Thrust on agri, health sectors

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Kollam District panchayat budget for 2019-20 shows a revenue of ₹213.83 crore

A string of projects to strengthen the agriculture and health sectors, along with allocations to benefit fishers and cashew labourers, figure in the Kollam district panchayat budget for 2019-20.

The budget, presented by vice president S. Venugopal here on Saturday, shows a revenue of ₹213.83 crore, an expenditure of ₹209.74 crore, and a surplus of ₹4.08 crore.

Farm Vision 2020, a comprehensive development project that aims at transforming the farm sector in a big way, gets ₹10 crore. The farms under the district panchayat at Kuriyottumala, Anchal, Kottarakara, Kadakkal and Karunagapally are expected to take a giant leap with the project.

Fruit production

Falasamridhi, a project to maximise domestic fruit production, and Poliyopoli, an initiative to address the crisis of paddy farmers, will receive ₹1 crore each. While ₹1.25 crore has been set aside as subsidy for dairy farmers, dairy cooperative societies will get ₹30 lakh for starting production units for value-added products.

The budget has allocations for promoting coconut and cashew farming. As part of Samridhi, a project to ensure regular income for cashew labourers, one lakh chicks will be distributed to 10,000 labourers. A sum of ₹2 crore has been earmarked for this. Fishermen will get ₹20 lakh for buying equipment.

Victoria Hospital gets an allocation of ₹1.8 crore for various projects including Snehasammanam, Swapnachiraku, Snehathooval and Mathruswanthanam. The Kollam District Hospital will get ₹2 crore for infrastructure development and the District Ayurveda Hospital, ₹70 lakh.

As part of Jeevanam, a third shift will start at the dialysis unit functioning at the District Hospital making it possible to provide the facility for 60 patients per day. From April onwards, free dialysis will be offered to patients belonging to both BPL and APL categories.

The education sector gets ₹6.5 crore, from which ₹3.75 crore will be used for the maintenance of school buildings.

Multiple schemes have been announced for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes including a ₹2.3-crore project to construct protective walls at SC colonies to prevent soil erosion.

Shinkari Melam

Youngsters from the community will be trained in Shinkari Melam and ₹1 crore has been set aside for this. The district will get two cultural centres, Chavara Parukuttyammaa Kathakali Kala Kendram and A.P Kalakkad Memorial Building, along with a Veer Jawan Smriti Kendra at Pathanapuram.

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