The newly formed platform of environmentalists to fight the implementation of the second phase of National Water Way-3 has decided to move the court against the government’s move to revive the project, on the grounds that no feasibility study had been conducted on it. The environment protection committee, comprising organisations from Aluva to Kasaragod formed on July 5 at Thalassery, has also decided to petition Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The attempt to revive the National Water Way project in the State has triggered protests at several places, with environmentalists drawing attention to the possible ecological damage it would cause. The project involves widening of the existing canals and building new ones to link major rivers in the State. Besides, the rivers will be dredged to accommodate large vessels. That will adversely affect inland fishermen, mangrove forests and the fresh water organisms that take shelter in them, they allege.

Another flip side of the project is that thousands of families will have to be evicted. “One-way water transportation is planned in Kozhikode city through Conolly Canal. At least 530 houses and 110 shops will have to be removed for the purpose,” said Kerala Nadi Samrakshana Samiti secretary T.V. Rajan, who is also the general convenor of the new committee. He added that the eviction would be the largest of its kind in the State in the name of development.

According to the committee, environmental, economic and social feasibility studies have not been done in the case of the project, which has been proved right in a report submitted by the Executive Engineer of Irrigation, Kozhikode Division. The EE has also invited suggestions for the study.

“We will come up with the draft suggestions at the committee meeting at Aluva on July 12,” Mr. Rajan said.

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