K'taka to pool SC/ST grants for housing projects: Minister

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Bangalore, Oct 4 (UNI) Karnataka Civic authorities have drawn up a plan to pool the components of grants for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, not being spent properly to utilise it for developing residential colonies for them in each of the Urban Local Bodies (ULB).

Talking to newspersons here, Muncipal Administration Minister Balachandra Jarakiholi said the unspent money meant for SC/STs in ULBs account was Rs 230 crore for 2007-08.

''It has been the same practice wherein 18 per cent grants released by state government, meant for the development of SC/ST people residing n ULB's remain unutilised substantially,'' he said.

To overcome the problem, his ministry has chalked out a plan in which the unspent grant money for SC/STs would be pooled together and utilised for purchasing lands to construct houses and colonies for them.

The State Finance Commission has recommended the government to provide Rs 2,400 crore for 217 ULBs in the state and the money would be utilised to improve infrastructure facilities, he said.

Replying to questions, the minister said many ULBs had taken initiatives for disposal of urban solid waste. Puttur, Mangalore, Udupi and Karwar muncipalities have set a role model for other ULBs in Solid Waste Management by creating state-of-the-art facilities.

The minister said he had instructed the department officials to focus on raising the standard of living of people in the state.

Provision of drinking water, improving road connectivity and construction of basic infrastructure would be the thrust area of the state government,'' he added.


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