Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 29 November 2020 7.15 PM IST

Corrupt people are everywhere but graft in these departments are most severe, the only reason for Kerala’s failure


A person cannot travel through Kerala’s roads during day time at a speed more than 40 km per hour. The extra cost of diesel and petrol which is wasted through this ‘slower ride,’ will cost crores per year and in addition to that, the construction and maintenance of roads in Kerala are in an unscientific and backward state. It is the only reason why 12 persons were getting killed in Kerala’s roads per day. The road between Thrissur to Angamaly could be considered as the only standard road in Kerala.

The only reason for the stunted development of Kerala is deep-rooted corruption. Even though corrupt government officials can be seen in every department, most severe is the graft among civil engineers employed by the Kerala government. Their lackadaisical attitude and corruption have deeply affected the construction of basic infrastructure in the state. Therefore if the state has to enter the next phase of development then these civil engineers should be adequately trained to work under a new work culture


The low standard of roads

The most important project for the state’s road development is the highway projects which spans across Kerala from north to south direction. At least 44,000 crores need to spend on highway development. Half of this cost will be spent on acquiring land for different projects. People are also reluctant to give up their landed property as the government takes a lot of time to pay the compensation. As the highways, needed to be constructed with a width of 60 meters, cities and urban areas should be excluded from the road alignment.

Electricity generation

Till 1987, Kerala was a power-surplus state. But in subsequent as a result of progressive changes in people’s lifestyle and general conditions of the state, electricity consumption has increased numerous folds. Today out of the 75 million megawatts of power needed for the state about 60 million megawatts is being purchased from outside the state. Every year the state government is spending an additional Rs 7500 crores just for purchasing electricity. The higher demand for power will only go up in the near future. Therefore, measures should be taken for more power generation within the state.

About 90 small-scale hydroelectric projects are still pending. This doesn’t include projects like Athirapally which was cancelled due to its adverse environmental impact. KSEB has employed 1019 civil engineers but they have not added at least 7 megawatts of power in the state’s power usage graph. Therefore a high-level panel of technocrats and other officials should be constituted to revamp the cancelled power projects.

Water authority

Kerala water authority is the sole department in Kerala which deals with the state’s household and industrial water distribution. When 100 litres of water is distributed for household consumption only 55 litres reach to the final consumer. That means 45% of water goes unused or wasted. This wasted water which leaks our through underground pumps is also the only reason for the bad condition of Kerala’s roads. The lack of supervision from the engineers of water authority and bribery dealings between them and the contractors is the reason behind this. If the government takes strong measures to improve their functioning, then wastage of water could be reduced from 45% to 10% in the next five years.

Public works department

Since the inception of Kerala state, PWD has faced harsh criticisms from different corners for the unscientific construction of roads and bridges. The recent graft cases on Palartivattom flyover is infamous for the department’s corrupt style of functioning in the state. Kerala public works department has still not acquired the technical skill to build a road that is not filled with potholes during the rainy season. This is because the higher officials can only garner yearly commissions if maintenance happens periodically.

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