THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The concession agreement on the Vizhinjam port project that the state government is set to sign with the Adani Group on Monday is essentially a ‘real estate deal’, Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan said here on Sunday.
“Vizhinjam port holds only secondary importance in this deal. The top spot goes to real estate business. The government should publicise the other conditions related to the BJP-Oommen Chandy joint venture,” VS told a press conference, adding that the LDF had decided to stay away from Monday’s function on account of this situation.
VS demanded that Chandy, before signing the agreement, should clarify whether the port project is actually viable. He cited the project’s feasibility report published in April 2015 which said; “It is evident from the financial analysis that the project is not viable. Hence to make it attractive for the investors, it is important to view this project as not a stand-alone project but as a larger development, whereby landward area near the port can be used for other infrastructure development such as port estate.”
“If the Chief Minister now says the project is viable, then why does the feasibility report say it is not? Wasn’t this to discourage all companies other than Adani?” he said.
By signing the agreement under the present conditions, the Oommen Chandy Government is essentially gifting the state’s wealth on a platter to Adani, he said. Of the total Rs 7,525 crore required for the project, the state will shell out Rs 5,071 crore. “Adani is spending only Rs 2,454 crore. The government is giving Adani 500 acres of land. At Rs 10 lakh a cent, this land is worth Rs 5,000 crore. Adani can use 30 per cent of this land for other industries of their choice,” he said.
By signing the agreement, Chandy will prove that his sole aim is to win elections, at the expense of the state and the people of the state, VS alleged.