Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 4 (IANS) Kerala’s dream project that has been on the drawing board of successive governments for nearly quarter of a century will be operational in three years, an Adani Ports official said on Friday.
Adani Ports won the contract for building the port, to come up near the famed tourist destination Kovalam, off the state capital city.
The foundation stone that will signal the commencement of the work of the proposed Vizhinjam Port to be completed in three phases at a cost of around Rs.7,525 crore would be laid on Saturday at the project site by Chief Minister Oommen Chand.
Union Minister for Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari, Adani Group’s chairman Gautam Adani, among others, would be present.
Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of the informal interaction that the port builder held here on Friday, CEO of Adani Port in Kerala Santosh Kumar Mahapatra said though their agreement for operating the first phase is for four years, they will complete it in three years.
“The schedule is ready and we have already started our work for reclaiming the land on which the port infrastructure would be built,” said Mahapatra.
“From the international shipping route, we are first making the water channel which is around three km long that leads to the port,” added the CEO.
The agreement to this mega project was inked here on August 17 between State Ports secretary James Varghese and Mahapatra.
Adani Ports today own nine ports in the country and they have drawn up a plan to touch 300 MMT of cargo by 2020. In it, they expect this new Vizhinjam Port to play an important role.
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 from the port after 15 years of operations.