Call for immediate steps to protect Chellanam coast

Govt. should not go ahead with ‘Punargeham’ project, say protesters

The State government must act immediately to take steps to protect the Chellanam coast from sea erosion, said Jackson Pollayil, State president of the independent fishers’ union Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, here on Monday.

He was speaking at a protest organised by Chellanam residents under the aegis of the Chellanam Kochi Janakiya Vedhi in front of the office of the Deputy Director of Fisheries on Monday.

The protesters demanded that the government should not go ahead with the ‘Punargeham’ programme if the intention was to forcibly rehabilitate people. The programme is meant to relocate people living in areas facing serious sea erosion threat.

The protesters alleged that the government was slow in acting on the measures to contain sea erosion. While there are reports that work worth ₹344-crore to contain sea erosion had received administrative sanction, the promise was that seawall erection using tetrapods would be launched by early August, they said.

The coastal segments like Chalakkadavu, Kannamali and Malakhappadi were facing serious sea erosion threat. Though the first government under Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that geotextile bags would be used to build protection walls, they were erected only after strong protests from the people, said a communication from the Janakiya Vedhi.

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