The board of directors of the proposed Vizhinjam Seaports International Limited on Wednesday accepted the bid of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited for the construction, operation and development of the port and the container transshipment terminal on PPP model.
Adani Group was the lone bidder for the project that has remained a non-starter for past one decade for want of bidders, despite the project being highlighted as a dream venture by the state.
Kerala minister for ports K Babu said a final decision on the board recommendation would be taken in the next cabinet meeting. The decision of the board headed by chief minister Oommen Chandy was unanimous. The government is of the opinion that if not now, the project would never come up , Babu added .
The CPI (M) national leadership has been critical about Gautam Adani, with polit buro member Prakash Karat dubbing him as a capitalist who has increased his wealth by Rs 25,000 crore in a span of one year.’’
However, in Kerala, the party-led Opposition has remained silent despite the government’s move.
Two weeks ago, politburo member M B Baby had said in his post that clarity was needed on the project and demanded that details of the bid be made public.
First phase of the project would cost Rs 7,525 crore. Of this, Adani Group would invest Rs 2,454 crore and the state Rs 4,253 crore.
The Centre and the state government would be supposed to give Rs 800 crore each as viability gap funding for Vizhinjam, which hopes to cash in on the international sea route connectivity.