Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As many as 48 posts in the IAS cadre, 30 in the IPS cadre and 14 in the IFS cadre are lying vacant in the State, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has said.

Replying to questions in the Assembly on Thursday, Mr. Achuthanandan said the sanctioned strength was 214 posts in the IAS cadre, 142 in the IPS cadre and 102 in the IFS cadre. The Chief Minister said that 11 officers, K. Ramamurthy, T. Balakrishnan, Ajaykumar, Sheela Thomas, T.K. Jose, Manoj Joshi, V. Venu, Sanjay Kaushik, Raju Narayanaswamy and Usha Titus were holding charge of more than one department. Steps were being taken to revive punching system at the government Secretariat, he said.

Industries Minister Elamaram Karim said the Focus Kerala meet held in Kochi had elicited investment offers worth Rs.3,200 crore. All applications for setting up Special Economic Zones were forwarded to the Centre for clearance.

Five SEZs were functioning in the State. Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran said that expert studies had detected biological contamination in 85 per cent domestic wells in the State. Contents of iron, fluoride and nitrate were detected in the drinking water in 1,786 wards. Steps had been taken to tackle the contamination threat, he said.

Citing a Women’s Commission report, Minister for Health and Family Welfare P.K. Sreemathy said that divorce cases were on the rise in the State.