Examines complaints of tourism stakeholders regarding proposed project

Scot T. Adams, ombudsman at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), visited Vizhinjam on Monday to study the complaints relating to the IFC’s role in setting up a deepwater port there.

The IFC is the lead transaction adviser for the project. Tourism stakeholders in the project area had complained to the ombudsman that the IFC had not exercised due diligence in assessing all the factors involved while advising the State government on ‘a project having no economic logic.’

Mr. Adams listened to the presentation of the tourism stakeholders’ complaint in the morning and toured the coastal stretch of the shipping channel of the proposed port.

Answering questions from the media, he said he would meet the complainants and the stakeholder groups.

To meet Minister

On Tuesday, he will meet Ports Minister K. Babu, top government officials, and representatives of fishermen groups at Vizhinjam.

He will also meet Thiruvananthapuram MP and Union Minister of State for Human Resource Shashi Tharoor; former Ports Minister M. Vijayakumar; and MLAs from the coastal constituencies.

Four members of the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation Council had announced their intention to go on a day’s fast on Tuesday in protest against the ‘tourism lobby’s efforts to scuttle the Vizhinjam Project.’

The ombudsman will hold talks with them as well after they end their fast on Wednesday.

The IFC, an international agency, has set for itself certain performance standards in its functioning and the quality of services offered. Complaints on such issues are the concern of the ombudsman/compliance adviser.

The hotel and tourism industry stakeholders in the project area are aggrieved that the impact of the project on their thriving business has not been properly studied while making the cost-benefit analysis of the project.

The stakeholders also allege that the site selection is flawed.

  • Ombudsman to meet Ports Minister today

  • IFC is the project’s lead transaction adviser