The Cabinet on Thursday gave clearance for construction of major waste treatment plants in Kollam, Thrissur, and Kottayam. This is in addition to the facilities proposed in Thiruvananthapruam, Kochi, and Kozhikode.

Talking to the media after a special meeting of the Cabinet, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that the plants would use modern technology that would not pollute the surroundings. As the people did not have confidence about that, the government was thinking of a technology demonstration as first step.

The Chief Minister said the Cabinet had named the members of the Farmers' Debt Relief Commission to be headed by K.R. Udayabhanu. They were M.O. John, M. Narayanankutty, Ummer Pandikassala, M.J. Jacob, and A.K. Hamza, besides K.V. Ramakrishan (CPI-M) who would represent the Opposition.

Managing director of Marketfed T. Vikram would be given additional charge of State Civil Supplies Corporation.

Referring to the bail granted to Italian marines accused in the murder of Kerala fishermen off coast, Mr. Chandy said the prosecution had opposed the bail application. The prosecution had filed the charge-sheet in 90 days to prevent them from getting bail. However, the court had granted them conditional bail because the State was having an independent judicial system.

Replying to questions about the CPI(M) approaching court against reporting of investigation into murder of RMP leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, the Chief Minister said the party had the right to approach courts. At the same time, the media had the freedom to report what was happening in the State.

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