Setting the stage for a much needed shift in public discourse, the All India Professionals Congress (AIPC) has organised a panel discussion on “Kerala's climate crisis: Need for new legislations and policies”
The event held at Amal Jyothi College of Engineering, Kanjirappally the other day turned out to be a platform for a detailed discussion on the long pending paradigm shift in the development perspectives of the state which has been witnessing a series of natural disasters for the past few years.
The Kottayam and Pathanamthitta chapters of the AIPC organised the discussion, attended by a group of Congress legislators, as part of gathering suggestions that would help in formulating policies in accordance with the disasters triggered by climate change.
“Kerala is in the face of unpredictable disasters. We can't turn a blind eye towards it. Climate change is a reality. Nobody can stop it. What we can do is we should think about how can we prevent or reduce its impact,” Roji M John, Angamaly MLA, said.
He said the state can move forward with its development projects and legislations only understanding the vulnerable landscapes of the state. “Both the Western Ghats and the coastal belt of the state are vulnerable. The paddyfields and wetlands in between them are also vulnerable. We have to move forward understanding this fact,” he said.
He suggested the need to identify the vulnerable areas and insure crops there. He also stressed the need to effectively implement the 'room for river' project to mitigate the impact of floods.
Mathew Kuzhalnadan, Muvattupuzha MLA, said climate change is very much on the discussion table of Kerala. “Our development perception has changed. People are watching closely what could be the enviornmental impact of a mega project like K-Rail,” he said.
V T Balram, KPCC vice president and former MLA, also brought the controversial K-Rail project into the discussion. He raised concerns about the the undemocratic gesture of creating inequality in society when it comes to K-Rail. Questioning the consultations done by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with an elite group of people regarding the semi high speed rail project, he criticised the government for not allowing discussions in the legislature.
The legislatures who attended the discussion said the proposals raised in the event were of immediate significance and they would be presented in the legislature.
AIPC state general secretary Sudheer Mohan, state vice president Haifa Mohammad and Youth Congress state general secretary Rahul Mankoottathil also spoke.
AIPC Kottayam Chapter president Vinu J George and Pathanamthitta president Capt. Anand Mohan Raj moderated the discussion.