Thousands took part in a human chain organised on Saturday evening in the 17-km Chellanam-Fort Kochi coastal corridor, pledging solidarity with the agitation against the Vizhinjam project.
They demanded that construction works be halted till an independent team of experts conducted a study on how the project would affect the coastal belt and the life of the largely fisher community in Vizhinjam.
Organised jointly by the Kochi and Alappuzha Latin archdioceses, it was inaugurated by Joseph Jude, vice president of the Kerala Regional Latin Catholic Council. Kerala Catholic Bishops Council secretary general Father Jacob Palakkapilly gave the keynote address.
The protesters also demanded extension of the tetrapod seawall from Chellanam up to Fort Kochi, saying that dredging for the Kochi port and the adjacent Vallarpadam Container Transshipment Terminal was to blame for large-scale coastal erosion. The government failed to take precautionary measures against it, they said.
On an even worse situation on the Vizhinjam-Shanghumughom beach corridor when just 30% of the Vizhinjam port works got over, they said it was largely due to non-adherence to scientific port construction.
Outreach events were hosted at 25 other venues to highlight the environmental and livelihood threats posed by the port project.