Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan urged the collectors on Tuesday to expedite revenue collection and preparation of disaster management plans.

Addressing the two-day annual conference of collectors and heads of departments, the Chief Minister criticised that revenue collection and recoveries had slackened over the previous years. This ought to be rectified.

Mr. Achuthanandan noted that nine districts were yet to prepare district level disaster management plans as directed by the government. Only Idukki district had prepared a flood management plan.

He observed that conversion of paddy fields and water bodies continued in different parts of the State despite the enactment of law against that. There were complaints that the authorities were turning a blind eye towards violation of law after taking bribes. Rules were being misinterpreted. Though local committees were to be formed for enforcement of the law, they were yet to be formed in Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur and Wayanad districts. This situation should be remedied.

He also wanted the collectors to fulfil their role as coordinators of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. The collectors were yet to take up that responsibility. Though registration of workers had been complete in all districts, none were near achieving the target of providing jobs for 100 days in a year. There were also unjustifiable delays in paying wages.

Further, the Chief Minister called upon the collectors to be vigilant against price rise and hoarding. Attention should be paid to streamline the distribution of subsidised rice (at Rs.2 a kg) and prevent misuse of the public distribution system. Copra procurement should be streamlined in several districts.

The collectors should also consider identification and acquisition of land for the EMS Housing Scheme as a major responsibility. Works under the tsunami rehabilitation schemes should be completed before the end of March next year. Further delay would result in serious consequences.

Ministers P. K. Gurudasan, Mullakkara Ratnakaran, Elamaram Kareem, A. K. Balan, S. Sarma, Benoy Viswam, C. Divakaran, N. K. Premachandran, T. M. Thomas Isaac, P. J. Joseph, Jose Thettayil and K. P. Rajendran, Vice-Chairman of the Planning Board Prabhat Patnaik and Chief Secretary Neela Gangadharan also attended.