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Another extension for Vizhinjam port project?

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 | 00:00

With the December 2019 time frame set to commission Phase I of the International Multi-purpose Deepwater Seaport project at Vizhinjam by Adani Group to be missed, the big question is when will the private multi-port operator complete the first phase.

For Adani Vizhinjam Ports Ltd (AVPL), the multi-port operator tasked with the execution of the ambitious PPP project, this is the second time that the target is being missed. The Adani Group is known for completing all infra projects undertaken by it ahead of schedule and dream project of Kerala has been a difficult terrain.

Adani Group chairman Gautam S. Adani had announced September 1, 2018 as the 1,000 days target after signing the concession pact for the project between the State and AVPL in August 2015 though a four-year deadline had been fixed in the agreement.

“Only 20% of the 3.1 km long breakwater and 40% of dredging and reclamation has been completed since works began on December 2015. All piles of the berth had been driven and top longitudinal and transverse beams had been cast and 30 to 40 per cent is in place,” official sources associated with the project told The Hindu.

The critical portion of the 3.1 km long breakwater in the deep waters is yet to commence and it will need at least one year for the Phase I to be completed going by the current pace of works, sources said.

The AVPL has not given any thing in writing to the Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL) and the government on the completion of the Phase I nor has sought any extension, a top AVPL official said.

“All other works are as per schedule and we are awaiting clearance on the quarries to source granite,”’ he added.

Three requests for extension sought citing the hurdles were rejected and one is under examination by the independent engineer. This includes the 16-month extension sought by the AVPL for the completion of the project in the wake of the Cyclone Ockhi.

The delay is on account of the 10 man-days lost due to local protest allegedly over the damage caused to houses because of drilling near the coast, problems over the procurement of rocks for the breakwater, the revision of the NGT order on the EIA norms and the 7.2m high waves that lashed during the November 30 Ockhi cyclone.

“In Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects, there is no room for granting extension for completion. Sourcing granite for the breakwater is the responsibility of the AVPL and the application for the revenue land quarrying came only in April 2018”, sources said.
Source: The Hindu

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