Kerala to take Colachel issue to PM Modi

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Thiruvananthapuram, July 15: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday,July 15 said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express the state's concern over the Centre's in-principle nod to the Colachel port project in Tamil Nadu, which is hardly 30-km from Vizhinjam port here.

He also described the Centre's decision to give nod to another "unviable" port near Vizhinjam as "not logical".

-modi

"The Centre has given in-principle nod to the Colachel project. This project will also need viability gap funding, perhaps more than Vizhinjam," Vijayan said, replying to a submission on the issue raised by Congress MLA M Vincent in the state Assembly.

"There is no logic in setting up another unviable port project, hardly 30-km away from Vizhinjam. This kind of illogical way of utilising the tax payer's money cannot be accepted," he said.

The Kerala government had already written to the Prime Minister on the state's anxieties over Colachel, he said.

"I have also sought time to meet PM. I hope we will be able to meet him personally this month itself and inform him about the state's concerns in this regard," he said.

The Chief Minister also said Kerala MPs would be meeting on July 17 to discuss this issue, which would be raised by them in Parliament.

Alleging that the union government had earlier showed "lukewarm" response to the state's plea for the Vizhinjam project, he said the state government was committed to completing the project in a time-bound manner.

"But the government has its own limitations as the port is being built by the Adani group," Vijayan said.

Taking up the issue in the House, Vincent alleged that there was a 'calculated' move by the BJP-led NDA government to destroy the Vizhinjam project by giving nod to the Colachel port, where the construction work is yet to begin.

While Colachel has been brought under the Sagarmala Project of the Centre, the Vizhinjam project, where the work has already begun, has been sidelined, he said.

"Colachel will ring the death knell of the Vizhinjam project," the Congress MLA said urging CM to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the issue.

The Centre recently approved the proposal to build a major port at Enayam near Colachel in Tamil Nadu, which was pending for 17 years. The port would entail an investment of about Rs 25,000 crore.

The Rs 7,525 crore Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose seaport is being developed by the Gujarat-based Adani Group.

PTI

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