'Path to Sustainable Development Must be Democratic'

Published: 05th March 2016 03:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th March 2016 03:16 AM   |  A+A-


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala should adopt its proven Left model of development with timely modifications to ensure sustainable development, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said on Friday. Inaugurating the three-day national seminar on ‘Sustainable development: Searching a policy frame for Kerala’ organised by the C Achutha Menon Foundation on Friday, Kanam said the agricultural-industrial-service sectors should be developed in a mutually-congruent manner.

Sustainable development should be viewed from a different viewpoint than it was being portrayed, said the CPI state secretary. He further pointed out that the path towards sustainable development should be democratic, practical and welfare-oriented.

Though India’s growth rate had gone up, its qualitative effects had not reached many of the Indian population. The high growth rate was not sufficient enough to put an end to the ever-increasing socio-economic inequality in  society. The development policies followed by the country were no sufficient to give economic security to majority of the population, Kanam said, adding that Kerala had however taken a different path from the kind of developmental model followed by the country.

Chairing the inaugural session, economist M A Oommen said the state did not have a comprehensive development policy. Referring to the perspective plan by the State Planning Board, he said it should be seen whether the plan covered all aspects of development. As per the perspective plan, the per capita income would come to `25 lakh by 2040. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride, he said.

It should be discussed whether the ongoing development models would help in sustainable development. “One of the biggest dangers that Kerala is facing today is ecological overkill. The paddy fields have come down from 33 pc in the 1960s to 7 pc now,” he said adding that the 2008 legislation on paddy field and wetlands had not been effectively followed.

He also criticised the recent agricultural policy by the state government, terming it a policy brought out without any sincerity. Ensuring drinking water supply was also part of the sustainable development model, he said. “The dogs from Kasargod to Parassala have been barking at the authorities. We have no time, policy or action plan for the issue of waste disposal,” he said.

Oommen said that as per the Planning Board statistics, there were about 20 pc alcoholics in the state. The state development committee formed long back had met just once in the last 16-17 years, he said. Referring to the increasing corruption charges, Dr Oommen said that with corruption sustainable development might not be possible.

Professor K P Kannan made the keynote presentation while Professor Pulapre Balakrishnan made the special address.


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