KL This Week: CM Meets PM Modi, Demands Completion of Development Projects
Image by R Prakash
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 27 to discuss the development activities, pending approval of certain projects, and COVID-19 preparedness. The CM had reportedly insisted on ensuring better Centre-state relationships.
The Malappuram district cooperative bank has decided to merge itself with the Kerala State Cooperative Bank after remaining independent since November 2019 since the formation of the apex cooperative bank.
The concerns over the Supreme Court verdict on the one-kilometre buffer zone around the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks remain despite the attempts of the state government to exempt residential and agricultural areas.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) made the 14th arrest in cases against the activists of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) after conducting raids in 56 locations in the state on December 29.
Saji Cherian, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] legislator is set to return to the Cabinet after the decision of the CPI(M) state secretariat.
K P Sasi, a renowned documentary filmmaker and activist passed away in Thrissur on December 25 after a prolonged illness. Rich tributes were paid by artists and political activists from across the country following his death.
The Argentina embassy in India has promised to provide football training to the young aspiring players of Kerala, following the massive support the team received during the recent FIFA world cup. NewsClick brings a round-up of the happenings in the state this week.
CM DEMANDS FAST-TRACKING OF DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
The CM spoke in detail with the PM about ensuring the timely completion of projects pending in the state, strengthening of the Centre-state relationship and demand for a higher percentage of Goods and Services Tax (GST). The completion of National Highways (NH) works involving both the Union and state governments was also discussed.
The two discussed the preparedness for a possible COVID-19 wave, even as several states have ramped up testing those returning from countries including China. Though the omicron subvariant BF.7 was found in India in July 2022, the Union government has sounded the alarm.
COOPERATIVE BANK MERGES WITH KERALA BANK
When the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government announced the formation of the Kerala state cooperative bank by merging the district cooperative banks (DCB) in 2019, the Malappuram DCB refused to pass a resolution for the merger. The DCB is being dominated and controlled by the opposition united democratic front (UDF).
After a gap of three years, with the DCB passing a resolution, the state government has passed the Kerala Cooperative Societies (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 for merging the Malappuram DCB with the Kerala Bank.
The bank has recently achieved the first position among the 300 Asian cooperative banks for providing financial services.
ARGENTINA FOR FOOTBALL ACADEMY
Following the massive support for the Argentine team in the FIFA football world cup in Qatar, the embassy in India has decided to train young aspirants in Kerala. The decision was announced by Franco Agustin Senilliani Melchior, Commercial Head of Argentina’s Embassy in India in the Kerala House, Delhi.
The official met fans during his visit to the Kerala House and thanked them for their unwavering support during the world cup. The ambassador is expected to visit Kerala with a team from Argentina.
TRIBUTES PAID TO K P SASI
Following the death of renowned documentary maker and activist K P Sasi, rich tributes were paid, recalling his contribution. Many remembered him for giving voice to the people affected due to projects implemented by governments across the country.
He has documented the struggle of the people of Manipur against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) ACT, of 1958 (AFSPA) and violence by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on the Adivasis Christians of Kandhamal, Orissa.
PROTEST AGAINST BUFFER ZONE
The apprehensions about the one-kilometre buffer zones around the protected areas (PA) in the state continued to escalate. Several protests have continued, including those led by the UDF, independent farmers' organisations, and Syro Malabar Churches in the high-range districts.
The review petition of the government of Kerala on the Supreme Court judgement dated July 3, 2022, will be heard on January 11, 2023, seeking exemption for residential and agricultural areas falling within the one-kilometre range.
The LDF government has published maps of the proposed buffer zones around 23 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, for the public to register their opposition.
NIA RAID PFI ACTIVISTS
The NIA raided 56 locations linked to around 15 activists of the banned organisation, PFI on December 29. The NIA published a statement on the raid, including the arrest of a practising advocate in Kerala High Court.
The arrested Mohammed Mubarak has been accused of being a member of the PFI Martial Arts and Hit Squad as per the statement of the NIA. Weapons including axes, swords and sickles were reportedly recovered from his house in Vypin, Kochi.
The PFI has been banned for five years from September 2022 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
RECORD REVENUE IN SABARIMALA TEMPLE
The ‘Madalam’ season of the hill shrine, which begins in the second week of November every year and extends till the middle of January, has recorded a revenue of Rs 222.98 crores in the first 39 days since November 17.
Around 29 lakh pilgrims have visited the temple, of which 20% are children as per the statement of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB). The temple witnessed a heavy inflow of devotees following the relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions after a gap of two years.
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