Special Correspondent

State to take up Centrally funded scheme

State and the Centre will share the annual premium

VS: unable to meet demands of Chengara agitators

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to take up the Centrally funded insurance scheme Am Admi Bhima Yojana in the State.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told the media after a Cabinet meeting that about 6.5 lakh families with landholdings of not more than five cents would be covered under the scheme. The State and the Centre would share the annual premium of Rs.100 for each family.

The scheme would provide a personal insurance cover of Rs.30,000 and an accident insurance cover of Rs.75,000. Besides, two children of deceased members would be given a monthly scholarship of Rs.100 each.

The Life Insurance Corporation of India would be providing the cover.

The Chief Minister said the government would stand guarantee for a loan of Rs.750 crore to be taken by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation for purchase of 1,000 buses.

Mr. Achuthanandan said it would not be possible for the government to provide five acres of land and Rs.5 lakh as demanded by those who were squatting on the rubber plantations of Harrisons Malayalam Limited at Chengara.

However, they could be considered for allotment of not less than 10 cents on a par with other eligible persons if they applied.

Land would be given to the landless including tribals within a few months.

Government cautious

The squatters were meeting their day-to-day expenses by stealing rubber from the plantations. The High Court had ordered their eviction. However, that would take time. The government was being careful in evicting them as the court had directed that bloodshed should be avoided.

High Court Bench

He said the government had done everything needed from its part for establishment of a Bench of the Kerala High Court in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Assembly had passed two resolutions seeking the Bench and an all-party delegation had gone to New Delhi to represent the matter.

Dharna in New Delhi

He said his dharna in New Delhi to press for the State’s demands should yield results. Union Ministers had made some statements in this regard in Parliament. He was awaiting certified copies of their statements before commenting on them.