Kollam: The politicians need not go to Alappad seeking votes since the majority of the residents there have decided to boycott the election owing to the neglect suffered by them from the rulers. The voices of those protesting against the illegal sand mining have fallen on deaf ears so far.
Moreover, the mainstream parties had tried to sabotage the relay hun-ger strike under the ‘Save Alappad, Stop Mining’ campaign that has completed five months.
The protest being held under a canopy at Cheriyazheekkal has the support of cultural and environment activists and the youths who carry on the campaign on the social media under the hashtag #saveAlappad.
Magsaysay award winner Rajendra Singh, who is known as the Wate-rman of India, joined the protesters on Sunday declaring solidarity with the villagers.
“The Alappad protest council has not yet taken any decision to abstain from voting. But a group of youths has put forth the idea of a poll boycott. This is a reflection of what the politicians have done to Alappad by supporting the offenders,” Alappad protest council convenor K.C. Sreeku-mar told DC.
Even the expert committee formed under the direction of state government is yet to hear the grievances of the protesters.
The claims made by the company or the government bodies have fallen flat after the State Envir-onment Impact Assessm-ent Authority (SEIAA) said in an RTI reply rece-ntly that it had not given the Indian Rare Earths Ltd (IRE) environmental clearance for mining at Alappad. It is the responsibility of the district administration and the local body to take action against the illegal mining, it said.
According to the CRZ-1 notification by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change, the mining site at Alap-pad, which is a sea coast, requires impact study before an environmental clearance is issued.
The protest that started on November 1 has become a massive movement with various social and cultural activists declaring solidarity with the people of Alappad, despite sabotage attempts by the local body and bureaucrats.
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