Ports Minister calls for an end to Vizhinjam stir

It will create tens of thousands of jobs, changing the very face of Thiruvananthapuram, says Devarkovil

Published - October 30, 2022 08:22 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Protestors led by the Latin Arch Diocese burn a fishing boat at sea at Vizhinjam. File

Protestors led by the Latin Arch Diocese burn a fishing boat at sea at Vizhinjam. File | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

Considering the national importance of the Vizhinjam international seaport, the protesters led by the Thiruvananthapuram archdiocese of the Catholic Church (Latin rite), should end the strike stalling the port work, said Ports Minister Ahamed Devarkovil here on Saturday. Though around 30% of India’s cargo movement is through the Vizhinjam international shipping channel, around three-quarters of the total cargo movement is currently handled by the Colombo port.

It is estimated that the country lost around ₹2,000 crore a year. With the commissioning of the Vizhinjam port, about ₹1,500 crore worth of cargo can be transhipped through the port, said Mr. Devarkovil. If the two berths of 400 metres in the first phase of the port construction are operational, there will be a trade of at least ₹200 crore in the first year itself, he added.

The port will be equipped to handle one million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) of containers when the first phase of the ₹7,700-crore project is completed. This will bring in development and create tens of thousands of employment opportunities, changing the very face of Thiruvananthapuram. The Minister also said that the cargo arriving at Vizhinjam can also be shipped to other small ports in the State through feeder vessels.

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