A day after the letter to his fans and activists on the environmental crisis at the Ennore Creek and the Kosasthalaiyar river near Chennai, actor Kamal Haasan swung into action on Saturday morning as he took off with a few environmental activists in the city to visit the creek. Accompanied by activist Nityanand Jayaraman, Haasan visited the creek and interacted with the residents in the area.
In an official video released by the actor’s office, Haasan, clad in a white shirt and jeans, was seen hearing Nityanand explain how 1,000 acres of the creek was all set to be encroached upon by the expanding Kamarajar Port Limited and how the ecologically sensitive zone had been completely breached. He was also seen discussing the emissions from the North Chennai Thermal Plant, with the people living near the creek.
Haasan tweeted a letter on Friday, which said, “I hear that the work is on to encroach upon 1000 acres of the creek in the guise of expanding the Kamarajar Port Limited. Any state that does not give the poor the same help and priority that it gives to land dealers is like the riverbank that ignores a good river running by it.” Stating that the Kosasthalaiyar river near Chennai has not yet turned into a drain and still provides livelihood to fishermen, he said the people raising their voices is like “blowing a conch into a dead man’s ear”.
Haasan further said the river is several times bigger than the Adyar and Cooum rivers and that the state had lost 1,090 acres of the creek to encroachments. He raised his concern about the Vallur and North Chennai Thermal plant continuing to dump their ash into the river. “The government has been indifferent to this even while environmental activists have been protesting over the years,” he said.
Haasan’s visit to the creek has energised the protesting fishermen and the activists. “Our livelihood has been affected. Now that Kamal Haasan has come here to hear our concerns, I feel the government will soon interfere,” says R. Devarajan, a fisherman.