The hearing of the panel of experts in Vizhinjam port begins

The People’s Committee appointed by Vizhinjam Samara Samithi is to investigate the impact
Vizhinjam port construction, which includes the construction of 3.2km-long pulimuttu (breakwaters) to reclaim 66 hectares of sea, will hold a public hearing starting Thursday.

The study focuses on how dredging and port construction has affected the region and examines the causes of coastal erosion. In addition, it is examined whether port construction poses a threat to marine habitats.

The committee, chaired by KV Thomas, former Dean of Fisheries University and former scientist at National Earth Science Studies, includes John Kurien, former CDS scientist, Terry Machado, earth science expert, KG Thara, former member of the State Disaster Management Agency, Probir Banerjee, Port Impact Studies Expert, and D. Pappachan, Former Circuit Judge, as members.

On Thursday at 11 a.m., the team will inspect the port construction site and conduct the public hearing from 2:30 p.m. On Friday, the expert team will visit Poonthura and Thoppu and conduct sessions there. After that they will visit Vettucaud, Kannanthura and Sanghumugham.

On June 17, the Expert Committee will hold a public hearing at Karimkulam Municipal House. The people in the coastal areas of the district were asked to present their grievances and problems they are facing due to the port construction to the panel of experts.

Vizhinjam Samara Samithi had set up its own expert panel to study the impact of the port construction, as their request to have their nominee included in the government-appointed panel of experts was not met. As part of the agreement between the Samara Samithi and the state government to end the 140-day strike, the government had set up a committee of experts headed by MD Kudale, former adjunct director of the Central Water and Energy Research Station (CWPRS) in Pune.

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