Recently, fishermen protesting against Adani Group’s Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited attacked a local police station.

 

What is the issue?

  • The allegation is that the big-ticket project is being implemented without sufficiently factoring in ecological safeguards and adequately addressing the concerns of the coastal community.
  • The Government of Kerala as part of its various programs for development of the state, has identified to develop Vizhinjam International deep water Multipurpose Seaport.
  • It has formed a separate company, viz. Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) as a special purpose Government company (fully owned by Government of Kerala) that would act as implementing agency for development of the greenfield port at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala.

 

Advantages of Vizhinjam

  • Availability of 20m contour within one nautical mile from the coast.
  • Minimal littoral drift along the coast, hardly any maintenance dredging required.
  • Links to national/regional road, rail network
  • Flexibility in design and expansion being a Greenfield project
  • Proximity to International shipping route

 

Significance of the project

  • Around 95 per cent of India’s foreign trade is conducted through the sea route. In value terms, this works out to 70 per cent of the foreign trade.
  • Nearly 30 percent of the freight movement takes place through the international shipping route South of the Indian peninsula, which passes 10 nautical miles off Vizhinjam.
  • Currently, India does not have a deep-water container transhipment terminal and depends on Colombo, Singapore and Salalah ports.
  • This results in significant loss of foreign currency and revenue, estimated to be about Rs 2,500 crore a year. With the completion of the Vizhinjam port, this serious lacuna will be overcome.