Economy

‘Kerala pushing four mega infrastructure projects'

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on November 13, 2017

infra-kerala   -  Business Line

Three-day Infrastructure Conference-2011 under way



The State Government has taken up on itself the challenge of pushing four major projects simultaneously on the infrastructure front, according to the Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy.

He said this delivering the inaugural address at the three-day Infrastructure Conference-2011 hosted by the Public Works Department here on Wednesday.

Infrastructure is one aspect that has been holding the State back badly on the development front, he said.

FOUR PROJECTS

The four projects are the monorail projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, the north-to-south High-Speed Rail Corridor and the Kochi Metro.

Along with this, doubling and electrification of Railway tracks is also being taken up expeditiously, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister requested the gathering of engineers, domain experts and industry practitioners to share their thoughts and knowledge for being incorporated into the related policy draft.

Fully developed roads are a must for economic progress, and its multiplier effect can have rub-off impact on future investments and employment prospects, among others. Despite the tight finances, the Government has made available four times as much amount for road construction and maintenance as was originally provided for in the State Budget.

INFRA LAGGING

While observing that the public sector has managed to attract enough and more attention from planners and the executive, the Chief Minister said infrastructure has lagged far behind.

“It would not be enough to merely catch up, but we would have to run ahead of time by a huge margin if we are to keep up with the rest of the world,” Mr Chandy observed.

The State is caught in a time wrap, as would be clear from the developmental freeze obtaining here, as against the progressive changes in the economic environment and attendant progress in other States.

For instance, the State has not been able to utilise even five per cent of the potential in inland water transport despite being home to 44 rivers and an expansive network of lakes and lagoons.

ROADS FIRST

But roads have to be developed first and foremost. There are big challenges, least of which is land acquisition.

“The increasing opposition to land acquisition and related unrest is our own making since in the past compensation has not been made available in adequate amounts and in a time-bound manner to the affected people,” the Chief Minister said.

A solution for this is needed here and now, he added.

Quality of road construction is another major issue. Time-bound execution and delivery of assured quality is of paramount importance.

“Stick to target,” the Chief Minister reminded planners and engineers.

Published on November 16, 2011

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