Kochi::September 13

The damning comptroller and auditor general (CAG) report on the Vizhinjam port project has once again come into the spotlight with the Kerala high court on Wednesday flagging the report to express reservations over the terms of the agreement inked between the state government and the Adani group for the construction of the Vizhinjam multipurpose deepwater seaport.

The court was hearing a public interest writ petition filed by M K Salim of Kollam district seeking a probe by the CBI into the findings of the CAG report on the Vizhinjam port project.

Citing the CAG report, the Kerala high court orally observed that the terms of agreement of the Vizhinjam port project gave the short shrift to Kerala and that no profits would accrue to the state in the first 40 years of operation of the port.

Pulling up the state government for unilaterally inking the agreement with the Adani group, the HC directed the government to explain its stand on the issue on September 25.

The CAG had in May this year tabled a report in the state assembly stating that the provisions in the project agreement for the Vizhinjam port was heavily skewed in favour of the Adani group, thereby depriving the state exchequer of crores of rupees.

The CPI(M)-led LDF government had ordered a judicial probe into the terms of the Vizhinjam port project agreement in the wake of the adverse findings in the CAG report.

The project agreement was signed with the Adani group during the tenure of the previous congress-led UDF government.

Oommen Chandy, the then chief minister, has welcomed the judicial probe into the terms of the Vizhinjam agreement.

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