KIIFB fund offer touches Rs 9,000 crore

Board ratifies 4 projects including Rs 1113.3 crore K-FON on Wednesday.

Thiruvananthapuram: The meeting of Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board on Wednesday ratified four major projects, including Kerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON), worth Rs 1113.3 crore. The other projects are: sustainable schemes for Sabarimala (Rs 150 crore), Muzhapilangad Beach Resort (Rs 40 crore), and Anayadi-Koodal road (Rs 109 crore). Together with 64 minor projects projects worth Rs 1498 crore approved by the executive committee of the KIIFB a week ago and Rs 6000-crore worth infra projects sanctioned a month ago, the KIIFB has now given full approval to projects costing worth Rs 8,888 crore.

Besides, projects worth Rs 6386.48 crore have been provided conditional approval by the KIIFB. Once the special purpose vehicles carry out the changes recommended by the Board, these projects too will be grated sanction.

The Rs 823-crore K-FON project involves using KSEB posts to lay a fibre optic network for the state. “It will provide internet connection to 30,000-plus government and educational institutions. And then it will use the distribution network of cable service providers to reach internet services to households in the state,” finance minister Dr T. M. Thomas Isaac told reporters here on Wednesday. “Over 20 lakh economically backward households will be granted free internet through the K-FON,” he said. The minister said that Kerala was the first state in the country to recognise access to internet as a right.

The minister said that the KIIFB would not adopt all the works under Sabarimala Master Plan, but said that it would fund certain “important elements of the master plan”. This includes sewage treatment plant at Pampa, vehicle parking at Nilackal and Ranni, and midway shelters at Nilackal, Erumeli, Pampa Valley and Keezhillam. The beach resort at the drive-in beach in Muzhapilangad in Kannur will be constructed by KTDC as a three-star property.

The finance minister said that there were three steps before a project gets the KIIFB sanction. Step one, the project has to be included in the Budget document. Step two, the concerned department will have to identify the special purpose vehicle that will have to prepare the detailed project report. Step three, the DPR will be subjected to a rigorous appraisal by the KIIFB, assessing the financial, environmental and social impact of the project; if there are shortcomings, the SPV will be asked to revise the DPR.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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