Fishermen along Chennai coast oppose shoreline renourishment project
65 villages resolve to oppose the initiative; plan to hold meeting every month, seek coastal zone map from govt
CHENNAI: A few days after a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) was formed to implement Shoreline Renourishment and Revitalization project, fishermen along the city coast have opposed the initiative.
A resolution against the project was passed against the project in a meeting, in which fishermen representatives from 65 villages between Kovalam and Ennore took part. The attendees have decided to conduct similar coordination meetings every month in all 65 villages. The meeting also passed a resolution to demand the government to prevent plastic pollution in the sea.
“Chennai Corporation report says that sea level will rise by 2050 affecting the city coast. The government should take measures to mitigate the impact rather than laying walkways and cycle tracks along the coast. The year 2050 is not long away,” said K Bharathi, a fisherman leader.
The resolution urged the government not to allow any project between Ennore and Kovalam and demanded a coastal zone management map.
Fishermen are demanding the government to implement norms that are already in place to protect their livelihood, Bharathi added.
“Without doing so, the government tries to carry out projects that will affect us. The state says that projects like these will bring revenue. But the fishermen community provides Rs 6,000 crore in revenue to the government each year. Despite the High Court order, the State is yet to take steps to prepare a coastal management map,” he said.
Estimated at Rs 100 crore, the shoreline project will be implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under the name ‘Chennai Shoreline Renourishment and Revitalization Project Limited.’ The project that was supposed to cover a 31 km shoreline between Marina and Kovalam was extended up to Ennore Creek north of Marina Beach to cover a total shoreline of 51 kilometres by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA). The planning authority has already invited consultants to prepare detailed project reports for Neelangarai and Thiruvottiyur beach fronts under the project.