KOCHHI, India (Reuters) – South Indian police stepped up security on Monday around the Viginjam port, which is being built by billionaire Gautam Adani’s group, on Friday. Dozens were injured in clashes with protesters in a fishing village last weekend.
Construction at $900 million megaport project at southern tip of India has been suspended More than three months after protesters (mostly Christians, led by a Catholic priest) built a 1,200-square-foot shelter and blocked the entrance to the site. They blame port development for coastal erosion that has hit livelihoods.
Late Sunday night, villagers raided a police station More than 80 people, including 36 police officers, were injured during the clashes to protest the arrest of some who opposed the project, senior officer Ajith V told Reuters.
Kerala police had sent reinforcements to the Vijinjam area to prevent further violence, he added.
“Additional personnel have been deployed from neighboring districts. We are prepared to face any situation,” he said.
Another state police officer, who declined to be named, said the number of officers guarding the mega-transshipment port had increased to 400 from about 300 previously.
The port, which will be India’s first container transshipment hub, is located approximately 6 km (4 miles) from Kovalam, a Kerala tourist attraction internationally known for its beaches.
The Adani Group points to cited research showing that the port complies with all laws and is not linked to shoreline erosion. says.
Once completed, the port will compete for business with Dubai, Singapore and Sri Lanka on lucrative east-west trade routes, making it strategically important for both India and Adani, Asia’s richest and world’s third-richest. It becomes a port.
The first phase of construction was due to be completed by December 2024, but the Adani Group said in court filings that the protests had caused “huge losses” and “substantial delays” to the project. .
Five years ago, Australian environmental activists launched the ‘Stop Adani’ movement to protest the Carmichael coal mining project in Queensland. There, activists concerned about carbon emissions and damage to the Great Barrier Reef forced Adani to scale back production targets, delaying the first shipments from the mine for years.
Written by Aditya Kalra.Edited by Simon Cameron Moore
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