Jal Satyagraha by Ennore residents

Around 400 residents of Ennore participated in Jal Satyagraha, forming a human chain in the waters of the Kosasthalaiyar river, demanding the state government stop industrial encroachment on the critically eco-sensitive wetlands of the region.
Fishermen formed a human chain on Wednesday in Ennore, protesting against reclamation of rivers
Fishermen formed a human chain on Wednesday in Ennore, protesting against reclamation of rivers


More than 1,100 acres of the Ennore Creek—consisting of saltpans and mangroves — have already been converted into industrial infrastructure by Kamarajar Port Ltd (KPL), TANGEDCO, NTECL Vallur, HPCL and BPCL. The residents, who for years have been protesting the encroachment of the Kosathalaiyar River and Ennore Creek, were enraged that a fraudulent Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) map, denying the existence of the Ennore Creek, was used to grant clearance to several industrial projects.
According to environmentalists, in July 2017, the State Coastal Zone Management Authority claimed that the originally approved CRZ map for Ennore declaring the entire region as a “No Development Zone” was replaced by an “updated” map in which the entire Creek is shown as a petrochemical park. Replies to Right to Information (RTI) queries subsequently revealed that there was no approval from the central government.
The original CRZ map, approved by the Government of India, in 1996 declares the entire Ennore Creek as a “No Development Zone.” Environmentalist Nityanand Jayaraman, said, “This means that Kamarajar Port, L&T Port, NTECL Vallur, HPCL and BPCL and other such structures, are violations. Every single brick of the Kamarajar Port or any other similar industrial structure built on the wetlands are encroachments and have to be removed. They have the same legal status as the huts on the banks of Cooum and Adyar, which are being removed on the High Court’s order.”
Terming the bid to convert the Ennore wetlands into industrial real estate as “India’s biggest water scam”, D. Selvaraj, a fisher elder and leader from Kattukuppam, said, “We will escalate our protests if the government refuses to uphold the law and protect our waterbodies. We demand that the fraudulent map is withdrawn immediately.”
There is palpable anger among the residents of Ennore. Jayaraman added, “On Wednesday, 95 boats and 400 people (men, women and children) participated.” Srinivasan R.L, a fisherman from Kattukuppam, said that the severe pollution of the creek has affected their livelihoods and has altered the hydrology of the ecosensitive area.
The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Union Ministry of Environment confirmed on Wednesday that a site visit will be conducted on January 5, to verify the legality and environmental acceptability of Kamarajar Port’s proposal to divert 1,000 acres of the Ennore Creek for port infrastructure.

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