Kerala: Abandoned ideas find no mention

Sathasivam's address, like last year, has brushed poor plan utilisation under the carpet.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ironically, some of the big ticket ideas proposed by the UDF government when it assumed power to usher in what Governor Justice P Sathasivam termed on Friday “the golden age of opportunities” have not found mention in the Governor’s last address of the UDF tenure.

The headlamp concepts that drew attention to the UDF’s development agenda in the first place, and the ones that now look completely abandoned at the last count, are: Sam Pitroda’s ‘ten growth ideas’, the Right to Service Act, bureaucratic accountability, new plan model for local bodies, and Nirbhaya project.

In 2013, the then Governor, H R Bharadwaj, said Pitroda’s initiatives were “well on a path of successful implementation.” But in 2012 itself, Pitroda had officially washed his hands of five ideas: high-speed rail corridor, modernization of traditional industries, e-governance, re-employing the retired and vocational education.

The remaining five - mobile health insurance, coastal shipping, knowledge city, ayurveda, and e-governance – were either dumped or half-cooked.

It seemed prudent to keep silent about the Right to Service Act, which in the 2013 address was called “momentous”. Though 75-plus departments had notified the services to be offered under the Act, none had begun implementation.

Nirbhaya, hailed by governor Bharadwaj as a “comprehensive policy declaration that asserts the right of every woman to live without fear and with respect”, is blacked out. In 2015, Sathasivam had made a passing reference. This time, not a word; perhaps an acknowledgement of the shoddy implementation of the scheme.

Sathasivam’s address, like last year, has brushed poor plan utilisation under the carpet. This fiscal, utilisation is worse than even 2012-13 fiscal. In 2014, Governor Nikhil Kumar had spoken with pride about ‘Plan Space’, a software for plan monitoring.

When the UDF assumed power, it was keen to shake up the bureaucracy. “All officers would have to undergo mandatory induction training as well as different phases of training to be eligible for promotions to higher promotions,” Bhardwaj had said in 2012. Nothing was heard of it, ever since.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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