THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Veteran BJP leader and Ananthapuri Samagra Vikasana Samithi chairman O Rajagopal has called upon Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to work in tandem with the Central Government to implement the Vizhinjam port project as one of the six mother ports to be completed by 2025.
Rajagopal made this demand before the Chief Minister when he called on Chandy at his office on Thursday morning.
He also handed over a memorandum seeking handing over of the Vizhinjam project to the Centre.
Later, speaking to mediapersons, Rajagopal said that the Chief Minister had assured him that he would request the Prime Minister to include Vizhinjam as one of the two ports the Central Government would be setting up on the eastern and western coasts as part of Prime Minister’s 17 major projects.
Rajagopal said the Chief Minister had shared his apprehension about certain vested interests hampering the prospect of implementing the project as an International Container Transshipment Mother Port.
Vikasana Samithi Patron K Ayyappan Pillai, BJP district president S Suresh, P Ashok Kumar, district general secretary Chempazhanthi Udayan and Samithi Coordinator Unnikrishnan Gopinath have also accompanied Rajagopal.
The BJP leader said in the memorandum that as Vizhinjam had great advantages like having a natural depth of over 20 metres and proximity to the international sea route it could claim strategic and commercial importance than major ports such as Dubai and Colombo if it were to be set up as mother port. But there was no such target in the State Government’s scheme of things, it said.
The memorandum also pointed out that the state had not even started the project despite its claim of setting up a multipurpose port by 2015. Vested interests having national and international links were behind sabotaging the project, it said. The efforts to sabotage a development project like Vizhinjam should be considered as an anti-national activity, the memorandum said.
Those who opposed the environmental clearance had moved the Green Tribunal seeking cancellation of the approval.