Union Minister of States for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said here on Sunday that 13 new Passport Seva Kendras will be started in the state next year in the first phase of a national project to introduce a new computerised passport issuing system.
Inaugurating the half-yearly meeting of the Federation of Residents' Associations Thiruvananthapuram (FRAT), Mr. Tharoor said the pilot project of the Passport Seva Kendra will be launched in Banglore and Chandigarh in October.
Speaking about the Vizhnjam International Container Transhipment Terminal project Mr. Tharoor said the State government is yet to take a decision regarding the implementation of the project. He said the project is not under the purview of the Central government as the State Ports Minister M. Vijayakumar informed the Legislative Assembly.
“When I enquired about the position of the project with the Union Shipping Ministry I was told there has been no communication from the Kerala Government regarding the Vizhinjam project. Vizhinjam is still with the State government. In fact, even the state cabinet has not taken any decision regarding the project,” Mr. Tharoor, MP elected from the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, said.
Mr. Tharoor said a delegation from the Spanish city of Barcelona will visit Thiruvananthapuram in October to hold talks on twinning the two capital cities.
He also said he had spoken to the Chief Justice of Kerala regarding the setting up of a High Court Bench in Thiruvananthapuram. “The realisation of the Bench will now depend on the open minded approach of the Chief Justice,” he said.
Former Union Minister O. Rajagopal was also present at the function presided over by the FRAT president Pattom Sasidharan Nair.