Thiruvananthapuram: Ending all speculations over the Vizhinjam port project, the Kerala Government on Monday announced that the contract will be signed with the Adani Group on first of Malayalam month Chingam (August 17).
“The construction work will begin on November 1, the Kerala formation day, as announced earlier. The entire work will be completed in four years’ time,” Kerala Port Minister K Babu said. The announcement came after Adani Ports Executive Director Karan Adani met with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and other ministers.
“As much as 90 per cent of the land acquisition for the project has been finished,” Babu said.
Addressing media, Adani Ports Executive Director Karan Adani said the works will be finished within the given time. He added that the state’s approach towards the project gave them confidence.
A delegation led by Karan met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Shashi Tharoor MP earlier in the day.
The State government had issued the Letter of Award to the Gujarat-based Adani Group a week ago.
The Vizhinjam port project has been in the drawing boards of successive government for the past quarter of a century and last month the Oomen Chandy government decided to award the project to Adani Ports and announced the letter would be given shortly.
But when even after the model code of election for Aruvikkara by-election ended and the letter was not forthcoming, reports claimed that the delay happened as the Congress high command was not in favour of giving the project to Adani, known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Rs 4,000-crore first phase of the port is to come up near the famed tourist destination Kovalam and is expected to be completed in three phases, with the first phase being ready by 2019.
Adani Ports was the lone bidder and had sought Rs 1,635 crore as grant for the project.