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Oppn Cong walks out of assembly over "delay" in Rebuild Kerala

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

The Opposition Congress on Tuesday staged a walkout from the Kerala Assembly alleging delay in completion of works under 'Rebuild Kerala' project, even as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan claimed it would take three years to rebuild the state, hit by two consecutive floods.

Vijayan said the state received the first installment from the World Bank for the Rebuild Kerala Initiative (RKI) and listed out the works initiated and completed by the state government under the project.

He was replying to the notice for an adjournment motion moved by Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) member P K Basheer alleging that the works under RKI have not been completed and some not even started even as the project was declared one and a half years ago.

"This problem (alleged delay) must be viewed with the understanding that the rebuilding process will be completed only in three years. It was not meant to be completed in a year," Vijayan said.

He noted that the project was for the "future of Kerala" and his government has taken necessary steps to utilise the funds received in the Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund.

"The first installment of Rs 1,750 crore of the total amount, allotted by the World Bank for RKI has already been released," he said adding the process for receiving the second installment was underway.

"At least eight meetings of the high-level committee have already been held. A total Rs 1,850 crore worth projects have been given in-principle approval, including in the fields of agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, road, water supply and other livelihood occupations," Vijayan said.

The Chief Minister also said that out of the Rs 1,850 crore approved, sanction has been given for projects worth Rs 827 crore.

However, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala criticised the Left government, saying it accorded permission to open around 161 quarries in the state, which has faced two major floods in recent times.

Industries Minister E P Jayarajan claimed that the permissions were given as per rules and law of the land.

Jayarajan also said no quarries were allowed in the flood-affected areas of the state.

The Chief Minister listed out the amount allotted for various departments including Public Works Department, Local Self Governments, Transport, Forest, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Waste Management departments among many others.

As Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan refused to allow the notice for discussion, the Opposition walked out.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 11 2020. 19:54 IST