The Pathanamthitta District Panchayat will set up five small and mini hydro-electric projects as a joint venture of the grama and block panchayats in the district in the next five years.

This was announced by the panchayat vice-president, P. Vijayamma, while presenting the annual budget at the budget session held at the panchayat conference hall here on Wednesday.

The annual budget for 2012-13 of the District Panchayat envisaged an income to the tune of Rs 96,82,73,800 expenditure worth Rs 91,75,55,000, leaving a surplus of Rs 5,07,18,800.

Presiding over the budget session, Mr Babu George, District Panchayat president, said the first small hydro-electric project with a capacity to generate 500 kw electricity would be set up at Kokkathode in the next one year. ANERT has conducted the feasibility study on the proposed hydro-electric projects at 26 places and has identified Kokkathode suitable for setting up the first project, he said.

Mr George said the project would be implemented with financial support from the Centre as well as the State in a time-bound manner.

Ms Vijayamma said the budget allocation for various power generation schemes of the District Panchayat for the 2012-13was Rs 23 crore. She said as per the ANERT study report, the power generation cost at Kokkathode would be Rs 1.50 lakh a kilo watt (kw).

‘Zero Waste’ scheme

The budget has made an allocation worth Rs 20 crore for implementing the second phase of the `Zero Waste Pathanamthitta’ launched by the panchayat in 2011.

The project is being implemented jointly by the District Panchayat, grama panchayts and the State Sanitation Mission.

Mr George said the District Panchayat would initiate small and medium projects with the assistance of the Central and State Governments to address the drinking water needs of the people in the worst affected areas of the district.

The annual budget also envisages launching of cultivation in lands that have been laying fallow since several years and to set up vegetable gardens at residential courtyards by engaging Kudumbasree units.

Memorial to Mahatma Gandhi

Ms Vijayamma said the District Panchayat would construct a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi Smriti Mandapam, at Elnathoor where Gandhi had visited 75 years ago.

The proposed memorial would be constructed in association with various grama panchayats, she said.

She said the panchayat would construct a stadium with modern facilities and steps would be taken for securing accreditation for the District Hospital at Kozhencherry.

Sabarimala pilgrims’ base camp

The budget has made allocation worth Rs 50 lakhs for development of a base camp for Sabarimala pilgrims.

Ms Vijayamma said the budget allocation has also made for bringing out the second volume of the Cultural Directory of the panchayat in the next financial year.

Budgetary provision worth Rs 10 crore has been made for road development works under PMGSY scheme.

H. Salimraj, Additional District Magistrate; Robin Peter, Saji Chacko, Haridas Edathitta, Pazhakulam Madhu, S. Haridas, Mariyamma Cherian, Santhi P. Nair, Komalam Anirudhan, Sreelatha Ramesh, K.G. Anitha, all panchayat members; P.K. Devanand, District Planning Officer; P. Murukan, Kudumbasree Mission district co-ordinator, and G. Anilkumar, panchayat secretary, also attended the meeting.