Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kerala Govt. to start infrastructure works for Vizhinjam project

Special Correspondent -The Hindu

The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to take up work on the development of infrastructure for the proposed Vizhinjam International Container Transshipment Terminal from next month.

Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan told the media after the Cabinet meeting that Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL), the government company formed for implementing the project, would start building the road and other infrastructure. The Cabinet had sanctioned Rs. 450 crore for the work.

The Chief Minister said that it would be possible to complete the work in 12 to 15 months. Meanwhile, fresh global tenders would be floated for selecting the private partner for building and operating the transshipment terminal. It would be possible to identify the private partner by the end of next year. (Earlier attempts to finalise global tenders had to be aborted for want of Central clearance, court cases and other complications).

He noted that the Cabinet had entrusted the VISL with drawing up the proposal for development of the road and railway line for the port. The company would hold discussions with the National Highways Authority of India and the Railways in that regard.

He said that several round of discussions would have to be completed before a decision could be taken on the proposed Sobha Hitech City and five other mega projects.

He declined to comment on the controversy over the State government recommending some industrialists for Padma awards. “All decisions in those regards may not be Cabinet decisions,” he said.

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