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Why Do Fishermen Oppose Vizhinjam Port?

Context

  • Vizhinjam, near Thiruvananthapuram, is on fire from both sea and land due to the under-construction Vizhinjam Port Project.
  • The Vizhinjam International Transhipment Deep-water Multipurpose Seaport is an ambitious project undertaken by the Government of Kerala.
  • It is primarily intended for container transhipment, as well as multi-purpose and break bulk cargo.
  • The port is currently being built using the landlord model, with a Public Private Partnership component on a design, build, finance, operate, and transfer (“DBFOT”) basis.

Relevance

GS Paper 3: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways Etc.

Mains Question

What exactly is the Blue Revolution? How can it overcome the sustainability challenge that India’s fisheries sector is currently facing? (250 words)


Why are protests erupting?

  • Protesters have been opposing the Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Limited’s construction work.
  • The Adani Group is building the port on a DBFOT basis.

What is the crux of the protest?

  • According to fishermen, the port work has exacerbated coastal erosion along Thiruvananthapuram’s coast.
    • An urgent scientific study to assess the impact of port work on the shoreline must be conducted by halting construction.
    • Additionally, approximately 300 families along the coastline were relocated to relief camps after their homes were destroyed by high-intensity coastal erosion.
    • Protesters demand a comprehensive rehabilitation package, a guaranteed minimum wage when the sea becomes rough due to bad weather, and subsidised kerosene for boats.

Why is the Vizhinjam project so important?

  • The port is located on the Indian Peninsula’s southern tip, just 10 nautical miles from the major international sea route and east-west shipping axis.
    • Within a nautical mile of the coast, it has a natural water depth of more than 20 metres.
    • The Vizhinjam port is expected to play an important role in the country’s and Kerala’s maritime development.
  • The port’s opening is expected to boost the growth of 17 minor ports in the state, as well as create thousands of new jobs.

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September 2022
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