Kerala HC directs Police to ensure law and order at Adani Port site

The Kerala High Court on Friday directed police to ensure that law and order is maintained at Vizhinjam International Seaport Construction site.

The High Court’s direction comes in the wake of two petitions filed by Adani Ports and by its contracting partner Howe Engineering Projects, seeking protection in light of the ongoing protests by fisher folk against the construction of the port, near here at Vizhinjam.

For the past 11 days, the local fishing populace, led by the Latin Catholic dioceses here, is on a protest in and around the port site demanding a proper environmental impact study, rehabilitation of families who lost their homes to coastal erosion and rectifying coastal damages.

Consequent to the protests, the ongoing works at the port has come to a standstill and has caused losses to Adani Ports, post which it approached the court.

Based on the petitions, Justice Anu Sivaraman asked the Station House Officer and the Commissioner of Police concerned to take necessary steps.

“The concerned Station House Officer and the Commissioner of Police shall take appropriate steps to ensure that law and order is maintained in the locality,” ordered the court.

Adani Vizhinjam Port Pvt. Ltd. was selected as the concessionaire for the Vizhinjam Seaport Project and construction began on December 5, 2015. The port is being currently developed in landlord model with a Public Private Partnership component on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis.

The environmental clearance for the project was granted in 2014, before Adani Ports entered the fray, after several environment impact studies were conducted and that the same showed that the coast near the construction site is stable with little possibility of erosion.

The matter will be taken up again on Monday when the court will decide on Adani Port’s demand for permission to appoint central forces to take care of security as they are unable to work.

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