Kerala Cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposal to set up a 2000 MW thermal power plant in Orissa in collaboration with the Orissa government.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said in an official release that a special purpose vehicle would be formed for setting up the coal-based plant. The two States would share the power generated at the plant on an equal basis.

The Central government had allotted a block of coal field at Baitarani in Orissa for powering the plant. This was to be used before March next. The Kerala government had held discussion with the Secretary (Power) of Orissa government on setting up the plant on Monday.

The Chief Minister said that the Cabinet had decided to grant Rs. 500 as allowance to police officials on duty during Onam celebrations. The mess fees of policemen on duty at Sabarimala during the pilgrimage season would be met by the government. The government would also meet the expenses of doctors and supporting staff on duty during the season. This would cost about Rs. 1 crore.

The Cabinet had also decided to create a post of lecturer in Sociology at KNM Government College at Kanjiramkulam to provide employment to a blind person who had been denied a posting at the College earlier. K. Sreejith had emerged the topper in an interview conducted for appointment of a lecturer at the College. However, he was not given appointment on the ground that he was blind, and another person who had appeared for the interview earlier was given posting.

The Chief Minister said that the post was created adopting a humanitarian approach toward the candidate who was denied the posting. The Cabinet had also sanctioned a new M. Tech batch in Electronics and Communication at the NSS Engineering College, Palakkad.

It granted three cents of land to Thankamma (78), wife of journalist Narayana Pillai, for building a house. Rs. 1 lakh would be sanctioned to photojournalist Vimat Shalin who had lost a leg in a bike accident.

It also sanctioned the post of an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College and decided to post Mohammed Hanish as Managing Director of State Cooperative Marketing Federation.