Adani Ports, which is building the upcoming Rs 7,525 crore Vizhinjam Ports near here, Tuesday pledged Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the dead on account of cyclone Ockhi that struck Thiruvananthapuram on November 30 last year.
The assurance was given by Adani Ports CEO Karan Adani in a meeting with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the state capital.
According to the Kerala government, 52 people were killed and 91 remain missing and a huge majority of Athese came from the two coastal villages located near the upcoming port site.
The main purpose of the visit of Adani was to meet Vijayan and request that they be given an extension of time for completing the port project as they have suffered huge damages on account of Ockhi.
Vijayan is understood to have told Adani that it might not be possible to give any extension at the moment and advised that they bring additional equipment to make up for the lost time.
Two heavy dredgers got damaged when the cyclone struck, besides due to various environmental issues, lime stones from granite quarries here is not being freely available, which is the main raw material for the construction's first phase.
As per the contract which was inked under the Oommen Chandy government on August 17, 2015, the port was to be opened on December 5, 2019, but last month Adani Ports informed the state government that due to the disaster, they need an extension of 18 months.
Rakesh Jha, a top official of Adani Ports who accompanied Adani to meet Vijayan, later told the media that definitely they are going ahead with the project but it might not be possible to finish as per the original schedule.
As per the agreement, Adani Ports will have to pay a compensation of Rs 12 lakh for every day, if they do not complete on the agreed date of completion, but another clause in the agreement says that if by any chance there is a delay due to natural disaster or shortage of raw materials, the penalty clause cannot be invoked.