The work of the port project is at a crucial stage now. Any attempt to scuttle it will be a great injustice to future generations of people of Kerala. We have contributed much to reach this stage and there is no plan to stall the works,” Vijayan said in the Kerala assembly while replying to an adjournment motion moved by the oppositon.
The government is willing to talk to all concerned as several rounds of discussions have been held. The port work alone cannot be blamed for sea incursion, he said, blaming climate change for rough seas.
Giving a clean chit to Adani the chief minister said “We cannot blame the port work alone for sea incursion and depletion of some beaches, including Shangumukham and Valiyathura. Climate change also played its role,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal (NGT) have given their nods to the project and rejected claims of severe coastal degradation. The agitation was well planned, and most protestors were not from Vizhinjam, the CM said.
Work on the port project remained parlaysed for a week after the protestors entered the site demanding suspension of all work. Due to large-scale construction and breakwater projects, fishermen asserted that their livelihood took a big hit, while earlier promises of rehabilitation were not met.
The fishermen are demanding that the Kerala government conduct fresh study into the environmental impact of the Port project and addressing the grievances of coastal inhabitants. The Project conceived three decades ago, the Vizhinjam port, with a 20-metre natural depth and 12 nautical miles away from the international ship channel, is expected to be commissioned by October 2023.