Archbishop Soosai wants plan for fishing community

August 1, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Fishermen of ThiruvananthapuramThiruvananthapuram, August 01, 2014: Archbishop Soosai Pakiam of Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday said Catholics were not against Vizhinjam Transhipment Port but would fight to protect the interests of fishing community affected by the project.

According to the environmental impact assessment report (EIA), the project would adversely affect 55,677 fishermen from belonging to 13 villages from Poonthura to Poovar.

“There is no guarantee from the state government that livelihood of fishermen would be protected,” he said.

The Latin rite archbishop said fishing community of Catholics on the costal belt of Kerala has suffered a great deal in the name of development in the past.

He referred to the displacement of Catholics for the titanium factory at Chavara in Kollam, Vallarpadam container terminal in Kochi region and ISRO project in Trivandrum.

The state government has failed to rehabilitate those who were displaced in such cases. “Unless there is a clear rehabilitation plan, we will not back away from our demands,” he said.

The archbishop also argued for increasing the focus area for rehabilitation since reclaiming 66 hectares of sea will cause coastal erosion in areas such as Poonthura and Perumathura.

– toi

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