Thiruvananthapuram: In a boost to Kerala`s proposed Vizhinjam International Container Terminal project here, the Defence Ministry has expressed interest to participate in the project seeking one berth each for Navy and Indian Coast Guard, considering the port`s strategic location.
This was stated by Minister for Ports K Babu in the Assembly while replying to a calling attention to take urgent steps to materialise Vizhinjam International Seaport.
In response to the request of Navy and Coast Guard to have 500 mt and 120 mt berths each for these two defence wings of the country, the state government has agreed to provide these facilities on cost sharing basis, Babu said.
Defence Minister A K Antony and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had already held discussion on it. Defence Ministry Joint Secretary has been asked to examine the matter, it was learnt, Babu added.
Facilities for Navy and Coast Guard would be offered in such a manner that it would not in any way affect the commercial activities of the port, Babu said.
Amphibious brigade of the Army is stationed here and so the Vizhinjam port once completed could be used for joint operations of Army and Navy, he pointed out.
`With the co-operation and participation of Indian Navy and Coast Guard, Kerala`s dream Vizhinjam project has reached a new scale`, Babu said.
On the environment impact study report, he said it would be published for public hearing later this month.
Tenders inviting EPC and to select Port Operator of the project, to be implemented on Land Lord Model route, would be made after getting the Environment clearance, Babu added.
In the master-plan it was proposed to have facility to berth 18,000 TEU capacity mother vessels and also there would be a Fish Landing Centre.
Referring to the steps on land acquisition, he said 42 families, whose land had been acquired, have been rehabilitated.