• Kerala seeks inclusion of Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode in Smart City list

    The Kerala government has requested the Centre to include Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode in the Smart City list, state Minister for Local Self- Governance K T Jaleel today said.

    Jaleel met Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and urged him to include the state capital, along with Kozhikode, in the list.

    “Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode need to fulfill certain requisites to become eligible to be considered in the Smart city list and we have requested the Union minister to include these two cities along with Kochi, which is already in the list,” Jaleel said in a press meet organised at Kerala House here.

    The Union minister also promised help through the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) or Housing for All Scheme under which homeless urban dwellers who own land in rural areas would be given assistance to construct houses, the minister said.

    “The state will finalise a list of homeless people in urban areas who have land in rural or panchayat areas and submit it to the Union government soon so as to avail the grant from the Centre,” the minister added.

    The minister also said the state has requested the Centre to relax the selection criteria of the homeless under this scheme as according to the present norms, a majority from the state won’t be able to avail the benefit.

    “If you have a scooter or a television or a refrigerator, you are not eligible under the scheme, but in Kerala most of the families own a television or a scooter which makes many of the able beneficiaries ineligible. We have requested the Centre to relax the norms,” the minister said.

    Jaleel also met Union Minister for Rural Development Chaudhary Birender Singh and sought help for the state under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

    “The Union minister has agreed to allow grants for 105 roads in the state under the PMGSY scheme and also promised to consider a further assistance for 2,000 km in addition to the present 570 km in state,” the minister said.

    The Union minister has accepted the state’s proposal of Rs 304 crore in addition to the Rs 11.37 crore under the Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), he said.

    “Under this project, we plan to formalise methods to recharge the rivers and other water bodies in the state,” the minister said, adding Bharathapuzha in the state is being considered under this scheme.

    The minister will also participate in the Conference of State Panchayat Raj Ministers and Principal Secretaries which is scheduled to take place tomorrow at Vigyan Bahavan here. Indianapolis Colts Authentic Jersey

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