The Kerala government has decided to go ahead with the Vizhinjam deep seaport project, regardless of the Left front-led Opposition.
According to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Congress-led UDF Government would not be party to the move to backtrack from the project, for which Adani Ports and SEZ is the sole bidder.
“I believe this is the last chance. Any failure to seize the chance would only serve Colachel Port in south Tamil Nadu, which is pushing a similar mega port project,” chief minister told mediapersons, after an all-party meeting on the Rs 7,000-crore Vizhinjam Port, failed to cobble up a consensus on the mode of implementation of the project and other operational details.
However, this was not quite the version from the Opposition camp. “Chandy Government was not willing to share some of the crucial details on the implementation, though we had specifically sought them,” says an oppostion front member, who participated in the meeting.
CPI(M) had earlier demanded that the state government should revive its plan for a landlord-model port project, as against the PPP model that favours the solitary bidder.
Chandy insists that not all documents on Vizhinjam project could be placed on public domain at the present point of time. Some of them have to wait until the government and the bidder enter into an agreement.
Chandy also dismissed the comparison between the tender documents readied by his government and those prepared by the previous dispensation.
“Our bid documents are, in fact, much better. The documents propose the outright lease of land, with only a licence to operate the project for the time-being. While going ahead with the Adani bid, further steps will be conducted in as transparent manner as possible. However, the government is adamant that there should be no further delay at any stage of processing of the bid,” the chief minister says.