State should revisit and reinterpret its industrial policy, outlook on development, says Congress leader
KOCHI: Senior Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran has said that the State government has made a huge mistake in handling the crisis in Kinaloor.
Delivering the keynote address at a commemoration meeting Congress leader Henry Austin, Mr. Sudheeran said that rulers of the State had even gone to the extent of alleging Maoist influence behind the incident. “I did not see any such extremist influence there but the struggle of common people for survival,” he said.
Initially, the government had claimed that a Malaysian company was to set up shop in Kinaloor generating in the process 70,000-odd jobs. Thanks to Right to Information Act it has now come to light that no such memorandum of understanding existed with any company making it clear that the people were beaten up for a non-existent project, he said.
He said that there was no justification to the police atrocity against innocent people, including women, at Kinaloor coming as it does from a force which otherwise had been found inept time and again while dealing with mafia groups and goondas. “It is a blot on the history of the State's police force,” he said.
He said that the Industries Minister was not even willing to examine the alternative suggestions submitted by the affected people in Kinaloor.
Mr. Sudheeran said that small uprisings of people on various issues were taking place in different parts of the State from which main stream political parties were keeping away. Urging political parties to intervene in these issues, he warned that else their space would be occupied by other organisations.
Mr. Sudheeran said that it was high time to revisit and reinterpret the State's industrial policy and outlook on development.
Asking authorities to undertake detail study of the environmental, financial and societal impact of a project before going ahead with it, Mr. Sudheeran said that no development project would succeed unless the people were taken into confidence and was implemented in a just and transparent manner.
Mr. Sudheeran said that despite the cabinet agreeing on a package, the evictees of Moolamppilly were yet to be rehabilitated with better living conditions.
“Rehabilitation of the affected people should be given as much importance as the development project (for which they are displaced). No government can function by ignoring the lives of people,” he said.
He said that what the State wanted were eco-friendly projects.
How long, he asked, can the State proceed with projects that affected the environment and obliterated the remaining of our greenery. “The climate change we now experience is the heavy price we pay for our cruelty against the nature,” Mr. Sudheeran said.
Earlier, while delivering the presidential address, Joseph Karikkassery, the Auxiliary Bishop of Varappuzha, lamented that the Moolamppilly evictees were yet to be rehabilitated. He said that while no one was against development it was equally important to protect those displaced in the name of development.
Union Minister of State for Agriculture K.V. Thomas inaugurated the meeting. Dominic Presentation, MLA, MPs K.P. Dhanapalan, and Charles Diaz, District Congress Committee president V.J. Paulose, former MLA K. Mohammadali, and Clement Valluvassery, manager of St. Albert's College, also spoke.