We Want More Of Kamal Naths
September 25, 2015, Chennai
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The other day, the Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel levelled the charge of obstructionism against Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. According to the civil aviation minister it’s not wise to get overly obsessive about environmental issues, and priority to 50-100 acres of degradation over a large infrastructure project can’t be afforded.
Earlier the same charge was brought against environmental minister by the coal minister.
Now it is the turn of the Road Transport Minister Kamal Nath. Terming the Planning Commission as an "armchair advisor", oblivious to the ground realities, Kamal Nath has said he was forewarned that the Plan panel would not allow him to achieve a 20 km-a-day road-building target. Sharing a dais with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia at a programme organised by the commission, Nath said, "When I joined this ministry, everybody told me that Planning Commission will never let you do (building 20 km a day)."
Earlier this year, the Planning Commission had said the ministry was being over-ambitious in its target for building 20 km of roads every day and advised it to be realistic in approach. Taking a dig at the commission for its assessment that the target set by the Road Transport Ministry was not realistic, Nath said, "Producing a book is one thing and producing a road is another thing."
He even questioned the quality of reports produced by the Plan panel. "You (Planning Commission) collect something from here, something from there and produce a book. It is all very well when you are an armchair advisor," he remarked, adding "Book (report) should not only be well-bound, but it should have content also."
Nath said as a politician he has remained in public life for several years and was aware of the ground realities, which the Planning Commission was not aware of.
Kamal Nath has been brutally frank and has said things which others would like to say, but would not, for fear of attracting the displeasure of the Planning Commission. We want more of Kamal Naths!