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FRAT to submit plea to Prime Minister

Posted on 30 Oct 2006
The Federation of Residents Associations, Thiruvananthapuram (FRAT) is organising a mass signature campaign all over the district on Friday and Saturday for the Vizhinjam container transhipment terminal.
FRAT president T.K. Bhaskara Panicker, general secretary Paraniyam Devakumar and public relations convener Jagathy Sivan Thampy told a press conference here on Wednesday that the signatures collected from the campaign would be affixed to a memorandum to be submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his visit to the State capital later this month.
The signature campaign will be held in front of the Secretariat on Friday and at 28 locations all over the district on Saturday. The Federation has contacted political, cultural, social and religious leaders, voluntary workers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to drum up support for the campaign.
The leaders said the memorandum would appeal to the Prime Minister to expedite the project. Flaying the Union Government's denial of security clearance for the Indo-Chinese consortium that had bagged the contract for the project, they said it smacked of discrimination towards the State. They pointed out that Centre had had no qualms in approving Chinese companies for the construction of the Sasen power project in Madhya Pradesh and the development of the international airport in Hyderabad. The leaders feared that a re-tender would prove costly for the project in terms of the time spent in processing the bids. Mr. Panicker said a container terminal at Vizhinjam would save the country a huge amount in transhipment charges for cargo. He said the project could still be salvaged by restructuring the consortium, leaving out the Chinese firms.
FRAT published the list of 28 locations where the signature campaign will be held on October 28. Apart from the city, booths will be set up in areas such as Sreekariyam, Karakkamandapam, Vizhinjam, Kilimanoor, Attingal, Edava, Pirappancode, Vithura, Neyyatinkara, Balaramapuram and Kunnathukal.