By Priti Naik
India’s first mother port with 20-meter natural depth and 12 nautical miles away from the international ship channel will be showcased in Vizhinjam in 2023. The port is expected to be commissioned by October 2023.
Kerala ports minister Ahammad Devarkoil visited the site last week and said that the work is in full swing and the project will keep its date. At present, India is dependent heavily on Colombo, Singapore and Dubai mother ports for transshipment of heavy cargos incurring additional cost and time, but once Vizhinjam, 16 km south of state capital, is commissioned it will bridge the gap.
Adani Vizhinjam Port Limited CEO Rajesh Jha said, “It will be a milestone in the maritime history of the country. The country will save crores of rupees in foreign exchange. And it will be cost-effective and time efficient for both, importers and exporters. We are at the gateway to the dream.” Exporters and importers can move their cargo without additional cost and speed and it will be a big boost to the manufacturing sector in the country, he said.
Another advantage of the Vizhinjam port is it needs minimum dredging as there is hardly any coastal movement along the coast to deposit sediments. In major ports, continuous dredging involves a lot of expenditure. A cruise terminal, modern fishing harbour and a maritime cluster form the part of the project. Since growth of many world class cities like London, Singapore and Rotterdam revolved around ports, Vizhinjam is on the threshold of massive development, urban planners vouch. There is a ten-fold increase in land prices in the coastal town once the port work started.
All major roads in the vicinity are getting developed and there will be a separate freight corridor. Besides this, Konkan Railway will also be developing an underground railway line from Balaramapuram (on Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari stretch) to the port city. Once completed, it will be second longest tunnel in the country. Presently, the 11.26-kilometre Pir Punjal tunnel is Jammu is the longest tunnel.