The Capital City Development Forum (CCDF) expressed protest over neglecting the capital district in the UDF Government’s 100- day action programme and one-year action programme. CCDF chairman and former minister M Vijayakumar told a news conference here on Saturday that the government was neglecting the dream project- Vizhinjam port. “The new government has not moved an inch forward from where the LDF Government left. The bid for selecting the operators was tendered some seven months back by the LDF Government. Even after a period of seven months, this government has not been able to finalise the bid,” he said. “Not a single acre of land was acquired ever since the end of the LDF Government’s tenure,” he said. He said that the work on the road leading to the site had not yet begun. The scheme to mobilise the fund promised by the bank consortium also has been frozen. All infrastructure projects were stalled. Vijayakumar alleged that the LDF Government had started preliminary efforts to set up a ship repairing yard and a ship yard in Poovar. The Union Shipping Ministry and the Cochin Shipyard had shown interest in the project. In spite of the drought in Vizhinjam-Poovar area, the fact that the proposed container port is close to the international shipping channel would be an added advantage to the project. Vijayakumar said that everybody interested in the shipping industry across the globe was watching the government’s move to know when it would set up the shipyard and the ship repairing unit.Vijayakumar alleged that the government had delayed the acquisition of 82 acres of land required for the second phase of the airport despite the fact that the Centre had sanctioned Rs 250 crore. He pointed out that the Chief Minister had assured to acquire 20 acres of land to set up the new domestic terminal at Chakka and five aerobridges. He also said that in 1991, Parliament had passed a Bill bringing the Thiruvananthapuram airport under the charge of a director having special powers making it the fifth international airport. But bypassing this law, through an executive order, the Airport Authority of India had brought it under the control of the Regional office in Chennai usurping its special status as an independent airport. He alleged that the Civil Aviation Minister was delaying the inauguration of the hangar completed here to enable the private hangar in Ernakulam to get the booking first. He expressed protest over the delay in setting up the High Court Bench and the State Administrative Tribunal. Vijayakumar said the previous LDF Government had acquired land for widening 42 km of city roads. But the UDF Government did not initiate any step to solve the issues related to land acquisition. No effort has been made to revive the Kottoor-Ambasamudram road which could have shortened the distance from Tamil Nadu by 70 km. Railway projects at Nemom and Kochuveli have not reached anywhere. The proposed Railway Medical College also had not been started inspite of having land in Parassala. No work was done on the Kovalam-Kollam stretch of the Inland water way. Theerapadham project and the proposed technical university were also sabotaged. But the capital city is denied of an IIT. Former mayor J Chandra, K T Roy, Amaravila Ramakrishnan Nair , K G Praksh , Panangattukonam Vijayan attended the news conference.
News Sourced from Expressbuzz