Thursday, July 10, 2008

DREAMS OF A BETTER KERALA


Why Kerala Lagging behind?
Kerala is blessed with everything. But its development is moving backward. Why so?
The guys who rule us are without a vision. Pursuing wrong priorities. Moving without any planning. Without any policy. And the people are passive, reluctant to react and hesitant to respond. Why can't we shed down our lethargy and chalk out some programme and move in the path of development, without sacrificing the values we hold close to our heart?

Agriculture

Agriculture is the prime factor contributing to the progress and development of any nation. In Kerala paddy fields are filled-up and skyscrapers built. Rice is our staple food but we desist from cultivating it on the excuse of it being loss making. Group farming is the alternative. Government should take on lease all the vacant paddy fields for certain short period and lease it further to groups of farmers for cultivating. There are a lot of unemployed people willing to do the job. National Rural Employment Generation Act of the Central Government ensures work of 100 days a year for all jobless and luckily all the villages in Kerala are included in this scheme. This can very well be tagged with our group farming project. Experts Committees,consisting of experienced farmers, agriculturists and scientists of that locality , are to be constituted for providing guidance to the farmers.This type of farming can be extended to vegetable and similar crops also. Fortunately we are gifted with ideal climate;good rainfall and sunshine and fertile land.
Industry
Medium,small and traditional industries alone are suitable for the densely populated Kerala. Not any big industries. Public sector industry plays an important role. But all our PSUs are either sick or closed due to mis-management. In Kerala, where maximum toilet soaps, detergents and medicines are sold, Public Sector Units, Kerala Soaps, Kerala Detergents and Kerala Drgs&Pharmaceuticals had to pull down shutters, shows the sorry state of affairs in our State. We have to revive and revamp all the PSUs, with able efficient and honest administrators with profession calibre, answerable and accountable, at the top.
Infrastructure
Infrastructure development needs much attention. We need high speed transit ways. Not any disastrous express highways or equally dangerous concept of airports at each district. All the railway lines should be doubled and electrified with EMUs running like in Mumbai. All the existing highways should be widened with bye-passes at busy inter junctions. The much delayed Kovalam-Kasargod water-way which is comparatively cheaper should be developed for traffic.
Energy
Energy must be pumped in to the power sector. Here we dont have any energy policy. Hydel and thermal power are not eco-friendly and as such dependance on them is to be reduced in future. Importance is to be given to non-conventional energy. Wind energy has immense scope and Kerala has a gross potential of 9000 MW. With the participation of private sector it has to be tapped which will fill-up a major share of our requirement.
Rape of land
Kerala is slipping into the clutches of realtors and land mafia. They are grabbing all the land and encroaching forests. The basic concept of house for dwelling has undergone a change and it now is to show-off spending crores. There need to put a brake to the indscriminate construction of sprawling villas and huge townships. Most construction centres on cities of Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi in the name of IT development. Does IT needs that much space? Instead of roping in private real-estate agents, the IT companies who want to come here should be alloed to construct own buildings and thereby saving the space swallowed by the agents.
Change of mindset
Now the most important of them all. Changing of our mindset. Party politics and trade unionism have done much damage to our State. Over politicisation in every field pose as a stumbling block in our stride forward. We should change our attitude and think positive. People with vision and commitment only should be allowed to come the helm of affairs.