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Ockhi: Kerala proposes 3D mapping of west coast, minimum wage for teachers

Monday, Jan 22, 2018,15:57 IST By anju A A A

Thiruvananthpuram | Keeping the devastation caused by Ockhi cyclone in mind, the Kerala government has proposed 3D mapping along the state’s west coast to identify vulnerable areas and facilitate emergency preparedness to meet natural disasters.

To ensure quality education, the state government proposes to enact the ‘Minimum Wages Act’ for teachers in private unaided schools, Governor P Sathasivam said in his customary address to the Assembly, outlining the policy of the CPI(M)-led LDF government.

“This would help attract the best minds to the teaching profession,” said Sathasivam.

As the ninth session of the Assembly began this morning and the governor rose to address the house, opposition members raised slogans, holding banners and placards referring to the allegedly shoddy manner in which the disaster was handled by the government.

However, the governor began his speech by saying he would hear them at length after his address.

He said that in the wake of the cyclone, a satellite- based navigation and weather forecasting system was being planned in association with the ISRO to assist the fishing community.

“We had the recent experience of cyclone Ockhi sowing huge misery along the Kerala coast, causing loss of lives and properties of fisher folk,” the governor said.

“Though the state government activated its disaster management system as soon as it was alerted, the intensity of the rapidly shifting event affected a large number of fishing vessels at sea,” he said.

The state government had ‘unleashed every capability in its arsenal’ to rescue the men and vessels at risk and succeeded in providing relief to a large number of people.

However, despite co-ordinated efforts, several fishermen have not returned home, the governor said.

Over 70 persons had lost their lives and 100 fishermen are still missing since Ockhi struck the southern coasts on November 29-30 last year.

The governor also said that ‘inappropriate’ implementation of demonetisation and the GST had resulted in ‘serious’ deceleration of the economy.

Detailing the welfare measures by the government, he said it was completing 66,939 unfinished houses across Kerala.

“Already 2,000 houses have been completed and the effort is to prepare a comprehensive list of the 4.32 lakh homeless people in the state,” he said.

Sathasivam said automation, artificial intelligence, nano technology and robotics would make many current jobs obsolete and create new jobs in future.

“Kerala needs to invest in new technologies and borrow the best from global competition,” he said.

During 2018-19, the focus would be on waste, water management and non-conventional energy initiatives, he said.

On the health front, a cancer care strategy involving a care grid for knowledge-sharing and capacity-building will be formulated.

The opposition Congress-led UDF said the governor’s policy address “lacked vision” as it did not propose any concrete measures to tackle unemployment and financial crisis faced by the government.

Opposition leader in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala said this was a policy address of a government which didn’t function.

“Nothing is happening in the state. All sectors are in the doldrums,” Chennithala told reporters.

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