A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Lakshadweep Development Corporation (LDC) and the State Port Department to construct a 200-metre dedicated berth for the Lakshadweep Island at the Beypore Port here is losing steam as the construction work on the much-hyped project is yet to begin.
According to port officials here, the written requests they submitted to the LDC too have not evoked any positive response.It was in November, 2010, that the MoU was signed between the LDC and the State Port Department to begin the project at the earliest to ease the travelling woes of the islanders to the mainland. The Rs.20-crore project was also aimed at addressing the lack of facilities at the Beypore port for the movement of cargo ships.
The State Port Department agreed to implement the project as it was expected to give a fillip for the speedy development of the oldest port in the Malabar region and the second largest one in the State. It was also expected that the construction of a dedicated wharf would increase the existing capacity of cargo movement by more than 10 times. In addition, the port would have been able to increase its capacity from the current 10,000 passengers and 1.60 lakh tonnes of cargo annually.According to port officials here, the LDC was continuously giving them “false promises” whenever they contacted to remind them about the MoU through various means of communication. “Each time, they reply that the work will begin in three months and thus, 18 months have already passed since the date of the agreement,” a senior officer said.As the Port Department had already handed over the required water frontage for the possession of the LDC as per the MoU, no other development work would be possible in the location till the LDC completed the undertaking.“As the delay has been hampering several development projects here, we have brought the matter to the attention of the State government and the other authorities concerned,” said an officer attached to the Beypore Port, here, on Monday.