After green nod, Kerala floats global tender for Rs 5,000-crore port

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Dec 5 2013, 10:54am hrs
In the afterglow of the nod from the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), the Kerala government has floated a global tender to decide on a private partner for the Rs 5,000-crore Vizhinjam International Deepwater Seaport (VISL), near Thiruvananthapuram.

The port project is envisaged to be implemented in PPP (public-private-partnership model), where construction and operation would be on BOT ( Build, Operate and Transfer) model.

"One could draw parallels between ISRO's initial forays into space from the tiny fishing hamlet of Thumba in the 1950s, which today has placed India in the forefront of nations that have space technologies. Vizhinjam, another fishing hamlet, only a few kilometers away from Thumba, is now on course to become India's first 21st century port and perhaps the mother port of all future Indian ports, both in terms of commerce as well as strategic importance," said Shashi Tharoor, MoS for human resource development and MP for Thiruvananthapuram.

Tharoor , a member of the Board of directors of VISL , had taken up the cause of the proposed mega-port with the Planning Commission through a number of discussions that he held with vice-chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia. Subsequently, the Planning Commission approved 20% viability gap-funding for the project.

Speaking to reporters after uploading the tender documents on the VISL's website, a special purpose vehicle formed by the government, CM Oommen Chandy said the government has been able to take forward the project despite a long-drawn set of hurdles.