KOCHI: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said the Government will not refrain from implementing mega projects in the state fearing controversy.
He added that the decision to go ahead with the Vizhinjm project shows the determination of the Government.
He was speaking at the Curtain Raiser Event of Kerala Management Association (KMA) activities 2015-16 and Presentation of KMA-NASSCOM IT Leadership Award 2014-15 here on Friday. Chandy presented the Leadership Award to Kerala Industries and IT Principal Secretary P H Kurian at the function.
“In Kerala people are looking for opportunities to create controversies surrounding developmental projects leading to undue delays. If the Vizhinjam Project was not been envisaged in Kerala, the project would have already been functioning 25 years ago. However, the mindset of people in Kerala is changing now. There is a need to make more inroads into the IT sector in Kerala. Considering the number of engineers being churned out every year in our state, our growth figures are yet to reach even one-tenth of the figures of neighbouring state of Karnataka,” he said.
He reiterated that even though Kerala is ranked on par with some of the developed countries when it comes to educational, social and healthcare indices, we still have a long way to go for creating an IT footprint on the global map.
Delivering his acceptance speech, P H Kurian said that 765 Akshaya centers fitted with ATMs will be commissioned soon, which will change the landscape of rural Kerala. “Industrial growth in the state is painfully slow. Thousands of acres of unutilised land presently held by PSUs, some of them even sinking, cannot be easily acquired for industrial development. A classic example is the case of FACT which holds nearly 1500 acres of prime land in the heart of Kochi. For almost 60 years now, no government has been able to utilise this land for industrial development,” he added.
KMA president Prasad K Panicker, Vivek K Govind, P Premchand and C S Kartha also spoke.
CM to Hold Talks with Church
T’Puram: To find an amicable solution to the demands by the Latin Church in Vizhinjam issue, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will hold talks with the Latin Catholic Church on Saturday. The discussion, to be held at Cliff House at 11 am, is part of an attempt to persuade the Latin Church from its ongoing agitation against the project, in view of the contract signing for the project scheduled on Monday.
With only two days left for inking the concession agreement for developing the Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport project with the Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Ltd, the government has already started efforts to address the concerns raised by various groups, especially the Latin Church. As part of this, Chief secretary Jiji Thomson along with Santosh Mohapatra, director, Adani Group and CEO of the special purpose vehicle for the project, visited Archbishop M Susapakiam on Friday. Though the officials termed it an informal visit, the purpose was clear. It’s in the backdrop of these visits that the CM will hold talks with the Church.
Church Warns of Mass Agitation
Meanwhile, the Latin Catholic Church on Friday made it clear once again that the project should not be implemented without addressing the concerns of the fisherfolk. The Church has also warned of mass agitation.
The Pastrol Council of the church alleged that the government has not done anything to mitigate the concerns of people.