Vizhinjam work to start by December

Special Correspondent

Global investor meet planned

Bid to get investors for the project from the meet

Alappuzha to be developed a major tourism site

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Work on the Vizhinjam International Container Transhipment Terminal will begin by December, Minister for Ports M. Vijayakumar told the Assembly on Monday.

Replying to a submission by V.J. Thankappan (CPI-M), Mr. Vijayakumar said the government had issued notification for acquiring 87 acres of land for creating infrastructure as envisaged in the revamped project proposal. The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) had completed the tender formalities for creating water supply infrastructure and the government had entrusted with the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) the task of preparing the rail connectivity plan. The government had also requested the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for assistance for road development in the area and would identify the agency that would do the environment impact study relating to the project soon, he said.

Mr. Vijayakumar said the government proposed to convene a global investor meet in April to find investors for the project and Expression of Interest (EoI) from prospective investors would be called by May. The tender process should be over by November-December and work on the project should begin this year, he said.

Mega tourism project

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told C.K. Sadasivan (CPI-M) that the government would propose the development of Alappuzha district as a major tourist destination in a mega tourism project to be submitted to the Centre soon. Only the Muziris project and Wayanad figured in the list of mega tourism projects in the State, he said. Mr. Balakrishnan told N. Sakthan (Congress) that the government would pay the investment subsidy arrears due to tourism project promoters this month and speed up payment of various subsidies they are eligible for within the shortest possible time.

Fare stage

Transport Minister Jose Thettayil told J. Arundhathi (CPI-M) that the government would soon constitute an expert committee to report on the demand for a review of the fare stages applicable to both the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private operators.

Central varsity land

Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran told C.H. Kunhambu (CPI-M) that the government would hand over land for Central University at Kasaragod as soon as the expert committee constituted for the purpose takes a final decision on which of the sites offered by the State was suitable for setting up the university. The State government had identified four sites, but the committee that visited some of them had expressed reservations about these. Mr. Rajendran said local disputes were coming in the way of making land available to the university. Any further delay would not be in the interests of the university or the State.

JICA scheme

Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran told K.M. Mani (KC-M) and V. Sivankutty (CPI-M) in reply to separate submissions that 74 mld water would become additionally available in the capital city once the JICA-aided water supply scheme was commissioned by Vishu.