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State awaits centre's nod on Vizhinjam port

State awaits centres nod on Vizhinjam port

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is awaiting the central government's clearance for a proposed port at Vizhinjam, a minister said Sunday.

Ports and Fisheries Minister K. Babu told IANS that the proposed Vizhinjam port's environment impact assessment study report was last week given to the environment and forests ministry which has to give the final clearance.

"As per the rules, the ministry has to say a yes or no to the proposed project in 105 days," he said.

The Vizhinjam port is to come up near the famed tourist destination of Kovalam, over 10 km from the heart of the capital city, and the proposed site has a natural depth of 24 metres, one of the deepest in the world, and hence requires no dredging.

The project is proposed to be completed in three phases. The first phase of the project would cost Rs.4,010 crore ($600 million).

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

The state government would set up the infrastructure while the daily functioning of the port would be undertaken by an operator.

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