Times of India – Azhikkal SILK unit lands in controversy

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29 August 2015 - KANNUR: Tension prevailed in Azhikkal on Friday when the local residents clashed with the management of the controversial ship breaking unit of the Steel Industries Kerala Ltd (SILK) here, alleging that the unit resumed the ship breaking ignoring the order of the Kannur additional munsif court which issued an injunction order asking the unit to stop the work.

According to the residents and the action committee, SILK’s activity was in violation of the court order and even the police supported the management.

“The court had issued the order last month, and the injunction was further extended till August 30 on the plea filed by three local residents saying that the unit was causing pollution,” said action committee chairman M K Manoharan.

“Though the court has clearly asked SILK not to do ship breaking anywhere near the estuary or Valappatanam river, now they are clearly violating the order and also use the police to target the residents who opposed it.”

However, when contacted, the unit management said that there is no violation of the court order and they just loaded the scrap of the ship they already broke earlier. “Moreover, the court order has clearly said the injunction is for breaking the ship near the estuary or Valappatanam river, but there is no ban on breaking the ship on the land,” said SILK unit manager P Manoharan. However, he claimed that the unit has not done the ship breaking in the land so far.

At the same time, the action committee said that the management’s claim is ridiculous because ship breaking is not possible on land and hence whatever they have done so far is against the court order, amounting to contempt of court. The breaking is done in the night hours, they alleged.

When contacted, district collector P Balakiran said if the SILK unit is doing ship breaking against the court order, action would be initiated against such activities.