CLOSE TO a week after a protest against the upcoming Vadhavan port in Dahanu staged by Vadhavan Bandar Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti (VBVSS), local residents opposed to the construction of the port are inviting global participation for ‘Vadhavan Port Protest World Oratory Competition’ from December 13 to 20. Inviting speakers from around the world to voice their protest against the port, the VBVSS has encouraged people to make videos of three to five minutes’ duration on the five themes listed by the samiti: a curse, effect on fisherfolk, impact on agriculture, environment and Shankhodar, a religious place.
“We urge individuals from all walks of life, especially environmentalists, to spontaneously participate in this competition and report their opposition to the port through videos,” the VBVSS said, announcing the competition on Wednesday on social media.
“The objective is to get people around the world to take part in our protest on the lines of Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg’s movement. We want to do the same through videos. Three winners will be chosen and we will award them indigenous cultural and environmental mementos from Dahanu,” said Aniket Patil, working president of the VBVSS, adding that since the Covid-19 pandemic had necessitated restrictions on mobility and gathering, the samiti thought this was a good way to get people involved without breaching any health and safety protocol. The VBVSS has also planned a marine festival in Dahanu.
On December 2 and 3, local residents from Vadhavan and neighbouring villages in Dahanu staged a protest against the biodiversity survey commissioned by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). Consultants appointed by the JNPT carried out a biodiversity survey for the proposed port, set to be India’s 13th major port at an estimated cost of Rs 65,544.54 crore. The JNPT and Maharashtra Maritime Board are development partners for the project.