Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government and Adani Ports will sign the construction agreement for the Rs. 7,525 crore Vizhinjam deep sea port project here Monday, 24 years after it was first proposed, amidst a boycott by opposition LDF.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between the state government and Adani Vizhinam Port Pvt Ltd, the Special Purpose Vehicle of the project, at a function at the government secretariat here at 5 p.m tomorrow in the presence of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and founder and chairman of Adani Group, Gautam Adani.
The government has already decided to start construction work of the project on November 1, the state formation day.
Opposition CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front has decided to keep away from the function after levelling allegations of corruption in the deal.
Ports minister K Babu said the government was keen that everyone cooperates with the project. “We want everyone to cooperate with the project. Allegations that the agreement lacked transparency were baseless,” he told reporters at Kochi.
Describing the project with Adani ports a “Real estate deal”, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said livelihood of several fishermen would be affected once the project becomes a reality. “Chief Minister should tell the people if the project is viable or not before inking the agreement,” he said.
CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said they were not against the project, but government should first address the concerns of the fishermen community.
The Latin catholic church had expressed fears about the project displacing over 50,000 fishermen from the area and had sought announcement of a rehabilitation project for them before inking the deal. They had also threatened to launch an agitation from tomorrow.
The Chief Minister had met the church representatives yesterday to address their concerns.
The port will be designed to cater primarily container transshipments, besides multi-purpose and break bulk cargo.
Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd — a company fully owned by Kerala government is the implementing agency for the project, which will be responsible for handling issues relating to land procurement, development of external infrastructure and selection of concessionaire.
Though the construction period is four years as per the agreement, the company plans to complete work in two years.
Adani Ports has also sought for cabbotage waiver.