Kerala government has signed a MoU with Gautam Adani-led Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) for building 7,525 crore rupees Vizhinjam seaport project near Kovalam beach.
The MoU was signed by Kerala Principal Secretary (Ports) James Varghese and Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Ltd CEO Santosh Kumar Mahopatra on 17 August in the presence of state CM Oommen Chandy and Adani Ports Chairman Gautam Adani.
The proposal for the project was first initiated 25 years ago in 1991 by late Congress Chief Minister K Karunakaran but did not materialise due to various reasons.
The agreement included proposal for usage of foreign ships for the carriage of goods between two ports in one country and relaxation of Centre’s Cabotage law that allows use of registered Indian ships only.
As per the agreement the project is expected to kick start from November 1 2015 and promises to be operational in a record time of less than 1,000 days.
About Vizhinjam seaport project:
- It is Kerala government ambitious project which was initiated 25 years ago in 1991 to build a deepest and natural draft port near Kovalam beach in Thiruvananthapuram.
- For the development of this project the state government had formed a wholly-owned arm, Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL).
- It is an all-weather port located on Southern tip of Indian Peninsula which is just 10 nautical miles from the International Shipping Lane which makes it capable for tapping Indian transshipment cargo which is largely handled by Colombo.
- The port is gifted with a natural seawater depth of up to 24 m as close as one nautical mile from the seacoast which will enable it attract the largest container vessels.
- It has a strategic importance due to its location, the project is located at the tip of Indian Peninsula gives it extra advantage to carter cargo service to the eastern and western coast lines of India and central location with respect to South Eastern Countries.