Messing up the day’s Hindu, scrambling to find a news item which could possibly rewrite the development history of the state, Mr Prasad and me were surprised and thoroughly disappointed. There wasn’t even a mention of the Vizhinjam tender clinched by the LANCO group yesterday. Ten minutes later when Malayala Manorama deliberately kept the news out of the broadsheet’s main pages, I wasn’t surprised, everybody knows where their ink comes from and flows to. Mathrubhumi carried the news in the middle page, three column.
One news item which was picked up by Forbes, Reuters and Wall Street Journal, which sent the LANCO stock up 10% in the bourses yesterday, found no mention in “India’s National Newspaper” and Kerala’s own Manorama which claims to have 7 billion readers as of today.
For Manorama online readers, Vizhinjam Port will be India’s deepest Port, India’s largest container transhipment Hub, the biggest infrastructure project in Kerala (pegged at 2 billion dollars) and work begins in 10 months time.
Excerpts: Vizhinjam, with a 15 metre natural draught and proximity to international sea routes, is best suited for the development of a world class, all weather deep-water port.The Vizhinjam port, situated about 16 km south off Thiruvananthapuram and at 10 nautical miles from international sea routes connecting Europe, Persian Gulf and Far East, when developed would attract a fair share of the container transshipment traffic meant for India, currently handled by international ports at Colombo, Malaysia, Al-Salalah (Oman) and Singapore.
To continue my rant, the same media which celebrated the “Smart City” deal((the inking of the deal was broadcast live) which looks puny in comparison to Vizhinjam or the upcoming Technocity, the same media which filled pages with the Vallarpadam Hub deal which is one fourth the size of Vizhinjam – chose to ignore one of the major developments in the state’s history.
If the question is Why should the media coverage be so important? The answer is, it raises the stakes for the people involved. It puts pressure on the administration to deliver when people are aware of it. Imagine the impact on the LDF government if the “Smart City” project goes cold. That is media’s job and in case of Vizhinjam they are doing a very bad job.
Vizhinjam is the result of the creative activism of a lot of people, a dream shared by millions of people, with powerful lobbies inside and outside the country working against it. The stakes are high, it is important to wake up and keep watch – closely.
Did I create fear from a happy news?
P.S: Chk out the WALL in Talkies page, will keep updating