Kottayam Budget lays stress on tourism

Farming, ecology and water conservation are the other focal points in district panchayat Budget

Farming, tourism, ecology and water conservation received major focus in the Kottayam district panchayat’s annual Budget for 2021-22 presented on Saturday. The Budget, presented by T.S. Sarath, vice-president of the local body, envisages a revenue of ₹94.68 crore, an expenditure of ₹86.97 crore, with a surplus of ₹7.7 crore. District panchayat president Nirmala Jimmi presided over the presentation.

Among the key projects included in the Budget include ‘Destination Kottayam,’ which seeks to promote the rural tourism potential of the district. Further, 10 Take-a-Break centres will be opened across the region.

In view of the recurring landslides in the high ranges, a water management programme by mapping the vulnerable locations in Meenachil and Kanjirappally taluks will be initiated. Taking note of the rise in lifestyle diseases among youngsters, open gymnasiums will be opened in all 22 divisions.

LIFE Mission

The district panchayat, which aims to provides shelter to all, has set aside ₹7.02 lakh for completion of the LIFE Mission project. Other major allocations include ₹15 lakh for purchase of seeds, ₹5 lakh for fish farming, ₹1 crore as poultry feed for the Manarcaud farm, ₹10 lakh for deepening of canals, ₹25 lakh for constituting a collective of rural market, ₹1.10 crore for construction of women-friendly toilets and sanitary napkin vending machines in schools.

In the education sector, ₹12 lakh has been allotted for continuation of equivalency examinations for 10th standard and Plus Two programmes. A project to check drug abuse among students, along the lines of the Operation Gurukulam project, has been formulated.

Taking a cue from the success of the community kitchen initiative during the lockdown period, ₹5 lakh has been set aside for running the community kitchen under the Hunger-free project.

In the health sector, ₹20 lakh each has been set aside for opening a gynaecology operation theatre at the Kottayam general hospital and a mobile blood bank.

On the lines of the Karunya scheme initiated by the late Kerala Congress (M) patriarch K.M. Mani, a project titled Karunya Kottayam has been included in the Budget. The project envisages providing medicine, services and equipment to the differently abled and bedridden patients with the help of the local body.

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