Major projects under Kuttanad package ignored; flood situation worsens
When the Kuttanad package was launched five years ago, it had only one aim — the overall development of the region and its people. But if you take stock of the progress of the work being done in the name of the package, it would definitely give you a grim picture.
A package envisaged to save Kuttanad is now bringing only woes to the people of the region.
The shoddy implementation of the package forgetting the priorities is the main reason behind the situation.
An amount of Rs.1266.68 crore had been sanctioned for the implementation of the package. But, only Rs.210 crore was used so far.
Major projects under the package — the renovation of Thottappally spillway, Thaneermukkom barrage and the Alappuzha-Changansserry (AC) canal — have not been started yet.
The shoddy implementation also worsened the flood situation in Kuttanad this year.
Farmers under the banner of Kuttanad Vikasana Samithi (KVS), an NGO, protested against the package at Ramankary on the AC Road. Fr.Thomas Peeliyanickal, executive director of KVS, alleged that there was a major conspiracy going on to ‘sabotage’ the package.
He castigated the Prosperity Council, which oversees the implementation of the package. He said the Council did not do justice to the people of Kuttanad. “If one takes a look at the money spent so far for the package, the benefits for the people will be very less. The allegations that the works done were only creating difficulty for the people and were harmful to environment are very strong. The inefficiency of the officials including the technical experts and engineers was the main reason for the failure of the package. There was no people-participation. They should seek the opinions of people of Kuttanad instead of taking decisions in Thiruvananthapuram,” he said. Meanwhile, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader O. Rajagopal inaugurated the protest of the BJP Kuttanad Assembly committee at Mancombu in the AC road on Wednesday.
He demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister. “The farmers are on the warpath in the State. The agriculture sector is on the verge of destruction. Both the LDF and the UDF governments failed in implementing the package," Mr. Rajagopal said.