₹346 crore to be released to Vizhinjam Port Concession Company in March: Minister

The state government will release funds to be paid to the concession company involved in the construction of Vizhinjam International Seaport in March, Ports Minister Ahammad Devarkovil said.

Speaking to the media after a monthly review meeting here on Thursday, Mr Devarkovil said that under the agreement reached between the contractor company and the state government, £346million, representing 25% of the cost, should be handed over to the concessionaire company if 30 % of breakwater construction completed. This amount will be transferred in March itself, said the minister.

The amount will be made available immediately by the cooperation department. Talks have been held with the Prime Minister and the Minister for Cooperation in this regard, Mr Devarkovil said. A total of ₹3,450 crore, including ₹1,150 crore for land acquisition for the railway project and ₹200 crore for railway-road connectivity, must be borne by the state government. The Treasury Department approved a proposal for a loan from Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd. (HUDCO) through a bridge loan to cover these costs.

driveway

To connect the port to National Highway (NH-66), a 1.2-mile (2 km) four-lane road must be built. The construction of two bridges along the route has been completed, while the construction of the access road to the National Road will begin once the intersection design has been approved by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

Similarly, the land acquisition process is underway for the construction of a 10.5 km rail link from Balaramapuram railway station to the port, which is expected to be completed by October. The detailed project report of the work was approved by the Southern Railway. 9.35 km of the rail connection would be pulled through a tunnel. A total of 6,431 hectares are required for the construction of the railway line.

2,235 m high breakwater

For the construction of the breakwater, at least 12,000 tons of granite are deposited in the sea every day. At present, 2,235 m of breakwater construction has been completed, while the construction of cranes and other associated accessories is underway. The minister said the port could be operational by September, according to the deadline set by the government.

Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the port’s gate complex in March, the minister said.

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