AIADMK opposed to new transshipment project in Kanyakumari

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Chennai, March 5 (IANS) The AIADMK local leadership has petitioned the state leadership of the party against the new transshipment port to be commissioned at Kanyakumari in a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

The transshipment port, according to the project, will be a greenfield port and a container shipment hub.

Expression of interest has been invited from the port builders by the public sector VO Chidambaranar Port to build the 6.5 million TEU capacity transshipment port. The port will be managed by Kanyakumari port, a special purpose vehicle floated jointly by VO Chidambaranar Port, Cochin Port Trust and Chennai Port Trust.

However, the local fishermen community is against the project.

A. Devasahayam, a leader of the fishermen folk, told IANS, “We will not allow such a port here. There is one port at Kulachil and the Vizhinjam port is just 64 km away. What is the need for this new port? It will lead to high tides and loss of fish wealth, which will effect our lives. We are totally opposed to this project.”

There are already two fishing harbours at Kanyakumari — the Chinnamuttam fishing harbour and the Muttam fishing harbour — and a new port with huge transshipment movement is causing fear among the fishermen community. There were protests when the Central government had earlier proposed the project.

The New Delhi representative of the Tamil Nadu government, Dalavai Sundaram, protested against the new port at Kanyakumari while the local AIADMK leadership is totally against the project.

Sethuraman, AIADMK leader in Kanyakumari, told IANS, “A people’s government must take the interests of the people as priority. If the transshipment project caters to the huge business conglomerates, affecting the lives of ordinary people, the government must shelve it.”

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswamy will have to take a call on the matter and sources in the state government said that the government will move ahead only if it gets positive feedback from the local party leadership.

–IANS

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