THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government will not abandon the Vizhinjam international project merely because there are corruption allegations and controversies connected with the concession agreement, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan made it clear on Thursday.
If corruption has occurred, the government will uncover it through an investigation and take action. The judicial probe announced by the government is part of that process, Pinarayi Vijayan said after inaugurating the construction of the berths for the port at the project site at Mulloor, Vizhinjam.
The Chief Minister’s announcement that the LDF government was fully committed to the `7,525 crore project came on the heels of CPM veteran V S Achuthanandan writing him a letter demanding the work on Vizhinjam be stopped until the judicial commission submitted its report.
“No one needs to think the project will be dropped just because of the controversies and allegations of corruption. The investigation into the allegations will proceed on one side, while steps to complete the project are undertaken on a war-footing on the other,” Pinarayi said.
Calling Vizhinjam a dream project, the Chief Minister also described it as the most important of the long-term infrastructure projects designed for the state’s development.
Karan Adani, CEO, Adani Ports and SEZ, said, with continued support from the state government, the Adani Group can complete the project as per schedule. “Perhaps, even ahead of schedule,” he said. The first phase of the project will see the construction of 800 metres of berths, capable of handling 1.8 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit or the standard size of a cargo container). The big challenge, Adani said, will come after the monsoons when work on the breakwater would be resumed. Rocks will have to be transported both by road and sea, and he requested public cooperation in this regard.
Ministers Ramachandran Kadannapally, E Chandrasekharan and Kadakampally Surendran, Mayor V K Prashanth, district panchayat president V K Madhu, M Vincent MLA, Adani Vizhinjam Port Pvt Ltd CEO Santosh Kumar Mohapatra, Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd CEO K Jayakumar were present.