Fishers accused Tangedco of changing the approved alignment of the conveyor belt with no prior permission and undertaking civil work that has encroached into the river and destroyed mangroves. They demanded that Tangedco stop its ongoing illegal work, remove the sand dumped in the river, restore the water body to its original condition and compensate the fishers for damaged livelihoods, including by offering jobs to people from the affected villages.
Ponneri Tahsildar Manikandan, who held talks with the protesters, directed the Tangedco to halt the construction. He also promised to convey the fishers’ wish to meet the district collector through his officers.
Konamudukku Pazhankalvai — which refers to the Old Channel of the Kosasthalai River — is the last remaining healthy stand of mangroves in the river’s tidal backwaters. Tangedco’s illegal dumping has buried a prominent fishing ground called Pazhankalvai Pin Paadu and covered the biologically active mud where prawns breed with dredged sea sand, said a statement from the Save Ennore Creek Campaign.