Delivering his Republic Day speech here after taking the salute at an impressive parade and handing over awards to police and other officials, the Governor called for unity in development activities.
He was referring to the worst ever floods that hit Kerala in August last year and the efforts of the government to rebuild the state.
“We cannot allow narrow politics to affect our priorities. We need sincere political unity in deciding the areas that deserve priority in rebuilding,” he said.
“At a time when the economic, social, environmental, cultural, political and even psychological impact of the flood remains difficult to measure, what we need is united action that avoids unnecessary controversies,” said Sathasivam.
He pointed out that the magnitude of the flood calamity was evident in the UN Post Disaster Need Assessment report which said Kerala needed Rs 31,000 crore for rebuilding initiatives.
“Rebuilding our houses and roads deserves priority, but the loss of livelihood suffered by many, including our farmers, cannot be ignored. Above all, we need to ensure that each rebuilding activity is carried out in the most transparent manner.”
He lauded the people of Kerala for the progress the state has made in the last year.
“From our experience, we are aware that adversity could also be a strong unifying force, as was evident in our people’s response to the floods that devastated our state’s economy.
“I am proud that the strong will of our people prevailed and our united response to the flood was a model for the whole country.
“Our people, especially our youth, united on their own, our fishermen came forward to rescue hundreds of people along with the uniformed forces,” said Sathasivam.
The Governor spoke against frequent shutdowns.
“We also need to ask ourselves how we can afford to allow violent protests and frequent hartals that disrupt normal life and lower the image of our state.”