₹7,000-cr. special package for Wayanad

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said a ₹7,000-crore special package would be executed for the comprehensive development of Wayanad in five years.

Announcing the package here, Mr. Vijayan said preference would be given to rejuvenate the coffee sector in the district, a major Robusta coffee growing area in the country. “Many a time the farm community did not get a good price for Robusta coffee. But it will fetch premium price in world market if it is branded as coffee grown in carbon neutral hill slopes in Wayanad,” he said.

Mr. Vijayan said coffee beans would be procured at a minimum support price of ₹90 a kg. A mega food park would be set up in the district at ₹150 crore for the purpose and it would be operational by end-2022. A special project would be launched for pepper rejuvenation and ₹10 crore would be expended every year in the next five years. Flat complexes for workers on tea estates would be completed by the end of the year. Floriculture would be expanded by constituting more farmer clusters. A sum of ₹75 crore would be spent for conserving aromatic rice varieties such as Gandhakasala and Jeerakasala.

The Karapuzha irrigation project would be commissioned soon and ₹50 crore would be spent every year for irrigation and soil conservation. A sum of ₹20 crore would be spent every year for the development of animal husbandry.

Banasura Sagar project

The Chief Minister said ₹50 crore would be utilised for the overall development of the Banasura Sagar hydel tourism project. The district would be included in the Thalassery heritage tourism circuit and ₹20 crore would be granted every year for developing the tourism sector. A sum of ₹100 crore would be allocated every year for infrastructure development and more courses would be sanctioned in colleges.

A sum of ₹600 crore would be sanctioned to the water authority for executing more drinking water projects and the power distribution sector would be strengthened. As many as 5,000 houses would be constructed under the LIFE Mission in 2021 and ₹150 crore would be allotted from the Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste fund. A sum of ₹100 crore would be allotted from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board to execute projects to mitigate man-animal conflict.

Mr. Vijayan said the District Hospital at Mananthavady would be upgraded as a medical college this fiscal. A recent Cabinet meeting had sanctioned creation of 150 teacher posts and the remaining posts would be sanctioned soon. The project would be completed at a cost of ₹600 crore. A special officer would be appointed for executing the project.

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