Vaiko demands cancellation of public hearing for Kaatupalli Port expansion

The MDMK leader said enough time had not been given to the public to learn about the project , and also said the project would harm the environment and affect the livelihoods of fisherfolk in the region

MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Wednesday demanded that the public hearing for the proposal to expand the Kattupalli Port, scheduled on January 22, be cancelled as enough time was not given to the public to learn about the project. Besides, thousands of people assembling in one place during the COVID-19 pandemic was not advisable.

Mr. Vaiko said if the meeting was not cancelled, he and other environmental activists would take part in the hearing.

In a statement, Mr. Vaiko said Adani Ports has planned to expand the port from 330 acres to 6,110 acres and has applied for a no-objection certificate and has submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment report as well. “This project will cause harm to the environment and also to the livelihood of fisherfolk in the region. Of the 6,110 acres, 2,291 acres belong to the people, 1,515 belongs to TIDCO and 1,967 acres will be the coastal area. Due to this, mounds of earth will be dumped on 2,000 acres of wetland spread over 6 km. This will cause irreversible damage to the environment,” he said.

According to him, if the expansion project was implemented, the quantity of fish would deteriorate, the livelihoods of more than 1 lakh Tamil-Andhra fishermen living in Abrahamapuram, Kalanji, Karungali, Kaatoor, Vayalur, Kaatupallikuppam and 82 other villages would be affected.

“Already, the distance between the sea and the shore in Ennore, which was earlier a few km, has shrunk to just a few hundred metres due to the construction of the Kamarajar Port. There is only an 8 km distance between Kaatupalli Port and Pazhaverkadu now. If the expansion project is allowed, whatever is left of the sea will erode and there is a danger of Kottralai river mixing with the sea. There is also a danger of this leading to flooding in Tiruvallur district and affecting over 35 lakh people,” he said.

Mr. Vaiko accused the Adani Group of leading to the destruction of the livelihood of more than 1 lakh fishermen in the region.

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