Kerala: First container ship, San Fernando, arrives from China's Xiamen Port

Vizhinjam Port Begins Trial Operations
Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal  promoting lighthouse tourism with stakeholders at the wonderful Vizhinjam Lighthouse in Kerala on Thursday.
Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal promoting lighthouse tourism with stakeholders at the wonderful Vizhinjam Lighthouse in Kerala on Thursday.

Thiruvananthapuram: The first container ship, San Fernando, has arrived at the Vizhinjam Port in Thiruvananthapuram. The ship reached here after setting sail from Xiamen Port in China. It was greeted by a water salute by the state.

This is a significant milestone in the state's ambitious economic infrastructure development initiative. The arrival of the ship marks the beginning of trial operations at the port.

The trial operation will continue for two to three months. In the coming days, the port will witness the arrival of large ships, which will strengthen Kerala's position on the global transshipment port map.

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal will be the chief guest in the official welcome ceremony to be held on Friday morning. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other state ministers, as well as dignitaries and representatives of the public, will also participate in the event. Thousands of people are expected to witness this historic event.

Vizhinjam International Port, developed under a public-private partnership model, began construction in 2015. On August 17, 2015, the Government of Kerala entered into a concession agreement with Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Ltd. (AVPPL) for the development and operation of the Vizhinjam International deepwater multipurpose port and construction work started on December 5. This vessel, carrying over 1,000 containers, is anchored at the port as part of a trial run ahead of the commencement of commercial operations

However, MP Shashi Tharoor, registered his disapproval of the event. He gave reasons on not wishing to join the celebrations of the “trial run” arrival of the vessel at the Vizhinjam Port in his constituency on Froday. Tharoor wrote, " I am a strong supporter of the port project, but ten months after the celebration of the first arrival of a cargo ship (which I attended), there has been no progress on the legitimate demands of the local people for compensation and rehabilitation of those whose lives and livelihoods have been affected. Commitments made by the previous UDF government have not been honoured by the present LDF government. I sincerely hope that the pending issues and grievances of the local community would be visibly and satisfactory addressed before the Port commences its formal operations later this year."

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