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A painting in blood to support Kerala port

 To express support for the proposed construction of Vizhinjam port near here, a colourful painting was made on Saturday using blood donated by 14 individuals from as many districts.

Thiruvananthapuram: To express support for the proposed construction of Vizhinjam port near here, a colourful painting was made on Saturday using blood donated by 14 individuals from as many districts.

The unusual way to express support came ahead of the June 3 all-party meet which will discuss the proposed tender that Adani Ports has won for constructing the Vizhinjam port near here.

On Saturday, a blood donation event was organised by activists of the Vizhinjam Motherport Action Samithi (V-mac) in front of the state secretariat, followed by a painting group creating a colourful map of Kerala within two hours.

Elias John, president of V-mac, told IANS it was a symbolic act of support by people to say that the state's interests should be of prime concern.

"For close to three decades, this has been the dream project of Kerala. But for various reasons, it could not go forward. Now the tender was floated and Adani Ports has won it, even though there was only one bidder. 

"The all-party meet should see that the sanction is given and not sit on technicalities," said John.

Once completed, ships with a capacity of even 18,000 TEU (20-feet equivalent units) will be able to dock here. The proposed port, located close to the busy international shipping route, is envisaged to handle 4.1 million containers annually.

The painting group Sognare Arte, comprising of two painters Khusi Patel and V.S Kiran, used around 60 ml of blood and other colours to complete a picture on a handmade paper canvas measuring 23 inches X 30 inches.

The picture is symbolic and the map of Kerala has been painted in green with the various rivers, symbolising the veins of the heart, painted in blood. The veins find their way into a ship, reflecting Vizhinjam port. 

"This picture will be handed over to Adani when he visits the capital city to show that the people of Kerala will support him," said John.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has called for the all-party meet to clear doubts over the government's decision to hand over construction of the proposed Vizhinjam port to Adani Ports.

The Rs.4,000-crore first phase of the port is to come up near the famed Kovalam beach. It is expected to be completed in three phases, with the first phase being ready by 2019.

Adani Ports was the lone bidder and had sought Rs.1,635 crore as grant for the proposed port project.