Staff Reporter

Sreemathy says Government will continue projects started by UDF regime

Minister says WAKE-NMCC tie-up is a model ventureCalls for such ventures in the health sector in the regionHealth Ministry moots medical institution of AIIMS-status in the Malabar region

KANNUR: Health and Social Welfare Minister P.K. Sreemathy has called for collective initiative for the development of the North Malabar region.

Inaugurating the office of the Wake Industries International Ltd. (WILL), floated by the Dubai-based Welfare Association of Kannur District Expatriate (WAKE) and the North Malabar Chamber of Commerce (NMCC), here on Sunday, Ms. Sreemathy said that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) will continue the developmental projects started by the previous United Democratic Front (UDF) Government. She said that often, developmental projects were seen to be the victims of the differing perspectives of successive Governments in the State. Developmental initiatives of one Government will not invariably be continued by another Government that succeeded it, she said.

The office-bearers of WAKE and the NMCC had signed an MoU for making joint efforts to participate in the industrial and infrastructural developments of the district. WILL was started with an authorised share capital of Rs.5 crores to undertake and develop projects.

Despite the general feeling that the North Malabar region continued to be backward, as far as development was concerned, there was a growing awareness on the need for more projects for the region, the Minister said. The initiative started by the WAKE and the NMCC was a model venture for mobilising investments from expatriates for starting developmental projects. Terming the proposed Kannur airport as a long-standing dream of the people of the region, she said that such projects will materialise if the expatriates came forward to invest in them. "Political differences here should not be allowed to be an obstacle to the development of the district," she said.

Acknowledging WAKE's installation of state-of-the-art facilities in the mortuary in the District Government Hospital here, Ms. Sreemathy also urged such organisations to launch initiatives in the health sector. Now that the Government had recommended the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College to be bestowed the status of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the northern region also needed a medical institution with AIIMS status, she said, adding that the Health Ministry was exploring the idea of such a medical institution with the financial assistance of the World Bank.

The Minister also said that the Government had already started a Society for Financial Assistance to Poor Patients under a Central Government scheme to provide specialty treatments to patients who could not afford them. Under the scheme the Health Department will directly offer the treatment fees to the hospital concerned, she said. Ms. Sreemathy said that there was a plan to emulate the model of the Model District Hospital in Palakkad in the District Hospital here.

Abdul Khader Panakkat, WAKE chairman and managing director, presided over the function. District panchayat president K.K. Narayanan distributed share certificates of the company. K. Sudhakaran, MLA, and Kannur municipal chairman K. Upendran offered felicitation. WIIL directors C. Jayachandran and Mahesh Chandra Baliga were also present.