UDFs big projects turn pipe dreams

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While the Oommen Chandy government may have implemented a series of people’s welfare measures, many grand schemes announced in November last year as part of the ambitious one-year programme still remain on papers.

One of the major announcements was on starting the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL)-model public utility companies for toilets, drinking water, bus shelters and clean city. The government thought of having such companies following the failure of various departments to efficiently deliver public utility services.

These companies were to be made selfsustainable, income-generating entities, and the plans were also to raise the money for them through advertisements and renting out commercial space. The government was to hold 26 per cent shares with full administrative control. However, a year later, the proposal stands where it was in last November.

“Companies for public utility services are not a feasible proposition,’’ says a top official.

The other unfulfilled promises include the setting up of an Industrial Protection Force on the lines of CISF, trifurcation of the vigilance and anticorruption bureau, an amendment to the Kerala

Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act or Goonda Act, an electronic beat system to check crimes and special ‘women help desks’ in 150 police stations.
Lapses apart, chief minister Oommen Chandy is satisfied with the performance of his government. “Most of the departments have done well.

We will be coming out with a report card soon,” he told the media here the other day.

Planning Board member G.

Vijayaraghavan said the government had fulfilled most of its promises. “The Emerging Kerala global investors’ meet was a major success,’’ he said.

“The public delivery system has not risen to the levels we expected. Governance needs to be further streamlined,’’ he admitted.

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