Friday, October 31, 2008

Books Galore

The 6th DC Books International Book Fair got underway yesterday at the Chandrashekhar Nair Stadium. DC has over 100 publishers and a whopping one million-plus books on offer. So it is a must-visit for any bibliophile in town!

Today is also the release of the book "Gujarat: Irakalkku Vendiyulla Porattam" by former DGP of Gujarat, Sri. R.B. Sreekumar - the only senior police officer who stood up to Modi & Co and blew the whistle on State-sponsored Genocide during the communal riots there. This book should make interesting reading if one wants to learn the other side of Gujarat.

And today is the Pre-Bid Meeting for the Technocity project, which is expected to be attended by top officials of the qualified developers. Stay tuned!


  1. I'll surely miss the book fair:(
    How long will it be there?

  2. Dear Ajay

    I came across your name by chance, while searching on the expansion activities of Trivandrum Airport in the net. But, to my surprise, I found Vizhinjam and am very excited to see the updates on recent developments. It takes my memory way back to 1994-95 period when I was doing my engineering in Trivandrum exploring the prospects of Vizhinjam harbor as a curious student. I was having plans to undertake a study on potential of Vizhinjam harbor as a project work for AMIE, but due to the lack of data, I was forced to drop. But since then, I had continuously chased my dream for its materialization and kept it alive till I left Trivandrum to Shoranur owing to my Transfer as Assistant Engineer in the KSEB.

    I was supported by Captain S Vijayan Pillai, Port Director then, and was able to convince late Mr. K.V.Surendranath, who was contesting from Trivandrum parliament constituency. He highlighted this project in his election manifesto and utilized his media contacts for more public attention. Mr. P S Biju, who is basically from Pathanamthitta (now he is in Dubai) joined me in all the efforts in compiling a programme on Doordarshan (I believe Kerala Diary) and preparing write-ups for popular newspapers as well. To my surprise, Malyala Manorama never entertained us in publishing any positive aspects of Vizhinjam. Deepika and Janmabhoomi published series of articles on the growth prospects of Vizhinjam. So did Kerala Kaumudi and Mathrubhumi. In the year 1996, Vizhinjam was seriously discussed as the project was entrusted with M/s Kumar Energy Corporation of Andrapradesh. The history goes like this. M/S Kumar Energy Corporation are power plant developers mainly and were planning to erect a thermal power plant near Kottukal Village in Trivandrum. They suggested in developing a captive berth at Vizhinjam for handling coal for their power plant operations. But later on they were given with the idea of developing Vizhinjam to a complete container transshipment terminal.

    Mr. Jayakumar had coined the master plan for the first time (The famous Rs 2000 crore project). The Kumar Energy Corporation was not capable enough to undertake such a mega project as reflected from their credentials and these doubts were expressed by various corners during those days. Further, they failed to reach on a tie-up with M/s Pembinan Redzai group of Malaysia as suggested by many experts in this field, including Capt. S Vijayan Pillai (to me, this information is correct even though they claimed in their brochures as to have reached an agreement). I personally believe, it was a big mistake in entrusting M/s Kumar Energy Corporation for this project for which they were totally incapable and less interested. But this group was beloved to the then minister Mr. M.V.Raghavan.

    The public hearing conducted at Co-Bank towers, Trivandrum witnessed massive protest from public against the project and no effective measures were taken to counter them. Definitely we made a costly mistake in choosing a wrong proponent and in turn, paid enough.

    Subsequent to this, I met Mr. Elias John, who was promoting Vizhinjam through his programme “Aniyara” and “Janapaksham” for effective coordination. Unfortunately, I left Kerala leaving my hopes behind and now very happy to see your role as a hi-tech promoter for this venture. Please keep the spirits alive as you have to go through a tough time in tackling major hurdles towards materializing.

    About myself, I am stationed in Saudi Arabia, was working for Saudi Electricity Company in the capacity of Senior Engineer till August 2007 at Dammam and later moved to Jeddah designated as Business Development Coordinator with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) project, supposed to be best University in the world (even better than MIT) once it gets commissioned in September 2009.

    Good Luck

    Manoj A R

  3. Dear Manoj, it is great to hear from you. Do let me know how to get in touch with you. I tried to send you a mail on the ID you had used in Wordpress but it bounced. You can drop me a line at Thanks!

  4. Ajay, I had already given a mail yesterday thru my personal Id. Alternatively, you can reach me on but I prefer the other one.

  5. I never got that mail, Manoj. Perhaps you typed the ID wrongly or something, do check.


Thanks for your comment, I will take a look at it and put it up at the earliest.