After weeks-long protest by the fishermen against the Vizhinjam International Seaport, which according to them aggravated erosion along the coastline of Thiruvananthapuram, the State government is likely to make another attempt to end the stir. After a meeting with Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] State secretary M.V. Govindan and other leaders at AKG Centre here on Saturday, the protesters’ representatives told the media that the CPI(M) had promised to intervene in the fishermen’s strike.
As part of a bid to reach a consensus, the Thiruvananthapuram Archdiocese of the Latin Catholic Church, which spearheads the agitation, will submit a representation to the party on Monday making its stance clear on the suggestions put forth by the government during the previous talks. “The CPI(M) leadership has promised to take up the matter with the Cabinet subcommittee meeting to be held on Tuesday to find a solution to the issue,” the representatives told the media.
Work from Oct. 1
The move assumes significance against the backdrop of port developer Adani Group getting ready to start full-fledged work from October 1 after the monsoon break. The strike has affected port construction, logistics, and other related works. Recently, the High Court served notice on the State government on a contempt plea filed by Adani Vizhinjam Port Pvt. Ltd. alleging ‘wilful disobedience’ of an interim order by the court to provide security for the work at the project site.
Despite a court order on September 1 directing the State government to provide protection to resume construction, the port developer could not start work due to the fishermen’s protest. Though the office of the Subdivisional Magistrate directed the protesters to remove all illegal obstructions and sheds erected in front of the gate of the port construction site, they refused to remove them.
A study to assess the impact of the work on the shoreline after stopping the construction work, a rehabilitation package for the affected people, and kerosene at subsidised rates are some of the demands raised by the fishermen’s community.