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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Chandy sees progress in Smart City project

Special Correspondent

`Discussions at different levels are on'

  • More support for Smart City
  • Promises transparency in mineral sand-mining
  • Says Government is neutral in Church row
  • Nothing wrong in YC leader's criticism

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that he saw a clear `forward movement' in the Smart City project.

    Replying to questions at the Cabinet briefing here on Wednesday, Mr. Chandy said there was forward movement in the project after his meeting with the leaders of Opposition parties. He also claimed that discussions were on at different levels on the project and that the Dubai Internet City (DIC) was not insisting on the condition that other similar projects should not come up in the State.

    Mr. Chandy said the Opposition had changed its earlier position that the Smart City project should not be proceeded with. Now, they too had taken the position that the project could move forward. Even those who had alleged that it was nothing but a real estate deal were not ready to see reason. This did not mean that the Government was ready to review its decision to hand over Infopark at Kakkanad to the DIC as the Smart City project originated from the quality and location of Infopark. But, while doing so, the Government would ensure that the State's interests were fully protected, he said.

    Replying to questions on the Central decision to allow mineral sand-mining in the private sector, the Chief Minister said the Government stand on the issue was clear all along. Some sections had opposed the proposal from the very outset. The Government had appointed the John Mathew Committee to look into their objections, but they chose to boycott the Commission. The Government's effort would now be to make things more transparent, he added.

    On the row within the Orthodox Church, Mr. Chandy said the Government did not believe in taking sides in religious issues. It did not also believe in capturing churches under the cover of darkness. Solutions in such issues would be possible only through Court verdicts or consensus. Some were apt to feel sore with the Government's neutral stand, he pointed out.

    The Chief Minister found nothing wrong in the Youth Congress leadership's criticism of the party leadership and Government's attempts to woo religious and caste leaders. Youth leadership was free to air its views, but the Government would act as it should and, as Chief Minister of the UDF, he could not close his eyes to social realities. He did not believe in protocol. Nor did he harbour any false pride. He would meet persons whom he should meet. He would call on people if necessary, in public rather under cover. But any decision that he would take would be just, after due consideration of all aspects of the issue in question, Mr. Chandy said.

    He refused to share with the media what had transpired at his meeting with the Congress high command. His visit to Delhi was primarily to attend the NDC meeting. He also held discussions with party colleagues when in New Delhi. Decisions relating to the party organisation were to be taken by the AICC and he could not, obviously, divulge what he had discussed with the party leadership, Mr. Chandy said.

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