Azheekal, which has been witnessing strong agitation against the ship breaking unit of Steel Industries Kerala Limited (SILK), is going through another phase of agitation with the authorities going for ship dismantling in the open Azheekal Pulimath region.
For the last two days, the people in the region had resisted the move to dismantle the ship, which has been struck in Azheeklal Pulimath. This ship was washed away to the Pulimath after the tug broke while it was being brought to the SILK yard for dismantling.
On Sunday morning (August 18), a group of people had arrived at the beach with gas cutters and other equipment. However, the people who were vigil in the region protested against the move and the workers returned. The workers came back the next day but they could not do anything as the people were already there protesting against the move.
This one stranded at Azheekal Pulimath is one of the two ships that were brought to SILK for dismantling. The other one is struck at Dharmadam, which is about 45 km away from the company.
Pointing out that they were aware that the ships would be dismantled in the places where they were struck as it was difficult to move them out from there, Kappalpoli Virudha Samithi (committee against ship breaking) leader M K Manoharan said that they would never allow the dismantling of the ship at Pulimath. “Ship breaking in an open space is illegal. No law permits this. With respect to SILK, they even do not have any license for ship breaking and are indulged in this activity illegally,” he told www.kadapuram.com.
He stressed that the people at Azheekal would not allow converting the beach into a ship breaking coast. “Already the people in the region have got worst experience of SILK. We do not want more damages to be caused on the people and the environment,” he said.
Manoharan said that SILK authorities, who think that it was not practical to bring back the vessels to their unit, will try to demolish them at Pulimath and Dharmadam. He said that the people are vigil and would never such an illegal activity to happen in the beach.
“The authorities are yet to respond to such an illegal activity by SILK. It is as if the political parties and the government itself are in support of such an illegal activity,” he said.
Azheekal region has been witnessing strong protests against the alleged illegal ship breaking at SILK. Earlier, www.kadapuram.com has reported about the emergence of cancer, skin and eye diseases and the need to conduct a health survey in the region. Moreover, the whole environment, including the air, has been polluted.