Kochi: Residents of Chellanam launched a relay hunger strike on Monday against the government's failure to find a permanent solution for the sea incursions in the area. The residents' demands include the construction of a tetrapod seawall from Kannamali to Fort Kochi on a wartime basis and the reconstruction of the coast by collecting soil from Cochin Port.
The agitation is organised by Janakeeya Vedi. The protesters alleged that lapses in the construction carried out by the Cochin Port led to coastal erosion and sea attacks in the area.
"The seawall only covers 7 km in the area. The government had promised that sea wall construction would start by November. But the project has not yet received any approval," a resident.
In July, the district authority had promised to take measures to meet their demands. But no action has been taken yet. Though sea attacks are not intensified in the area at present, the residents are worried that the tidal waves will leave their houses flooded in the next rains.
Hence, Chellanam natives have vowed that they would continue the indefinite hunger strike till the government intervenes to solve their problems.
In July, over 300 houses in the area were completely inundated after the sea attack intensified. Tetrapods were installed only in a small part of the coastal area stretching from Chellanam south. However, no action was initiated to extend the work to the Kannamaly area.
The residents complain that sea incursion has been troubling the Kannamaly area for a long time. They alleged that the authorities are only making arrangements to open relief camps for them and no action is being taken to protect their property.