CM explaining Cabinet Decisions
Construction of flood resilient houses has been the hallmark of the house reconstruction programme in post-flood Kerala. The idea mooted by the Pinarayi Vijayan government has now materialised in the districts of Alappey and Pathanamthitta. Constructing houses in low lying areas on raised platforms is the strategy employed for the same.
Auto rickshaws play a significant role in fulfilling the on- road transportation needs of common people in the state. Auto rickshaws act as the chauffeurs for the rides of common people in every nook and corner of the state, including cities and villages. Most of the auto rickshaws on the road runs on petrol and diesel. Therefore, we will be able to move forward in this new age only by finding solutions to environmental issues caused by air pollution among others. It is in this context that the state government conceptualized the idea of eco-friendly e-autos. This concept has now turned into a reality. E-auto is being manufactured and put on road by Kerala Automobiles, a public sector establishment. It is for the first time in the country that a public sector establishment is venturing into the field of electric auto manufacturing. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the commercial-scale production of Kerala’s own e-auto ‘Neem-G’.
Inaugurating the project, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that Kerala is going to be a land of e-vehicles. The government is trying for better advancement of electric vehicles in the state. People who are welcoming to changes is our strong point. Building charging stations on a wide scale is being thought about. As a start, charging station has been opened in the secretariat. Besides autos, e-cars have also started appearing on the roads. If we wish, we can create a situation wherein e-autos are riding on all our roads. The advantage is that an eco-friendly environment can thus be created. E-vehicles are a relief in the times of rising fuel prices. Kerala Automobiles has flagged off a revolutionary change. For the first time, a public sector undertaking has come to the E-Vehicle field and it is a reason for a boost in pride. The willingness of institutions like ISRO to place orders with Kerala Automobiles can pave way for the progress of the establishment. Chief Minister also said that the establishment, which was in a pathetic condition earlier, has redeemed itself in a proud manner.
Electric auto rickshaw had earlier received the certification of Automotive Research Association of India. By charging for 3 hours and 50 minutes, the auto can travel for 100 kilometers. It costs 50 paisa for a kilometer. E- Autos will be launched in market by Onam. The plan is to manufacture 8000 autos per year. The cost of e- auto is around 2.5 lakh and subsidies are expected to be made available.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that 10 lakh electric vehicles will be brought out by 2022 as part of implementing the electronic transportation policy. Chief Minister, while inaugurating the ‘evolve’ e- mobility conference, said that the aim is to launch 2 lakh two- wheelers, 50,000 three – wheelers, 1000 goods carriers, 3000 buses and 100 ferry boats.
In the context of green tribunal’s ban of diesel vehicles in 6 cities, Kerala had seriously thought about alternative reusable sources of energy. Though the ban was later given a stay, Kerala was adamant in its commitment towards environmental protection. The use of CNG LLG fuels was started as a part of this. 5 CNG stations were started in Kochi. First LLG bus and first solar and electric boats were began in Kerala.
The draft for electronic vehicle policy was prepared by the committee formed under the leadership of Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, IIT Madras. Following this, a workshop was held for stake holders. Government’s final approval for the Electronic Vehicle Policy was also based on recommendations of this workshop.
Chief Minister said that the investors have a great scope in the electric vehicle industry. Kerala Automobile’s Ltd, which was set up to manufacture electric vehicles, is aiming at bringing out 8000 electric auto rickshaws every year. KAL is the first PSU in India to produce electric auto rickshaws. 3000 e-buses will also be made for KSRTC. Chief Minister stated that this is the first project that receives European investment for e-bus manufacturing.
Chief Minister carried out the virtual inauguration of charging station at Indian Oil Corporation’s Pump in Idappally and the launching of Center of Excellence that is to be started in Trivandrum. Memorandums of Understanding regarding the production of electric vehicles were also exchanged during the event. The first application for electric vehicle subsidy was also received.
Address by Pinarayi Vijayan, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Kerala at the
Opening Session of World Reconstruction Conference held at
Geneva on May 13, 2019.
