The poor allocation of funds and lack of new development projects for the Beypore port in the latest Kerala Budget have created huge disappointment among various stakeholders who have been campaigning for the growth of the destination for years. While the Azhikkal and Vizhinjam ports got due consideration in the budget, the Beypore port was totally ignored, they claimed.
Functionaries of the Beypore Port Sub Committee under the Calicut Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the State government did not earmark anything from its own funds to accelerate the development activities at the port. Instead, the plan to use Central aid under the Sagarmala project was declared, which would never be a satisfactory solution, they added.
A leader of the sub committee said Beypore would not get anything from the already allocated ₹80 crore for ports in Kerala. “The plan to construct a new port in Azhikkal itself is an indication that the government is planning to downplay the development of Beypore,” he said.
According to leading exporters and importers who depend on the service of the port, the cold response in the form of poor budgetary allocation came at a time when about five international shipping container lines were eagerly waiting to start services linking Beypore. The disheartening response from the government would naturally dampen the investors’ spirits, they said.
A Ports Department official said there were proposals aplenty from people’s representatives and the port authorities to sanction additional funds to complete the pending dredging work in the area. “There were also promises that funds would be allotted in the latest budget for addressing the requirement. However, the latest plan is to make use of the Sagarmala project fund for the work completion,” he said.