The concept of self help groups (SHG) has been playing a crucial role in liberating women from the clutches of usurious interest, said T. Soundiah, District Collector.

Addressing villagers of Pallapuram village panchyat at the Grama Sabha meeting held on Sunday, the Collector said the district administration accorded priority to sanction loans to women SHGs.

Last year, loans totalling Rs.70 crore had been released to women SHGs last year.

On the schemes being carried out in Pallapuram village, the Collector said developmental works for Rs. 18 lakh had been taken up in this panchayat.

The works included setting up a new tank at an expenditure of Rs. 5 lakh; community play ground at Rs.1.50 lakh and construction of a library building at an expenditure of Rs. 3.50 lakh.

Under the Kalaignar Housing Scheme, as many as 7,429 concrete houses would be constructed in the district, including 18 in the village panchayat.

R. Venkatachalam, Project Officer, District Rural Development Agency and M. Madhivanan, Pallapuram village president, spoke on the occasion.