KERALA

Isaac moots elevated rail corridor for State

Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has proposed an elevated rail corridor for the State to wean people away from personal transportation.

Addressing the valedictory of a two-day workshop here on Tuesday, he said the elevated system would help to decongest the roads and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Dr. Isaac added that the government was yet to take a policy decision on the project.

Highlighting the need for a shift from private vehicles to public transport, he said it called for developing the water and rail transport network.

Business model

Dr. Isaac said the government was exploring the possibility of developing a business model instead of offering subsidy to incentivize tree planting on a large scale for climate change adaptation. The project for eco-restoration of Kuttanad presented an opportunity and a challenge for the State to adapt to climate change.

Dr. Isaac said the flagship programme launched by the government to make Meenangadi a carbon neutral panchayat would be extended to the whole of Wayanad, making it possible to market the coffee produced in the district as a premium brand.

The government, he said, had adopted a multipronged strategy for climate change mitigation and adaptation, with the focus on energy management, sanitation and water conservation.

Stressing the need to mainstream climate change into the development agenda, Chief Secretary S.M.Vijayanand called for a relook at the State Action Plan on Climate Change and its integration into the 13th five year Plan. He underlined the need to equip local bodies for climate resilience.

Shailendra Yashwant of the Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) said Kerala could utilise the potential of the Western Ghats as a carbon sink. He called for wider consultations with stakeholder communities to ensure their involvement in climate mitigation.

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