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Kerala CM to meet PM as Jintao skirts Vizhinjam Port Issue

Posted on 27 Nov 2006
After Chinese premier Hu Jintao made no mention about the Rs 4,360-crore Vizhinjam port in Kerala, chief minister VS Achuthananthan has decided to take up the issue in New Delhi next week. The development of the port hit a roadblock after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs blacklisted the two Chinese firms that were identified for building the Vizhinjam deepwater international container terminal. Kerala government was pinning its hopes on Jintao to revive the issue. Asked if he was disappointed by Hu Jintao’s silence, Achuthanandan said he intended to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh again. “I have every intention to take up the Vizhinjam port issue again during my meeting with Prime Minister on November 29,” he said. At least two major players—Reliance Group and former BPL chief Rajeev Chandrasekhar—had shown interest in bidding for the Vizhinjam port. But re-tendering formalities is likely to drag the project, resulting in crucial shipping business loss. After Hong Kong-based Hutchinson Port Holdings, which was kept out of Mumbai offshore container terminal, it is the second consortium from China that faced roadblocks due to security reasons. The two firms in the consortium for Vizhinjam ICT, besides Mumbai-based Zoom Developers, are Kaidi Electric Power and Chinese Harbour Engineering Company. The government is not in favour of these Chinese firms entering the port sector as one of them are engaged in port development in Pakistan. - Source: The Financial Express, Nov 22