The much-lauded free food kit distribution of Kerala government handed out during the COVID-19 lockdown and for Onam will continue for the next four months, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Sunday. About 88 lakh ration card holders in the state will receive the free food kits, the CM said on the eve of Thiruvonam day. The free food kits distributed consists of items like rice, pulses, masala, oil, jaggery, sugar, salt, etc.
Meanwhile, reports of low quality of jaggery, in the food kits distributed by the government on Onam, surfaced recently. Following this, jaggery was taken off from the to be distributed kits and was replaced with sugar.
Pinarayi Vijayan also announced the action plan of the state government for the next 100 days. He said that 100 projects will be completed, to boost the socio-economic status of the state, during this period. "This 100-day action plan is the Kerala Government's Onam gift for its people. Kerala's economic growth should not be stagnant during the COVID-19 season. We have to face new challenges as per the changing needs of the people," said Pinarayi Vijayan.
The government would speed up projects which were delayed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. "I am sure the 100 projects in 100 days action plan will boost the economy and society. It is a fulfilment of the promises when this government came to power and will bring relief to the common man directly," he said.
The state government has increased the social security and welfare pensions by Rs 100 each and now will be paid monthly. "It may be noted that since this government came to power, it has gradually increased the pension from Rs 600 to Rs 1,300. The number of beneficiaries has also increased from 35 lakhs to 58 lakhs during this period," CM said.
As part of the 100-day action plan, the public health care system will be strengthened as the state government aims to transform the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the state into "fully equipped Family Health Centres (FHCs) with hospital facilities".
The Chief Minister also said that in the next 100 days, 153 FHCs will be inaugurated and ten new dialysis centres, nine scanning centres, three Cath labs and two modern cancer treatment facilities will be completed. So far, a total of 386 FHCs had been commissioned.
"The public health system will be further strengthened in the fight against COVID-19," the CM said.
He also said the operation of COVID firstline treatment centres will be made more efficient and the number of tests increased to 50,000 per day.
As many as 49 school buildings will be inaugurated within the next 100 days and laptops will be distributed to five lakh school children, he said announcing various measures, including setting up of hi-tech computer labs in 11,400 schools.
Ten industrial training institutes (ITIs) renovated at a cost of Rs 18 crores will be inaugurated, he said.
Vijayan said buildings for 32 higher education institutions will be constructed at an investment of Rs 126 crores.
As part of the 100-day plan, the Chief Minister also announced initiatives for various sectors like agriculture, water, electricity, spots and culture, Kudumbasree, local self-governance and in traditional sectors like coir and cashew, saying the performance of the plan will be reviewed at all levels in the coming days.