Special Correspondent

‘Lagging behind in infrastructure’

KOCHI: The CPI (M) State Secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan, on Monday said that it was because of the “cruel neglect” on the part of the Central Government that the State was lagging behind the other Southern States in infrastructure.

Inaugurating a public meeting organised by the Ernakulam district unit of the CPI (M) in connection with the T.K. Ramakrishnan commemoration function, he said that Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s remark on the lack of infrastructure was really a distortion of the facts.

The CPI (M) leader pointed out that when the Central Government had formulated a scheme for constructing a six-lane road connecting various States, Kerala was excluded from the project. In fact, there was no justification for not including the State in the project. The Vajpayee-led Union Government had also neglected the infrastructure development in the State.

The United Progressive Alliance Government had done nothing to change this attitude. The National Highways could not be developed because of the neglect of the Union Government. Even the roads under the National Highway Authority were not properly maintained.

He said the State Government had told the Centre that it could not collect toll on every 25 km when the National Highways were widened.

He also said that the State was facing neglect in the matter of railway development also.

The Central Government was adopting a discriminatory policy towards the State.

He said Kerala would not adopt a Gujarat-model privatisation policy. Earlier in the morning, he paid floral tributes at the T.K. Ramakrishnan memorial in Eroor. CPI(M) leaders Gopi Kottamurikkal, M. C. Josephine, E. Balanandan, M. M. Lawrence, K.N. Ravindranth, K. Chandran Pillai, MP, C.M. Dinesh Mani, MLA, and others also addressed the public meeting.