Staff Reporter

Say steps will be taken to revive the industrial sector

ALAPPUZHA: Candidates contesting the coming Assembly elections in the Chengannur constituency in the district have promised to give priority for developing the railway station and Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus station there and take steps to revive industrial units going through a crisis. At a meet-the-candidates programme organised by the Alappuzha Press Club on Thursday, the Left Democratic Front candidate, Saji Cherian, of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said Chengannur railway station, where several lakh pilgrims to Sabarimala shrine arrived every year, lacked basic facilities, and the State Government had failed to take the initiative to develop it. The KSRTC bus stand, where also the pilgrims arrived, was being neglected.

Mr. Cherian said the district transport office at the bus station was downgraded to an assistant transport office.

On the industrial front, he said the Mannar Switchgear Factory and the Chengannur central hatchery were going through a crisis and the Government had not made any move to save them. He said the large number of tile factories in the constituency had been closed now. He would take steps for the development of the railway and bus stations and revival of industries in the constituency, if he won in the Assembly elections.

The United Democratic Front candidate, P.C. Vishnunath, of the Congress, said MLAs from the front who had been elected from the constituency in the past had initiated a large number of development projects in the constituency and vowed to take forward those projects. The constituency was far ahead in the development of road network compared with other places. The constituency was well connected by a network of roads, and nine bridges had been completed in the recent years, he added.

Mr. Vishnunath said he would exert pressure for implementing projects for developing the railway station and bus stations, if elected. He said he would find a solution to the crisis in the industrial sector, and promised to pressure the State Government for the formation of a central Travancore development authority for finding a permanent solution to the developmental problems of the region.

The Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Mannar Sathish said MLAs from the ruling and Opposition fronts who had been elected from the constituency had neglected it. They had neglected the issue of development of infrastructure. The mining of sand from fields in Budhanoor panchayat limits had destroyed the environment of the region and paddy cultivation, and both fronts had failed to take solid steps to oppose it, Mr. Sathish added. He said that if elected, he would take steps for the development of infrastructure.