Land-scarce Kerala plans to reclaim it from sea

April 19th, 2008 - 6:12 pm ICT by admin  

Thiruvananthapuram, April 19 (IANS) Kerala is planning a sea-reclamation drive as land has become a scarce commodity and has approached the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (Nabard) to finance projects that may come up on such lands, state finance minister Thomas Issac said Saturday. “We have very little land, so we have decided that land will be reclaimed from sea and Nabard would provide financial assistance to such projects,” Issac said after talks with Nabard officials here.

“This is still in the conceptual stage and we have not discussed what are the projects that would come up on reclaimed land. The reclamation would be done only after looking into all environment issues,” he said.

Kerala has a coastline around 575 km long.

Nabard has sanctioned over RS.20 billion ($500 million) in the last 15 years to Kerala government for various projects, but out of which only around Rs.13 billion has been utilised.

“The sad part is just Rs.13.22 billion was used and it happened due to time lag in executing projects. We have decided that this will no longer happen,” Isaac said.

In 2008-09, Nabard will fund projects worth Rs.10 billion. “Of this Rs.5 billion is for 15 drinking water projects. The rest would be for water-shed management, irrigation and similar projects,” Issac said.

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