Chennai: Veteran film star Kamal Haasan, on Saturday, visited the Ennore Creek area and listened to people's grievances, days after he voiced concern over encroachment and fly ash from power plants affecting livelihood of the fishermen there.
The actor, who has been facing criticism that he was engaging only in "Twitter politics" with his posts on microblogging site instead of going to the people and working to resolve their problems, was given a tour of the creek area.
The actor heard the travails of residents, mainly regarding fly ash deposits.
He was accompanied by environmentalist Nithyanand Jayaraman and local people, and a video clip of his visit was released in Chennai by his publicist.
The local women requested him to "do something" to end problems due to pollution and claimed many families had to quit the locality.
Some of them even tried falling at his feet, but he stopped them.
On October 26, in a statement on Twitter, the actor had said that "Kosasthalaiyaru (river) near Chennai is the lifeline of fishermen".
He had said that though the river was not fully polluted, about 1,090 acres of land in the rivermouth was lost due to encroachment.
While just usual rains could flood North Chennai, he said about 10 lakh residents of North Chennai would be affected if the area was going to see more showers this monsoon, adding "this is a caution...not a criticism about what had happened (seen as a reference to 2015 floods)."
Flagging the issues of encroachment, environmental degradation and the need to prevent flooding, he said finding a "permanent solution for the people is the hallmark of a good government".
He had said the Vallur and North Chennai power stations in the area were depositing fly ash in the river, which has been opposed by environmental activists for a long time.
He blamed the government for not paying heed to the problem, despite opposition of fishermen and local people.
The actor said he had "heard" that further land was being "usurped" in the creek area in North Chennai.
Kamal Haasan's visit comes two days after he had said that he would be coming up with a "communication strategy" on November 7, his birthday, to interact with the youth.
Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan and VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan welcomed the actor's visit.
State Fisheries Minister and senior AIADMK leader D Jayakumar said while his visit and suggestions were welcome, views with ulterior motives were not acceptable.
The actor in a tweet on Saturday thanked both Thirumavalavan and Radhakrishnan for welcoming his visit and said it added to his enthusiasm.
Jayakumar's remarks came against the background of several AIADMK ministers saying that they would respond to Kamal Haasan's critical remarks after he joined politics.
Meanwhile, Tiruvallur district authorities, under which the creek area falls, said that the issue of pollution would be looked into....