THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Adani Group will face its second hurdle in winning the contract for the Vizhinjam seaport project on Wednesday.
The director board of Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL), the State Government port firm in charge of the multi-crore project, will examine the bid in the light of the clearance given by the chief secretary-led empowered committee last week. The VISL board of directors is headed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. On April 24, the Adani Group had emerged as the lone bidder for the project, which had placed the State Government in a quandary. However, the empowered committee headed by Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson had waved through the bid on May 7 on the basis of legal opinion. The committee had also accepted Adani Group’s request for a grant of Rs 1635 crore for undertaking the port project.
While Wednesday’s meeting is also expected to clear the proposal, the final decision has to be taken by the Cabinet. In a Facebook post last week, Chandy had reiterated the government’s commitment to making this project a reality, and warned that this is a ‘now or never’ situation for the state. In effect, if the government declines Adani’s offer, it will have to go through the whole gamut of tender procedures once again, further delaying the project.