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Kerala - Alappuzha Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Alappuzha goes through slump in development

Staff Reporter

District fares poorly in many sectors, says study

ALAPPUZHA: The district has made the least progress in many developmental areas in the State from 1991-92 to 2002-2003, according to a composite index of economic growth prepared by the Institute for Monitoring Economic Growth (IMEG), Thiruvananthapuram.

IMEG director Mira Sahib, who disclosed this at a seminar organised by the T.V. Thomas Study Centre here on Saturday, said the index, prepared on the basis of 39 components of socioeconomic growth, revealed that Alappuzha had failed to keep pace with the development achieved by the other districts.

It seemed that the political leadership of the State had not taken notice of the fall of the district, which needed to be tackled immediately, he added.

The growth of the primary sector, which included mainly agriculture and fisheries, was the least in Alappuzha, compared with other districts. The secondary sector, which included modern and traditional industries, had registered only an average growth in the district, he said.

Paddy and coconut cultivation, the backbone of the agricultural sector in the district, suffered severe reverses. The area of land under paddy cultivation in the district decreased from 55,872 hectares to 32,083 hectares during the period. Paddy production went down from 1,16,000 tonnes to 63,000 tonnes, he said.

Similarly, production of coconut went down from 306 million in 1991-92 to 267 million in 2002-03.

The area of land under coconut cultivation decreased by around 10,000 hectares during the period, he said.

Production fall

The fall in production in the agriculture sector had affected the industrial sector as coir-based industry was a major one here. The reduced production meant lesser availability of husk. Regarding district domestic product growth, Alappuzha was placed 12th in the index, Mr. Sahib said.

The growth in the number of school dropouts in Alappuzha was also considerable during the period of study. Male literacy decreased marginally in the district in 2002-03 compared with the figure for 1991-92. The growth rate of women's literacy was also not encouraging in Alappuzha. Maternal mortality was also high, he said.

However, atrocities against women were fewer in Alappuzha than in other districts. Similarly, the district had a low population growth rate. The number of women per 1,000 men was 1,079, which was higher than the State average, he said.

Alappuzha was placed 10th in the index regarding the growth rate of small-scale industries. Development of roads was also poor. Implementation of water supply schemes was also not encouraging, he added.

The participants of the seminar said urgent political intervention was needed to uplift the agriculture sector in the district. Study centre president S. Karunakara Kurup presided over the function. All-India Trade Union Congress leader T.J. Anjelose welcomed the gathering. C.K. Chandrappan, MP, and former Agricultural Director R. Hailey spoke.

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