Large-scale sea erosion issue erupts in Kerala Assembly
Thiruvananthapuram, June 1, 2021
The Congress-led opposition in the Kerala Assembly on Tuesday, for the first time in the 15th Kerala Legislative Assembly, walked out of the house to protest Speaker M. B. Rajesh's decision to disallow their demand for a discussion on the huge damage that has been caused across the state on account of widespread sea erosion.
Congress legislator P. C. Vishnunath moved a notice for an adjournment motion demanding that the heavy rains in the past few weeks have caused massive damage to the coastal areas and blamed the Pinarayi Vijayan government for not making any preparations to tackle the problem.
"Gone are the days of erecting a sea wall and such conventional measures. Scientific measures have to be taken. This government, which was in power for the past five years, failed to do anything to restore the popular beach road at Shangumugham, near here, even after four years of it being taken away by the waves. The Latin Church here has pointed out that there was a total lack of preparedness. Precious lives of fishermen have been lost at Vizhinjam, last week, the day the permission was given to go for fishing. There has been an all-round callous attitude of this government for long and they have not taken any steps," said Vishnunath.
Ever since the summer rains and the after-effects of the two recent cyclones that hit the state since early this month, in as many as 10 places sea erosions have left many homes damaged and have caused huge losses to the roads.
The worst affected were coastal areas in the Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, and other coastal areas in Kollam, Alappuzha, Thrissur, and in the northern districts.
Agreeing that the issues raised are of grave nature, Vijayan said steps will be taken to ensure that in the coming five years there will be comprehensive steps to prevent sea erosion.
"The pain of the fishermen will be seen as the pain of the state. We are duty-bound to protect the shores and we will do that without fail. There should be no misunderstanding that the issues at Shangumugham were not looked into," said Vijayan.
Unhappy with the Speaker disallowing the motion to be taken up for discussion, Leader of Opposition V. D. Satheesan, before leading the entire opposition out of the house, said it was most unfortunate that the motion was not taken up for discussion though the issue affects around one crore people.
"If this much havoc has been caused due to the summer rains, what would the situation be when the monsoon strikes the state. This has affected as many as nine out of the 14 districts of the state and all wish to know what sort of preparedness has the present state government, which has been in office for the past 5 years, done on this grave issue. It's most unfortunate there has been even no study," said Satheesan.