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Adani Ports gets extension for dredging of Muthalapozhi Harbour Channel

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KOCHI : Kerala Port Minister Shri V N Vasavan said Adani Ports has been given an extension to complete the dredging activities in the navigation channel of nearby Muthalappozhi Harbour on Tuesday, which has been witnessing frequent boat accidents and deaths for some years.

While giving a reply during the question hour, the minister said the government had entered into an agreement with the Adani Ports in this regard in 2018, and the contract expired on June 11 this year.

However, the company was given an extension to complete the work as it was delayed, he said. When legislator Saneesh Kumar Joseph (Congress) asked whether the government would be ready to take action against the port authorities for failing to fulfill its assurance, the minister, who spoke on behalf of Fisheries Minister Saji Cheriyan in his absence, didn’t give a clear reply.

“It is true that the contract period with Adani Ports was over. So, the port representatives and respective ministers held discussions and gave extension to complete the dredging work in a time-bound manner. They are now continuing their work,” Vasavan said.

Joseph pointed out that the situation in Muthalappozhi was extremely grave, and as many as 73 people had already lost their lives there.

Another Congress legislator M Vincent also urged the government to take urgent short-term measures to address the concerns of fishermen in the hamlet.

He said even if the state government had submitted Rs 164 crore project to the Centre for the development of Muthalapozhi, it would take several years to get the final nod from the union government and for its completion after finishing the tender procedures and subsequent works.

Over 70 people were reportedly killed and a large number of boats were capsized in Muthalappozhi, a coastal hamlet where a river and a lake meet the Arabian Sea, and its surrounding areas in recent years.

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