On June 11, just over two weeks after assuming office, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced a 100-day action plan by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government to counter the economic slowdown triggered by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The action plan included projects worth Rs 2464.92 crore through the Public Works Department (PWD), Rebuild Kerala Initiative (RKI) and the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). Emphasis would be on policies and schemes to advance the achievements of the state in the field of health, education and social security and to accelerate economic growth and create quality employment, he had said. The previous LDF government headed by Vijayan had implemented 100-day programmes over two phases last year to address the impact of Covid-19.
Now, with the present 100-day programme drawing to a close on September 19, the state dashboard that tracks the implementation of the programme reports that 132 of the 178 projects incorporated into it have been completed and the rest 46 are expected to be completed soon. As part of the completed projects, 12,067 homes, 92 new school buildings, 1,000 rural roads and three football academies have been built across the state, along with a host of other initiatives.
Houses, Schools, Roads, Care Centres and Toilet Complexes
In an online event held earlier today, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the completion of construction of 12,067 new homes and handing over of keys to the beneficiaries. Out of these, 10,058 houses were built through the LIFE Mission, the state government’s housing scheme that aims to provide housing to all landless and homeless people in the state. Over 2,000 houses were built through the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U), the Union government’s flagship mission being implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Of the 12,067 houses, 3,358 were for families from Scheduled Caste communities, 606 for those from Scheduled Tribe communities and 271 for those from fishing communities.
In addition, Vijayan announced that the construction of 2,207 flats in 36 apartment complexes is in progress and the government had taken steps to build 17 more apartment complexes. The previous LDF government had built 2,62,131 houses over its five-year tenure and the LDF manifesto for the elections to the state Assembly polls earlier this year had promised to end homelessness by building five lakh more houses across the state in 5 years. Earlier this week, 308 individual houses and 276 flats were also handed over to beneficiaries as part of the Punargeham rehabilitation project of the Fisheries Department that aims to rehabilitate families in coastal areas affected by sea erosion and flooding. Construction of 1,000 study rooms and completion of 1000 houses which had only partially been built were also carried out by the Scheduled Caste Development Department.
Apart from houses, land title-deeds were distributed to 13,534 families as part of the 100-day programme on September 14 through a Pattaya Mela held in 14 district centres and 77 taluk centres across the state. The previous LDF government had distributed 1.75 lakh title-deeds between 2016 and 2021 as part of its efforts to make land available to all landless families denied ownership of land due to various reasons.
Public work construction projects carried out as part of the 100-day programme included construction of new school buildings, roads, care centres and toilet complexes. The chief minister inaugurated 92 new school buildings, 48 higher secondary labs and three libraries on September 14, a project undertaken by the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) constituted under the Local Self Government Department, for which a total of Rs 214 crore was spent. Foundation stones were also laid for 107 new school buildings, for which Rs 124 crore has been allocated. Construction of 1,000 rural roads as part of the Chief Minister's Local Road Rebuild Project (CMLRRP) was also completed as part of the programme. Close to 2500 roads have been completed so far under the project, with the first 1,000 roads inaugurated in February this year.
The Health and Family Welfare Department completed various projects, including a Community Health Centre in Paika in Kottayam District, Care Support Centres for HIV/AIDS patients in seven districts, Antiretroviral Therapy Centres in four medical colleges and one district hospital and an Intensive Care Unit with 110 beds in Govt. Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram. Health Minister Veena George also inaugurated projects worth Rs 16.69 crore in 158 healthcare facilities across the state on Friday. Earlier, on September 7, virtual inauguration of 100 toilet and rest room complexes along roads and in densely populated areas, as part of the ‘Take-a-break’ project under the Suchitwa Mission, was carried out. The toilets are equipped with feeding rooms, sanitary napkin disposal systems, bio-waste storage systems and disinfectants and the larger ones even have refreshment centres with coffee shops attached to them. Construction of 524 more such toilet complexes are underway.
Three new residential football academies with modern training facilities, two of which are exclusively for women, were also launched by the chief minister on September 16 as part of the programme. Kerala Blasters FC and Gokulam Kerala FC will collaborate in the running of the academies and Data Management and Analysis platforms have been made available. The Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs aims to train players and mold them into talents capable of shining at the international level. Plans to open 40 new football grounds across the state were also announced.
As part of the 100-day programme, cultivation of vegetables, paddy, banana and potatoes were undertaken in a total of 23,566 hectares of land across the state using organic farming techniques under the Subhiksham Surakshitham project of the Department of Agricultural Development and Farmers’ Welfare. The government plans to introduce organic farming in 84,000 hectares of land this year through various farmers’ cooperatives. Fish farming was also started in 250 panchayats in the state.
Another notable initiative that was inaugurated as part of the programme this week was Vathilpadi Sevanam, which aims to ensure that government services will be made available at the doorstep for the elderly, those with physical or mental disabilities, bed-ridden patients, etc. As part of the first phase of this project, life certificates, social security pension, life-saving medicines, etc. will be delivered at the doorstep of the beneficiaries in 50 panchayats by ASHA workers, Kudumbashree members and Samoohika Sannadha Sena network of volunteers. The government aims to extend this service state-wide in December after incorporating required changes based on a three-month trial in these panchayats.
The state dashboard tracking the implementation of the projects incorporated into the 100-day programme reports that a total of 64,835 job opportunities were made available under the different departments of the state government and public sector institutions.