Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac admitted in the Assembly on Friday that the funds sanctioned by the Union government for development of National Waterways in the State could not be fully utilised.

Responding to a calling attention motion from Varkala Kahar (Congress), Dr. Isaac said the State could not utilise Rs.136 crore of the Rs.225 crore sanctioned by way of the 12th Finance Commission Award. The amount had been transferred to various financial institutions before close of the last financial year, he said.

Dr. Isaac said that the allocation was for use between 2006 and 2010. The government had given administrative sanction for work costing Rs.204 crore. In the first stage, the sanction was for work having an outlay of Rs.52 crore. Of this, Rs.45 crore was for the main canal and Rs.7 crore for the feeder canals. The State was able to complete 92 works forming part of the first stage. However, in the second stage, having an outlay of Rs.140 crore, only 47 works could be completed.

The main reason for the slippage was the difficulty in demarcating the canal ‘poramboke' land on several stretches and rehabilitating those squatting on the canal poramboke land. Efforts were on to complete the work without further delay, Dr. Isaac said.

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