Chellanam coastal village tense; residents protest by locking Panchayat office

Chellanam in Kochi continued to be tense with the residents staging a protest and even locking the panchayat office in protest against the government’s failure in protecting them from the high waves and erosion.

At nine in the morning, the agitators numbering about hundreds locked the office of the Chellanam panchayat office and sat on the road raising slogans. Traffic was blocked in the entire stretch of the coastal roads. The officials of the panchayat office could not enter the office and were escorted away by the police.

The agitators said that they would continue the protest till the demands are met. They also pointed out that no official had visited their houses and took stock of the damages. About 100 houses have been damaged in the showers.

Kochi Theera Samrakshana Samithi convenor T A Dalfine said that they would continue the agitation till a permanent sea wall is constructed. He also said that this was only a second phase of agitation and the protest would be strengthened in the coming days if the demands were not met.

Babu, a resident in Chellanam and part of the Samithi alleged that the government had failed in keeping its promise of building the sea wall. He also noted that the Chellanam agitation would be strengthened in the coming days. In the last week’s rains, about 600 houses were damaged and sea waters had gushed to about 500 metres on to the shore. For the last many years, the people in Chellanam were facing hardships because of erosion. They said that they have given many representations to the authorities for strengthening the sea wall but nothing has been done.  

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