Residents of Kothi in Kozhikode have been protesting against a proposed sewage treatment plant (STP) in the Kothi area for two days. The agitation intensified on Thursday, November 24, with local residents blocking the road, demanding that the project be scrapped as it may pose a health and environmental hazard. Many of the protesters were allegedly handled forcefully and arrested by the police. The protest intensified after the Kozhikode Municipal Corporation began constructing a compound wall for the STP.
The protestors attempted to stop Corporation officials and workers from commencing the work, in light of which the area saw heavy police deployment. According to reports, the residents said that the STP construction, in the densely populated area, would affect the environment and their health. Since the announcement of the project under the first phase of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), there has been stiff opposition from the local residents.
Political leaders reached the spot on Thursday and attempted to resolve the issue. However, the protestors alleged that the police used force even on children to remove them from the spot. However, Kozhikode Mayor Beena alleged a conspiracy behind the protest, questioning why children missed school to participate in the protest. Further, she also added that the protests against a developmental project were upsetting. â€śI want to ask those who oppose the project if they want these people to remain in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. My request to the people is that they should not oppose such developmental projects, unless there is a real problem,â€ť she said, while speaking to the media.