THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In an effort to cement bilateral cooperation with Kerala, China has offered technical assistance to the state in four sectors- housing, public transport, agriculture production and construction of check dams.
A preliminary decision in this regard was taken during a meeting between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui, here on Friday. The Ambassador asked Kerala to submit a detailed proposal in this regard. Later, the CM will hold talks with Chinese officers in New Delhi. Meanwhile, the state accepted the Ambassador’s proposal to send a state delegation to China to formalise mutual ties. Once the preliminary discussions are over, the state will send a delegation to China.
During the meeting, a proposal was put forth to convert all KSRTC buses to electric vehicles. The government plans to convert 6,000 KSRTC buses to electric vehicles in a phased manner. It will help reduce the expenditure.
The Chief Minister expressed the state’s interest to make use of Chinese technology in construction of check dams using rubber. Kerala contributes to 90 pc of rubber production in the country.
He referred to the state government’s initiative to construct houses to over five lakh homeless people in five years. If pre-fabricated technology is employed, it will help save time and reduce expenditure. The state government is interested in using Chinese technology in the project, the Chief Minister said.
Another focus area was the government’s ongoing projects to promote organic farming and efforts to modify agricultural practices and increase production. Chinese expertise in the sector will be helpful to the state.
Responding to the proposals, the Chinese Ambassador expressed the country’s willingness to cooperate with Kerala in the four sectors. Once the Kerala delegation visits China, a final decision can be taken. The Ambassador extended a special invitation to the Chief Minister, who recalled the experience of visiting the nation in 1997 as Electricity Minister.
Chief Secretary Nalini Netto, Additional Chief Secretary (Planning) and CM’s Secretary V S Senthil, officer on special duty M Sivasankar and private secretary M V Jayarajan attended the meeting.