THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Across the world, natural calamities and the reconstruction processes give rise to huge corruption scandals. Kerala, which faced the worst flood in a century, must guard against such scandals as it looks to build a new state, said former Vigilance director Jacob Thomas.
Speaking to the media here on Monday at the ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised by the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, Thomas said the focus must be on building a corruption-free Kerala.
Citing the huge disparity in death toll in Haiti and Japan, Thomas said the difference was due to the levels of corruption in both countries. While 2 lakh people died in Haiti in the worst-ever earthquake in 2010, the death toll in Japan in the 2011 tsunami and earthquake was 10,000.
“In corrupt countries, the infrastructure facilities crumble during natural disasters, while in non-corrupt or less corrupt economies, the infrastructure withstands natural calamities,” said Thomas.
Relief funds received after the disaster is a major source for corruption, he said. Keeping them in a separate account will not prevent corruption. Public must be vigilant against the rise of corruption.
He said there’s an international conspiracy regarding dams. There is a dam network active across the world.
These dam network will gain money right from a feasibility study, consultancy and construction as they involve millions of rupees.
There are 57,000 dams across the world and several people are killed due to dam breakage. Yet countries continue to construct dams shows the effectiveness of this international lobby, said Thomas.
For sustainable development, there must be economic justice, social justice and environmental justice. Until we get them, we can forget about sustainable development, he said.