Former minister Mullappally alleges discrimination in central scheme

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015,20:36 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | Alleging ‘utter discrimination’ by the NDA government towards some towns in Kerala while choosing locations for smart cities project, senior Congress leader Mullappally Ramachandran today shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to revisit the proposal. In his letter, Ramachandran, MP, welcomed the announcement by the Urban Development Ministry to bring 500 towns across the country under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Scheme.
The former Union Minister, however, said, It is extremely distressing to note that there seems to be utter discrimination towards some of the towns in the state of Kerala which are oldest, historically and commercially important as also deserve all consideration from any angle whatsoever. Specially making a mention of two oldest towns in Malabar region — Tellicherry and Badagara (Vatakara) — the former Union Minister urged the Prime Minister to revisit the proposal and include these two towns in north Kerala under AMRUT scheme.
I do not know the criteria and norms under which the towns in Kerala have been identified under the scheme. There is no rationale behind the identification of small and medium towns, the Vatakara MP said in his letter. Describing Tellicherry and Vatakara as ancient and most significant, Ramachandran said these important towns known for maritime activities from time immemorial.
All the spices from Kerala found their destinations in West Asia and Europe mainly through these two important towns. Even today these towns are commercial hubs in Malabar region. Tellicherry is the second municipality established in Kerala in 1866, he said. Ramachandran also wrote a similar letter to Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.