Friday, October 22, 2010


I wished mother earth would open up and swallow me when i read this story in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS yesterday.

The burden of the story is this: Lakhs of rupees is being given to head load workers as ‘nookucooli’ by the KERALA MINERAL DEVELPMENT CORPORATION LIMITED (KMDCL) as per the agreement arrived at between the LDF government and the head load workers unions. Both the LDF and UDF were equally enthusiastic about doling out taxpayers money to the workers for sitting around and doing no work – ‘cos sand mining cannot be done manually. It is being done mechanically. But the head load worker cannot be denied his wages and so the net result is “175 workers were coming everyday to the three points of Kava, Aanakal and Myladipuzha to sign the register. According to the conciliation agreement, the workers will be paid wages for 25 working days in a month. The KMDCL had to pay wages amounting to `52,500 a day and `13.12 lakh a month. “ (THE FULL STORY IS PASTED AFTER THE POST). WHOSE MONEY ARE THE POLITICAL LEADERS – BE IT THE LEFT OR Oommen CHANDYS – gifting away? Why do we, the tax payers allow ourselves to be so criminally vandalised?

Speaking for myself, i have slogged it out for thirty years to earn my bread and to pay the government its taxes. Doesn’t the government owe me anything? Isn’t the government accountable to me? Shouldn’t it ask my permission before it gifts away my hard-earned money to a bunch of lazy bones to get their political support?

I am angry with myself for having been taken for a ride by politicians whom i put into power to take care of my interests. I am angry with myself for doing nothing about it except make some useless noise in the blogsphere.

Impotent rage is frustrating. Isn’t there anything i can do? Except throw up my hands in sheer helplessness? Why do i call myself ‘educated’ when i just sit back and allow myself to be looted by a bunch of good for nothing self seeking politicians and their goons? Nobody hears the gnashing of my teeth at being caught up helplessly in this callous political power game.

I feel cheated and feel worthless that i can do nothing about it.

I’m sure every honest citizen shareS my feelings.

Isn’t there ANYTHING we can do?

A Sathis Who will benefit from the sand mining mess?
A Sathis
Express News Service
First Published : 21 Oct 2010 04:21:54 AM IST
Last Updated : 21 Oct 2010 11:24:32 AM IST

Which Front will get the benefit of the sand mining and related works being done at the Malampuzha, Chulliyar and Walayar dams in Palakkad district during the elections to the local bodies?
In general, the answer will be the LDF or the UDF. Whoever wins, the real winners will be the hundreds of workers at the dam site. Lakhs of rupees is being doled out to 175 workers as wage at the rate of `300 a day for no work being done by them thanks to the ‘nokku coolie’ promoted by both the LDF and the UDF.
This is a perfect example of the lack of will on the part of the government to put its foot down by saying that wages will be paid only when sand is being mined from the dam.
“The decision to pay wages for no work being done is a political one and we are helpless,” officials of the Kerala Mineral Development Corporation Limited (KMDCL), which was engaged in mining sand from these dams, said.
In spite of knowing the fact that manual labour be of no use for the mining and sand loading, the LDF Government had decided to involve hundreds of labourers for the work. Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy had also a hand in the decision. The government had forced to work out a compromise agreement because of the protest from the local head load workers against loading of the mined sand mechanically. Finally, it was agreed that each of the registered 196 workers will be paid `300 a day and the workers would be engaged in sundry work like removal of bushes and setting up of bunds. The end result is huge losses for the KMDCL.
The KMDCL is now facing losses on two fronts in Malampuzha. Around 80,000 square metres of sand, which was mined and put on the banks, was submerged in water. Three heaps of sand kept at a height of 16 metres were completely submerged in water. A part of these heaps has already been washed away.
Moreover, 175 workers were coming everyday to the three points of Kava, Aanakal and Myladipuzha to sign the register. According to the conciliation agreement, the workers will be paid wages for 25 working days in a month. The KMDCL had to pay wages amounting to `52,500 a day and `13.12 lakh a month.
Already, public sector undertakings like the profitable Malabar Cements have provided a loan of `5 crore towards the working capital of the KMDCL for sand mining. Currently, the KMDCL is selling sand mined from the Chulliyar and Walayar dams to the public at `990 a square metre. In Malampuzha, the bad condition of the Aanakal-Malampuzha road is causing hindrance in removing the sand. A section of the locals protest against transporting sand through the road demanding that the government should repair the road first.
However, KMDCL sources say that some elements are preventing the removal of the sand to help the sand mining lobby at Bharathapuzha. The KMDCL officials said a basket of sand in Thiruvananthapuram cost `120 while in Malampuzha it was being sold for `30 after being filtered. They said that the road was repaired twice, once by the KMDCL and another time by a Kozhikode-based society.
In Chulliyar, apart from the sand removed by the KMDCL, the local block panchayat had provided 22,000 mandays of work last season under the Mahathma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS), a Central scheme. The LDF was ruling the local block panchayat.
It remains to be seen whether the LDF or the UDF will benefit from the whole mess.


