Kerala Government will undertake Rs. 600 crore worth of development works in the tourism sector this year, Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said.

Inaugurating a garbage treatment plant at the famous tourist spot of Kumarakom near here, he said a masterplan would be formulated for the overall development of Kumarakom, known for its backwaters and houseboats

Service of architects of international repute would be utilised for the purpose, he said on Thursday.

He stressed the need for processing of garbage as over 1,500 houseboats were in service in the inland waterscapes.

Another treatment plant would be set up in Alappuzha shortly.

Balakrishnan, who also inaugurated a convention of Kerala Police Association at Ettumanoor here, said the eight-hour duty pattern of police, being followed in 51 police stations, would be extended to 17 more stations in the State.

He said the ‘Janamaithree’ (people friendly) policing scheme would be implemented in 100 more police stations in the current year.

Balakrishnan said the proposal to link courts and jails in the State through video-conferencing system will be implemented in a phased manner.

He said the local and armed force wings of police would be integrated this year and vacancies in police department would be filled without delay.