The Onattukara component of the Kuttanad Package, entailing projects worth Rs.248.39 crore for development of the agricultural region, has been accorded approval by the Union Government, Kodikunnil Suresh, MP, has said.

In a communiqué here on Wednesday, Mr. Suresh said the Onattukara component of the package envisaged projects that would benefit farmers and agriculture primarily from Kayamkulam, Mavelikara and Pandalam areas. Most of the projects are aimed at managing floods and landslides, to deepen canals, and to renovate the ‘puncha' paddy fields apart from turning large tracts of fallow land into cultivable land. Motor sheds, which have been a long-standing demand of the farmers there, too will be set up as part of the projects, the MP said.

There would be 12 wetland-based projects, 10 of which were centred in the Mavelikara taluk. The projects would receive Rs.70 crore this fiscal itself as the first phase under the Flood Management Programme of the Central Water Resources ministry. One of the major projects in the component was renovation of the TA Canal, starting from Thodiyur in Karunagapally of Kollam district and stretching up at Arattukadavu in Alappuzha district.

The State Water Resources department had submitted detailed project reports for the projects to the Central Water Commission, from where the file was approved and forwarded to the Central Planning Commission, which in turn sent it to the Finance Ministry. The Finance Ministry's Empowered Committee on Expenditures approved the projects earlier this week, Mr. Suresh said, adding that it was up to the State Government to expedite implementation of the projects now.

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