phase of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation.