CEO says project was severely impacted by Cyclone Ockhi and last year’s floods
The private operator tasked with building the superstructure and operating the international multipurpose deepwater seaport at Vizhinjam here has announced commissioning of the project’s first phase by October 2020.
Rajesh Jha, Chief Executive Officer, Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Ltd (AVPPL), said at a press meet here on Thursday that 98% of piling for the container berth had been completed and efforts to mobilise granite to complete the remaining 2.5-km section of the breakwater were on. Orders had been placed by the AVPPL for crane and other equipment from Japan and China. The first phase of the seaport project includes construction of a 3.1-km breakwater, an 800-m container berth and a fishing harbour.
September 1, 2018, was the 1,000-day target announced by Adani Group chairman Gautam S. Adani after the pact was signed between the State and the AVPPL in August 2015. The AVPPL has a four-year deadline as per the pact and the work on the seaport was launched on December 5, 2015.
Replying to questions on the work getting stalled since April 2017, Mr. Jha said the project was severely impacted by several factors, including Cyclone Ockhi of November 2017 and the mid-August 2018 deluge. “Many hurdles came up. Things were beyond our control and the repair works are still on,” he added. On completion, the seaport will be one of the deepest ports in the country and will strengthen the economy of Kerala and south India. Jayakumar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd. (VISL), said the country could save ₹1,500 crore in foreign exchange once the Vizhinjam seaport functions as a transshipment hub. Vizhinjam would be a game-changer as the seaport would be able to handle 80% of the transshipment cargo. The State government was according top priority to the completion of the project.
Zone of delineation
Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad, which is studying the development pressure of the Vizhinjam project on the neighbouring areas, has identified 300 sq km as the influence zone of delineation. The report is in the final stages of completion, he added.