Thiruvananthapuram: As Kerala continues to seek funds to rebuild the state in the aftermath of the worst disaster it faced in a century, a proposed Rs 80 crore apartment complex for state legislators, has come under fire.
The proposed plan is to demolish an old building in the Legislators Complex located in the heart of the capital city and build a multi-storeyed housing complex in its place.
Senior Congress leader and former Kerala Speaker VM Sudheeran said while there was no doubt that legislators should get facilities to improve their efficiency, the timing of going ahead with the multi crore project was "shocking".
"At the state's worst ever crisis, after the floods brought in untold miseries and sufferings, the entire efforts and funds should be diverted to rebuild our state, as thousands of people are suffering. I will not say this project should be shelved, but it should not happen now," Sudheeran said.
According to estimates the floods that ravaged the state has caused a destruction of over Rs 40,000 crore and the Pinarayi Vijayan government has given a clarion call to all to contribute one month`s salary for rebuilding operations.
This apartment rebuilding proposal was mooted during the previous Oommen Chandy government, and the Vijayan government has taken it forward.
Academic and former chairman of the Kerala State Finance Commission B.A. Prakash told the media when the state was reeling for want of funds it was not right for an elected government to go ahead with this project at this time.
"In the larger interest of the state, especially when the urgency is to rebuild the state in the aftermath of the floods, the legislators can wait for some time," said Prakash.
Following the media taking it up, Kerala Assembly Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan has asked the concerned authorities to go slow with the project.