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Kerala Water Authority to bottle drinking water

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Kerala Water Authority to bottle drinking water
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Thiruvananthapuram: With an aim to provide quality drinking water at an affordable price to the common man, the Kerala Cabinet Wednesday approved in principal a proposal of the Kerala Water Authority to set up a bottling plant.

"The plant will be fully under public sector," Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting here. The plant, to be set up by the Kerala Irrigation Infrastructure Development Corporation at Malankara dam site, would have a capacity to produce 9,000 litres of drinking water per hour.

Bottled drinking water market in the state is estimated to stand at Rs 60 crore per annum.

Earlier, the government had planned to set up the unit on private-public participation mode, but due to protest from the opposition LDF, the plan was shunned. "This will be a fully public sector unit," Chandy said.

An amount of Rs 9.86 crore has been earmarked for the project and the paid up capital of the corporation would be hiked from the present Rs 21.11 lakh to Rs 10 crore, he said.

On other decisions, Chandy said the government would bring in a legislation to regulate and prevent exploitation by realtors. The law department has been asked to prepare a draft of the Real Estate Development and Regulation Bill.

It envisages to check malpractices in the real estate sector, he said. "Shocking cases of cheating in the real estate sector has prompted the government to go in for such a legislation," he said.

The Sports Authority of India has been allotted 20 acres of land at Calicut University Campus for setting up a Sports Training Centre at an estimated cost of Rs 35 crore, he said.

This was one of the several investment projects mooted by SAI in the state, the Chief Minister said.

The Cabinet also decided to sanction a government loan of Rs 75 crore to the ailing Kerala State Road Transport Corporation. It was also resolved to take over the Kochi Medical College now under co-operative sector.

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