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Kerala on course to become fully electrified state: Governor

Thiruvananthapuram: Leading the 68th Republic Day celebrations in Kerala, Governor P Sathasivam on Thursday said the state is moving ahead to be declared as a fully electrified state.

In his address after unfurling the national flag and inspecting the ceremonial parade at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, he said the feat would be achieved by providing power connections to 2.5 lakh houses (which presently have no electricity).

“As a state which has already ensured the highest percentage of domestic electrification in the country, Kerala is also preparing to be declared as a fully electrified state by providing power connections to 2.5 lakh houses,” he said.

Sathasivam, however, cautioned about the necessity to save energy.”We should save energy through energy-efficient equipment and by using renewable energy wherever possible.”

He also said the government would upgrade public schools at a total outlay of Rs 1,080 crores and termed the initiative as the second revolution in the education sector.

“The plan is to spend Rs two crore each in 220 higher secondary schools and Rs one crore each in 640 lower and upper primary schools,” he said.

Detailing various development programmes of the state, the Governor said Kerala was moving fast in achieving complete digital empowerment of people at the grassroot level. “Today, majority of our village offices, departments like Motor vehicle, Electricity, Water Authority and payment of various taxes etc., have become online, enabling Kerala to lead Digital India,” he said.

Stating that Kerala was poised for a second revolution in the education sector, he said the class-rooms in standards 8 to 12 of government and aided schools in the state would be upgraded to international standards as part of the ‘High Tech School’ project.

The Governor mentioned about the state’s plan to institute an award of Rs. One Crore for the best emerging university. He also urged people to take a pledge to grow at least two varieties of vegetables at their homes and to preserve water, in view of all districts in the state being drought-affected. Mentioning about the development projects of the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sathasivam said the Centre had implemented several schemes for the upliftment of different sections of society.

Referring to the recent terror strikes and India’s retaliation, he said “as a nation, we have always believed in mutual respect and friendly cooperation with other countries, especially our neighbours. At the same time, India has reacted strongly to violations of peace and cross border terrorism.”

The eternal vigil of Armed Forces instilled a feeling of security in the minds of people, he added.

Platoons of various forces including Army, Airforce, Central Reserve Police Force, Railway Protection Force took part in the colourful parade.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and senior officials were present during the occasion.

State Ministers took part in the Republic Day celebrations in district headquarters.

PTI