Roads, flyovers among plans; approval for ‘We Care’

The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared ten infrastructure projects costing nearly Rs.1,500 crore.

The projects are for construction of flyovers on national highways at Kochi, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kozhikode, and Malappuram, construction of the Ramapuram-Nalambalam and Kanjikuzhi-Vettathukavala-Karukachal roads, and four-laning of the national highway between Chakkaraparambu and Infopark Junction on the airport-seaport road in Ernakulam.

The projects are being taken up as the first phase of Rs.10,000-crore Sustainable and Planned Efforts to Ensure Infrastructure Development (SPEEID), which envisages completing 23 works through annuity-based funding. The Cabinet also cleared the proposal for construction of Pachalam railway over-bridge as part of the Kochi Metro project at a cost of Rs.52.72 crore. It sanctioned Rs.120 crore for takeover of land for the metro between Vytilla and Petta. Of this, Rs.70 crore would be released this year.

Welfare schemes

The Cabinet gave permission for implementation of ‘We Care’ project which brings various social welfare schemes and charity under one umbrella. The project will be funded by contributions from individuals, organisations, foundations, corporates, private and public undertakings, and local self-governments. Besides, there is a budget provision of Rs.1 crore for the project which will raise funds for schemes such as Talolam, Aswasakiran, Sruthi Tharangam, Snehapoorvam, Sneha Santhwanam, Samaswasam, and Sneha Sparsam.

The Cabinet also decided to take over the repayment liabilities on Bhavana Sree loans given by cooperatives banks through Kudumbasree units to 3,543 persons. Briefing the media on the Cabinet decisions, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government would pay Rs.7.75 crore to 57 cooperatives over six years to clear the loans. The banks had agreed to exempt payment of penal interest. A tripartite agreement among banks, government, and the Kudumbasree would be signed for this.

The Chief Minister said the Cabinet had decided to form State-level monitoring committees and expert committees in connection with implementation of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act. The expert committee, which would draft the rules, would have a person retired as additional secretary or special secretary and a retired deputy collector as members, besides a senior advocate with experience in land acquisition laws.

The Cabinet sanctioned seven posts for ‘Nirbhaya Cell’ to be set up for implementation of the Nirbhaya Scheme. Master Ramith of Kannur, who won the National Bravery award, would be given Rs.5 lakh to construct a house. He is now living in a hut and his father is a daily wage earner.

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