Even as Kerala is for giving a facelift to popular Veli Tourist village in Thiruvananthapuram, the state government had lapsed the central fund of Rs 4.29 crore allotted for the Environmental Regeneration of Veli-Akkulam lake under the National lake Conservation Plan.
Of the Rs 24.56 crore sanctioned for the Environmental Regeneration of Veli-Akkulam lake under the National lake Conservation Plan, the centre’s share was Rs 17.19 crore (70 per cent) and the sate share was Rs 7.37 crore (30 per cent).
The centre had released an amount of Rs 4,29,80,000 as first instalment of the share to Theerapadham Urban Development Project, which was the nodal agency for implementing the project, according to sources.
The fund that was available with the nodal agency was first transferred to the Irrigation Department and then to Travancore Cements limited and finally to Kerala Water Authority for implementing the programme. The Kerala Water Authority got the funds only in 2013, almost seven years after the centre released the funds.
The state government has now refunded the Rs 4.29 crore that it got for Veli- Akkulam renovation to the Centre, the sources said.
As part of the lake conservation programme, the Kerala Water Authority was to set up and maintain a Sewage Treatment plant at Akkulam for treating water from Ullor and Amayizanjan canals.
At first the fund was to be used for regeneration of Veli – Akkulam lake and the Travancore Cements Ltd was to implement the project. However, this remained a non starter and the funds were then transferred to the Kerala Water Authority.
It has to be noted that the non utilisation of the funds had drawn criticism from Comptroller and Auditor General of India.