Protests mount as Adani Group tries to resume construction of Rs 7,500-Cr Vizhinjam port

Protestors block movement of granite (rock stone) laden trucks to the Vizhinjam project site in front of the main gate on November 26, 2022. Photo: Manorama.

Thiruvananthapuram: Amid the ongoing protests, the Adani group’s attempts to resume the construction works at the Vizhinjam port today have escalated tension in the area.

The group’s letter to the State Government, indicating that construction works at the project site at Vizhinjam port would resume today, has triggered the tension. The ongoing fishermen’s protest against the project turned violent.

Envisaged as the country's first container transhipment port, the $900 million project seeks to plug into the lucrative shipping trade flowing between juggernaut manufacturers in the East and wealthy consumer markets in the West, according to a Reuters report.

The leaders of the protesters informed that they would continue the protest and appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court’s order.

The works have been stalled following protests led by the Latin Church against the Vizhinjam Port construction for the past three months. The High Court had directed to ensure security for the port construction works at Vizhinjam.

Tension prevails as the protestors including women are sitting on the road in protest. Those in favour of the project have also gathered against the protests, leading to further tension and stone-pelting between both groups.

As the news of the Adani group resuming work today spread, the fisherfolks gathered and intensified the protest. A large posse of Police was deployed here considering the situation.

The protestors blocked the movement of granite (rock stone) laden trucks to the project site in front of the main gate to the site.

They laid on the floor in protest. The High Court had directed to clear the protest shed and to not cause a hindrance to the port construction works.

As the protestors raised slogans standing in front of the trucks, the police personnel surrounded the trucks and provided security.

The protestors crossed the Police line, went closer to the stone-laden trucks and raised slogans. An argument ensued between the protestors and the Police personnel. Incidents of scuffles between the Police and the protestors were also reported.

There were minor conflicts between the protestors and the groups in favour of the project too.

Those in favour of the project demanded that the Police must take the necessary action to enable the trucks to move to the site.

Attempts, led by Church priests, were made to dissuade the protestors.

The protestors have been demanding to halt the port construction works at Vizhinjam and study the coastal erosion here.

They also demanded to build homes for those who had lost their houses to sea rage urgently.

The Government is of the stand that the port construction works cannot be stopped.

The authorities said all other demands by the protestors have been considered.

It is 102 days after the protests started that the Adani group tries to transport rock stones for the construction to the project site.

Though the company had sought permission to resume the stalled construction works, the government had not responded to it.

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