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Vizhijam port project of Adanis in deep trouble due to fishermen's agitation

Construction work in the Rs 7525 crore sea port project at Vizhinjam in south Kerala was crippled for ten days due to the ten day agitation by the local fishermen resulting in huge losses to the Adani group which is implementing the project against heavy odds.

The agitation has been temporarily suspended pending implementation of the assurances given to the fishermen by the district administration on November three.

The fishermen's agitation was suspended temporarily when the Tiruvananthapuram district administration gave assurance to the agitating fishermen on the compensation amount and the rehabilitation package. The assurance given by the district administration includes setting up of a permanent monitoring committee to examine the grievances of the residents regarding the project

The administration also promised to take decisions regarding the disbursal of livelihood compensation to the fishermen before November 30. A survey will be completed within ten days to examine whether more job opportunities can be provided in the port project for the local people

We are temporarily calling off the agitation in view of the assurances made by the government and the district administration,” secretary of the committee formed by the Latin Church Esac Johnny said. “The district administration has assured us that the list of ‘Kattamaram’ fishermen and shore seine (Karamadi) fishermen who are yet to receive the compensation will be finalised by November 30. 198 of the latter group remain to be compensated,” he said.

A team led by the District Collector will visit the houses near the project site to look into the complaints regarding the damage caused by the drilling of piles for the project. The local people had stalled work at Mulloor-Vizhinjam on October 24 alleging the government had betrayed them with regard to adequate compensation and rehabilitation measures.

On October 25, it was tentatively decided the collector will meet the demonstrators on October 30 and the church committee had even announced that the agitation was being called off. But under pressure from one section, which refused to end the agitation, the committee had revoked its earlier decision. The October 30 meeting did not take place since the district administration wanted the strike to be called off first.

The conciliation meeting finally took place on November three after the administration scaled down its demand. The Adani Group had been in constant touch with the government to ensure a quick end to the strike.

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