THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A turbulent political landscape. Controversies were constant companions and in the swirl two ministers lost their seats in the span of 10 months. A generous smattering of development initiatives.
These are the multi-sized shards you pick up as the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government completes one year of its governance. Constituting positive slices, the government has introduced various social security schemes and four welfare projects under the NavaKerala Mission - Life, Aardram, Haritha Keralam and Education Mission.
Now, the Pinarayi regime has set a calendar for development schemes in that setting up Kerala Bank and operating KIIFB will be major challenges. A closer look...
From the Vault
Total projects to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore will be routed through KIIFB. Of this, approval has been given for projects worth C20,000 crore. The preliminary work including DPR preparation has begun for around Rs 2,000 crore.
Proposal for Kerala Bank has been made. The structure will be finalised and special officers will be appointed.
“The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and formation of the Kerala Bank are the two major initiatives in finance sector. Kerala Bank could be the biggest achievement as no other state has moved in this direction. The four missions will be the government’s stamp in the social sector,” said former Chief Secretary S M Vijayanand.
Moving forward “Developing Azheekkal and Ponnani ports along with the Light Metro projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode figure in the list of infrastructure initiatives. The development calendar has been mooted with a specific purpose to ensure the time frame is strictly followed,” said officers. Setting up the Kochi-Coimbatore Industrial Corridor and take over of the FACT land are some of the other plans.
Kerala has already achieved the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status for rural and urban (except Kochi) last year. The Education Loan Repayment scheme has been widely appreciated.
Ironically, controversies overshadowed the pro-people moves of the government. Two ministers - CPM’s E P Jayarajan and NCP’s A K Saseendran - had to step down after nepotism and sleazegate rows.
The gates opened with the removal of DGP T P Senkumar. Killing of Maoists, RTI dispute, Jishnu case and Mahija episode, Law Academy strike, Munnar eviction drive and Power Minister M M Mani’s anti-woman remarks, the gush never really stopped. Amidst all this, CPI’s stand on many issues did not make the life easy for the government. “Politically, the government has always been on the defensive due to controversies. Had the Left leadership taken a more pro-active role, the developmental initiatives would have got more focus,” said political observer N M Pearson.
■ Land acquisition and widening of NH from Kasargod to T’Puram (End of 2020)
■ Making inland waterways
from T’Puram to Kasargod motorable to promote movement of barges and cruise vessels (2020 May).
■ Completition of Vizhinjam International Seaport (2018)
■ Laying of GAIL pipeline (2018)
■ Kannur Airport (End of 2017 or beginning of 2018).