Signalling a paradigm shift in executing big ticket projects, the second Pinarayi Vijayan government is all set to fast-track the development of the main ports in the State.
In an interview to The Hindu , Minister for Ports and Museums Ahammad Devarkovil indicated that the government was keenly focusing on the multi-crore Vizhinjam International Transshipment Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport as well as the Malabar Seaport at Azhikkal in Kannur.
Already several rounds of discussions have been held with representatives of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. to complete the international transshipment project at Vizhinjam within two years. Also, Ahmedabad-based Howe Engineering Projects India Private Limited had been tasked to prepare the Detailed Project Report for the development of Malabar Seaport at Azhikkal. The estimated project is ₹3,698 crore.
“The government hopes to start the inaugural works within three months and complete the project in three years,” Mr. Devarkovil said.
He said the focus of the government was primarily on commencing container shipping service at Azhikkal, Beypore, Kollam and Vizhinjam minor port, off Thiruvananthapuram within six months. Likewise, he said, steps would be taken to build a new wharf at Beypore as well as commence the operation of big vessels from the port.
“The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, has conducted a preliminary study and land has been acquired for this purpose. Now a DPR will be prepared to go ahead with the project. Modalities will be worked out for a tourism shipping service between Kerala and Lakshadweep,” the Minister said.
To prop up the tourism sector, Mr. Devarkovil said that the department had plans to begin the Beypore-Kochi-Thiruvananthapuram passenger ship service possibly in June-July.
The Vadakara-Beypore coastal tourism destination project was also in the budding stage. A similar plan was also conceived to develop coastal tourism in Kasaragod, he said.
Regarding the development of museums, he said each district would have an institution, including an art gallery, dedicated to preserving its historical and cultural heritage.