The United Democratic Front-led district panchayat has passed a surplus budget of Rs.50.06 crore on Thursday, which the four-member opposition Left Democratic Front dispelled as a dream budget cut off from reality.

In her second straight budget, vice-president Bindu George envisaged an income of Rs.920.17 crore against an expenditure of Rs.870.11 crore.

The budget proposes a waste treatment plant for generating power on 30 cents of land at an estimated cost of Rs.150 crore. The funding for the plant proposed in association with the Kochi Corporation will be mobilised from abroad, while assistance from the Central and State governments is also expected. The expertise of a Somerset-based company will be availed of for the project. Production and marketing of bio-fertilizer based on a Mysore model is also planned.

The budget has set apart Rs.25 lakh for the protection of Kadamprayar and the beautification of its banks. Trees will be planted on either side of the water body and steps will be taken for setting up boat jetties. The budget said that pressure will be exerted for the relocation of the solid waste treatment plant of the Corporation on the banks of Kadamprayar since it has been heavily polluting the water body.

Panchayat level squads will be formed to check sand and stone quarry mafia for which Rs.2 lakh had been allocated. Mangroves will be planted from the Malippuram-Bandar Canal in Elamkunnapuzha panchayat at an estimated cost of Rs.50 lakh for the protection of environment and to explore tourism potential.

The budget has allocated Rs.30 lakh for conducting a survey of neglected ponds in the district with the help of agriculture department and to preserve them as fresh water sources. Steps will be taken to develop fish wealth in these ponds.

Rs.10 lakh has been earmarked for “a shade on the road” project under which saplings will be planted on either side of roads within the limits of district panchayat.

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