Thiruvananthapuram: The Opposition Congress-led UDF on Monday took on Kerala's ruling Left in the Assembly over the delay in implementation of the Vizhinjam port project and alleged that the state government was trivialising the violation of agreement by the Adani Group.
State Ports Minister Ahamed Devarkovil rejected the allegations and said that the state government was doing everything in its power to expedite the project.
Lashing out at the government over the issue, Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan asked it to effectively intervene in the Vizhinjam port project in order to ensure its completion without further delay.
"The Oommen Chandy government fought legal battles to get various permissions and consents for the project. The agreement said that the project, which started in 2015, would be completed by December 3, 2019. However, the Adani group has informed the government that the project can be completed only by 2023," Satheesan said, before the opposition staged a walk from the Assembly over the issue.
He said the state government has not yet levied the fine of Rs 12 lakh per day from the Adani group for the violation of the agreement.
"The minister, who is of the opinion that the four-year-long delay was due to rains and COVID-19, is actually trivialising the violation of agreement," he said.
Satheesan said it was evident that only one-fifth of the construction has been completed till now.
"Is this how mega projects are handled in the state? The government has left the whole construction process to the hands of Adani group. If this is the pace, then the construction will not be completed even after ten years," Satheesan said.
Devarkovil said the company has listed various reasons, including cyclone Ockhi and the floods, for the delay in the project.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier last month said that the state government was "viewing seriously" a provision in its agreement with the Adani Group that a fine can be imposed if it failed to meet the deadline for executing the Vizhinjam Port project here.
As per the agreement between the state government and the Adani group, the project was to be completed by December 2019 and if it was not completed after that, there is a provision of imposing a fine of Rs 12 lakh per day.
Located in Vizhinjam, Thiruvananthapuram, Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd is developing the deep-sea water port as India's first Mega Transshipment Container Terminal.
The company has said the world class, future ready port is the only transshipment hub in the Indian subcontinent, closest to the international shipping routes, and is centrally located on the Indian coastline.