Kochi: The uncertainty over the extension of Kochi Metro to Kakkanad, the beginning of the construction a few long pending rail over bridges and a slew of other schemes linked with public transport and health are some of the key infrastructure projects that seek the attention of the member of parliament from Ernakulam. LDF candidate P. Rajeev has identified a permanent and scientific solution to the problems associated with the Brahmapuram waste processing plant as one of the priority topics while UDF candidate Hibi Eden has formed Envisioning-2030 comprising a 14-point vision statement for the comprehensive development of Kochi and Ernakulam. Not to be left behind, NDA candidate K.J. Alphonse has launched a website to invite ideas and suggestions from the people that could be implemented for the overall development of the region. "I don't give just promises. I like to know your dreams about Ernakulam and work with you to make your dreams come true," is the statement of Mr Alphons.
Mr Rajeev held an interactive session with a group of persons to have a clear idea of the priorities needed for the development of the Ernakulam district including Kochi, rated as the commercial capital of Kerala. Apart from the solution for waste processing, formation of a development council with representation from various walks of life is another idea mooted by the LDF candidate. The development of tourism by freeing Ernakulam from waste using the most appropriate scientific mechanism, integrated organic farming, efficient implementation of city gas and CNG projects, priority for improving the quality of life of people living in coastal areas, shelters for transgender persons, women and children, increasing the number of train services by installing automatic switching systems, extension of metro rail networks are some of the key ideas that emerged in the discussion. The LDF will bring out an election manifesto based on the ideas presented and germinated during the interactive sessions.
The 14-point vision statement of Mr Eden also speaks about the integrated transportation system, women's issues, environment and waste management. The novelty in the vision statement of the UDF candidate included the promise of making Ernakulam and knowledge and financial hubs. Media city, coastal area development and fisheries, public health and wellness, projects for differently-abled and projects against substance abuse are some of the other key points in the vision document.
Although the candidates have resorted to lofty language of development priorities, the fate of some of the pending projects makes people skeptical about the high-sounding promises and projects. The never ending delay in the construction of railway over bridges at Atlantis, Vaduthala and Vathu-ruthy are some of the tell-tale signs of the broken promises over the years....