THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The District Panchayat has passed its budget for 2012-13 envisaging a total of Rs 245 crore-worth projects focusing on health, agriculture and education. During the discussions on Monday, it was decided to consider mini-biogas plants suited for domestic use for inclusion in the sanitation project. The budget presented on Saturday by Panchayat Vice-President Rufus Daniel had claimed to have taken into consideration the agriculture-drinking water- education- sanitation-food security concerns of the 73 grama panchayats under the District Panchayat.
Each panchayat has been gifted Rs 10 lakh to set up domestic mini-garbage plants with the support of the Suchitwa Mission. During the discussion, members said that garbage disposal at the domestic-level should also be taken into consideration and mini versions of the 250-kilo plant installed at Kalliyoor panchayat should be set up in houses, for which funds should be set aside.
The health sector has been allotted Rs 2.46 crore. Dialysis units, cancer prevention schemes and palliative care are some of the main projects under Health in the budget. The Neyyattinkara District Hospital will be upgraded to earn the recognition of the Kerala Accreditation Standard for Hospitals (KASH). The Varkala Ayurveda Hospital and East Fort Pattom Thanu Pillai Homoeo Hospital are the other two hospitals where upgradation would be done.
In the agriculture-animal husbandry sector, Rs 26.70 crore has been set aside. The District Panchayat has initiated talks with the State Government to avail of a Rs 20-crore financial assistance to make the Vithura Jersey Farm a hi-tech facility. In the SC/ST sector, a total of Rs 16.21 crore has been set aside.
In the education field, a total of Rs 23.71 crore has been set aside. Infrastructure in 71 schools would be improved, ten schools would be upgraded to model schools, a special project for Fisheries School planned, maintenance of school buildings, English language development project, furniture and lab equipment distribution in schools, appointment of librarians in all school libraries, Kalakshetra project to develop the artistic talents in children, schemes to kindle love for agriculture in students, special nutritional package for HIV-infected students and so on make the list bulkier.
The social welfare sector also has numerous health-oriented programmes like the distribution of motorised scooters for the disabled and a limb-fitting scheme.