Exclusive charter for Walayar check-post


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Government will come out with a Citizens’ Charter exclusively for the Walayar check-post, through which roughly 50 per cent of all goods from outside reach Kerala, on September 1, Finance Minister T. M. Thomas Isaac said here on Friday. Releasing the ‘Citizens’ Report on Governance and Development’, brought out by Social Watch India, Dr. Isaac said the Assembly Subject Committee on Finance would visit the check-post on October 11.

TheGovernment would scrutiny and monitor the check-post’s functioning on aregular basis so that there was absolute transparency there, the FinanceMinister said.

Participatingin an interactive session held as part of the function, the Minister said hesuspected a deliberate bid by PWD contractors to exert pressure on theGovernment by claiming that not enough money was being allocated for roadrepair.

Contraryto their allegation, the Government had so far this year allocated a recordRs.507 crore for the Public Works Department. Of this, around Rs.100 crore wouldgo for the building sector, but the rest would go for road construction andmaintenance. In addition, the Government sanctioned Rs.50 crore for road repairin the wake of the havoc wrought by monsoon, he pointed out. Dr. Isaac saidthere was no question of him allowing those indulging in irregularities in roadconstruction and maintenance. “At least a few must be given exemplarypunishment to bring discipline into the system,” he said.

“Grosswastage of resources in the sector can be seen from the way around Rs.25 croreis spent every year on road repair during President’s visit to ensure‘riding comfort’ and the way another Rs.25 crore is spent on repairingSabarimala roads during the festival season,” he said.

Dr.Isaac attributed the current crisis to indiscriminate sanctioning of work by theUDF Government. Against the budgeted amount of Rs.150 crore, the UDF Governmenthad sanctioned work costing Rs.800 crore. This could not but result in delay inpayments, he added.

B.R.P. Bhaskar,journalist and social commentator, John Samuel, editor, Citizens’ Report onGovernance and Development, B. Ekbal, former Kerala University Vice-Chancellor,and others attended the function.