Read in Hindi: 56 fishermen in Kerala have achieved justice by fighting a legal battle with a powerful corporate group for 14 years to save their employment. In fact, the 7 Star Kapico Resort built on Nediyathuruthu Island in the middle of Vembanad Lake in the Alappuzha district of Kerala is being demolished on the orders of the Supreme Court. The resort belongs to the Muthoot Group, a gold loan lender.
Kapico Demolition: Sequence of events
In the year 2007, Muthoot Finance purchases a beautiful 11.5-acre island situated in the middle of Vembanad Lake in the Alappuzha district to build the Kapico resort.
The fishermen in the backwaters of this island were traditionally given fishing rights by the Kerala government. Here 13 of their fishing nets were laid.
When the work of the resort started, construction goods came by boat, it was difficult to bring the goods to the island because of the fishermen’s nets. The company gets the fishermen’s nets removed by pressurizing the administration. Due to this, livelihood snatched from more than 56 fishermen. AK Salian, who is one of these fishermen, makes up his mind to fight a legal battle against it.
Legal Battle against Muthoot Group’s Kapico Resort
The fishermen, led by AK Sailan, claim that the Muthoot Group has bought an island that was never owned by anyone by feeding local politicians and officials money. This deal is illegal and the construction done here is against the Coastal Regulation Act.
In the year 2008, the fishermen file a petition in court, which is dismissed. In the year 2013, the matter reaches the High Court, where court orders the demolition of the illegal construction done against the Coastal regulation act, the company goes to the Supreme Court against this order but even there they do not get relief.
In this legal battle fishermen also got the support of the Fishermen’s Union of Kerala (TUCI) and some environmental activists.
In January 2020, the Supreme Court upholds the order of demolition of Kapico Resort. The demolition work has been delayed due to Covid-19, now it will be demolished in Phase Manner within the next 6 months. Muthoot Group will also have to bear the cost of its demolition. The Supreme Court has given a strict order that care should be taken not to harm the environment during demolition.
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