Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) A mother ship carrying heavyweight cranes from China will be the first to berth at the Vizhinjam port -- the first phase of which is nearing completion.
According to top Port sources, the first ship is expected to berth here in the last week of this month and would be received by the Union Minister of Shipping Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and top officials.
Incidentally, this momentous event takes place five years later than its original plan.
An international meeting of port stakeholders is also being planned here in October.
During the commencement of the port by Adani on December 5, 2015, its founder Gautam Adani had announced that the first ship will berth here on September 1, 2018, in a record time of less than 1,000 days.
But it failed to meet the deadline due to various factors. At the moment, more than 80 per cent of the first phase of the work at the port is over.
Soon after the first ship arrives, seven more ships are scheduled to arrive and the port will be opened to commercial operations in May next year.
Once opened, the port will prove to be a game-changer not just for Kerala but for the entire country as 80 per cent of transshipments to India which currently takes place at Colombo, Singapore and Dubai, will arrive at Vizhinjam.
Inked during the Congress-led UDF government under Chief Minister Oommen Chandy (2011-16), the work for the port began at the fag end of Chandy's tenure, but after the Pinarayi Vijayan government took over, due to numerous reasons, the pace could not be followed.
After cyclone Ockhi hit the construction site in 2017, a portion of the constructed breakwater was washed away and since then the shortage of limestone, the most important raw material for the project, caused yet another delay.
The total cost of the port project is Rs 7,525 crore for which the state government has contributed 500 acres of land.
According to the agreement, Adani will operate the port for 40 years, extendable by 20 more years, while the state government will get a portion of the revenue from the port after 15 years.
According to the project, a record one lakh jobs which includes direct and indirect ones will be created and hence the arrival of the first mother ship is eagerly awaited.