THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The UDF government’s decision to give in-principle sanction to the Vizhinjam seaport project, despite charges by the Opposition on a shady deal with the Adani group, the stock of the ruling dispensation and particularly Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, is billed to go high for displaying a political will. Chandy’s assertion that he is ready to face any allegations for the sake of realising a ‘dream project of the people’ and also underscoring that it will be realised at any cost and under any circumstances is all set to take the ambitious initiative forward.
For the government mauled with controversies one after the other, and which is politically banking on a paradigm shift in development with a few mega projects along with a basket of welfare measures for needy sections in society to counter the Opposition campaign on corruption, the final call on Vizhinjam is extremely important in an election year ahead. The entire campaign plank of the UDF in the poll year, which is evident by now in the Aruvikkara bypoll turf, will be rooted in the development plank and the Opposition Left turning its back towards the Vizhinjam project and other initiatives.
“Let the people decide on merit. The Opposition tricks to choke the government is not going to pay off. I firmly believe that what people are eagerly looking at is development and opportunities for betterment of their lives. The result is what matters,” Chandy told Express.
If the agreement is finally inked and the work on the project commences as a gift to the people of Kerala on the State Formation Day falling on November 1, as declared on Wednesday, Chandy and his government will have a rare distinction of taking up three mega projects covering the state’s north to south -the Kannur airport, Kochi Metro and Vizhinjam Seaport. And the scope of the first two projects becoming a reality in a few months will add to the acceptance graph of the government. No government which has ruled the state in the past few decades is credited with such a development drive, even when the cost factor vs utility of the projects remains to be time-tested. The timing of the nod for Vizhinjam is notable, for, it has come while the campaigning for Aruvikkara is gaining momentum.