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Local bodies urged to initiate housing projects

A Correspondent

Schemes should benefit the poor, says Minister


‘Panchayats seem reluctant to take up schemes’

Plan to amend eco fragile land Act


KALPETTA: Minister for Forest and Environment Benoy Viswom said here on Sunday that local self-government institutions should take the initiative to implement housing projects for the poor.

He was inaugurating a bamboo micro-product enterprise of Uravu, an indigenous science and study centre, at Thrikkaippatta and the concluding ceremony of the Rashtriya Sama Vikas Yojana (RSVY) project on bamboo sector at Parathode, near Pozhuthana.

The Minister said though the government had released Rs.17 crore for housing schemes for the poor sections of society under the M.N. Laksham Veedu Renovation Scheme, only a few panchayats were ready to implement the project.

As per the scheme, the State government would provide subsidy of Rs.25,000 to the open category, Rs.35,000 to Scheduled Castes and Rs.50,000 to the Scheduled Tribes.

The balance amount will be met by the panchayats. He said the scheme could be implemented successfully if the panchayats were ready to make a change in their projects.

Moreover, the government had allotted a sum of Rs.11.16 crore for this project, Mr. Benoy Viswom said.

Amendment

He said the government was planning to introduce an amendment to the eco fragile land Act (EFL Act) to protect the interests of small farmers. The Minister claimed that Kerala would be the first State in the country to implement the act per se. The Forest Protection Committees and the Eco Development Committees in the State would be reconstituted in July. Fire line construction works had been handed over to the respective committees.

The Minister praised the work carried out by Uravu and Kudumbasree units in empowering women in the State.

P.P. Gagarin, vice-president, Kalpetta block panchayat, presided over the function. K.K. Vijayan, Additional Divisional Magistrate, and Surendranath, president, Uravu, spoke.

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