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Tender process of Vizhinjam port expected to be over by August

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Tender process of Vizhinjam port expected to be over by August
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Thiruvananthapuram: The State government Wednesday expressed hope that the tender process to finalise private partner for its dream-project of Vizhinjam International deep sea port near here would be completed by August.

Replying to a calling attention in this regard in the state assembly, Minister for Ports K Babu said the last date for Request for Qualification of the global tender floated was February 4 and government expected to complete the process by August.

"Government wants to start the work of the port by this year." The Environment and Forest Ministry had given its clearance last week, he said.

Government envisages to implement the project under 'Landlord' model and "there is no change in this", Babu said replying to the contention of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan (CPI-M) that it was planning to implement the scheme under PPP model and that would again result in delay in executing the work.

Under the plan, civil infrastructure would be carried out by the government and superstructure port, operations and terminal would be executed under Public Private Participation route, he said.

Government has re-structured the project after study of Project Re-structuring Operation report. The cost would come to around Rs 3,640 crore as per the estimate in 2012. However, with global tender floated now, difference in the dollar rate would also be reflected, he said.

As per the new master plan of the project, a mother vessel with 18,000 TEU capacity would be able to berth at the port. In the earlier plan, capacity of the port was to berth vessel with 9000 TEU, he said.

Ernst & Young has been appointed as Transaction Advisor in place of International Financial Corporation, whose term ended on December 31 last, he said.

The Consortium under State Bank of Travancore has agreed to make available funds for the project once it gets environment clearance.

Besides this, the project also would get Rs 500 crore from Navy and Coast Guard, he said and asked the CPI-M-led LDF to co-operate with government in executing it.

Babu also asked the LDF not to create any confusion over the project especially at a time when the global tender for private partner has been floated.

Balakrishnan said an international lobby was behind sabotaging the state's dream project and it was delayed for several years due to intervention by vested interest groups.

He asked government to take steps for the project's speedy implementation.

PTI

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