Thursday, May 17, 2007

GD Forum at MBC .. Smart city and Munnar..

The group discussion forum ( GD Forum) at MBC started functioning yesterday, Wednesday in MBC. We had two topics for discussion and eleven students participated.

The first topic Smart City - boon or bane, got the participants all echoing in one voice that the govt needs to interfere and set up some units with govt control so that the future of the park is assured. While some argued that it may not be possibl;e for the govt to enter into the IT area, it should at least exercise good control over the park and see that it does not die a natural death.

The park exists solely on the trust that the IT companies coming there will bring in outsourced jobs / new development projects to the park. In case they do not, the park will just die out.

Orthopaedic surgeons and psychiatrists etc will find good job in kochi given that smart city will stay. The psychological and social impact the software job is to bring to the Kerala society is a grave one and needs to be closely looked at by sociologists.

"Munnar evictions, the conflict of private interests and the state interests", was the other topic of discussion which generated much heat. While the majority were of the view that the buildings are on govt land and should be demolished outright without any questions asked, some were of the view that the buildings have already come up and damage had already been done. Let the govt sieze the buildings and ask KTDC or so to manage them. Else it will be a wasteful exercise, doing good for nobody. It is a fact that the builders have encroached on govt land, they deserve no mercy. In fact while writing this post, the Supreme court has refused to stay the demolition process on govt land.

It is not that the government is totally free of blame. It is govt lethargy, inaction, complicity and corruption which made them close an eye to all such unauthorised constructions earlier. Also the govt never had a concrete plan for Munnar's growth as a tourist destination. The govt has failed miserably in stopping this construction at the first place.

The govt has all along been harping on projecting Kerala as a tourist destination. Without the required infrastructure to stay in Munnar how can the govt plans materialise ? Is it ia sin on the part of the entrepreneurs to spend their own money and start the resorts to woo the tourists ? Most of the land documents have been transferred three or four times. The complicity of the builder in the encroachement process thus cannot be proved, in most of the cases the builder may be innocent...

As the CM has declared, it does not matter whether the cat is white or black as long as it catches mice.. (originally said by Deng Xiao Ping of China), the job is being accomplished neatly by the committee appointed for the purpose and govt land is being reclaimed ..

The claim by the former ruler of Munnar that her forefathers had leased the land to John Munroe around 1870s and was leased to the Kannan Devan group has been accepted by the govt of India and Kerala, adds a new straw to the whole issue.. The land which govt reclaims may actually go to the royal family, thousands of acres.

Let us wait and see.

george..

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