THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The District Panchayat presented a Rs 86 lakh surplus budget that among several other proposals aims to make Thiruvananthapuram, a paradise for vegetable farming. As per estimates, around 2,986 hectares of land in Thiruvananthapuram lie barren and the budget proposes to use all of it for vegetable farming. Only 50 per cent of the needs in the district are met by locally grown vegetables. Hence the yield will be bettered in around 3100 hectares of land where vegetables are already being cultivated.
Night classes will be started in the coastal areas of the district. The dropout rate was found to be around 12.6 per cent in the area as per studies conducted by various agencies, said district panchayat president V.K. Madhu. In addition, the budget proposes to intensify the activities of Cyber clubs and Language clubs to improve the ability of government school students in IT and English. The budget also proposes to start ‘Green milk’ sans antibiotics and chemicals. For this, a milk processing unit will be set up at Chettachal Jersey farm. Apart from milk from Vithura Jersey farm, the panchayat proposes to procure and pasteurise milk from dairy farmers of hilly terrains.
A 12km ‘great way’ will be built over the water pipeline from Aruvikkara to the city. Cycle tracks and footpath will be built on this path on which constructions will be banned. The project will include the cooperation of Corporation, Municipality and Grama Panchayat. Around Rs 4.4 crore has been earmarked for hi-tech sports hubs at Peringamala and Pallikkal to encourage sports. ABC programmes will be intensified. The budget presented by District Panchayat Vice President A Shailaja Beegum expects an income of Rs 176.44 crore and expenditure of Rs 176.47 crore.