Staff Reporter

ALAPPUZHA: Kuttanad legislator Thomas Chandy has lauded the Union government and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar for approving the Rs.1,839.75 crore-Kuttanad Package.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Chandy said it would be appropriate for M.S. Swaminathan, who had prepared the report, to supervise the implementation of the package. Dr. Swaminathan, being a native of Mankombu in Kuttanad, knew the region in and out and that had already reflected in the report he submitted. “If someone like Dr. Swaminathan is not there to oversee the implementation, there is a high possibility of the bureaucrat-contractor nexus swindling funds with help from politicians with vested interests,” Mr. Chandy pointed out.

Recalling that it was a visit of Mr. Pawar to Alappuzha, during which Mr. Chandy had briefed him on the agrarian crisis here, that finally led to the appointment of the Swaminathan Commission, Mr. Chandy said there was nothing much to be read into the “alleged delay” for approval of the package.

Alappuzha legislator K.C. Venugopal, commending Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for taking the lead in approving the package, said it was up to the State government to ensure effective implementation of the package. Alleging that delays by the State government in submitting detailed project reports to the Centre had in turn led to a delay in sanction for the package, Mr. Venugopal said a mechanism should be set up immediately for its implementation.