THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Appreciative of the way Kuttanad has been bouncing back post floods, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has rolled out the second phase of the Kuttanad package worth Rs 1,000 crore in addition to river rejuvenation steps.
The second phase of the Kuttanad Package aims for one-time cleaning of backwaters and water sources. In addition to removing plastic and waste, silt would be removed.
As much as Rs 47 crore has been kept for repair and construction of outer bunds. Kuttanad Drinking Water Supply Scheme with KIIFB aid of Rs 250 crore will be a reality in 2019-20. Thanneermukkom Bund will be kept open at least for one year for cleaning. Environmental impact study and agricultural calendar will be completed.
As much as Rs 20 crore has been earmarked for compensating agriculture loss. One-time cleaning of streams has also been proposed.
Aimed at the treatment of sewage at the source, measures are being implemented.
“Honey suckers are daily collecting around three lakh litres of septage from Alappuzha district alone. All this septage eventually accumulates in the backwaters. The solution is mobile septage units. Now mobile septage units with 50,000-litre capacity have begun functioning on an experimental basis. Floating septage units can be installed in houseboats also,” said the budget.
To make septage units commercially-oriented ventures, 25 per cent capital subsidy will be given by the government. Local self-governments will have permission to provide additional subsidy. 20 per cent subsidy will be given for water sewage treatment units in hotels and auditoriums.
The Central Assistance fund of Wetland Authority will be utilised for the purpose. An amount of Rs 5 crore has been earmarked for pisciculture.
Agricultural package devoid of excessive and unscientific use of pesticides and fertilisers will be implemented.