9 April 2014 - Kannur: People living close to the Azheekal harbour have become more vociferous against activities in a ship-breaking centre here which is believed to be polluting water bodies in the vicinity.
With authorities are allowing even foreign ships to be broken down here, people have become more demonstrative and their protests are gaining momentum with each passing day.
Ship breaking yards release a lot of pollutants into the water and the area is slowly becoming a preferred spot for those, including foreign companies, who are looking to easily dump toxic pollutants. Locals are peeved that even while ship-breaking operations have been banned in the entire country for their potential to pollute waters, the activity is being carried out unabated in Azheekkal. Many protests have turned violent and some days ago, people broke into the centre leading to confrontation and tensions.
There are complaints that the pollutants are causing severe skin disorders among people living along the river. Yet, the lack of sympathy from authorities is causing a lot of irritation for the locals.
While authorities in the ship-breaking centre have made it clear that they are not in a position to stop the activity any time soon, local people are teaming up to increase agitations and focus their protest. Even though many government departments had initiated inquiries into the functioning of the centre, no concrete action have been taken yet.