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Suresh Gopi inaugurated a ‘head-shaving function,’ organised by the VMAC

Posted on 13 Dec 2014

Actor Suresh Gopi inaugurated a ‘head-shaving function,’ organised by the Vizhinjam Motherport Action Council (V-Mac), in front of the Secretariat here on Sunday.

Around 100 people took part in the protest aimed at ‘prompting the State government to speed up work on the Vizhinjam project,’ a press release issued by V-Mac said here.

The Andhra Pradesh government had last year earned a revenue of Rs.1,500 crore by exporting hair collected from pilgrim centres where it was a custom for devotees to shave their heads. People of Kerala could be asked to donate their hair to enable the State government to raise part of the funds required to build the Vizhinjam port. The demonstration highlighted this possibility, the release said.

Two tenders floated by Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd. (VISL), the government agency spearheading the efforts to set up the port, had pegged the total investment required for the project at an ‘inflated level’ of Rs.5,250 crore.

Of this, Rs.4,000 crore should come from the private sector. This would intimidate investors, the release said.

When this issue became a controversy, Minister for Ports K. Babu had told the Assembly that the expected cost of the project would come to only Rs.3,610 crore. He told the Assembly this week that the government would spend Rs.1,250 crore on the project. V-Mac urged the government to build the port by adopting the landlord model, with the infrastructure being set up entirely under the public sector, and only the operation of the port being handled by a private entity, the release said.

The people of the State would gladly donate their hair to raise more than Rs.1,400 crore for the project, the release added.