Will poll results and govt's anti-Centre stand hit big-ticket projects in Kerala?

Will poll results and govt's anti-Centre stand hit big-ticket projects in Kerala?
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Thiruvananthapuram: With the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government making a thumping comeback at the Centre and the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala suffering a massive defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, the fate of the development projects in the state looks uncertain.

Concerns are being raised over projects that need central funds and those conceived by the Centre.

To alleviate such worries, the state government would have to shed its strong anti-Centre stand. The state government would have to adopt a practical approach of ensuring that the development projects are not harmed, even while opposing the Centre’s policies.

The Left parties that suffered a massive defeat nationally do not even have enough MPs to stage protests in the Parliament. For that the Left would now have to depend on the Congress, which would benefit the latter.

The state government has been on a warpath with the Centre over several issues, such as the handing over of the Thiruvananthapuram airport operations to a private company.

Dire need of investment

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's foreign tips alone will not bring huge investments to the state. For that even the Centre too has to give the nod.

The central government has to give the final approval for taking loans from the World Bank and German Development Bank KfW for rebuilding Kerala after the massive August floods of 2018.

The Centre had earlier opposed the Rs 700-crore aid that the UAE had offered to the flood-hit state. The Centre is likely to take a more stringent stand in the changed circumstances.

The Centre's stand on the development of national highways and railways is also important. A controversy was triggered after the NDA government removed the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod national highway expansion from the high priority list I. The Centre later backed off from the decision due to political pressure. The Rs 26,000-crore project cannot be completed without the Centre's support.

The development of Thalassery-Mysuru, Nilambur-Najancode and Angamaly-Erumely railway tracks, Sabarimala airport, Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod high-speed rail, light metro projects in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram are all depended on the Centre.

However, the multi-crore Vizhinjam project is unlikely to be affected as the Adani Group is developing it. The GAIL pipeline project, which is nearing completion, also looks good to sail through. 

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