The home district of Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has more than enough to cheer about from the budget presented by Dr. Isaac on Friday.
While most of the social welfare, industrial development allocations have indirect bearings upon the district, there have been specific allocations that the district could celebrate. The most important among them, perhaps, is the new Government Arts and Science College announced for Ambalapuzha. The college has been a long-standing demand of the region, with several strikes organized in the past by various leaders, including present Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and current Cooperation Minister G. Sudhakaran. Stepping up of assistance to the Kudumbasree, which has its strongest moorings in the district, from Rs.30 to Rs.50 crore; the hike in the outlay for the agriculture sector from Rs.419 crore to Rs.622 crore; setting aside of Rs.500 crore for paddy cultivation, including paddy procurement and soil-water conservation ctivities; special allocation of Rs.13 crore to the cooperative sector for paddy procurement; enhancement of the outlay for the fisheries sector from Rs.50 crore to Rs.79 crore; the Rs.10 crore allocation for common amenities in the coastal area etc., are all measures with bearings on the district, which earns its bread mostly from the agriculture and fisheries sectors.
The Rs.20 crore initial corpus for keeping open the Thanneermukkom Bund; the Rs.35 crore for construction of outer bunds for Rani and Chithira ‘kayal padasekharams’ and renovation of Alappuzha-Cherthala Canal; Rs.10 crore to construct a new road parallel to the Alappuzha Bypass, a bridge to the Nehru Trophy Ward and a project for cleaning the Alappuzha Canal are also heartening decisions.
The other main gains for Alappuzha include Rs.2 crore for the Chethi Harbour; the Rs.82 crore outlay for the coir sector; Rs.10 crore assistance for coir cooperative societies; Rs.36 crore for the Komalapuram Hi-tech Spinning and Weaving Mill; Rs.10 crore for a new steel casting line at Autokast; Rs.34 crore for renovation and new production line at the Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals; Rs. 25 lakh for the formation of a company for the Alappuzha Marina project; Rs.15 lakhs for a memorial for Raja Kesavadas; Rs.20 lakh for the Vayalar Rama Varma Trust; a cardio-thoracic surgery unit at Alappuzha Medical College; Rs.4 crore for HOMCO and Rs.25 crore for a pharmacy college under the aegis of HOMCO; a decision on Japan financial assistance for integrated drinking water schemes in Kuttanad; sanction for urban drinking water projects for the Nehru Trophy, Poonthopu and Chathanad wards here; a mini civil station at Aroor; and a police station at Mannancherry.