Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Considering the delay in redeploying technical staff to local self-government institutions, the State Development Council (SDC) has recommended creation of additional posts after assessing their requirement.

Briefing reporters about the decisions of a council meeting here on Wednesday, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said shortage of technical staff in civic bodies would be addressed immediately. The Chief Secretary will review the staff strength and explore the possibility of redeploying technical staff from the Water Resources Department. Based on the report, the government would create additional posts of engineers and overseers in local self-government institutions.

Road work

The uncertainty over road maintenance will be settled within a month. Representatives of district panchayats had pointed out the anomalies in the Public Works Department (PWD) taking over 7,500 km rural roads. After classifying the roads on the basis of specific norms, the major district roads will be handed over to the PWD and other rural roads will be given to the district panchayats.

Housing scheme

As many as 725 panchayats have submitted a list of four-lakh beneficiaries for the EMS Housing Scheme. Those who fail to submit the final beneficiary list before December 15 will not be considered for the scheme. Sand for the housing scheme will be brought from Gujarat.

The government will explore the possibility of integrating Indira Awas Yojana with the housing scheme. Beneficiaries of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) will be engaged for preparing the ground for the housing scheme and also sand-mining from Aruvikkara dam within a fortnight. After gauging its success, the Aruvikkara, experience will be emulated in other places too.

A three-fold increase in expending the NREGS fund has been targeted this year. The government will urge the Centre to include animal husbandry, food security and 26 items in the projects taken up under the programme.

The meeting expressed satisfaction in the food security and animal husbandry schemes. Considering the poor response to the tenders floated for the Pradha Manthri Grameen Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the government will bear 15 per cent of the tender excess sought by the contractors.

A special meeting of the District Planning Committee chairpersons will be held soon to review their functioning, he said.

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