TIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL) project will bolster the developmental prospects of the state. The Chief Minister said this while disbursing compensation to 731 shore-seine (karamadi) fishermen, who lost their livelihood due to the Vizhinjam project at the Government Guest House here on Monday. A total of Rs 40.52 crore was distributed as part of the compensation and rehabilitation package during the programme, in which the per-head compensation was about Rs 5.60 lakh.
“At present, the VISL project is the largest ongoing construction activity in the state. The first phase of the project has been completed and that includes the construction of the coastal road and weighbridge and site office,” said Vijayan. While demanding the whole-hearted support of the locals in completing the project on time, Pinarayi said that so far 95 per cent of the land take over has been completed. “The laying of the 565-metre groynes has commenced. Also, the berth piling works have also been started. A total of 149-hectares of land is needed for the project, of which through dredging and reclamation we had taken 53 hectares of land from the sea,” adds the CM.
Earlier, as part of the scheme, the government had disbursed Rs 22.54 crore to 433 persons, including the 196 fishermen, engaged in clam/lobster fishing and 174 shore-seine fishermen. The 731 fishermen who were provided with compensation were from Adimalathura and Kottapuram areas. It is said that about Rs 68.89 crore is needed to be disbursed as compensation to 2,898 fishermen who will directly lose their livelihood due to the implementation of VISL. The programme was attended by ports minister Kadannappally Ramachandran, M Vincent, MLA, officers with Ports and Fisheries Department and others.