Special Correspondent

City Development Forum flays Union Government's decision to deny clearance

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Capital City Development Forum has urged the State Government to find a speedy resolution to the problems that have bogged down the project for an international deepwater container transhipment terminal at Vizhinjam.

A meeting of the forum here on Thursday flayed the Union Government's decision to deny security clearance for the project.

Forum secretary K. T. Roy said the involvement of Chinese firms in the consortium that had bid for the project could not be viewed as a security threat. He alleged that the Centre's decision was influenced by pressure from the Tamil Nadu Government which was planning a transhipment terminal at Kolachel.

The meeting said the demand by the UDF leadership to retender the project was aimed at delaying the project further.

It urged the State Government to identify a solution to the impasse and take steps to launch the project at the earliest. The meeting expressed solidarity with the 24- hour hunger strike announced by the Thiruvananthapuram Residents Apex Council (TRAC) on October 26 for the Vizhinjam project.

The forum accused the previous UDF Government of having delayed land acquisition for the city roads improvement project.

It said the proposed width of the roads was curtailed at several places to accommodate the interests of private landowners.

The meeting also said the UDF had scuttled several development projects for the capital city.

Law Minister and chairman of the forum M. Vijayakumar presided over the meeting. MPs, MLAs, Mayor C. Jayan Babu and representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, Residents Apex Council, Vyapari Vyavasayi Samithi, Travel and Tourism Council and the Environment and Development Initiatives, Thiruvananthapuram (EDIT) were present.

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