From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Vizhinjam Port Project
Mains level : Port-led development in India
Vizhinjam near Thiruvananthapuram, is on the boil due to the under-construction Vizhinjam Port Project, from both sea and land.
Vizhinjam Port Project
- The Vizhinjam International Transhipment Deep-water Multipurpose Seaport is an ambitious project taken up by Government of Kerala.
- It is designed primarily to cater container transhipment besides multi-purpose and break bulk cargo.
- The port is being currently developed in landlord model with a Public Private Partnership component on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer (“DBFOT”) basis.
Why protests are erupted?
- The protestors have been opposing the construction work by the Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Limited.
- Adani group is developing the port on DBFOT basis.
What lies at the heart of the protest?
- According to fisherfolk, the port work has aggravated the coastal erosion along the coast of Thiruvananthapuram.
- A scientific study to assess the impact of the port work on the shoreline has to be conducted urgently by stopping the construction.
- Further, around 300 families along the coastline were shifted to relief camps after their houses were destroyed due to high-intensity coastal erosion.
- The protesters demand a comprehensive rehabilitation package, an assured minimum wage when the sea turns rough due to inclement weather and subsidised kerosene for boats.
Why the Vizhinjam project is considered important?
- The port is located on the southern tip of the Indian Peninsula, just 10 nautical miles from the major international sea route and east-west shipping axis.
- It has a natural water depth of more than 20 m within a nautical mile from the coast.
- The Vizhinjam port is likely to play a pivotal role in the maritime development of the country and Kerala.
- The commissioning of the port is expected to leverage the growth of 17 minor ports in the State along with creating thousands of employment opportunities.