The fishermen community living in Vizhinjam, who are forced to shift to relief camps every year, has been raising the issue of coastal erosion for a while.

Breakwater construction on Vizhinjam port has caused high tides Kerala Fisheries MinPics:Sreekesh Raveendran Nair
news Coastal Erosion Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 20:06

While the debate on whether the dredging for Vizhinjam International Seaport has caused coastal erosion continues, Kerala Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma has said that the construction of breakwaters for the port indeed has repercussions.

“Though it had been argued that there won’t be any impact because of the port, now it has been confirmed that there have been repercussions. The breakwater construction as part of the project would come to around 3000 meters of which more than 600 meters has been completed. But even that has caused huge tides,” the minister said.

This is the first time that the minister has publicly admitted this. 

“Not that we don’t need development. But what we should think about is how coastal erosion can be resisted with parallel solutions as the problem will get worse when the entire construction of more than 3000 meters is completed,” she said.

The local people of the coastal village of Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram have been raising the argument for a while as coastal erosion has become an annual phenomenon that in turn results in their displacement.

Also Read: Adani’s port project in Kerala capital might be threatening ancient coastal village

J Mercykutty Amma

The minister’s assertion has come as an acknowledgment of the fishermen community’s viewpoint on the same.

More importantly, the minister made the statement at a seminar on coastal erosion- Reasons and Solutions, in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday and in the presence of people of Vizhinjam.

Coastal erosion in villages like Vizhzinjam gets aggravated during monsoon and according to the local people, it has become regular and got worse ever since the dredging for the port began in 2015.

Coastal erosion results in destruction of houses every time which forces the people to shift to relief camps. Chellanam in Kochi is equally  vulnerable to coastal erosion.

Regarding Chellanam, the minister said that the constant dredging at the Kochi port caused regular coastal erosion.

“In Chellanam, it has not been something that happened all of a sudden; but caused by the constant dredging. Last year, though the government began taking safety measures, they didn’t get completed as the contractor hired for the work was not capable enough to do it, and partially due to the non-availability of machinery,” the minister said.

The people of these coastal villages have been criticising the government for not constructing sea wall to protect their houses.

 

 

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