The Netherlands, which is 26 per cent below sea level, is known to be the world leader in the field of water management and flood control.

Back from Euro tour Kerala CM says he wants to emulate Dutch model of water management
news Development Monday, May 20, 2019 - 18:06

On his arrival back to Kerala after his Euro tour spanning almost two weeks, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, addressed a press conference on Monday. There was a buzz that the CM had called the press meet to discuss the exit polls that were released by various agencies on Sunday, which were not in favour of the ruling-LDF in the state. But instead, he spoke about how Kerala can emulate various practices followed in countries like the Netherlands when it comes to flood control and agricultural production, among various other things.

The Kerala CM kick-started his Euro tour on May 8, with his first stop being the Netherlands. “This visit was useful to understand the dutch model of overcoming natural calamities like the devastating floods, which our state experienced last year,” said Pinarayi Vijayan, addressing the media in the press room of the Kerala Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Netherlands, which is 26 per cent below sea level, is known to be the world leader in the field of water management and flood control. In August last year, Kerala had witnessed the biggest floods in a century, causing huge damage to human lives and property.

Flood Control

The Kerala CM during his visit, got to study about the Room for the River project of the Dutch Government - a programme which is known to have been useful in controlling floods in the Netherlands. According to Pinarayi Vijayan, it is a project that ensures the safety of the residents living below the sea level along with controlling the floods. “This project can be useful in areas like Kuttanad in our state, which lies below sea level. We will hold further meetings with the authorities here to ensure that the project can be implemented in the state,” he said.

Based on the discussions with experts in the field of water management in the Netherlands, Pinarayi Vijayan said that the water management techniques that they presented are models that can be emulated in Kerala as well.

The visit to Europe was not just about understanding flood control and water management techniques but also about other areas of development which can be emulated in the south Indian state of Kerala as well. “We were able to hold various discussions to build a foundation for a prosperous future and sustainable development of the state,” said the Kerala CM.

Agriculture

By stating that the Netherlands has been able to come up with massive output in the agricultural sector, Pinarayi Vijayan stated that have made huge progress especially in the vegetable farming sector with the use of techniques such as polyhouse (greenhouse). “Therefore, studying the scientific methods used in their agricultural sector proved to be of great importance,” he added.

Pinarayi Vijayan said that he was able to understand various models of increasing agricultural output during his visit to Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands, where he also held discussions with experts on topics ranging from precision agriculture, cold storage, farming below sea level, saline water agriculture and so on.

Waste treatment

According to the Kerala CM, setting up of Waste treatment plants in all districts of the state is part of the LDF government’s sustainable development plan. In order to obtain more ideas for this project, Pinarayi Vijayan and his team of delegates visited the waste treatment plants in Geneva and Bern. “From these visits, we were able to understand how energy can be produced from the waste at the most cost effective way,” said Pinarayi Vijayan.

The Kerala Government aims to implement the waste treatment system of Geneva and Bern in all the districts of Kerala as well. “We plan on implementing this system of waste treatment in all levels right from the local self bodies to the municipalities and the panchayats.”

‘Wait till May 23, don’t believe in exit polls’

Least surprisingly, the question regarding the exit polls was raised towards the end of the press meet, for which the Kerala CM smiled and cited the example of 2004, during which the exit polls predicted an NDA victory, when in reality the UPA went on to rule for the next 10 years.

“So I don’t think there should be any discussions based on certain assumptions. It’s better to wait till May 23,” he added.

“As far as Kerala is concerned, there is no doubt, I’m confident of a good victory for the LDF,” stated Pinarayi Vijayan.

Also read: Kerala CM rings bell at London Stock Exchange for listing of KIIFB’s masala bonds

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