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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 19 June 2021 8.58 PM IST

Development without boundaries

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Leaders of nations have always reminded us that no austerity should be shown in the implementation of development projects for the good of the country and the people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated this on Saturday while inaugurating four major development projects in Kerala. He said that religion, caste, gender and language should never be an obstacle to good governance and development. Similarly, the concept of a welfare state becomes a reality when the benefits of development are shared equally among all sections of the people. The biggest challenge facing our country is the huge gap we see in development and progress. There are some advanced states and some underdeveloped states. There are states where a large portion of the money set aside for development projects and public welfare programs has been pocketed through corruption. All of this has changed dramatically over the past two decades. New development perspectives are also emerging. Along with the governments, the people have come to realize that prosperity can only be achieved if there is a leap in development. It was on this basis that the old approach of blindly opposing any project began to change.

In India, where the federal system is in place, there is no one-party rule. At one time such a situation existed in most places. There was a time when politics was the main consideration in allocating central projects. There are states that have become impoverished due to continuous neglect. States like Kerala have always had time to complain about this. Signs of a gradual change in that plight are visible today in many backward states, including Kerala.

The four mega projects inaugurated by the Prime Minister on Friday will help accelerate the development of the state with the commissioning of the Pugalur-Thrissur High Voltage Transmission Line, which was constructed at a cost of Rs 4000 cr. The new transmission line will also help meet the state's growing energy demand. Kerala, which is not self-sufficient in power generation, has to rely on outside power. The situation in the northern districts is now being resolved as the transmission line was inadequate. It will no longer be difficult to cope with increasing energy needs. As new industries and small enterprises increase, employment opportunities and thus growth can be achieved. Industrial growth is a major need of the state, which suffers from high levels of unemployment. The Kasargod 50 MW solar power project inaugurated by the Prime Minister is also a good direction. It is easy to switch to solar power plants that do no harm to the environment without going after controversial projects. Reliable solar power plants should be set up in every district every day of the year. The new water treatment plant at Aruvikara, which will increase the availability of drinking water in the capital city, and the city's smart roads are new initiatives to improve city life. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan thanked the Prime Minister for the new projects that will accelerate the development of the state. Like the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister is a firm believer that political and regional issues should never stand in the way of development projects. The strongest evidence of that is the numerous projects that have been completed over the past five years.

Just as caste-religion-gender-language differences should not come in the way of development, it is also important to be punctual in implementing them. What is the use if the project, which is to be completed in two years, lasts for five to ten years. Special care should be taken to complete infrastructure development projects on time. This has to be said because there are some on-going projects in the state that are dragging on at a pace that may even shame a snail.

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