Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public inaugurations are limited to virtual platforms only which helped the Kerala government saved a considerable amount of money.
Routine inaugurations of various projects are bound to go up in the final year of the ruling dispensation. Around 200 projects have also been inaugurated by the Chief Minister via e-platform. These projects if would have inaugurated physically then crores of rupees would have to be spent.
After the Chief Minister, Finance minister Thomas Isaac and agriculture minister V S Sunilkumar were to inaugurate 193 and 185 projects respectively.
As per the Chief Minister’s office, around 81 projects were inaugurated by the CM in Aug and Sept.
Finance Minister Thomas Isaac even inaugurated around 25 automatic spinning mills through the virtual platform when he was placed in quarantine after being diagnosed with COVID-19, said his office.
PWD Minister G Sudhakaran has inaugurated 138 government projects in August and September. Industries Minister E P Jayarajan inaugurated close to 50 projects during the lockdown period. Other ministers have attended or inaugurated anywhere between 25 and 100 functions virtually.
Every trip by the Chief Minister requires inter-department coordination which results in huge expenses of public money. The functions of the Chief Minister and the tourism department are coordinated by the general administration department to provide vehicles required for the entire function.
Various levels require safety guards, including providing security cover and traffic streamlining. The State government’s switch to online inauguration did not only save crores of public money but also made use of the manpower for other purposes which were already available.
With local body and assembly elections just a few months away, the Chief Minister and his team are racing against time to inaugurate as many pending projects as possible. The state government has already announced that 100 projects will be completed in the next 100 days as part of an action plan to boost the socio-economic status of the state.