58,000 ration cards to be given away

Three Ministers representing the district could not make it for the launch of Rachchbanda, the mass contact programme of the State government, which began across the State on Monday.

Minister for Agriculture Kanna Lakshminarayana, who was scheduled to launch the programme at Velangini Nagar on Monday morning, rushed to New Delhi on Sunday night after he got an appointment with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The Minister is expected to reach here on Tuesday night and may inaugurate the programme on Wednesday.

Launch today at some places

Minister for Rural Development Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao and Cooperation Minister Kasu Krishna Reddy, who could not make it on Monday, will launch the programme in their constituencies on Tuesday morning.

The dates for inauguration of the programme are given by Ministers and MLAs and then the officials make the necessary arrangements for the launch of the programme.

Mr. Vara Prasada Rao is launching Rachchabanda at Thullur in Tadikonda constituency, and Mr. Krishna Reddy is launching it at Rompicharla village in Narsaraopet constituency. Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaka Lakshmi is launching the programme inRepalle mandal. In Guntur, Sk. Mastan Vali, Guntur East MLA, launched the programme at Tarakarama Nagar and distributed ration cards, pensions for widows and physically handicapped persons.

Bar on housing grants up

District Collector S. Suresh Kumar said that 1.22 lakh people had applied for ration cards, of which 58,000 cards would be given away.

There were 41,000 applicants for pensions, 61,000 for housing and they have been sanctioned and would be given away in the current phase of Racchabanda. Mr. Suresh Kumar said that the State government would give Rs.200 as monthly pension to those who had physical deformity.

Those with a deformity of more than 40 per cent would be given Rs.500 as monthly pension.

The government has also raised the bar on Indiramma housing grants. Beneficiaries belonging to Scheduled Castes would be paid Rs.1 lakh, ST (Rs.1.05 lakh), BC (80,000). The administration would spend Rs.1.68 crore in Tarakarama Nagar alone, he said.

Revenue Divisional Officer Ramamurthy and Municipal Commissioner K. Venkateswarlu were also present.