THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:International lobbies and domestic vested interests were at work to sabotage the Vizhinjam port, Shashi Tharoor MP said on Thursday.
Tharoor, who is a member of the director board of the Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL), said that the escalation in project cost, development of rival ports and competition from the existing international and Indian ports posed serious challenges to the project’s viability. ‘’We should understand that it is a now-or-never situation. If Vizhinjam’s only credible bidder is denied this opportunity, he will move down the coast to where a red carpet awaits him, in Colachel,’’ he said in a statement. “I have spoken to Mr Adani (Adani group chairman Gautam Adani) many times in the interests of Vizhinjam and so has the chief minister. Knowing the popular sentiments, we have assured all support for the port’s development if he is awarded the project. Being aware of the political situation in Kerala, he has expressed willingness to come and meet the people of Vizhinjam, the opposition leaders and the community leaders,’’ Tharoor said.
“This bid, the fourth in the row, is the last chance for Vizhinjam. It would neither be in Kerala’s interest nor in the national interest if the opportunity is lost,” he said. ‘’It is time we put development ahead of politics and embraced the bid, in the interest of the people of Vizhinjam and its surrounds, Kerala and of India as a whole,’’ he said.