An implementation cell that will oversee the execution of various projects outlined in the University of Kerala's budget for 2012-13 will start functioning in the first week of April.

The task of supervising individual or a cluster of projects will be entrusted to task forces to be set up by the cell, chairman of the Syndicate's finance committee B.S. Jyothikumar told The Hindu on Friday. The budget presented by Mr. Jyothikumar on March 14 was passed, with modification, by the Senate on March 15.

“Close to Rs.9 crore from the non-Plan fund of the university has been earmarked for various schemes. In fact, I can safely claim that this is for the first time that a clear provision of funds has been given in the budget for so many developmental schemes. Now no one, including university officials, can say that there is no money for this project or that,” Mr. Jyothikumar said.

Solar power system

Among the major drives to be launched this year are a solar power-generation system for the university, installation of biogas plants, and a makeover of its water supply system.

The solar power system will be installed using Central funds. Prior to this, the Energy Management Centre will be asked to carry out an energy audit of all university buildings.

Three high-tech biogas plants will be set up on the Senate House campus and the Karyavattom campus. The budget has set aside Rs.45 lakhs for this.

Mr. Jyothikumar said a Rs.2-crore project submitted to the Union government for identifying new sources of water and rejuvenating existing ones is expected to be cleared soon. There are also plans to refurbish or replace the 50-year-old pipeline system that distributes water inside the campuses. The budget has earmarked Rs.50 lakh for this.

The university has hiked its allocation to the Kerala University Union after an interval of nine years. The budget has allocated Rs.25 lakh for the union, Rs.5 lakh more than what the student body got annually since 2003-04.

For the University Researchers Union, the budget has set apart Rs.25,000; the first time such an allocation has been made in a university budget.

The budget has set apart Rs.1 crore for the construction and maintenance of all hostels. A sum of Rs.50 lakh has been set apart for the construction of a women's hostel at Thycaud. Rs.1 crore has been set apart for the second-phase development, including air-conditioning, of the Senate Hall.

An amount of Rs.10 lakh has been set aside for the modernisation of the University Observatory constructed in 1837.