The government is willing to sanction post-graduate courses to self-financing medical colleges which satisfy the prescribed norms, Health Minister P.K.Sreemathy has said.

While replying to questions in the Assembly on Thursday, the Minister said that PG courses have already been given to the Dr.Somarvell Memorial CSI Medical College, Karakonam, and the Kannur Medical College. On fulfilling the government?s conditions PG courses will be given to other medical colleges too. Even if the government denies permission for conducting PG courses, the Medical Council of India can grant approval on its own. The appointments as well as the affiliation granted to various courses by the medical university were all in order. The university has given only provisional affiliation to eights colleges. The government would explore the possibility of starting unani and naturopathy courses, she said.

Minister for Works, Sports and Railways M.Vijayakumar said that the Kochi Metro Rail project was awaiting the Union Finance Ministry?s nod. After giving clearance for the metro rail projects in Chennai and Bangalore, the Centre was denying permission to Kerala. He accused the Centre of neglecting the State. The Union Ministers from the State had never joined the State government?s delegation to press for the metro rail project. An office of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has started functioning in Kochi and land acquisition process has begun, he said.

As many as 110 vacancies in government service in sports quota have to be filled. So far 2000 applications have been received. About 64 vacancies in sports quota in the Home Department have been filled. The government will consider the proposal to include judo and karate for selection in the sports quota.

Rain has wreaked damage worth Rs.133.42 crore to the roads in the State. A sum of Rs.240 crore has been sanctioned for maintenance. The repair works will be completed by January 31, he said.

Water Resources Minister N.K.Premachandran said that the drinking water cess arrears due to the Kerala Water Authority from various consumers including public sector organisations and private consumers amounted to Rs.288.42 crore. Civic bodies owed Rs.225.39 crore. Departments of Education, Public Works, Home, Industries, Tourism and Medical Education were among the defaulters. The second phase of Jalanidhi scheme will cover 30 grama panchayats this year, he said.