Sunday, April 27, 2008

Express Highway- The need of the hour

The first time I heard a proposal for an express highway was some time ago- 2001 when A.K Antony was the CM. The then PWD ministry held by the Muslim league was strongly in favor of this project. The proposed scheme envisaged construction of a super speed highway track from Manjeshwaram in the North to Parassala, south of Trivandrum. This highway was supposed to have only the required number of exits ( not as per the demands of the local politician) and bypassed the busy sections of all the main cities. Touted as THE dream project, this would have very well been the owner's pride and neighbor's envy and was supposed to be of international standards.

Not surprisingly, this remains very well on paper with opposition coming from all quarters. One of the arguments was that Kerala will be divided into two portions- East Kerala and West Kerala once this is implemented. Another view doing the rounds was that a lot of property would have to be acquired for the same. Still others were of the view that such a project was not beneficial for a state like Kerala- Sadly, these are the same people who admire the highways in middle eastern countries or in Europe or in America..

Why are some people hell bent against the development of Kerala? Why can't some people just can't accept the fact that Kerala has to do something extraordinary to get out of this rout? To the first argument on the division- Our State is blessed with a linear, longitudinal geography unlike others. So, compared to states like TN, it is very easy to implement an express highway that beneifts almost 90% of the population. I guess Wayanad and Idukki districts are the bottlenecks. This is the 21st century. With proper planning, this elevated highway will NOT divide the state. That argument is total rubbish. Secondly, regarding property acquisition, it is not for the first time that an acquisition is taking place in the State. If we have given land for the Technopark, for Smart City, for Vallarpadam, for the NH47 , why are being hypocritical when it comes to express highway.

Take out these foolish , outdated views and love thy homeland as thou love thy " workland" and support the initiative for the express highway. Think for years ahead, plan for the next generation, dream for Kerala @ 2020. You will realize what it means to build a world class highway.

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