Vizhinjam protest: Adani Port seeks Rs 78.7 crore damages
The court has also directed the protesters not to obstruct construction works.
KOCHI: With the Church-led action council hardening its stand, Adani Port, which is implementing the deep-sea Vizhinjam port project, has served a notice on the government seeking a compensation of Rs 78.7 crore for the loss incurred due to the protest which has stalled construction works.
Sources said the Adani port has incurred a loss of Rs 78.8 crore till September 30 and the total loss has crossed Rs 100 crore as on October 8, the 53rd day since the work was stopped due to protest. Meanwhile, Minister for Ports Ahammed Devarkovil expressed confidence that the efforts to find an amicable solution to the protest will bear fruit soon.
“We are holding talks with the protesters on October 13 and I hope we can settle the issues through discussion. The court has also directed the protesters not to obstruct construction works. We want to resolve the issue and restart construction works immediately as the protest is denting the state’s image. Many investors have come forward to invest in the state and the protest may discourage them,” the minister told TNIE.
The government had conducted an online meeting of investors last month in which representatives of 160 firms participated. Two weeks ago, the minister held a meeting in Dubai where 100 investors attended and many of them were keen to invest in Kerala. “We have to complete the Vizhinjam project as soon as possible which will have a positive impact on the development of the state,” the minister said.
Adani Group has taken 12 barges on lease from abroad for construction of the port. Though the works have been stalled, the barges were not demobilised hoping that the works will resume soon. Sources said a shipping service operator in Dubai has expressed interest to operate service from Dubai to Kerala.
Dubai-Kerala ship service on the anvil
The Dubai-Kerala ship service will be a big relief to NRKs working in the UAE as the budget airlines have imposed restrictions on carrying luggage. Kollam port will get the customs clearance facility soon and the plan is to start shipping services from Dubai to Kollam and Beypore, said a source.
The ports department has drawn up plans to encourage costal shipping service connecting Vizhinjam, Kollam, Kochi, Ponnani, Beypore and Mangaluru. Adani Group has said it will launch service from Vizhinjam to Mundra Port in Gujarat once the commercial operation starts.
The plan to open a cement terminal at Kollam port has been withheld due to protest and the department is exploring the possibility of opening the terminal at Ponnani. A detailed project report is being prepared for the Ponnani Cement Terminal.