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Updated: March 4, 2010 20:37 IST

Next major scheme will be for differently abled: Karunanidhi

S. Ganesan
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RED-LETTER DAY:Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi handing over the work order to a beneficiary at the inaugural of the Kalaignar Housing Scheme at Anna Sports Stadium in Tiruchi on Wednesday. (From left) Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Transport Minister K.N. Nehru and Forest Minister N.Selvaraj. Photo: M. Moorthy
THE HINDU RED-LETTER DAY:Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi handing over the work order to a beneficiary at the inaugural of the Kalaignar Housing Scheme at Anna Sports Stadium in Tiruchi on Wednesday. (From left) Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, Transport Minister K.N. Nehru and Forest Minister N.Selvaraj. Photo: M. Moorthy

Chief Minister hints it will be announced in the State budget

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said here on Wednesday that the government's next major welfare scheme would target differently abled persons in the State.

“Many people have been asking me what will be the next scheme of the government. Though there are some schemes being implemented by State and Central governments for the differently abled, their rights and needs have not been fully met. We have a duty to protect their rights,” the Chief Minister said at the launch of the Kalaignar Housing Scheme.

Mr. Karunanidhi pointed out that India was a signatory to the UN convention that guaranteed certain rights for the differently abled. He hinted at that the scheme would be announced in the State budget. The government would also request the Centre to guarantee the rights of the differently abled in the country.

Referring to the launch of the Kalaignar Housing Scheme, he dismissed doubts whether the government would be able to raise the funds required for the massive project. Funds would not be a constraint, he asserted. He was open to suggestions on improving the scheme, Mr. Karunanidhi said, referring to certain suggestions made by representatives from Opposition parties.

The Chief Minister indicated that he would come out with appropriate announcements after considering them.

Earlier, Mr. Karunanidhi launched the project that seeks to convert 21 lakh huts into concrete houses in the State over a period of six years and handed over the work orders to a beneficiary from each district in the State. During the current year, Rs.1,800 crore has been sanctioned for converting about 3 lakh houses.

Deputy Chief Minister M. K. Stalin, highlighting importance given by the government for improving housing for the poor, said the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board had taken up construction of 82,000 houses between 2006 and 2010-11. Between 1970 and 2006, the board had built only 77,627 houses.

Chief Secretary K.S. Sripathi described the Kalaignar Housing Scheme as historic. Huts would soon become a thing of the past in the State.

Social worker and Magsaysay awardee Krishnammal Jaganathan said the project would meet the aspirations of many of her ilk and urged people to strive together to make the scheme a success.

Congress Legislature Party leader S. Sudarssanam commended the development and welfare schemes of the government and said the Kalaignar Housing Scheme would be a feather in the cap of the Chief Minister. Peter Alphonse, MLA, said good schemes such as this would themselves find the funds.

PMK president G. K. Mani, MLA, appealed to the Chief Minister to increase the financial allocation for individual houses under the project to Rs.1 lakh from Rs.60,000. He also urged him to ensure that all the houses had toilets.

K. Balabharathi, CPI (M) MLA, and V. Sivapunniyam, CPI MLA, welcomed the project and urged the Chief Minister to increase the financial allotment for individual units under the project.

D. Ravikumar MLA,Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, said the scheme would usher in a social revolution.

Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment D. Napoleon; State Ministers K.N. Nehru and N. Selvaraj; S.Ve. Sekhar, MLA; Abdul Basith, MLA, Indian Union Muslim League; and Poovai Jaganmoorthy, MLA, Puratchi Bharatham Katchi, offered felicitations.

K. Ashok Vardhan Shetty, Rural Development Secretary, said a proper house would give poor people security, confidence and better living standards.

Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Commissioner, Rural Development, and T. Soundiah, Collector, were present.

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