Eight months ago, when Tourism Minister Anil Kumar and other officials visited the Kurankotta Island near Vaduthala and promised them many facilities, the residents started dreaming of a new bridge and better housing facilities.
The minister announced a project worth `1 crore to give proper shelter and lighting for around 50 Schedule Caste families who live there. But, even after eight months, the project is stuck owing to red tapism and the officials are clueless about the project.
District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth said the construction work of the bridge is stuck as they are yet to get funds from the River Management Committee. “They are yet to give an approval. Such works can be undertaken only with the support of the River Management Committee,” he said.
Hibi Eden MLA said the project could be implemented after clubbing the amount amassed from MLA Asset fund and MP( Schedule Caste) fund. “Though the people’s representatives have these funds at their disposal, the project cannot be initiated until a government agency release the fund,” he said.
Around 80 families reside in the island and boat services are their only means of transportation.
Abdul Wahid, additional secretary, Revenue Department said he could not comment on it without studying the project. “Only the Revenue Secretary could be able to throw light on this matter,” he said.
Revenue Secretary Kamal Vardhan Rao was unavailable to comment. When inquired, Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar said a proposal was submitted earlier but he was not aware of its current status. “I would have to inquire into the matter with the MLA and the District Schedule Caste officer,” he said. Hibi Eden MLA responded that they are yet to get funds from the Schedule Caste department.
Schedule Caste District Development officer Tomy Chacko said that he is not aware of the new projects which was declared eight months ago. “But, the Schedule Caste department has initiated work in October. But, this project was announced in the last years budget to make self reliant schedule caste villages,Â” he said.
Sony Chikku, ward member said that the inauguration was completed, the work is yet to begin. “We are waiting to get the consent of the people to commence road repairing work,” she said. The resident could reap the benefits of the project only with a connectivity bridge.