Development of Azhikkal port here will once again be brought to the limelight by a panel formed by representatives of people and the trade and commerce sector here.
The latest initiative for highlighting the demand was taken by local MLA K.M. Shaji, who convened a meeting here on September 20.
The development of Azhikkal as an intermediate port, with private-public partnership, has been in the pipeline for some time. Last year, the then Ports Minister M. Vijayakumar had announced that a global meet would be hosted for mobilising investment for the port's development. Presently, sandbars at the port's mouth and shallowness of some pockets in the basin make the port hardly navigable for medium vessels.
The meeting has given a fresh impetus to the demand. The 65-member committee that was formed following the meeting will be chaired by K. Sudhakaran, MP. Its convener is Mr. Shaji. MLAs A.P. Abdullakutty and T.V. Rajesh will be its vice-chairmen. P. Karunakaran, MP, and nine other MLAs in the district are patrons. Among the members is district panchayat president K. Sarala. North Malabar Chamber of Commerce president Maheshchandra Baliga is treasurer.
The first meeting of the committee would be held at Chamber Hall here on September 24. An expert committee headed by retired Admiral K. Mohan will be formed that day. The committee members will meet Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Ports Minister K. Babu to press for steps to expedite port expansion.