Vizhinjam Port: Kerala High Court Directs Church-Led Protestors To Remove Obstructions

On Tuesday (1 November), the Kerala High Court (HC) directed the people protesting against Vizhinjam International Seaport to remove obstructions to entry and exit of the underconstruction port.

Adani Ports, which is building the transshipment port in Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram, filed a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking police protection from those protesting against the construction work.

The court is now considering a contempt case by Adani Vizhinjam Port Pvt Ltd (AVPL) alleging that the state government is not implementing the court’s order for providing police protection.

In this regard, Justice Anu Sivaraman directed the counsel representing the protesters to ensure that there is no obstruction to the ingress and egress to the project site and counsel had submitted that there is no obstruction, reports The Economic Times.

Christian bodies are leading the protests against Vizhinjam port’s construction.

The Latin Archdiocese is pressing for several demands, including halting the construction work and to conduct a coastal impact study in connection with the multi-crore project.

Significance of Vizhinjam Port

The deep-water, multipurpose, international seaport and container transshipment terminal at Vizhinjam is being constructed by Adani Vizhinjam Ports Pvt Ltd (AVPPL). It is expected to boost India’s maritime ambitions significantly.

The port project was signed during the tenure of the Congress-led UDF government led by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The Adani Group and the Kerala government signed a Rs 7,525 crore deal, but the project hit several roadblocks and controversies.

Once complete, Vizhinjam will emerge as a significant competition to the transshipment ports of Colombo, Singapore and Dubai as it is the only transshipment hub in the Indian subcontinent, closest to the international shipping routes, and is centrally located on the Indian coastline. It has a natural draft of 20-24 m and minimal littoral drift.

The port will also offer infrastructure to handle Megamax containerships. Its capacity in phase 1 is 1 million TEUs; in subsequent phases, another 6.2 million TEUs will be added.