District panchayat budget earmarks funds for growing paddy
Upgrade of the district hospital at Neyyattinkara, setting up of an advanced medical laboratory in the city, revival of agriculture land and waterbodies, road improvement, and starting of civil service coaching in schools form part of the proposals outlined in the annual Budget of the district panchayat.
The Budget for the financial year 2013-14, which was presented before the panchayat committee on Tuesday, estimates revenue of Rs.167.52 crore and expenditure of Rs.159.18 crore.
Presenting a surplus Budget of Rs.8.33 crore, district panchayat vice-president Rufus Daniel said the local body planned to set up a dialysis unit and maternity and surgical blocks in the district hospital.
A sum of Rs.12 crore allotted by the State government would be utilised to improve the medical care facilities in the hospital. The aim was to prepare it to apply for accreditation by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers, he said.
A sum of Rs.1 crore has been allocated to establish a diagnostic laboratory on the premises of the District Medical Office. A dialysis unit will be established at the Peroorkada hospital, and provision has been made in the Budget to procure a mobile dialysis unit.
Like in the current year’s budget, the agriculture sector gets the lion’s share to fund schemes to reclaim lost farmland and waterbodies. Apart from the budgetary allocation of Rs.27 crore, the panchayat plans to use funds to the tune of Rs.50 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to make agriculture land cultivable and restore waterbodies.
Besides provision for introducing lift irrigation, in which water is lifted using pumps and transported to agriculture fields where there is no natural availability of water, the panchayat plans to introduce comprehensive paddy cultivation at Venjaramoodu, Kilimanoor, Karode, Chenkal, Vellayani, Cherunniyur, Navaikulam, Kolliuil, and Kottukal.
A sum of Rs.80 lakh has been allotted for the paddy cultivation.
The Budget also proposes a slew of measures to improve the functioning of 73 schools under the control of the panchayat.
The proposals include starting civil service coaching in 20 schools, counselling and special tuition for academically weak students, improvement of laboratories and libraries, education of children who have HIV/AIDS, distribution of free cycles to students belonging to the Below Poverty Line category, and creating awareness among students of healthy living habits.
The Budget makes provision for setting up a centre at Alamkode where produce made by Kudumbasree, self-help groups, and societies can be displayed for sale.
A sum of Rs.1 crore has been set aside for setting up the centre.
An action plan for utilising funds under the MGNREGS has found mention in the Budget.
As per the plan, as many as 18,194 schemes meant for water conservation, cleaning up of lakes, and protection of canals will be taken up during the next financial year.
Later, talking to presspersons, district panchayat president Remani P. Nair said the local body stood first among all panchayats in the State in utilising funds under the MGNREGS.