Dennis Marcus Mathew

Says he is happy with State’s initiative

Says Centre-State coordination

has been good

Praises role of Ministers

ALAPPUZHA: Agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan, who shaped the Rs.1,839.75-crore Kuttanad Package that holds the prosperity key to the beleaguered Kuttanad belt, is back again, this time to ensure that the implementation of the package does not lose steam or direction.

In Alappuzha on Friday to discuss the package after the State government requested his help in the preparation of project reports, getting Central approval for them and for the implementation of the package, Dr. Swaminathan said he was satisfied with the manner in which Kerala had gone ahead with the package till date. Dr. Swaminathan told The Hindu after the meeting that he would be directly involved in whichever way possible to help the State prepare the highly sophisticated technical project reports that were required for the project. “I will come here whenever I can,” he added.

On what his exact role would be in getting Central approval for the projects, Dr. Swaminathan said with a smile that he would not have much to do since the State had already succeeded in getting approval for the package in its own way. “My role will have more to do with the preparation of the project reports,” he said.

Terming the process of converting the fragile Kuttanad ecosystem into a Special Agriculture Zone as an ‘exciting adventure,’ Dr. Swaminathan said he was impressed with the involvement of Ministers Mullakkara Ratnakaran and N.K. Premachandran in the whole affair. “The coordination between departments and the State and Central governments has been good at every stage. The progress has also been really fast-track, considering that the Kuttanad Package is much more complex than the Idukki Package,” he added.

Dr. Swaminathan was accompanied by the Research Foundation director S. Balaravi.