As Ockhi cyclone and non-availability of rock played spoilsport, the commissioning of the first phase of the Vizhinjam port, projected to be one of the world’s deepest seaports when completed, will be delayed by at least 13 months.
The first phase of the Adani’s Rs 7,525-crore Vizhinjam port was scheduled to be completed in September this year. ”Now, it is scheduled to be commissioned in October 2020,” Adani Vizhinjam Port Pvt Ltd CEO Rajesh Jha said.
Stating that such delays are expected in mega projects, he pointed out that the Ockhi waves in 2017 caused severe damage. It had destroyed 25 per cent of the completed works. Then there was a shortage of stones.
He pointed out that 98 per cent of piling for the container berth had been completed and now efforts were on to mobilise granite to complete the remaining 2.5-km section of the breakwater. Orders had alredat been placed by the company for crane and other equipment from Japan and China. The first phase of the seaport project includes construction of a 3.1-km breakwater, an 800-m container berth and a fishing harbour.
“Once completed, Vizhinjam would handle 80 per cent of the country’s cargo trans-shipments, added Jha.
Sources said efforts are on to bring rock from Maharashtra and other states. Apart from this, Adani Company has taken the initiative to source rock from quarries in Thuiruvananthapurama, Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts.
The construction of breakwater has been hit with the non availability of rock. In this regard, the government has asked the officials to speed up the process of sanctioning quarries to Adani group.
As many as 70 tonnes of rock is needed for the construction activities of Vizhinjam port. One of the major hurdles that is faced is the non- availability of quarry.
Despite all the hurdles, the government hopes that the construction of the port would be completed as per schedule.
As part of the agreement, it is the company that has to source the rock. But with the company now finding it hard to get granite, the government had decided to help them in finding it.
Ports Minister Kadannapally Ramachandran said that the Independent engineer evaluates the progress of the work once in two weeks. Apart from this, the Project Implementation Committee and the empowered Committee also evaluates the work periodically.