The government will hold meetings to review the mass contact programmes in all the districts and also a special Cabinet meeting to discuss steps that need to be taken on the programme.

This was announced by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy after the first review meeting held at the District Collector's office in the city on Tuesday.

Terming the review meeting a means to evaluate the success of the mass contact programme, Mr. Chandy said many new suggestions were made at the meeting. These would help the government to decide on further steps that could be implemented to narrow the gap between the people and the administrators.

He directed the District Collector to submit detailed reports on the suggestions made at the meeting.

Complaints pertaining to 68 departments received through the mass contact programme and those submitted at the offices were taken up for review. Of the 22,280 complaints that were received in the district, as many as 19,500 were settled. The remaining required legal verification and sanctions from various grama panchayats.

District Collector K.N. Satheesh told The Hindu that the Chief Minister had said that if the officials had any difficulties in settling cases that required legal permission or special sanctions, they could alert the Chief Minister's office for faster disposal of the complaints.

The largest number of complaints related to settlement issues. There were also complaints regarding the lack of awareness of social welfare schemes among the poor.

Mr. Chandy said the large numbers of requests for financial assistance from those belonging to below poverty line (BPL) families indicated that they were not aware of the benefits that could be claimed through social welfare schemes. He said a provision would be made to create awareness of the schemes among the people. The government sanctioned construction of a third additional block, sub-treasury, and camp offices at the District Collector's office. The proposal for construction of the Vazhayila-Kudappanakkunnu (civil station) road was accepted at the meeting.