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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 21 January 2021 4.17 AM IST

Changes should be much quicker

editorial

With only four months to go for the current government, there may be those who are skeptical of the announcements being made with a view to major development in the future. It can be said that all this is relevant only if there is continuity of government. But good administrators always think about the future. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan toured the state and interacted with people from different walks of life. He collected a lot of valuable ideas and suggestions during these meetings. The Chief Minister said that the LDF manifesto for the next Assembly elections would include valuable suggestions from the public and experts in various fields. This is a completely new approach. It is a good thing to hear the society about development matters. Development is usually the desire and dream of the government in power. At the same time, the fact that the proposals are being considered will surely inspire the future development of the state. There is nothing that society cannot achieve if it sticks together with the government.

The first step is to address the limitations in the development of basic facilities in the state. Obstacles that arise politically and locally are such as to undermine all development plans. There are many projects that were halted due to such protests alone. The state will lag far behind in terms of development if it does not show conscious effort in terms of roads, railways and bridges, which are at the forefront of infrastructure development. There are road development projects that have been closed on paper for twenty or thirty years. The most important of them is the development of the National Highways. The inability to complete the projects started at a quick pace is also a problem the state is facing. Kerala is well below the national average in road construction. Improved roads bring rapid development to any place. Although there are some good examples in this area recently, there is still a long way to go. If the tourism sector, which plays a major role in revenue generation, is to thrive, many more quality roads will have to be born. It took only ten years to dig a ten-kilometer mountain in the Himalayan valley and build a ten-kilometer-long tunnel road. We have been building a small tunnel in Kuthiran for many years. Kuthiran, which now a nightmare for the motorists, had a major accident involving half a dozen vehicles the previous day in which three were killed. Delays in road development have resulted in the loss of many precious lives.

Progress can only be achieved by realizing rail development along with road development.

The light metro project in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode shouldn't be delayed any longer. Don't let the coveted high-speed railroad to stay as a dream. Opposition and criticism are natural in the case of large projects like this. The key is to have the courage to take them directly to the project level and make them successful. The same is true about the National Waterway. That’s a project that's been hearing about for years. If American technologists can build the Panama Canal connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific a hundred years ago, what is the thing preventing the removal of the barrier at Varkala and make both ends of the National Waterway meet? There will be talented people here as well. Those in power only need to be ready to embrace innovative ideas.

Artificial intelligence is going to be the key to the future. The CM's announcement that there will be a special department and a minister for that, might have been made with that understanding. Only when we attract more big IT companies will new jobs be created. The state, which has a high unemployment rate of educated people, has at least partially survived because of the growth of the IT sector. The development of Technocity should not be delayed any longer.

Tens of thousands of families will benefit if the development of traditional areas is ensured. Nowadays any product depends on marketing strategies to stand out.

In addition to the practice of raising tax rates to increase revenue, more can be gained through the efficient use of own resources. Sand mining is one of them. Health tourism is another area. The development of pharmaceuticals has huge market potential. With the Covid threat out of the way, action plans to activate the sector can already be formulated.

Rail development projects such as new railways, doubling of existing lines, electrification, suburban service and MEMU service are also essential for the development of the state. These are the things that can be achieved by leaving political differences and standing together. We must accept the example of the neighboring states in this regard.

The development of the capital, Thiruvananthapuram, needs to be considered when considering changes. Even as the administrative center, it has not yet developed accordingly. The construction of Vizhinjam Port, which would lead to the all-round development of the capital district, is moving at snail's pace. Not to mention the airport. The state's first international airport is begging for salvation in the grip of neglect and rights disputes. This is why it is said that a separate department and minister is needed for the capital.

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