The Adani Port In Kerala Runs Into Rough Weather


The Vizhinjam sea port being constructed by Adani Ports and SEZ Private Limited has run into rough weather as the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report has found that the  unfavourable conditions in the concession agreement of the project have gone against the interests of the Kerala State government.  The CAG  report says that the standard concession period for PPP (public-private participation) projects is 30 years. But it has been fixed as 40 years. This would help Adani collect an additional revenue of INR 292 billion.

As per the agreement, the concession period of 40 years can be extended by 20 years on the condition of capacity augmentation. The draft agreement had limited it by 10 years. Had the government stuck to the 10-year norm, the State would have got INR 610 billion.   Now the benefit would go to the company.

The report has kicked up a political storm in Kerala.  Former chief minister and veteran CPM leader V S Achuthanandan  has demanded a white paper on the status of the project, which he said was still ‘unclear and mysterious’.  He is presently Chairman of the Kerala Administrative Reforms Commission.

The fish workers who are badly affected by the heavy dredging and the construction of the 3.8 KM long break water has come out strongly against the project. T Peter, General Secretary of the National Fish Workers’  Forum and Anto Elias, Secretary of the Kerala Independent Fish Workers’ Federation have said that the grievances of the fish workers are left unheard. They said in a statement that the government should listen to the veteran leader V S Achuthanandan and come out with a white paper.

The Western Ghats Protection Forum demanded that the state government should revise the project agreement with Adani. The forum said in a statement that rock mining for the project is destroying the ecologically fragile Western Ghats. The project needs about 10 million ton rocks to build the break water. Almost a million ton rocks have already been dumped into the sea. The dredging and the rock dumping have destroyed the ecological balance of the sea.

Vizhinjam port is being built on the edge of a bio-diversity rich wadge bank. The drudging and filling of the sea will permanently kill this wadge bank.


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