A day after Chief Minister Oommen Chandy backtracked and declared that impractical projects will be culled out of the listed proposals for ‘Emerging Kerala 2012,’ many of them, including plans for a convention and permanent exhibition centre at the centrally located Chandrasekharan Nair stadium in the capital city, began to vanish from the official website on Thursday. All other projects which have been shelved are those tagged with the tourism sector.
Altogether, 38 projects have been rolled back after screening which is going on till late in the night.
The much trumpeted golf course and adventure arena -cum-eco resort at Wagamon has also been rolled back as well as the Nelliampathy forest lodge project of the Tourism Department. A proposal to hand over land and buildings of the government guest houses at Devikulam and Peerumade to private entrepreneurs has been dropped. So is the idea of a tourism project at Dharmadam island in Kannur.
The extent of land earmarked for the Cheemeni tourism project has been scaled down from 1621 acres to 200 acres.
However,the exercise seems to be part of only a screening process to remove detrimental clauses, as four of the proposals re-emerged in the site later without much details as earlier. Those projects which had surfaced again are the one at Wagamon and Elaveezhapoonjira, apart from the Nelliampathy forest lodge and Dharmadam islet projects.
As ‘Emerging Kerala’ proposals became too controversial and with the Greens turning the heat on the government raising eco concerns, Oommen Chandy had declared that projects which are only useful to the state and which are found practical will be promoted. He had also said that many proposals posted on the website were just ‘ideas and thoughts’. The government had directed the state chief secretary to screen all the proposals after discussions with officials and departments concerned and remove the controversial projects from the site.