Thiruvananthapuram: Dissatisfied with list of beneficiaries chosen for compensation in connection with the Vizhinjam sea port project, a group of fishermen gheraoed Kerala Ports Minister Ahammed Devarkovil on Wednesday while attending an event at Kovalam here.
A small crowd of fishermen who were dissatisfied with the list of compensation beneficiaries had gathered outside the venue and prevented his vehicle from entering the area. "The police acted swiftly to prevent any untoward incident, cleared the crowd and ensured the minister's vehicle entered the venue," the officer said. The officer also said that the minister attended the event and then left without any further incident. No case was registered in connection with the incident nor was anyone taken into custody.
The minister had reached the venue to distribute the compensation package to the fishermen for Vizhinjam port. A compensation of Rs 4.2 lakh was distributed to kattumaram boat workers and Rs 1 lakh to allied workers.
The protesters alleged that a section of fishermen did not receive the compensation due to the Vizhinjam port construction.
According to them, a list of 336 people was handed over for compensation when Oommen Chandy was the Chief Minister. The authorities handed over Rs 2 lakh each to 120 people. However, more than 1,500 workers have not been compensated. The fishermen said that the protest will be intensified.
The Vizhinjam port is being constructed, at a cost of Rs 7,700 crore, under the public-private partnership model. The Adani Group is the private partner in the development of what will become one of the largest ports in the world, once commissioned. The project, scheduled to be commissioned in 2019, was delayed due to issues with land acquisition.
Fishermen carried out violent protests opposing it, alleging that the port would adversely affect their livelihood.
(With PTI inputs.)