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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 29 (IANS) The work on the much delayed dream project of the Vizhinjam Port in the state will begin this year, said a minister Tuesday.
Speaking to IANS, state Ports Minister K. Babu said that the environment impact assessment (EIA) report is expected to be submitted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) soon.
"The EIA has been done over three seasons extending over a period of 18 months. The report is expected anytime now and will be handed over to the district administration. We expect it to be ready for submission to the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) in a month's time," said Babu.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries.
The proposed Vizhinjam port is to come up near the famed tourist destination of Kovalam, about 15 km from here.
The proposed site has a natural depth of 24 metres, one of the deepest in the world and hence requires no dredging.
"The tender for the project is getting ready and once the clearance from the MoEF comes, it will be published. We are certain the work will begin this year," said Babu.
The project to be completed in three phases has been in the drawing board of three previous governments.
The project cost close to Rs.5,000 crores about five years back and was revised by the present Oommen Chandy government to Rs.4,010 crores for the first phase.
The port will be located close to a busy international shipping route, and is envisaged to handle 4.1 million containers annually.