Colachel Port Project: A Disaster in the Making states Narmada Bachao on World Fisheries Day November 21st, 2016
We, activists and farmers of Narmada Bachao Andolan and our associates resolve today to support the struggle against the Colachel port by the fisherpeople, NFF and NAPM with other movements and organisations, including the struggle against nuclear energy.
Considering that the Vallarpadam port in Kerala, with high claims to bring in development benefits, has almost failed and that the Vizhinjam port by Adanis near Trivandrum, is going to affect the fishing and coastal communities, the fisherpeople challenging the massive project of Colachel port need utmost attention. When this new port is so much in proximity with Adani’s port, no one can accept the necessity and indispensability of this ecologically destructive project.
The project, as per the techno-feasibility report for the port, is certainly planned based on the traffic between 2020-2045 which is highly risky. There are a number of geo-technical risks which too are recorded in the report. Moreover the land availability for the project, estimated in the project’s present plan is to be beyond reclaimed land leading to acquisition and eviction of not only the habitats and houses in five villages, including the densely populated ones, but the requirement is also likely to be increased in the upcoming phases. This is also obvious from the experience of various projects, in which infrastructural aspects invariably get expanded and land requirement too escalated. Displacement affecting fishing communities and others can’t get compensated as in the experience in Narmada and hundreds of projects in the past. The loss of livelihood of Fishworkers is certainly to be quite severe and can’t be compensated or replaced. Even the rapid techno-feasibility report brings out the serious impacts to occur in the ecology due to reclamation involving drudging, affecting the biota and dumping of the dredged material. This in turn is to affect the marine water quality and the aquatic wealth which is livelihood of thousands of families. The water requirement during the long constructional phases is to be as much as one million litre per day, that too of portable water affecting the needs of Enayam urban area as well. The impact will be on both surface and ground water as the experts too have noted. There will be many reasons for affecting surface water sources including spillage of pollutants to release of contaminants.
While the experts and government agencies may claim that mitigatory measures are proposed and will be executed, the same has not been witnessed in very many projects in the river valleys as well as coastal regions.
We therefore, support the coastal communities and Fishworkers of Tamil Nadu, united and committed in:
1. Saying NO to the undemocratically imposed and unscientifically planned project of Colachel port.
2. Asserting that no such project should be pushed and imposed on the coasts, without acceptable and consent of the communities living on the marine ecosystem.
3. Demanding that all documents, reports, etc. related to the projects must be transparent and must be made available to the strugglers and supporters.
4. Suspend all works and processes related the project immediately by the Tamil Nadu and central government.
5. Withdrawing from all activities that would destroy the fishing grounds, and accepting people’s rights.
We, the Narmada Bachao Andolan, affiliated to National Alliance of People’s Movement, extend our full support and commitment to the movement against the destructive project of Colachel port.
Mukesh Bhagoria, Rahul Yadav, Medha Patkar, Gendabhai Bhilala, Kamla Yadav, Hemant Gupta, Akash, Bhagirath, Rohit Singh, Shabnam Yadav
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