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Why Kerala Fisherfolk Are Opposing The Adani Built Multipurpose Seaport

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Thousands of fisherfolk in Kerala have taken to the seaports, covering it from the land and sea in opposition to the Adani Ports and SEZ construction of Vizhinjam International Transhipment Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport.

The port will be able to steer the biggest cargo ships and is expected to become one of the most crucial ports in the international shipping routine. Simultaneously, it is being built under the PP model with the funding of Rs. RS 7,525 crore.

The fisherfolk are protesting against the unscientific construction of groynes, artificial sea walls called “pulimutt” in natal tongue. They also fear that the construction might snatch their livelihood and their stockpile of savings. Moreover, the port might aggravate coastal erosions and wash away the homes of the fisherfolks.

Fishermen Forum to meet Kerala CM, Shipping Ministry over port expansion -

They have received backing from the Latin Catholic Church and opposition parties like Congress. The parties are requesting a stop to the construction and the conduction of an environmental study.

Though the Congress was the ruling party when the foundations of the project were laid in 2015, they argue that initially weather conditions posed a threat to the coastal regions of eastern and southern-eastern India but now, the entire state of Kerala might face the consequences of the massive construction.

A series of talks revealed the several demands made by the community. The demands include financial aid to fisherfolk when weather warnings are issued, rehabilitation of families who lost their livelihood due to sea erosions, reimbursement to families who lost their loved ones in fishing accidents, subsidized kerosene and a stop to the construction of the sea port near the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram.

Other than the request for subsidized kerosene and terminating the construction of the seaport, the state government is willing to meet all other demands.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the Assembly that the government is looking to provide rehabilitation to the fisherfolk by providing them with rented properties. Furthermore, to put their words into actions, the state government has set in motion a project worth Rs. 2450 crore to reinstate the members of the community who were displaced due to coaster erosion and coastal regulation zone rules.

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