Nation Other News 04 Mar 2017 Kerala budget 2017: ...

Kerala budget 2017: Govt not serious on green plans

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | R SRIDHAR
Published Mar 4, 2017, 2:20 am IST
Updated Mar 4, 2017, 7:08 am IST
Kerala is focused on organic farming and plastic menace.
Rs 109 crore is earmarked for Science & Technology and Environment  departments.
 Rs 109 crore is earmarked for Science & Technology and Environment departments.

I have mixed feelings about Dr Thomas Isaac’s eighth budget. It is true there are a number of interventions in environment sector. He says agricultural crisis in Wayanad can be resolved if its coffee can be branded as 'Coffee raised under the forest shade'. A project report for this is on in Meenangady panchayat. The budget has special scheme for the promotion of trees. These are innovative schemes, though a small step towards better environment. Sasthamkotta Lake is shrinking. The most important activity undertaken under Haritha Keralam Mission is rejuvenation of ponds, rivulets, springs, streams, canals and lakes. Compared to other States, Kerala is way ahead as other States have not even started discussing it.

Kerala is focused on organic farming and plastic menace. There are huge infrastructure investments for road. Our concern is Dr Isaac does not heed National Transportation guidelines for green highway and green lanes. For    Rs 10, 000 crore worth road infrastructure, at least Rs 100 crore should be earmarked for developing green median.  Unfortunately PWD, Kerala State Transport Project, Kerala Road Fund Board and Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board are keen on widening roads but without making it greener. There should be a green corridor. Industrial development must combine strict green guidelines. Drought is a serious issue but Groundwater Department and Water Resources Department have not laid out a serious decentralized and innovative water conservation programme. For 15 years we have been hearing about digging rain pits during peak summer season. Unfortunately these two departments have not been serious on this.

 

(Author is Chief Executive, Thanal, as told to Cynthia Chandran)

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Location: India, Kerala




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