KSSP district president V.N. Jayachandran observes that there is no flood threat at present and the process should be halted. Local residents are concerned about the sand removal
The Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) has urged the government to immediately stop the ongoing dredging activities at Thottappally pozhi and transportation of mineral-rich sand from there.
In a statement here on Tuesday, KSSP district president V.N. Jayachandran observed that there was no flood threat at present and the process should be halted. Local residents were concerned about the sand removal.
The government allowed the removal of sand from the pozhi and desilting of the leading channel of the Thottappally spillway to ensure the smooth flow of floodwaters from Kuttanad into the sea. The sand is given to the Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML).
"There is no flood threat, but sand removal continues unabated. The KSSP is opposed to it. The removal of sand from the pozhi should be carried out in a limited way to ensure the flow of floodwaters through the spillway to the sea," Mr. Jayachandran said.
Local residents, who are up in arms, allege that the government is engaged in large-scale mineral sand-mining under the disguise of flood mitigation. The coastline is prone to severe sea attacks and coastal erosion. Residents fear that the ‘sand mining’ would prove detrimental to the people residing along the shorelines from Valiazheekal to Punnapra.
"The government should conduct an environmental study to assess the impact of dredging on the coast. The authorities have a responsibility to allay the concerns of the local residents," said Mr. Jayachandran. The KSSP also called for a study on redepositing sand, after separating minerals, at the coast.
The large-scale removal of mineral-rich sand from the pozhi in the name of flood mitigation began in May last year. A few months later, the process was halted. However, removal and transportation of sand were resumed in May this year, ahead of the onset of the monsoon season.
Meanwhile, the indefinite relay satyagraha being staged under the aegis of the Karimanal Ghanana Virudha Ekopana Samithi against the mineral sand-mining at Thottappally completed 111 days on Tuesday.
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