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Demand for Public Hearing before Commencement of Work on Artificial Reef at Kovalam
February 16, 2009

Click here to download 'Demand for Public Hearing before Commencement of Work on Artificial Reef at Kovalam-16 Feb 09', 82Kb. The same can be read below too.

Call for Action

Demand for Public Hearing before Commencement of
Work on Artificial Reef at Kovalam

16 February 2009

This is our letter to Shri. N. Mohana Kumar, The Chief Engineer, Harbour Engineering Dept., demanding a Public Hearing before commencement of work on artificial reef at Kovalam. Reasons raised are: inappropriate use of funds from Tsunami Rehabilitation Plan to promote a tourism product, loss of fisherfolk livelihood, and the basic question as to whether an artificial reef is of any protection against a Tsunami.

Shri. N. Mohana Kumar
The Chief Engineer,
Harbour Engineering Dept.


Sub: Demand for Public Hearing before commencement of work on artificial reef at Kovalam

Dear Shri. N. Mohana Kumar, 

Greetings from EQUATIONS!

EQUATIONS is a research, campaigning and advocacy organization charged with the vision of democratizing tourism by upholding the principles of equity, justice and sustainability.

This is to bring to your notice our concern about the work on the artificial reef in Kovalam your department is undertaking on behalf of the Tourism Department. We had objected the implementation of this project in December 2007 citing the following reasons:
  1. We do not understand the logic of sanctioning an artificial reef project for improving the surfing experience for tourists on the Kovalam beach, an area unaffected by Tsunami of 2004 under the funds allocated to Tourism Department from Tsunami Rehabilitation Plan of the central government. The funds should have been utilised for more direct rehabilitation benefits to communities affected by the tsunami
  2. Concerns have already been raised by the fishermen communities and movements that they fear that the fishing communities in Kovalam are likely to loose their livelihood
  3. The scientific community itself is quite divided in its opinion on whether artificial reefs are any protection against the potential devastating impact of a tsunami.
The detailed letter which we had sent to the Prime Minister and various other officials on this regard is attached for your perusal. Other civil society groups, fisher folk movements and international groups have also raised concerns similarly and these have also been widely circulated.

We were given to understand that a Public Hearing Process would be conducted before the implementation of the project in order that fishermen groups and other local communities can voice their concerns and these can be taken into account in a democratic, transparent and consultative way. As the works on the project has commenced, we demand that the Department along with the Tourism Department organise a Public Hearing ensuring proper awareness notice on the meeting to all the stakeholders well in advance. We look forward to your response.

Saroop Roy B.R.
Programme Coordinator
Kerala State Networking Programme

Copy To:
  • Dr. Venu V. IAS, Secretary, Tourism, Government of Kerala
  • Shri. Sivasankar M. IAS, Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala

For further details and to endorse this campaign, contact us
campaigns@equitabletourism.org, info@equitabletourism.org
+91-80-2545-7607 / 2545-7659
EQUATIONS, # 415, 2C-Cross, 4th Main, OMBR Layout, Banaswadi, Bangalore 560043, India