The Kerala state Assembly witnessed fiery arguments from the Congress led Opposition after house Speaker MB Rajesh denied Oppositionâ€™s request for adjournment motion to discuss the pressing issue of coastal erosion, faced by numerous coastal villages of Kerala. The Opposition parties walked out following this. Congress legislator PC Vishnunath moved a notice for an adjournment motion stating that the heavy rains in the past few weeks have caused massive damage to the coastal areas and blamed the Pinarayi Vijayan government for not taking efficient measures to protect the coast in the past five years.
The coastal regions in the state had witnessed widespread damages during the recent cyclones Tauktae and Yass. "Gone are the days of erecting a sea wall and such conventional measures. Scientific measures have to be taken. This government, which was in power for the past five years, failed to do anything to restore the popular beach road at Shangumugham, near here, even after four years of it being taken away by the waves. The Latin Church in Thiruvananthapuram has pointed out that there was a total lack of preparedness,â€ť said MLA PC Vishunath.
He added that the lives of three fishermen were lost at Vizhinjam, last week, the day the permission was given to go fishing. There has been an all round callous attitude of this government for long and have not taken any steps, he added. Ever since the summer rains and the after effects of the two recent cyclones hit the state since early this month, in as many as 10 places sea erosions have left many homes damaged and have caused huge losses to the roads.
While Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan agreed that the issues raised are of grave nature, he added that there is no need to stop the present house and discuss the issue as the government has always been and will continue to be with the people of the coastal region. He added that steps will be taken to ensure that in the coming five years there will be comprehensive steps taken to prevent sea erosion.
"The pain of the fishermen will be seen as the pain of the state. We are duty bound to protect the shores and we will do that without fail. There should be no misunderstanding that the issues at Shangumugham were not looked into," said Vijayan.
Slamming this, Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said it's most unfortunate that the motion was not taken up for discussion, even as this issue affects around one crore people. "I'm humbly asking the CM who said the government will take measures, what have you done in the last five years? Where have you built sea walls or breakwaters," VD Satheesan asked.
"If this much havoc has been caused due to the summer rains, what would the situation be when the monsoon strikes the state. This has affected as many as nine out of the 14 districts of the state and all wish to know what sort of preparedness has the present state government which has been in office for the past five years done on this grave issue. It's most unfortunate there has been no study," said Satheesan and led the entire opposition out of the house. He also asked what the state government has done in the past five years to address the issues.
Satheesan also stated that Rs 12 crore was set aside to address the issue of coastal areas but he alleged that the government has not effectively implemented any measures.
Indian Union Muslim League MLA, PK Kunhalikutty also slammed the government. â€śThe Chief Minister said he will consider the issues seriously. But in the last five years, nothing has been done efficiently,â€ť he added, before walking out of the house.
(With IANS inputs)
Watch VD Satheesan's statement's in Assembly: