Kerala government on 17 August 2015 signed a MoU with Adani Group led Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Ltd for developing 7525 crore rupees Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport near Kovalam beach.
The MoU was signed by Kerala Principal Secretary (Ports) James Varghese and Santosh Kumar Mahopatra, CEO of Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Ltd.
The proposal for the project was first initiated 25 years ago in 1991 by late Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran but he project failed to take off for various reasons.
Highlights of the MoU
• It includes proposal for usage of foreign ships for the carriage of goods between two ports in one country and relaxation of Centre’s Cabotage law that allows use of registered Indian ships only.
• The project is expected to start from November 2015 and promises to be operational in a record time of less than 1000 days.
• Out of the total cost, 4089 crore rupees would be the PPP component and 1463 crore rupees will be the funded work expenditure to be borne by the state government.
• The MoU is for granting of licence for construction and operation of the port for a 40-year period, including the construction period of four years.
About Vizhinjam seaport project
• Vizhinjam seaport project is the Kerala government ambitious project which was initiated 25 years ago in 1991 to build a deepest and natural draft port near Kovalam beach in Thiruvananthapuram.
• It is an all-weather port located on Southern tip of Indian Peninsula which is just 10 nautical miles from the International Shipping Lane which makes it capable for tapping Indian transshipment cargo which is largely handled by Colombo.
• It has a strategic importance due to its location, the project is located at the tip of Indian Peninsula that gives it extra advantage to carter cargo service to the eastern and western coast lines of India and central location with respect to South Eastern Countries.
As per Cabotage law, it is mandatory to use Indian ships in transportation of cargo to different ports along the country's coast. Foreign ships can be used for carrying goods only when domestic ships are not available after seeking permission from India's maritime regulator.
Cabotage refers to the carriage of goods between two ports in one country by ships registered in that country.
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Who: Kerala Government
When: 17 August 2015