Latin Catholic church comes out against Vizhinjam project

Saturday, Aug 1, 2015,20:55 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | The Latin Catholic church in Kerala has come out against the multi-crore Vizhinjam International Deep water multi-purpose Seaport, contending that the project when commissioned would adversely affect the livelihood of traditional fishermen.
The protest by the Church comes when the state government is all set to sign construction agreement with the Adani Port on August 17 for the Rs 7,000 crore project.
Latin Caholic Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram in a Pastoral letter warned the government that the project would be stalled at any cost if it moved ahead with port work without considering the demands and grievances of fishermen.
Archbishop Dr Soosa Pakiam M said in the letter, to be read out in churches tomorrow during Sunday mass, that the call for protest was made in the wake of negative attitude of the government in not announcing a rehabilitation package for fishermen whose occupation and habitation would be affected.
Government has failed to remove the apprehensions of the coastal people, the letter said. Nearly 32 coastal villages with more than 50,000 fishermen would be affected when the port becomes operational, the letter claimed.
It also said the Church was not against development, but was only protecting the interest of coastal people who would be affected due to the project.
The government had decided last month to award the project contract to the Gujarat-based Adani group, over-ruling stiff political opposition from CPI(M)-led LDF.
The construction work of the long-pending project is slated to commence on November 1, the state’s formation day.
The project was first proposed in 1991 but did not materialise due to various reasons. It got a push after the present UDF government came to power in 2011.
LDF had objected to implementing the project in private sector and had levelled allegations of corruption in the deal.