Vizhinjam should be cleared in next Cabinet meet: Tharoor

Friday, Jun 5, 2015,19:35 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Welcoming the decision of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to go ahead  with the implementation of Vizhinjam Port project despite the objections raised by the opposition, Congress leader and VISI Board director Shashi Tharoor has urged the government to finalise the decision to award the contract in the next cabinet meeting itself.
As the decision is the result of an ongoing process and the sustained efforts of several years, I am hopeful that the election code of conduct will not prevent this.
The VISL board had  unanimously upheld the bid in its meeting held on May 13 and ideally the decision should have been finalized in the next cabinet meeting  itself, considering the importance of this project. But instead it was  decided to postpone the decision till after the all-party meeting to  build a consensus on the decision. Dr Tharoor said in a statement  here.
He pointed out that in keeping with international best  practices, the final decision on awarding the contract should have been  taken within 30 days from opening the bid, i.e. on May 24th. This shows  that the Government had bent over backwards to accommodate all dissenting views.
Unfortunately, despite knowing that  Vizhinjam is a path-breaking project for the development of  Thiruvananthapuram and is of significant economic importance to the  state and the nation, the opposition parties have played into the hands  of the anti-Vizhinjam interests. Those who oppose Vizhinjam should  realize that this is the last viable opportunity to build the port, Dr Tharoor stated.
According to the information I had received  from various sources, and which has now been repeated publicly by the  Union Minister for Shipping, Gadkari, any further delay would result in  the transfer of this project to Colachel. If that occurs, it would be a  terrible injustice to the people of Thiruvananthapuram, who have eagerly waited for the fulfillment of this project for 25 long years, he  added.
The Congress leader also pointed out that he fails to see why  some are opposing the project by objecting to the selection of Adani,  who has already bagged the contract to implement the City Gas  Distribution (CGD) project in Ernakulam and whose work has commenced  there.
Those who oppose his selection after an open, transparent and  fair tender process should explain why a particular individual is  acceptable for Kochi’s development but not for Thiruvananthapuram’s.
He stressed that he would not relent until the Vizhinjam project  is implemented and would stand by the people of hiruvananthapuram in opposing those vested interests who act against it.