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 CAO’s offer of facilitating a voluntary collaborative process 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.


CAO formally initiated a compliance appraisal on May 24, 2013. The compliance appraisal is ongoing and updates regarding the case will be posted in due course.  To view details of the other two complaints related this project, click on the links to the Vizhinjam-01/Kerala and Vizhinjam-03/Mulloor cases below.


Status as of August 12, 2014

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: In Process

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