The master plan for the Vizhinjam Port project will include a slew of programmes for the area’s fishing community.
The programmes will be part of the port company’s social responsibility plans.
These include the setting up of a seafood park in the port town for producing value-added products from the fish caught by the fishermen and a centre for training youth in vocations connected with marine and port sectors.
The upper primary school at nearby Mulloor will also be upgraded into a high school and the fishing harbour in the port town will be provided with more facilities than at present.
The board of directors of Vizhinjam International Seaports Limited (VISL), which met here on Wednesday with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on the chair, decided to have all these programmes incorporated in the master plan for the port now under preparation.
Ports Minister K. Babu said a comprehensive ‘port city area development plan’ would be implemented at Vizhinjam as part of the project.
The VISL board of directors also discussed the details of a year-long study conducted to assess the social and environmental impact of the project, and directed the officials concerned to approach the State Pollution Control Board as early as possible for organising a public hearing as part of the process to win environmental clearance for the project.
Referring to the concerns raised by tourism stakeholders who would be affected by the project, Mr. Babu said the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) was done for the project as per a detailed terms of reference prescribed specifically for the project by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The ESIA report will be subjected to the public hearing.
“The concerns of all sections of people in the area will be addressed before implementing the project,” he said.
The VISL’s board of directors decided that tenders inviting bids for taking up the engineering, procurement and construction works at the proposed port could be issued after winning environmental clearance for the project.
The meeting further decided to acquire under the fast track mode the land required for the warehouses at the port town.
The identified land is in Kottukal area in Vizhinjam.