Kerala

Chellanam residents warn of halting port activities

People of Chellanam staging a protest in front of the Cochin Port Authority at Willingdon Island on Friday.

People of Chellanam staging a protest in front of the Cochin Port Authority at Willingdon Island on Friday. | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkt

Residents of Chellanam and Kochi will jointly halt port activities if the Cochin Port Authority (CPA, previously Cochin Port Trust) fails to take steps to protect the coastline from sea erosion “caused by constant dredging of the shipping channel,” office-bearers of Chellanam-Kochi Janakeeya Vedi have warned, following tens of hundreds of residents laying siege to the CPA office on Friday afternoon.

Alleging that the port was making undue gain by selling soil that it dredged out of the shipping channel, they demanded that it be deposited on the coast instead. It will help reclaim the vast coastline land that was lost due to sea erosion triggered by dredging, they said.

The siege was opened by Mariamma George Kurishinkal, chairperson of the Janakeeya Vedi. The office-bearers attributed the rampant sea erosion, especially along the Chellanam coast which gets inundated in adverse weather, to continuous dredging, causing an increase in depth of sea along the coastline. There is no other alternative but to deposit the dredged soil along the coast to prevent it, they said.

Enraged at the alleged inaction by the port authorities, the protesters, including women and children, raised slogans, asserting their right to live with self-respect. The CPA, which garnered revenue from the sale of dredged materials, owed them a reply, since it had turned a blind eye to coastal residents living a pitiable life due to sea erosion, they said.

Joseph Jayan Kunnel, chairman of the NGO, and Father Arnito Paul spoke.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 10:37:25 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/chellanam-residents-warn-of-halting-port-activities/article65439668.ece