Mani ‘generous’ towards city

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finance Minister K M Mani’s tenth budget made generous mention of the capital city, made the expected ‘development’ noises and even threw in a couple of new projects, while

Published: 19th March 2012 10:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:38 PM   |  A+A-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finance Minister K M Mani’s tenth budget made generous mention of the capital city, made the expected ‘development’ noises and even threw in a couple of new projects, while largely confining itself to bolstering ongoing ones with additional cash.

 An aerospace centre, a joint venture by ISRO and Keltron (see box); a joint venture by Kerala University and IIT-Mumbai for developing Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) chip design centre and a CDS-model Centre for Public Policy Research are among the new projects announced. The VLSI chip centre, in all probability, will come up on the Kariavattom campus of the university, sources said. The Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) bagged ` 22 crore for early cancer diagnosis and another ` 8 crore for undertaking Phase-III construction of a ten-storeyed building.

 Thiruvananthapuram’s favourite projects have all found a berth in the budget. The Vizhinjam deepwater international container terminal has been earmarked ` 224 crore, keeping the promise that the Government would provide an annual budgetary support of around ` 250 crore, a commitment made when it was decided to follow the ‘Landlord Model’ for the multi-crore project.

 ‘’Major works planned during 2012-13 are, issuing of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts for the construction of the port and the acquisition of remaining land for basic infrastructure,’’ said A S Suresh Babu, CEO, Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL). The Alteration Memorandum presented by Mani last July had earmarked ` 150 crore for this project.

 The Mangalapuram-Balaramapuram monorail project, whose feasibility report was approved recently, will benefit from a ` 20-crore outlay for the monorail projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. The more futuristic Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) System proposed for the city also will benefit from a total outlay of ` 25 lakh earmarked for preliminary works of the two PRT projects planned for Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam.

 In healthcare, the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College has been earmarked ` 8 crore for establishing multi-disciplinary laboratories, and Nedumangad has been promised an ESI dispensary.

 In the industries sector, ` 50 lakh has been earmarked for establishing a State Innovation Council and State Innovation Mission, while the Vizhinjam-Shangumugham corridor is among the four industrial development centres in the State which will be included in the proposed Airport-Seaport Area Development Authority.

 An amount of ` 5 crore has been allocated for establishing a Centre for Public Policy Research modelled on the Centre for Development Studies, while the Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology has been promised ` 6 crore for purchasing a twin-engine plane. New courses are also to be started here.

 Among the major allocations for ongoing projects include a ` 7.5-crore outlay for renovating the Tagore Theatre.


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