Minister for Food and Civil Supplies T. M. Jacob has said that six new bridges of the Public Works Department (PWD) will be inaugurated in the district under the 100-day programmes of the State government.

The Minister directed District Collector P. I. Sheikh Pareed to convene an emergency meeting of stakeholders to resolve issues regarding some projects, the first phase of which are to be completed by March next year under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

The decisions came at a meeting held on Thursday to discuss the development issues of the district.

Excise Minister K. Baby and PWD Minister V. K. Ibrahim Kunju were also present.

The meeting called for the withdrawal of the Kerala State Electricity Board's demand for imposing surcharge on free power given to farmers. This issue will be dealt at the government level.

At present, 12,750 farmers benefitted from free power. About Rs.2.75 crore had given towards power subsidy. The demand for surcharge comes at a time while another Rs.3 crore is about to be released.

Ration cards

All applicants from the district had been issued ration cards.

Out of the 4.5 lakh applicants across the State, the district accounted for 4,650 applicants. Mr. Jacob assured time-bound resolution on all pending applications related to wood-centric industries in the district.

Shortage of doctors

The meeting observed that the government was not to be blamed for the shortage of doctors in rural hospitals but it was the doctors appointed to these hospitals who failed to turn up for duty.

The meeting assessed that there has been tangible progress in the district under the 100-day programme. The Minister asked department heads to submit their progress reports to the District Collector within three days.

Heads of 63 departments attended the meeting. The Collector was entrusted with the task of submitting a report on why representatives of three Central government institutions invited for the meeting did not turn up. Mr. Jacob said that similar review meetings will be held every three months.

‘No price rise'

Mr. Jacob has said that the State will not experience price rise during this Onam. He said that 20 lakh families coming under the Below Poverty Line will be given Onam kit worth Rs.90 free of cost in addition to the distribution of rice at Re.1.

Mr. Jacob was addressing a press conference after a meeting of a ministerial committee for the development of the district here on Thursday.

More In: Kochi