  1. Mam, you cannot feel outraged and angry in this case,. If you lived and worked to eke a honest living for thirty years it is your foolishness and absolute stupidity. The wisest thing that you could have done and not regretted and fumed as you do now wast to pilfer, plunder , thieve, rob and usurp as all these men and women. And you could have saved the peeved moments in the present stage of your life.That counts for me too and many others who interact in the Blog. So do not worry you will have foolish company to keep comfort.

    It is well known that the Congress has corruption that stinks within its fabric. The only thing pristine and white about them is the white spun fabric they clad in.But the most hypocritic bunch of torch bearers of Bolshevism are the Communist in this country. They are the biggest threat to the country because they plunder wantonly and in the name of their great forefathers Marx and Engels.And swear by the megalomania of Stalin and Mao. Long live the red revolution and the workers party.
    Gone are the lore and days of men like A.K Gopalans, Kanu Sanyals and the many
    unknown faces of the communist past in this country.

    But Keralites deserve this peril don't they?

  2. Seriously? You knew this ONLY when you read the newspaper report?

    It was like this for years. Try unloading a new furniture that you bought or unload marble tiles at your house all by yourself - you will end up paying nokkukooli. Those were personal experiences btw. My father decided to let the workers unload the stuff, because we are paying them anyway. More recently, my friend who is constructing is dream house is having double expenses for concrete work. A machine does the concrete mixing, but he has to pay the workers who would have worked if the machine was not used.

    It is like this in Kochi port too. I cannot care less about the companies getting charged (we pay the same tax irrespective of how the govt spend it :) ) But I am concerned about ordinary citizens who are forced to give nokkukooli.

  3. @abhilash
    we've been trasferred every three years and so attimari an nokkucoolie are nothing new. but i feel cheated when publc sector pays nokucooli - and such a huge amount - and pays it regularly as salary.

    @ anil kurup
    understand your cynicism. wonder why we mallus have developed such a defeatist attitude.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. dr.antony said...
    The other day I was also thinking the way Anil said.Almost thirty years as a doctor,and still struggling.When I come to Trivandrum I get surprised the way people have made money.

    Santiago Martin taught us the easier ways of making money than hard work. Wages of sweat is a long forgotten story.
    It is the same idiotic party who fought against computers.The same party who confiscated paddy fields from land owners,which remain barren ever after.
    I get nauseated at the site of the white clad congressmen.They are a shame for the nation and Gandhi.This is a mafia.They only publicly decry at each other.Secretly they join hands at all levels of corruption.
    Swindling and corruption is no longer illegal.It is only when a hungry man steals a coconut that the rules come alive,not when politicians loot millions.
    Probably nothing much can be done. Mallus have genetic inertia and non responsiveness.And there is not much treatment for genetic diseases.
    12:50 AM, October 24, 2010

  6. KPJ, which one did you edit?
    I have already seen the obnoxious (to say the least)'opinion' articulated by who we both know. I wrote a comment venting my anger which ended thus: I secede from this column! Then I slept over it to find today that you have, rightly so, edited the one we are referring to. I hope you too were appalled by the insensitivity rather than trying to be politically correct.

  7. Always a difficult situation for any Govt., as to how much and to what extent should they attempt to compensate.

    But eventually it needs to come down to 'teaching a man to fish' so he can sustain himself on his own.

    This is all the more an issue in a country like India that does not have a Social Benefit system like say, the UK, or even the USA does, for the unemployed.

    Regardless of the situation it is incumbent on the Govt. to try and find the unemployed gainful employment and not rely on doling out tax-payer money.

    Never an easy dilemma though.

  8. @ anil P
    get your point.
    there was a v interesting story in today's new indian express abt a research done by thomas isaac(kerala's present Finance minister )& muhkerjee.talks abt unemplyment in kerala being created by eduation.
    my point is nookucoolie is compensation for refusing to work, not for unemplyment.

  9. I did not want to comment at first; there is no point in banging our heads against the wall or shouting ourselves hoarse. It is not going to change, ever. We can react, really get down to do something, like file a suit, a public interest litigation. We may even succeed in the issue. But it is like cancer; it is incurable. You follow these things issue-based, you will be doing it all your life, scything evil all your life while the moment you cut down something another one will be sprouting elsewhere.

    This is not the case with Kerala alone; the rest of the country is worse. It has something to do with Indian-ness. People like us are a minority.

    It is not defeatism to realize and accept the evil around us. And there is no point in being cynical either. The best you can do is to be honest yourself and keep such company. Who knows, one day 'we shall overcome'!!

    You know, I have a theory that Man is essentially, naturally EVIL. Those of us who wish to transform ourselves and the rest of the world are the unnatural, abnormal sub-species!


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