Ports Department mulls executing project with KIIFB support
With the Lakshadweep administration yet to show any interest in taking up the construction of a dedicated wharf for them as agreed earlier at Beypore Port, the Ports Department here is planning to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) independently for its execution by sourcing the financial support of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).
A meeting attended by Ports Minister Ahammad Devarkovil and Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas last week had discussed the possibilities of the project, which was also welcomed by stakeholders in the shipping industry.
“A number of special projects are on the cards for the development of the port, including the extension of the existing wharf and the construction of new ones. A Detailed Project Report is ready for one of the proposed wharfs other than the one now under consideration for Lakshadweep,” said Beypore Port Officer Ashwini Prathap. He said the project details for the dedicated wharf for Lakshadweep would be clear within a couple of weeks.
The Port authorities decided to go ahead with the project independently as the Lakshadweep Development Corporation (LDC) had been coldshouldering the project for over 10 years even after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2010. According to LDC officials, the waterfront identified for the construction of the independent wharf was not an ideal spot due to the technical difficulties in getting clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests. However, the Port authorities here had dismissed the claims.
The proposal for an independent wharf was approved several years ago as it was an important requirement for the easy handling of mercantile and passenger vessels at the port. The MoU was signed between the LDC and Kerala after a series of discussions and approvals. Infrastructures Kerala Limited, a public-private partnership company promoted by the Government of Kerala was then in the forefront of executing it.
In the latest proposal, the plan of the State government is to lease out the wharf on completion of the project to LDC. According to sources, the LDC is also in favour of the proposal as they can be free from various civil works and mandatory technical clearances associated with the project.
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