The State of Kerala, which I represent here, is situated in the
southern part of the Indian peninsula and is known for its rich and
diverse natural heritage. However, we did not have to face natural
calamities of significant magnitude for more than ninety years. But
the recent unprecedented floods of August 2018, posed a new and a
major challenge to our Government and civil society.
Kerala was very badly affected by this flood in which there was loss
of 453 precious human lives. In addition, 280 thousand houses
were lost or damaged, 140 thousand hectares of standing crops were
destroyed and about 70 thousand kilometres of road network
suffered major damage. The total recovery needs of the State has
been estimated as around 4.4 billion US dollars, as per the Post
Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) conducted by the UN
But our society met this with exemplary determination. The spirit of
courage, especially among the youth and students has its roots in the
uniqueness of Kerala society due to the inbibing of the values of
famous renaissance movement, which took place in our society in
the last two centuries. The secular fabric of our society ensured that
no differences could stand in the way of meeting this natural
The civil society and the Government in Kerala acted swiftly and
in unison in the hour of crisis. The fisher-folk who brave the sea
for a livelihood deserve our special gratitude for their timely
intervention without which we would have lost many more lives.
The Government machinery worked hard to respond on a real time
basis to meet the emergent crisis.
The Chief Minister and the concerned Ministers along with the
officials met more than once in a day for closely monitoring and
reviewing the situation. Along with State Government officials,
representatives of the Armed forces also actively participated.
Rescue of people trapped in houses and moving them to safer
places was the top priority and this was done effectively with
societal participation as mentioned earlier.
Our Government efficiently channelized the contributions of
thousands of citizens, the Kerala diaspora and aid agencies to get
the State back on its feet. Affected families were given immediate
relief in cash and kind. Critical infrastructure like power supply was
restored in record time. The State Government in cooperation
with Local Government institutions, civil society and mass
organisations organised a massive drive for cleaning flood affected
houses, provision of drinking water, medicines and essential
A comprehensive programme to rebuild lost and damaged houses
has been launched. Loans for recovery of essential house-hold
articles lost and damaged during the floods from our Co-operative
Banks and commercial banks where chanalized through the widely
networked Women’s self help group Kudumbashree. The interest
payment on these loans was borne by the Government of Kerala.
Our Government also ensured wage employment to needy families
by augmenting the ongoing employment programme. Our
Government is also providing financial assistance with beneficiary
involvement for rebuilding damaged houses and constructing
completely lost houses.
We have presently taken up the challenging task of rebuilding Kerala
better. In other words, our aim is not to restore what was in
existence before the flood, but to build a new Kerala which will be
resilient to any possible natural disasters in future.
The Rebuild Kerala Initiative is being carried out in a mission mode.
Eco-friendly building strategies, giving more room for rivers,
learning to live with floods etc. are the key ingredients of this
initiative. Kerala which has a long history of implementing social
security measures and several progressive interventions like land
reforms, state action in education and health, expects to fulfil the
present task also through peoples’ participation. For this, the strong
institutional framework of decentralisation of governance will be of
Our rehabilitation packages give utmost importance to the basic
needs of food and shelter to the least empowered sections of the
society. We have also taken care to ensure that these sections get
these as a matter of entitlement and rights and not as a gratis from
the state or the society.
To conclude, I would like to note here that during the first week of
May 2019 the cyclone Fani badly affected the Indian State Odisha.
But damage to human life could be controlled due to sufficient early
warning. This brings before us the fact that early warning systems
should work effectively as the variations in climatic patterns due to
global warming have increased the frequency of natural calamities
like floods and cyclones.
I wholeheartedly support the theme of the conference which is
“Opportunities to build back more inclusively include identifying
vulnerable groups and their needs prior to a disaster, social
protection programs that target the most vulnerable and ensuring
that reconstruction does not overlook low-income and
geographically-isolated areas.”. The floods of 2018 brought the best
of Kerala out – we supported each other in a spirit of brotherhood,
without social or economic differences. This spirit will continue to
inspire us through all our recovery efforts.
We are happy to share our experiences with others and learn better
practices elsewhere. We see this forum as an important milestone
that will help us get better ideas in building our State better.
Thanks again for this invitation and looking forward to exchange of
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the Christmas Metro Fair of the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) at Putharikandam Maidanm