Staff Reporter

Rs.164-crore budget for Alappuzha district panchayat Rs.164-crore budget for Alappuzha panchayat

  • Rs.22.5 crore for wetland development
  • Rs.1 crore for paddy farming project

    ALAPPUZHA: The annual budget of the Alappuzha district panchayat for the year 2007-08, presented here on Wednesday by finance committee vice-president T.P. Mangalamma, projects an income of Rs.164.27crore and an expenditure of Rs.164.05 crore.

    This includes Rs.113.88 crore for poverty alleviation projects and Rs.22.50 crore for development of wetland areas.

    The budget, with a surplus of Rs.21.64 lakh, set apart Rs.2.1 crore from the panchayat's coffers (Rs.25 lakh) for the education sector, (Rs.50 lakh) for waste disposal works, (Rs.50 lakh) for health care, (Rs.60 lakh) for drinking water supply projects and (Rs.25 lakh) for power supply projects.

    The panchayat's estimated income includes expected funds to the tune of Rs.22.50 crore from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development for development of the Rani, Chithira, Marthandam wetland areas, Rs.1.5 crore from the Centre under the Sarva Shikhsa Abhiyan project and Rs.2 crore from the Kerala State Housing Board. Ms. Mangalamma said Rs.1 crore had been kept aside for a paddy cultivation development project, Rs.25 lakh for coconut tree plantation and Rs.13.51 lakh for vegetable cultivation.

    District panchayat president R. Nazar said some of the projects that the panchayat proposed to take up in the 2007-08 fiscal included a `rice park' in Kuttanad.

    The park would aim at procuring paddy from farmers at justified price, production of various rice products, cooking oil, cattle feed and other items. These would be branded and marketed.

    The panchayat would examine the option of engaging a mechanised system to clear Kuttanad's water bodies of weeds, hyacinths and pollutants, apart from initiating a project that would see small boats taking tourists through the small and narrow canals, almost on the lines of `auto-rickshaws on land.'

    Focus on automation

    The panchayat would initiate efforts to completely automate its functioning and try to make online the tender/quotation processes and other public utility services.

    This would move alongside the local body's efforts to obtain ISO 9001-2000 certification, he said.