‘Key projects taken up under Speed Kerala programme’

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that 24 critical infrastructure projects across the State, including the flyovers at Vyttila, Palarivattom and Kundanoor, have been taken up under the Rs. 10,000-crore Speed Kerala programme.

The Speed (Sustainable and Planned Effort to Ensure Development of Infrastructure) Kerala programme is an initiative of the Public Works Department.

The Chief Minister was delivering the inaugural address at the opening of the newly reconstructed North road overbridge in Kochi on Sunday.

He said the budgetary allocation of Rs.150 crore to the PWD was far too inadequate for the infrastructure needs of the State.

The construction of the runway of the proposed Kannur airport was already under way and it would be formally inaugurated shortly depending on the convenience of Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony. Decks have been cleared for Vizhinjam Container Terminal project, which is just a few hours away from getting the last technical clearance from the ministry concerned, Mr. Chandy said.

The unity and concerted efforts of the Cabinet, the government officials and the people’s representatives have made possible the progress of development projects in the State. It was the lack of such unity that had cost the State in the past resulting in its backwardness in infrastructure development.

Mr. Chandy said the time-bound completion of the North ROB should not be seen as the success of a single project but should be valued more as a confidence booster of how determined efforts can produce desired results.

PWD Minister V.K. Ebrahim Kunju in his presidential address said no ego problems were involved in ceding projects to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, as development of the State was of paramount interest. Construction of Edappally flyover has already been given to DMRC while plans were afoot to assign the agency the construction of Palarivattom flyover and another flyover proposed in Kalamassery.

New culture

Mr. Kunju said PWD officials and contractors were benefitting from working alongside DMRC, which is likely to leave a new development culture in the State.

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