Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Ports Minister K. Babu on Wednesday said the final call on making the dream Vizhinjam port project a reality will be taken by the Kerala cabinet next week.
Babu said this after the board of directors of the proposed port under the chairmanship of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy approved the empowered committee decision of going ahead with the project after Adani Ports, last month, turned out to be the lone bidder for building the Vizhinjam port.
“The board of directors has decided to recommend the clearing of the port to the cabinet which will meet next week to take the final call. At today’s (Wednesday) board meeting, it was concluded that it’s now or never for the Vizhinjam port to be a reality and hence the board cleared it for the cabinet to make the final decision,” said Babu.
The Rs.4,000 crore first phase of the port is to come up near the famed Kovalam beach and is expected to be completed in three phases, with the first phase to be ready by 2019.
Adani Ports was the lone bidder and had sought Rs.1,635 crore as grant for the proposed port project.
Last month, this became the first port project in the country to get a Rs.800 crore viability gap funding from the central government.
Once completed, ships with a capacity of even 18,000 TEU (20-foot equivalent units) could dock here.
The proposed port, located close to the busy international shipping route, is envisaged to handle 4.1 million containers annually.