Thiruvananthapuram: On the eve of the United Democratic Front government in Kerala marking its third anniversary, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy yesterday announced “Mission 676”, or the speedy implementation of major infrastructure and social schemes to make the state a better place to live in.
“Mission 676” refers to the remaining effective days of the government as Chandy took over in May 2011. “Most of these projects are existing projects of our government and are in the various stages, while some are new ones which include a new law on ‘Right to Hearing’. Once (this is) implemented, any person who gives a complaint to the government will have to be heard,” Chandy told reporters here.
He said that the Rajasthan government has implemented a similar law. Among the major infrastructure projects that are already on are the Kochi Metro rail project, in which the first train would run on December 31, 2015.
The Kochi Smart City project’s first phase would open March 25, 2015. The bid on the proposed Vizhinjam Port will be opened on June 18, while the first aircraft will touch down at Kannur Airport on Dec 31, 2015.
On the dream project Air Kerala, the state’s own airline, Chandy said that the union civil aviation minister had said that the earlier rules for any airline to fly on international routes, of having to operate in the domestic sector too besides owning 20 aircraft, have been lifted.
“But we have not received any clarification on this. As and when this comes, we will go ahead with the project, as we have already completed a project report on this and we are confident of making it a reality,” he said.
When Chandy assumed office with a wafer-thin majority of just two seats in the 140-member assembly, many of his detractors said that the government will not last beyond six months but now the tally has gone up to 75 with three opposition legislators crossing over. However, a real test will come when votes in the Lok Sabha poll are counted.
In the outgoing Lok Sabha, the UDF had 16 seats out of the 20 and all eyes are on what the tally would be now as Chandy has already announced the verdict would be an assessment of his governance.