Adani’s Rs 7,525-crore Vizhinjam port, touted to emerge as one of the world’s deepest seaports, may get a rail link soon with one of the longest rail tunnels in the country.
Adani’s Rs 7,525-crore Vizhinjam port, touted to emerge as one of the world’s deepest seaports, may get a rail link soon with one of the longest rail tunnels in the country. Konkan Railway Corporation (KRCL) has submitted a draft DPR (Detailed Project Report) on this to Vizhinjam International Seaport (VISL), the nodal outfit for the port.
“The Phase I of the port is expected to come up in October 2020,” said Rajesh Jha, MD and CEO, Adani Vizhinjam Port (AVPL), the multi-port operator assigned to build the superstructure and operate the seaport. According to Jha, it will not vie with neighbouring ports for business, but could prove competition to ports of Colombo and Singapore in catering to mother ships.
According to the MoU with Kerala government, Adani group had been bound by a deadline of 1,000 days from the signing of the pact to complete the Phase I of the port PPP (public-private participation). This was due on December 4, 2019.
Jha put the blame of the exorbitant delay in the project on the November 30 Ockhi cyclone and the 7.2-m high waves that lashed over the construction that undid the reclamation work at the Vizhinjam site. “In fact, we had gone about it early and planned to finish it five months early,” he said.
The bonanza that’s coming the way of the project is the proposed 10.7-km rail connectivity from Balaramapuram to Vizhinjam. “This would include a long tunnel, currently aligned at 9.02 km. The tunnel could turn out as India’s second longest rail tunnel, when completed,” says Jayakumar, MD & CEO, VISL.
According to the draft proposal by KRCL, a single rail line can easily manage to transport about 10 rakes per day, for the next 20 years. This is to cost Kerala government Rs 1,069 crore with railways, but the state government has decided to set up a high-level committee to evaluate the proposal and finalise the alignment.