Stating that the ‘Zero Landless Project’ was a courageous measure of the Kerala Government for providing land for all despite severe constraints of land availability, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday said that the state has set another successful model for other states to emulate.
“This is a historic moment which will provide an opportunity for all homeless to fulfill a dream,’’ she said, while launching the ambitious ‘Zero Landless Project’, which aims at zero landless population in the state by 2015. Lauding the Oommen Chandy Government for its welfare initiatives, she said that the UDF Government has done a stellar job in implementing many welfare measures such as the Zero Landless project.
She said that it was important to note that the State Government has come out with such a project despite the state facing land scarcity, pressure of population and modernisation. “This is a new beginning to improve the life of the people of Kerala,’’ she said. Noting that Kerala has immense potential, she said that the UPA Government will provide all support to the welfare programmes of the state. Further, Sonia said that the UPA Government was committed to promoting ‘inclusive growth’ in the country and to build a modern India based on the principle of social justice by providing basic facilities to everyone.
‘’Inclusive growth is UPA’s policy to progress towards a new India. No one should be left behind or sidelined on account of religion, class, caste or creed. The government is committed to carry forward the legacy of former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi to build a modern India based on the principle of social justice,’’ she said.
Elaborating on the achievements of the UPA Government, Sonia said the Union Government under Manmohan Singh had introduced a wide range of welfare schemes such as Food Security Bill, Right to Information, Right to Education, Land Acquisition/Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, Rural employment guarantee scheme and Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said his government stood for comprehensive development of the state. He said the next aim of the government was towards ‘Homeless-free Kerala’. ‘’After the Zero landless programme, the government aims at homeless- free Kerala,’’ he said. Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash said that Kerala has once again emerged as a model.
Union Ministers Shashi Tharoor and Vayalar Ravi, Finance Minister K M Mani, Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty and Health Minister V S Sivakumar were among others present on the occasion.
Sonia Gandhi also disbursed title deeds to six beneficiaries at the function to mark the launch.
As part of the first phase of the programme, the landless in six districts - Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Allapuzha and Ernakulam - will be provided three cents of land each. A total of 77,319 plots have been earmarked in 14 districts for allotting to the landless.