Sunday, May 25, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment |
By Our Special Correspondent
The delegation virtually served notice on the Government for an agitation in the district if this decision was not withdrawn. The people of the coastal belt would form a `human fortress' from Valiyazheekkal village to Alappuzha town on June 16 in protest against the Government's move, Mr. Sudheeran later told presspersons.
The composition of the delegation showed that the protest cut across political affiliations. The CPI(M) MLA, Thomas Isaac, the Congress MLA, K. C. Venugopal, the president of the District Panchayat, C. S. Sujatha, the chairperson of Alappuzha municipality, Molly Jacob, DCC secretary, Johnson Abraham, INTUC's district president, A. K. Rajan and social workers, Paul Arackal and Shajan Khan were among those in the delegation.
Last month the Cabinet had given its nod to the Industries Department's proposal to grant lease for mining mineral sands in the region to a joint sector company called Kerala Rare Earths and Minerals Limited.
The company is promoted by a Kochi-based firm, Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited, along with the Union public sector Indian Rare Earths Limited and the State public sector Kerala State Industries Development Corporation.
Mr. Sudheeran said the people of the region had serious apprehensions about the project. The narrow stretch of land from Trikkunnapuzha to Valiyazheekkal, lying sandwiched between the Kayamkulam estuary and the sea, was an ecologically very fragile area, prone to severe sea erosion even in the summer months.
The seas off this stretch, as well as the rest of the district's coast, was famous for the occurrence of `chakara' (mud bank formation), which brought rich rewards for the traditional fishermen.
He said when this proposal was first mooted, several organisations in Alappuzha district had requested the Government not to proceed with it without an objective study on what its impact would be. The Government had ordered a study, but the way it was conducted, the people had genuine doubts about its objectivity.
``The study was conducted in complete secrecy. Subsequently, though they called a public hearing, it was intended more to present their arguments than to hear what the people of the region had to say about the proposal'', Mr. Sudheeran said.
Those having stakes in the mining project were resorting to all kinds of strategies to push through their programme. "They are employing both bribery and bullying tactics to silence protest'' he said.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of