Congress asks for clarity on Vizhinjam port’s construction stoppage

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 24 (IANS) The Congress party in Kerala on Tuesday asked the state government to find out the reason for the sudden stoppage of breakwater construction at the upcoming Vizhinjam port on the capital city outskirts.

In a statement here, Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala said he has asked the state government to clarify on the current position on why the ongoing work at building of breakwaters has been stopped by builders Adani Ports.

“There have been media reports surfacing today (Tuesday) that Adani Ports have instructed all their suppliers of limestone to stop supplies as they are considering to use metal sheets instead of limestone.

“This project was a dream project of our government (Oommen Chandy) and this should go forward without any hitch and hence all concerned should ensure that this project achieving its logical conclusion as per schedule,” said Chennithala.

The availability of limestone due to various environmental norms has become an impediment for the Adani Group, who are now looking into other options of the breakwater construction work that has already begun.

State Ports Minister Kadanapally Ramachandran told reporters that he has come to know that the work has stopped on Tuesday itself.

“We will look into all the issues and do the needful,” said Ramachandran.

As per the plan, Adani Ports is expected to finish the first phase of the Rs 7,525 Vizhinjam project in 1,000 days, that started on December 5, 2015.

The Vizhinjam Port is to be completed in three phases and once completed, the port would enable ships with a capacity of even 18,000 TEU (20-feet equivalent units) to dock.

The proposed port, located close to the busy international shipping route, is envisaged to handle 4.1 million containers annually.

Adani Ports was the lone bidder and sought Rs 1,635 crore as grant for the project.

According to the agreement, Adani Port would operate the port for 40 years, extendable by 20 more years, while the state government would get a portion of the revenue after 15 years of its operations.

–IANS

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