CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

South Asia

India / Vizhinjam-02/Kerala

Kerala Swathantra Malsya Thozhilali Federation (Kerala Independent Fish Workers Federation)
Date Filed
September 23, 2012
Impacts to marine biodiversity, loss of livelihood, possible displacement of local fishing community members, project benefits
Case Status
Open - Compliance




Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL), a special purpose government company fully owned by the State Government of Kerala (GoK), is developing a multi-purpose seaport at Vizhinjam, 16km south of the state capital, Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). IFC has been hired as the Transaction Advisor to strategically assist VISL in structuring and implementing the project; and seeking private sector partner(s) to implement the plan in collaboration with the State Government Ports Department. IFC is managing roughly $1.6 million in trust funds for the project.

In September 2012, a complaint was filed by a local community fishing group, Kerala Swathantra Malsya Thozhilali Federation (Kerala Independent Fish Workers Federation). The complainant raises concerns about negative impacts of the proposed port project, such as pollution from port operations, damage to marine biodiversity, possible displacement of fisherman and their families from the area, and loss of livelihood for fishing communities within the vicinity of the project site. In addition, the complainant is asking for information regarding project benefits for the fishing community members, especially employment opportunities.  This is the second complaint received by the CAO relating to the Vizhinjam port project.



CAO Action


The CAO found the complaint eligible in October 2012 and initiated an assessment of the issues. After discussions and consultations with the CAO team, VISL declined to resolve the complaint issues under the auspices of CAO’s Dispute Resolution function, stating that they were fully aware of the needs of fisher folk and were putting in efforts to address these through their own channels. Therefore, the complaint has been transferred to CAO’s compliance function for appraisal, per CAO Operational Guidelines. The complainants requested CAO to note that they were willing to engage with VISL to address the complaint issues in a collaborative manner through CAO’s Dispute Resolution function.

In June 2015, CAO completed a compliance appraisal with regard to the Vizhinjam 01, 02 and 03 complaints. On the basis of this compliance appraisal, CAO opened a compliance investigation into IFC's Advisory Services project with Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd. The CAO investigation assesses whether IFC prepared and implemented the project in accordance with its policies and procedures.




Terms of reference for this compliance investigation were disclosed On December 02, 2015.

All documents relating to this case are available under "View Documents" below. 


Status as of August 20, 2017

Project information

Project Name & Number
Kerala Port, Vizhinjam 28991
Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL)
Port and Harbor Operations
South Asia
Environmental Category

Case Tracker


  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: Transferred


  • Under Appraisal: Completed
  • Under Audit: In Process

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