Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan will inaugurate the first phase of the International Container Transhipment Project at Vizhinjam on Monday.
The first phase will consist of development of basic infrastructure for the port such as road and rail connectivity, water and power supply, acquisition of land and obtaining of various clearances. The environmental impact study on road and rail connectivity is underway and steps had been taken for obtaining environmental and coastal regulation zone clearances.
Pending these clearance, work would initially be taken up on road works cleared under the Kerala State Transport Project. Minister for Ports and Youth Affairs V. Surendran Pillai told the media that eight hectares for the two-km road connecting the proposed site to the National Highway bypass was underway. The four-lane road would cost about Rs. 30 crore.
As the work on the bypass was getting delayed, a 600 metre temporary road would be constructed to facilitate transport of construction materials to the site. The work had already been tendered. The Railways had given clearance, in principle, for a ten km line connecting the proposed port to Balaramapuram in Thiruvananthapuram district.
Land acquisition would begin once the alignment is finalised. Water supply for the port was proposed to be drawn from the Vellayani Lake. The Kerala Water Authority had tendered work on the pipeline and treatment plant costing Rs. 4.86 crore.
The State Electricity Board was taking steps to upgrade the power supply by converting the 66 KV line to 220 KV line. Mr. Pillai said that more than 30 companies had responded to the invitation for expression of interest to take up work on the second phase of the project.
They included companies from Asia and European countries such as Holland, Portugal and Belgium. The environmental impact study for the project was nearing completion. Acquisition of land for the project was also progressing.