The Kerala High Court today said the construction at Vizhinjam port cannot be halted and any complaints with regard to the project can be raised at appropriate forums.

Justice Anu Sivaraman, while hearing a plea by Adani Ports seeking protection from the protesters, said the agitation must not affect the ongoing project.

"The protests can be registered but it cannot affect the project. If there are any complaints against the project, it can be raised at the appropriate forum. Protests can be registered in a lawful manner," the Court said.

Meanwhile, Adani Ports told the Court that the police were aiding the protesters.

However, the protesters who were party to the plea, told the Court that the agitation was going on in a peaceful manner.

The Adani Ports, which is constructing the Vizhinjam port in Thiruvananthapuram had on August 25, moved the High Court seeking protection from protesters.

The Adani Group, in its plea, said the ongoing agitation was a threat to the life of its employees and the police and the government were not taking any action in this regard.

The company had also told the court that even though it had approached the government seeking protection, no steps were initiated.

The company had alleged that protesters are being brought to the construction site by Latin Catholic Parishes. "It is also reliably learnt from source report that most of the agitators organized by Respondents 11 to 25 are not the native people from living in Vizhinjam but from other nearby areas on the basis of different Latin Catholic Parishes", the plea said.

A large number of coastal people have been staging an intense protest outside the main entrance of the multi-purpose seaport, located at nearby Mulloor, since last week pressing their seven-point charter of demands including to stop the construction work and to conduct a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project.

The protesters have been alleging that the unscientific construction of groynes, the artificial sea walls known as "pulimutt' in local parlance, as part of the upcoming Vizhinjam port was one of the reasons for the increasing coastal erosion in the district.

Giving details of the purported measures being taken by the state government, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had recently told the Assembly that the government was considering providing rented accommodation to rehabilitate the displaced fisherfolk and the District Collector of Thiruvananthapuram has been entrusted with the task which includes fixation of rent.

He also claimed that the state government has launched a Rs 2,450 crore worth project to rehabilitate the fisherfolk displaced due to coastal erosion and CRZ regulations.

With PTI inputs