The development of the entire Kovalam-Kollam-Kottapuram-Kasaragod waterway is expected to be completed and made navigable by 2020, the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan has said.
It is a dream project of the state and will help water transport, development of feeder canals and trigger tourism development in a big way along the two banks, Mr. Vijayan said replying to questions in the Assembly on Tuesday.
The 168 km Kollam-Kottapuram stretch has been made navigable by the Inland Waterways Authority of India. Mr. Vijayan said administrative sanction had been given by the state government for the development of Kozhikode-Nileshwaran reach and ₹ 80 crore for development of Kovalam-Pavathyputhanar-Kollam stretch. Studies are on to clear the bottleneck of Varkala tunnel and experts of Konkan Railway had visited the site recently.
A special purpose vehicle had been set up to expedite the development of waterways as suggested by the Centre and steps are being taken to expedite the works that had been dragging on. The government will take steps to complete the development of canals in Alappuzha seprately.
In reply to a question, the Health and Family Welfare Minister, K. K. Shylaja said the Health department along with Food Safety department has taken steps to contain cholera. Water in the wells is being examined and the Health department has prepared a Microplan to contain the epidemic. The Minister said the health, local self governemnt and labour departments are keeping a tab on the dwelling places of the migrant workers.
The Food and Civil Supples Minister, P. Thilothoman said the government will intervene to protect the interest of the consumers in the wake of the huge business by online marketing companies in the state. One of the steps taken already by the government is to make available Supplyco products to the people. Intervening, the Agriculture Minister, V. S. Sunil Kumar said the number of ecoshops that sell the Kerala Organic products will be increased from the present 55 to 200.
The Chief Minister, in reply to another question, said the government will look into the demand for a special marine force. Already, coastal police is keeping a watch on the movement along the coast to prevent terror attack via the sea. The government has sanctioned 29 posts of police personnel for the 8 new coastal police stations to be set up.