ALAPPUZHA: Kuttanad expects much from its elected representative Thomas Chandy, who assumed charge as Transport Minister on Saturday. Apart from reviving the deflated KSRTC, the people of Kuttanad are anxiously waiting to see whether he can solve some of their major problems like lack of infrastructure development and drinking water scarcity. The 1,840-crore Kuttanad package announced by the centre in 2010 has not made much difference to the situation in Kuttanad and its term ended on March 31.
Mr Chandy had promised the voters during the last elections that he would solve the perennial drinking water scarcity in Kuttanad, which is surrounded by water bodies that are polluted. Though he is transport minister, he has to tackle the water crisis at the earliest. The water projects that began here in 1968 have not been finished yet. The Neerettupuram project started in 2005 was envisaged to ease the drinking water crisis in 14 panchayats. But it is dragging on. The people have to buy potable water from private suppliers.
The ingress of brackish water damages hectares of paddy crops due to bund breach. There is official apathy in paddy procurement and timely distribution of money. Salvinia menace is troubling even water transport in the constituency. Though the outer bund construction was started under Kuttanad package, it was abandoned in the middle. The minister will have try for a parallel package to continue the works. Kuttanad lacks proper road connectivity. The bridge works at Kainakari, Pulinkunnu, Champakulam, Mankompu and Thattasserry remain unfinished. The health sector is ailing and the number of cancer patients is increasing. Mr Chandy will have to pay attention to all these issues to win the trust of the people.