Mangalore, December 29: The resident of Kasba Bengre on Thursday evening gathered in front of the office of Deputy Commissioner raising voice against a proposal of the Department of Ports to set up a fishmeal factory on a playground in their place.
The agitation was organized under the joint auspices of the Dakshina Kannada district unit of Janata Dal (Secular), Karmika Sangha and Kasaba Bengre Development committee.
The protest comes following the initiation to set up the fish meal unit on a playground managed by Super stars sports club, by H S Nissar & Company, after getting green signal from the authorities.
Addressing the protesters Mohammed Rafeeq, a labour union leader said, injustice has been done to 15,000 strong population of Bengre by the authorities since the beginning. “We have already lost our patience and not ready to tolerate injustice anymore”, he warned.
“We are not ready to allow our 30 year old playground to be grabbed by some private companies to establish a factory, which can harm the environment”, he said.
He also said that the Mangalore City Corporation too least bothered about the situation of Bengre. The civic body has not even made any arrangement to keep the area clean. There is no hospital in the area too, he lamented.
Whatever facilities are now available there, are indeed the contribution of local residents, he pointed out.
JD(S) DK district president M B Sadashiva, pledging his party’s support for the cause of protesters said it was totally illegal to grab a playground to establish a factory in the residential area.
The Corporation must ensure that fresh and clean environment must be available to the people of Bengre and not a fish meal unit, he said.
“A playground is must for the youth and children of Bengre”, he added.
Azeez Kudroli, Corporator, said that local representatives are responsible for this mess. “Bengre people are still economically backward. They need support from the authorities in all the way. However, quite against to the interest of local residents the authorities have made a clandestine deal with a private firm to set up a factory, which would cause widespread air and water pollution in Kasba Bengre and surrounding areas. It would also affect residents of Kudroli, Car street and Pandeshwar”, he warned.