Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Vizhinjam gets a Developer.....

I hope that at least some of you are still checking the blog for updates despite my absence over the last few months. Profound apologies for the silence all this while, and without trying to offer a plaintive explanation for it, I was and still at very occupied with the intense work related to another, equally Trivandrum-related venture. You can read more about it on its Facebook page.

Since March, our principal architects, RSP Design Consultants, have been working with a world-class team of design,...
Posted by Taurus Investment Holdings India on Monday, June 15, 2015

The best way to kick start the blog is with a happy post about a piece of news that a lot of us have been waiting for a long, long while now. A piece of news that has won an election, galvanized public opinion on Social media and in the streets and sent shivers down the spines of vested interests near and far.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Vizhinjam project finally has a developer, after years and years of failed bids and protracted wrangling about the most recent tender process. And the best part is that the winning bidder is Adani Ports - India's biggest private port developer, owner and operator and possibly the only India company with the capability, experience, global partnerships and the deep pockets to develop and successfully operate India's very first deep-water, container transshipment terminal and Kerala's only deep-water, multi-cargo port.

Adani Ports has officially accepted the mandate to build "India's first deep water trans-shipment port which has been...
Posted by Vizhinjam International Seaport on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A few hurdles have been crossed but many lie ahead before the first giant container ship, hopefully a behemoth of the MSC Oscar class (Adani Ports has a strategic tie-up with the Mediterranean Shipping Company that owns the world's class of largest container ships and whose terminal arm operates at deep water container terminal at Mundra, as well as with with CMA CGM - another global Top 3 container line). Incidentally, Adani Ports and MSC have already set the record for the largest container ship to call at an Indian port, when the 14,000 TEU capacity MSC Valeria called at Mundra in mid-2013. The MSC Oscar class carried almost 50% more containers, and other ports in India, can only dream of accommodating such giants.

Kudos to Dr. Shashi Tharoor and the Chief Minister, Sri. Oommen Chandy for standing fast in the face of massive opposition, both from within their party and from external political forces, and going ahead with issuing the Letter of Acceptance to Adani Ports.

My take on the "Adani Port" controversy in Kerala & why going ahead is in the national interest:
Posted by Shashi Tharoor on Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fingers crossed for the weeks and months ahead before construction starts on India's first ever deep water, container transshipment terminal.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Curtain Falls on the Best Ever National Games!

After two weeks of spirited competition, and packed venues that showcased amazing participation from the people of Trivandrum and Kerala, the 35th National Games of India have drawn to a close in Trivandrum.

Kerala triumphed as the Best State with a total of 162 podium finishes, including 54 gold medals. A proud achievement for a State with just 3% of the population of India. 

But the people of Trivandrum which hosted the vast majority of events including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the Athletic competition can be especially proud with how enthusiastic their support has been to the National Games. Every venue was packed every day and the sportspeople were often cheered on with the kind of passion usually reserved for cricket or football.

The 35th National Games hosted by Trivandrum have been widely heralded as one of the best ever held, not just in terms of the level of spectator enthusiasm and the quality of the competition but also in the world-class standards of the facilities.

National Games done! What next, the Asian Games or who knows, the five circles.....?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The National Games cometh to Trivandrum

The clock has wound done, it's here. The 35th National Games of India will light up Trivandrum and the rest of Kerala for the next two weeks.

The star of the event is the stunning Trivandrum International Stadium, just inaugurated right next door to Technopark, and Karyavattom.

Kudos to IL&FS and its team of engineers, and to the National Games Secretariat to completing this magnificent structure, by far the best of its ilk in India, in record time. You can get introduced to some of the incredible people behind the scenes here. These folks deserve more than a big round of standing applause. They have proved that sound project management practices can deliver a world-class product in India in record times, sans the need for any retired supermen from Ponnani!

The stadium is simply stunning and you can see a great photolog here and a back-the-scenes tour of the interior of the pavilion here. Thanks so much to the team behind Thiruvananthapuram Updates!

I so desperately miss not being at the Stadium right now and in Trivandrum for the Games but for those of us stuck elsewhere, the entire Games will be webcast here.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Closing out 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, there have sadly only been a few bright spots for Trivandrum in the sphere of economic development with most major projects including Vizhinjam, Knowledge City, the MRTS and road development in suspended animation.

The most notable certainly has been the wonderful progress made towards the completion of the world-class Trivandrum International Stadium.

Here's another brilliant photo-log from the folks at Thiruvananthapuram Updates

Thanks, guys, for keeping everyone updated on the status of this landmark project that the Kerala media have (thankfully!) chosen to ignore.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

...and we're Back!

I confess, I have been away for over five months. 150 days. Nearly half a year. Shameful! Guilty!

I do have a little bit of an excuse, a professional one, and one related to Trivandrum. In a good way, I promise. While I have been chipping away at it for over two years now, the last few months have seen a frenzy of activity as we finally closed a long drawn out acquisition process for what will, hopefully, be a landmark development for Trivandrum, generating tens of thousands of much needed jobs and creating a truly world-class piece of urban infrastructure.

Not the lamest of excuses, I hope. And hopefully while this should keep me very busy in the coming months, I will find more time to post regularly here.

If you'd like to know more about our project, you can check our the Taurus India website and Facebook page.

In the meantime, the only other significant project to make any sort of headway in Trivandrum over the last few months and years is the Trivandrum International Stadium. Here's where it stands 61 days before the Opening Ceremony, a hive of feverish activity, with more mobile cranes in action than any other construction site that Trivandrum has seen before, one that would not be quite out of place in New York, Dubai or Shanghai!

Panorama of the Trivandrum International Stadium; November 29, 2014
(Click for a bigger version)

Lots of great pictures of the stadium here and here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

35th National Games from Jan 31 - Feb 15, 2015 in Trivandrum!

The 35th National Games of India will be held in Kerala, predominantly in Trivandrum, from January 31 to February 15, 2015.

Trivandrum not only hosts the lion's share of the events at about half a dozen venues across the city as well as the state-of-the-art Games Village but the State Capital will also be the venue for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Games, at the upcoming, stunning new International Stadium near Technopark.

To remind us of how close we are to the Opening Ceremony, I will keep a countdown timer at the top of the right border of the blog till the Games are done!

Monday, June 02, 2014

Summer at the Stadium

The 50,000 seat Trivandrum International Stadium is taking final shape as concessionaire IL&FS commences construction of the raker beams that will support the upper level of pre-fabricated stands. The first set of sloping beams, the first of their kind in any Indian stadium, are already up near the North Pavilion, giving a good idea of how high the final structure will be. The whole structure will be topped by the state-of-the-art membrane roof and lighting towers.

Check out the rest of the latest images here. Click on the images for the high-resolution versions.