Says work to begin after delimitation exercise is over
While partially allowing Union Minister of State for Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan’s appeal for upgrading the Nagercoil municipality into Corporation, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami maintained inexplicable silence on his appeal for the State government’s cooperation for establishing the commercial seaport and the proposed airport near Kanniyakumari even as he was addressing in the MGR birth centenary celebrations held here on Saturday.
After the proposal for establishing Enayam International Container Transhipment Terminal was shifted to Kovalam near Kanniyakumari owing to stiff resistance from the public, particularly the fishermen’s opposition, Mr. Radhakrishnan met the Chief Minister twice to press his appeal for the State Government’s cooperation in realizing his dream project.
However, no significant progress has been made so far even in survey of land at Kovalam for the ₹ 18,000-crore project as the fishermen’s resistance continues there also.
As he participated in the MGR birth centenary celebrations held here on Saturday, Mr. Radhakrishnan, who has also set in motion his efforts to establish an airport near Kanniyakumari, sought an assurance on Tamil Nadu government’s cooperation for establishing the seaport (at Kovalam) and the airport in or near Kanniyakumari that attracts over 75 lakh domestic and foreign tourists every year.
“Since the seaport and the airport would jointly accelerate the growth of Kanniyakumari district in all spheres, the Tamil Nadu government, which is cooperating with the Union government in every possible aspect, should cooperate for establishing the harbor and the airport also. If the government cannot find adequate land for the airport, it may be established either somewhere in Kanniyakumari district or on a suitable site so close to Kanniyakumari,” Mr. Radhakrishnan appealed amidst thunderous applause from the audience.
He, after listing out the quantum of money pumped in by the Union Government in Kanniyakumari district for infrastructure development over the past four years and the ₹4,000 crore released by the Centre for the electrification and doubling of track between Madurai and Kanniyakumari via Vaanchi Maniyaachi, also said the State government should upgrade the Nagercoil municipality into the Corporation.
When he addressed, Mr. Palaniswami read out a long list of development works to be executed in Kanniyakumari district over the next two years, including induction of two more ferries in addition to the existing three to take the tourists to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, two more jetties there at the cost of ₹ 20 crore to operate three ferries simultaneously, rope car to the memorial, marine bridge to connect the memorial with the Thiruvulluvar Rock on an outlay ₹ 120 crore etc.
The Chief Minister also announced the formation of Killiyoor and Thiruvattar taluks.
Mr. Palaniswami, while referring to the demands from the Union Minister, announced that work on upgrading the Nagercoil municipality into the Corporation would commence after the ongoing delimitation exercise was over, which was welcomed with wild cheers that was short-lived when the Chief Minister remained silent over Mr. Radhakrishnan’s remaining two demands seeking State Government’s cooperation for establishing seaport and the airport.