COIMBATORE: Even as political parties promise various infrastructure development schemes, including basic amenities, the Pyramid Party of India (PPI) has accused the representatives elected to Parliament and the Assembly so far of not having followed-up on projects.
“It is not as though projects had not been sanctioned for Coimbatore. The fact is that these have not been followed up to the point of implementation,” says PPI candidate for Coimbatore constituency S.K. Rajan.
Mr. Rajan particularly lists the schemes cleared under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
“As many as 486 road projects had been cleared for Coimbatore District before Tirupur was carved out of it as a new district. But, only 300 have been implemented till November. Maybe, the others cannot be done now because of elections. But, the lack of close follow-up had held up the other works,” he says.
On water shortage, Mr. Rajan says only six out of 15 irrigation projects sanctioned under the RIDF have been completed. This is the pace of work when 11 out of 19 blocks in the district have been identified as critical areas because of overexploitation of ground water. And, out of 17 ground water recharge projects, not even one has been taken up. “Rainwater harvesting too has not been promoted despite NABARD’s instructions to do so. If our party candidates are elected, we will strive to implement these projects.” As for railways, Mr. Rajan alleged that only political factors led to the creation of a divisional office in Salem and not the criterion of revenue.
Alleging step-motherly treatment to Coimbatore, he asks: “When the Bangalore-Coimbatore inter-city can be extended up to Ernakulam, why cannot the Thiruvananthapuram-Palakkad Amrita Express be extended up to Coimbatore? We see many people disembarking at Palakkad and taking connecting trains or buses to Coimbatore. This only shows there are passengers up to Coimbatore.”
The Coimbatore Railway Junction is extremely passenger-unfriendly. On improving the condition of Government schools, Mr. Rajan says that the RIDF has allocation for construction or re-construction of schools. But, out of the 114 projects sanctioned, only 16 have been completed.
Coimbatore city itself needs to be improved to raise its stature, he added.