Proposed Vizhinjam Port suffers setback

January 4th, 2012 - 7:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 4 (IANS) Even as the environment impact assessment (EIA) study on the proposed Vizhinjam international container terminal is currently on, one of the two port builders who came through the technical bid has failed to get clearance from the Home Ministry.

“Now we will have to go into the technical and other legal aspects about how they can go forward with only one firm left in the fray. If things are favourable, there are opinions that we can go ahead with just one firm,” Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters here after the weekly cabinet meeting.

The proposed Vizhinjam port is to come up near the famed tourist destination of Kovalam. The proposed site has a natural depth of 24 metres, one of the deepest in the world and hence requires no dredging.

It will be located close to a busy international shipping route, and is envisaged to handle 4.1 million containers annually.

Successive governments in the state have been trying to get this project going but it is yet to take off.

Speaking to IANS on condition of anonymity, an official attached to the Kerala Ministry of Ports said this need not be seen as a setback because technically now only the financial bid is to be opened.

“We do not think that there would be any problems if there is only one company left in the fray. Things will be sorted out once the financial bid of this company is opened and we do not see any setbacks,” said the official.

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