The Thiruvananthapuram district panchayat’s annual Budget for 2021-22, taking forward the popular projects from the previous tenure and introducing new ones in the areas of agriculture, social welfare, environment, disaster management, and infrastructure development, was presented on Monday.
The budget presented by district panchayat vice president A. Shailaja Begum expects a revenue of ₹716.36 crore, expenditure of ₹699.13 crore, and surplus of ₹17.23 crore.
Pointing out that the national and State awards that the district panchayat won in recent years are a stamp of approval for its various projects, Ms. Begum said some of the projects would continue in its current form with increased funding. The ‘Patheyam’ project through which food was given to the needy would get an increased allocation of ₹8.2 crore.
Agriculture and productive sector in the rural area would also get much focus. For the Kedaram project aimed at increasing the area under paddy cultivation in the district, ₹1.5 crore was allocated. To promote cultivation of various crops under local bodies and people’s representatives, ₹50 lakh had been allocated. Total subsidy of ₹6.15 crore, including ₹2.4 crore for women, would be provided for milk production as part of the Ksheera Samridhi project.
An amount of ₹1.68 crore was allocated for developmental works at Vithura Jersey farm, including the construction of a modern shed to include 100 more cows, Ms. Begum said. The Chettachal jersey farm would get an allocation of ₹1.24 crore.
One of the new projects highlighted by Ms. Begum was the one to rehabilitate persons facing mental health issues. The women were proposed to be rehabilitated at a care centre in Kottamam and the men at the district panchayat’s building at Peringamala. An amount of ₹75 lakh had been allocated for this. Another project titled ‘Sushaktha’ aimed at ensuring the continued availability of sports training facilities for women. Such a project was envisaged, as it was seen that many young women athletes found it hard to find training facilities and maintain fitness once they left school or college.
Gender budgeting was also ensured with special projects focussed on women in all sectors including services and production. Some of the projects for women included ‘Sushanti’, to provide toilet facilities and refreshment along highways, ‘Nivarana’, to provide disaster management training for women living in coastal areas, ‘live fish stall’ for women fish workers and others. In addition, ₹50 lakh was allocated for rehabilitation of differently abled women.
Revival of the Vellayani lake, which had been taken over by water weeds and other invasive species, would be carried out with the help of MGNREGS workers. An amount of ₹50 lakh was allocated initially for removal of weeds and to remove silt from the lake bed. The LIFE project would get an allocation of ₹14.8 crore.
An amount of ₹1.5 crore had been allocated for the ‘Aswas’ project to provide financial aid for dialysis and to provide medicines for those who had undergone liver transplant.