For villagers living in Athirappilly-Vazhachal region in Kerala’s Thrissur district, the tide in Chalakudy river is turning, albeit sluggishly.
While people here have spent more than three decades campaigning against the proposed Athirappilly hydroelectric project, old conflicts recently resurfaced after the Kerala government extended its no-objection certificate to the state’s electricity board. This evoked angry response across the country, ultimately forcing Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to announce that the NOC was only part of a routine procedure and that the project with an installed capacity of 163 MW will be implemented only through a consensus decision.
Even though the government has not formally given up on the project, it looks unlikely that the state can go ahead with the proposal against the will of the people.
And this is what has kept alive the hopes of the villagers all these years.
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