Managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO), and corporate affairs head of Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Limited (AVPPL) on Thursday filed a petition before the Kerala High Court seeking effective and adequate protection for completing the construction and operation of the Vizhinjam International Seaport project.
The petition filed by Rajesh Kumar Jha and Sushil Nair K.; MD and CEO, and corporation affairs head of AVPPL respectively; sought protection by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) as the Central government was making contribution through Viability Gap Fund for the project.
They wanted police protection for them and their employees and for the ingress and egress to the port site.
According to the petitioners, Metropolitan Archbishop of Latin Archdiocese Thomas J. Netto and his henchmen were creating obstructions and trying to prevent/delay the commissioning of the project.
Hundreds of people under the leadership of the priest had started agitation in front of the project site by blocking access to the port entry, and resulting in stalling the major ongoing works at the port. They had broken the barricades installed by the police and entered the high-security project site on August 16.
Though the petitioners had requested police protection, no effective steps had been provided to them. Instead, the area had witnessed a violent mob attack. The agitation had caused heavy losses and damages to the company and its contractor.
The police were remaining mute spectators and the silence of the police and the State was culpable. In fact, the project was nearing completion. it could not be completed as per the schedule because of the scarcity of rock boulders, natural disasters such as cyclones, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The petitioners pointed out that any further delay in completing the construction of the project would adversely affect the petitioners, the State government and the public since a portion of the works, including the construction of a breakwater and fishing harbour, was funded by public money.
Project director and senior manager of Howe Engineering Project (I) Private Limited, an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor of AVPPL has also sought police protection.