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10 things Jayalalitha can and should do for TN!

In Thoughts on May 15, 2011 by shsmani Tagged: , , , , , , ,

The results are out in the open, the people of TN have expressed their intentions very clearly. While the debate is still on as to whether this was a vote against corruption or the same anti-incumbency, one thing is clear, people want a change and have chosen Jayalalitha to be their agent of change.

Tamil Nadu as a state is not as much in dire straits as Bengal. This gives Jayalalitha with a wonderful opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of the state and take it from peak to pinnacle. At a stage when competitiveness among the states is at an all time high, it not just sufficient to make the environment conducive for investment, but also to go out and woo the investors (something similar to Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor’s summit).

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One would expect Jayalalitha to have matured and not be obsessed with trivial details like she did in her last term, by altering the entrance to CMBT to highlight her name board. However initial signs are not positive, for she has already ordered shifting back the secretariat to the Fort from the swanky new building for her oath taking ceremony.

As the saying goes “The one who worries about the best spot in the table is not important and the one who is important seldom worries about his spot in the table”. I think it is time to move on over such childish obsessions and work on things that carry much more importance to the well being of the state. Hoping that sooner rather than later, the focus will shift towards things of importance, here are things that should be at the top of her list.

1) State Treasury –As has been the case in the past, this time too the ADMK government will be handed over a treasury which is in deficit. Going by the track record of Jayalalitha in revenue collection, it should not come as a surprise if she can turn this situation around half way through the 5 year term. After all, it doesn’t hurt to be cash rich. This surplus in turn can be used constructively to fund a number of projects listed below.

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2) Power – Power has been one of the strengths of Tamil Nadu as a state. It was one of the very first states in the country to provide electricity to every single village under its jurisdiction. Off late there has been an increase in power outages both in the urban as well as rural areas. While a number of power projects have been initiated, it is essential to ensure that these power projects do not hit unwarranted delays and cost overruns leading to further shortage of power. In fact, if Jayalalitha can

deliver on her power promise as per her election manifesto, Tamil Nadu might actually have a useful surplus of power that can be used to trade for things that Tamil Nadu lacks in, for example water.

3) Infrastructure – While a number of projects are ongoing and planned on the infrastructure front especially in the road and highways, we are way behind schedule from where should have been. A number of these projects should have been implemented in the late 80’s and early 90’s so that we never had the congestion problem that we are facing today. However, it is essential we have a robust infrastructure in place with focus on port development and the connectivity between ports and upcoming industrial towns.

4) Education – This is another area, where Tamil Nadu is considered a leader. While there is no dearth for educational institution, the emphasis should be on making education available to all. Even today, a number of children in the rural areas are having to travel tens of kilometers to reach a proper primary school, leave alone secondary and higher secondary. Most importantly, not all educated people are employable. The government should take the help of the industry in actively imparting skills and creating awareness on what makes a student a good worker. The common remark from the people who have struggled and come up in life from the rural areas is that, we did not have awareness, we did not have anyone to guide us. If that gap can be bridged, I am sure we will see many more stalwarts from Tamil Nadu in different walks of life.

5) Industry friendliness – While not being anti industry and anti development, Tamil Nadu can do much more to woo investors into the state. While Chennai and its suburb of Sri Perumbudur is widely know as the Detroit of South Asia, we have still not capitalized on that. The fact that there was zero efforts from the government to bring the Formula One track to Chennai, which boasts of one of the oldest race tracks in the country, came as a total shocker. That would have certainly brought the focus of the entire motoring world to Chennai, and in turn Chennai could have been showcased as a major manufacturing hub, and it is only appropriate that the auto hub gets to be the home of India’s F1 race track. While Auto is just one industry, there are no dearth of opportunities for other. The need of the hour is not just to set up a single window approval system for new industries, but to widely publicize and bring investments into Tamil Nadu.

6) Agriculture – Tanjore, was called ‘Rice Bowl’ of India not without reason. It is one of the most fertile  agricultural belt in the whole country. Thanks to the lack of water (read cauvery), in the recent past that district has been anything but conducive to farming. While we have not reached the levels of farmer suicide like other states, such a situation is not far away. While water is an important problem that needs to be addressed, there are other technological advancements that can be subsidized to the farmers and also creating awareness on modern farming techniques could make the difference. Subsidizing Diesel is only making ‘snazzy gas guzzling SUV’ owners happy, nothing more.

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7) Medicare – While medical facilities in Tamil Nadu is world famous and there are medical tourism packages being promoted, a number of sections of the Tamil Nadu population still doesn’t have access to basic medical facilities. Making it mandatory for the newly graduated Medical students to serve in rural areas alone is not a sufficient measure, though that is a first step in the right direction. It must be made mandatory for corporate hospital chains (which are at par with star hotel chains) to provide, if not  swanky facilities, at least basic facilities in rural areas and the specialty doctors be requested to take tours to such remote locations from time to time and serve the poor. If college pass outs are expected to do this, it is only appropriate that the specialists and experts lead from the front.

8 ) Tourism – Tourism is not well promoted in Tamil Nadu. Contrary to the popular belief there is no dearth for tourist spots in the state. With one side of the state completely along the coast, it is surprising

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there aren’t many beach resorts to cater to the domestic and international tourist population. It would be a good idea to mimic USA in setting up State and National Parks across the state. Once, the basic amenities are provided and the location is showcased, it would just be a matter of time before locales around that develops into a thriving tourism towns. Not to forget the rich temple architecture all across Tamil Nadu which is already attracting tourist from around the globe. If only, the government takes steps to promote tourism, it could be a top contributor to the state economy.

Combine this with the concept of Medical tourism, we will begin to see a number of hospitals being developed in such tourist locales which not only improves tourism but also increases medical facilities around that area, which will be a big benefit to the locals.

9) Law and order – With the growth of industry, tourism comes another challenge; that of safety and security across the state. Again, Jayalalitha has a proven track record in maintaining law and order in the state, it will subjected to testing times with population explosion. It would only be wise to ramp up the police department and bring down the crime rates in order to be people friendly, both local and tourists.

10) Environmental Development – While this is not exactly a revenue generating activity, it will certainly do a lot of good to the city of Chennai and Tamil Nadu state as a whole. With a flurry of construction activities going on in the city, dust clouds are at the highest levels. To add to that state of pollution, record number of trees are cut down to accommodate the infrastructure development. While the adverse impact of these may not be seen in the immediate future, it is certain to affect the population in the long run. Mature government is that, which not only works towards development, but towards sustainable development.

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It is not entirely the government’s responsibility to make Chennai and Tamil Nadu a better place to come live in, it is also the responsibility of the citizens from different walks of the life including workers, entrepreneurs and so on. However, the direction and the drive has to come from the top. Once government puts in the foundation and creates sufficient awareness on top of that, there is no looking back for the state of Tamil Nadu.

While these 10 things struck me as important not in the exact same order, there is more Jayalalitha can do to TN in her upcoming 5 year term for instance e-governance is one such thing. Hit the comments section below and share your thoughts on what should be her priorities.

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3 Responses to “10 things Jayalalitha can and should do for TN!”

  1. Absolutely man, cant agree more.. Top priority should be the law and order and the control over the price hikes in every department.Film industry is the one which i am looking forward which would be very much benefited in her regime..It would be interesting to see whats the first bill which would be passed…

  2. Certainly, lets see what her game plan is.

  3. […] 10 things Jayalalitha can and should do for TN! « shsmani […]

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