The government would pilot a legislation for making rainwater harvesting facility mandatory in all new buildings, Water Resources Minister P.J.Joseph has said.

Mr.Joseph said in reply to questions in the Assembly on Monday that all southern States have already included it in their building rules. Hence, the government would frame a new legislation to ensure that all new buildings are providing rainwater harvesting facilities too.

Minister for Rural Development K.C.Joseph said that all block panchayats will develop watershed management projects this year itself as a complementary effort. It has been proposed to bring rainwater harvesting projects under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, he said.

Minister for Transport V.S.Sivakumar said that the government was planning to set up an Accident Relief Fund to provide assistance to the victims of road accidents. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation would set up a Training, Research and Development Institute.

The corporation has taken steps to increase the fuel efficiency of buses from 4.2 kilometre per litre to 5 KMPL. As many as 102 vehicles were seized in the capital for operating transport services parallel to KSRTC.

Minister for Health Adoor Prakash said that considering the increase in patients in Government Medical College Hospitals who turn up for scanning, the government has decided to enter into a pact with private scanning centres in the vicinity of the hospitals to provide the service at affordable rates.

Since the Hospital Development Committees are being headed by the District Collectors, they should negotiate with the private scanning centres and fix the rates. No-objection certificate has been given to three private managements for setting up dental colleges.

They are Sunshine Educational Trust, Malayalappuzha, Thusharagiri Charitable Trust, Kozhikode and Gurudeva Charitable Trust, Kuthiyathodu. Clearance has been given to Amrita School of Dentistry, Kochi for increasing the number of seats from 60 to 110.

As many as 820 vacancies of doctors, including speciality cadre, were remaining unfilled in government hospitals, he said.