The Adani-operated Vizhinjam port, whose construction is estimated at 7,700 crore rupees, will become commercially operational in May 2024, Kerala’s Ports Minister Ahammed Devarkovil said on Wednesday.
He said 90 percent of the port construction work has been completed and the first ship from China with cranes to work on the site will dock at Vizhinjam in September as an Onam gift to the people of Kerala.
“The port will have a berth of 800 meters and the works for 400 meters have been completed. Any large ship in the world can dock at a 400-meter berth,” Devarkovil said in a press program here.
The planned construction of the breakwater at 3,100 meters is progressing and so far 2,350 meters have been completed.
The minister said there was no shortage of boulders for the breakwater structure as boulders had been brought in from Tamil Nadu and seven quarries in Kerala had received permission to meet the demand.
“I had personally met the Minister of Tamil Nadu and now we have a steady supply from there. The boulders will now be stockpiled and dumped in the sea after the monsoon season,” the minister said.
Regarding the construction of the compound wall, an issue that the Adani group has raised frequently, the minister said there was agreement in principle to move the church to the area.
“They agreed to move the church but made some demands. The government is considering these demands and this issue will be resolved soon,” the minister said.
The government also plans to expand its smaller ports – 17 in total – to handle the cargo connection to Vizhinjam using smaller ships. The idea is to shift freight transport off the roads, making vehicular traffic less congested and safer.
“The plan is implemented and one shipping company is currently working on a detailed project report,” said Devarkoil.
Vizhinjam Port is being built as part of a public-private partnership.
Adani Group is the private partner in the development of Vizhinjam Port, which will be one of the largest ports in the world once operational.
The project, which was scheduled to be commissioned in 2019, was delayed due to several problems related to the land acquisition.
Violent protests also erupted in Vizhinjam as fishermen in the area opposed the project, claiming that the port could affect their livelihoods.