Kerala

Protest against Athirappilly project intensifies

Rights of the Kadar tribe leave questions on the viability of the Athirappilly hydroelectric project.— Photo: K.K. Najeeb  

The Chalakkudy River Protection Forum has intensified protest against proposed Athirappilly hydroelectric project as procedures for evaluating seigniorage value of forest has been started.

“The Kadar tribe holds the Community Forest Rights over the 40,000 hectares of forestland at the proposed Athirappilly project site under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act. As the project cannot be implemented without their permission, the current move for evaluating seigniorage value of forest by the Forest Department is violation of the Act,” said forum chairman K.K. Shelly. A report prepared by Tribal Rehabilitation Commissioner B.C. Koshy has recommended that a decision on Athirappilly project should be taken only after considering the rights of the tribal people under the Forest Rights Act. Nine tribal settlements at the Vazhachal division have obtained Community Forest Rights, forum convener M. Mohandas said.

Two petitions questioning the implementation of the proposed project are under the consideration of the High Court, which had earlier pronounced two verdicts against the project, he noted. The forum leaders said all procedures in connection with the project, including the valuation of the forests, should be stopped.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 8:54:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/protest-against-athirappilly-project-intensifies/article8221295.ece

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