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Report and Pics by Wilson Saldanha, Shirthady/ Kuwait
Daijiworld News Network - Kuwait

Kuwait, Aug 27: KKMA (Kuwait Kerala Muslim Association (KKMA) Dakshina Kannada Unit Felicitated Veerappa Moily, Chairman, Administrative Reforms Commission, Govt. of India and the former Chief Minister of the State of Karnataka, who arrived from India along with his wife Malathi Moily on 24th August 2006 in Kuwait continental Hotel.
The main purpose of the gathering was to submit a memorandum regarding the direct flights to Mangalore from Kuwait and other Gulf countries. 

The program started at 8:30 pm with recitation and translation of versus from holy Quran followed by inviting the dignitaries to the dais by convener Shaikh Fayaz.  General Secretary B. Mohammed Iqbal delivered welcome speech.  Hassan A Yusuf introduced the chief guests to the gathering.  A momento was presented to Veerappa Moily by K Siddeeque, chief patron and member, Board of Trustees, KKMA followed by presentation of a memorandum regarding the direct flights to Mangalore from Kuwait and other Gulf countries by Abdul Hameed.

Sageer Trikaripur, Chairman, KKMA Board of trustees highlighted the KKMA activities.  KKMA is a largest expatriate association in Kuwait with more than 6,000 members.  In Gulf 15% employees are in well to do positions.  The association was started considering remaining 85% NRIs who are hardly saving for their family and struggling to fulfill their daily needs.  Whenever a member dies in Kuwait, KKMA members make a compulsory contribution of 750 fills each and support the unfortunate family with a total of around 5 lakhs rupees which will support the family’s needs and children’s education. 

KKMA and IQRAA Intrernational Hospital and Research Center have jointly announced the launch of first of its kind charitable venture KKMA Kidney Dialysis Center (KDC) in Calicut city of Kerala State with a total expence of around 25 lakhs.  It is also planning to start one in Mangalore and other districts of kerala.  Till now KKMA has spent more than 2.5 crore rupees for the benefit of members and others in India.

In return Veerappa Moily appreciated KKMA for their work towards the members and public of citizen of India back home.  He informed that many projects are planning for mangalore which will total an amount of approximately one lakh crores.  He also promised to pressurize the government to speed up the Mangalore International Airport project.
Pascal Pinto, Public Relation officer of KCWA and N. A. Muneer Financial Secretary of KKMA Central Committee delivered their felicitation address followed by Vote of thanks by S. A. Rashid.  The program came to an end with delicious dinner.

In Between a question and Answer session was arranged between the chief guest and audience. 

Excerpts from the session:

Question:  As you said, a huge investment is going to come for Mangalore.  Whether the present infrastructure will cop up with the same?

Veerappa Moily:  If you wait for infrastructure, the investment will never come and no developments will be done.  It will be like “Ganapathi Maduve”.  When improvement and investments come, automatically infrastructure also will be ready.

Question:  We saw during our vacation that the roads of Mangalore are becoming very bad.

Veerappa Moily:  It is not like before.  Most of the roads came under National Highway Authority and there is a considerable difference.  The job of NH is not to repair the existing roads, it is to rebuild and develop the roads. 

Question:  When we fill petrol at the ‘Talapadi’ border, the Karnataka side is about 4 rupees costlier per litre than Kerala side.  Why this huge difference within a distance of 1 km?

Veerappa Moily:  This is the reason Central government started Value added Tax (VAT) to make the prices same throughout India.  But Petrol and Liquor is exempted from this condition due to which we can see this difference.

Question:  When NRI’s will get voting rights?

Veerappa Moily:  This is under consideration.  As all the NRI’s in Gulf are having single citizenship, they must have right and facility to vote.

Question:  Some “communal forces” are attacking churches, hotels and business firms belong to minority groups.  What action government is taking against them?

Veerappa Moily:  They are not ‘communal forces’.  They are ‘criminal forces’.  Law & order should take serious action against them.

Question:  When will be the most awaited Mangalore airport will be completed?

Veerappa Moily:  I have met Al Jazira officials and have a clear picture of difficulties they are facing with the government policies to start the same.  Surely I will check this issue once I return back.  Honorable Prime Minister is already invited to inaugurate the Airport next month. 


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