THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The first budget of the new district panchayat was presented on Monday. Calling it a ‘gender budget’ district panchayat president D Suresh Kumar said that there is further emphasis this year on projects focussed on women empowerment and differently abled people. The budget presented by district panchayat vice-president A Shailaja Beegum has marked an income of Rs 716.36 crore, expenditure of Rs 699.13 crore and a surplus of Rs 17.23 crore. One of the key projects is rehabilitation of people with mental disabilities.
As part of this, in the first phase, the women identified thus will be moved to the care centre in Kottamom while men will be moved to the district panchayat building in Peringammala. An amount of Rs 75 lakh is estimated for the same. A scholarship scheme for children with mental disabilities named Snehasparsham (Rs 2.25 crore), Vellayani lake conservation (Rs 50 lakh), rest rooms for women ‘Sushanti’ (Rs 25 lakh) and Nivarana by which women from coastal and hilly areas will be trained in disaster management efforts (Rs 20 lakh) are a few of the projects aimed at the development of women and children.
A project to appoint counsellors in all schools and She Auto project for SC women have all made it to the budget this year. As part of further growth in animal husbandry sector, hundred more cows will be added to the farm in Vithura. Around Rs 3 crore has been allocated for the same and to improve facilities at the farm. Development works of Rs 1.24 crore will be done at the Chettachal Jersey farm.
Despite all these, the muchtalked about project to set up tourism based on these farms remains on paper only. Fund has been allocated to projects like ‘Padheyam’ through which food is provided for free within the district panchayat limit (Rs 8.2 crore) and Ashwas (Rs 1.5 crore) through which free dialysis is given to patients from financially backward families.