A project estimate of Rs.34 crore for the Western by-pass project at Karaikal has been sent to the Centre for approval, Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam said here at the unveiling of Avvayar statue at Avvayar Government Arts College for Women on Monday evening.

This was in addition to the infrastructural works on main roads and internal roads at Rs.22 crore that were underway.

Speaking about the defunct Thirumalairajanar bridge, the Chief Minister said that the Puducherry Government has made an immediate allocation of Rs.50 lakh for temporary repairs.

M.O.H.F. Shahjahan, Minister for Higher Education promised that works for a permanent building for the National Institute of Technology here would be taken up soon.

More allocation

Stating that the Puducherry Government's budget allocation of 15 per cent for education would facilitate more professional institutions and human resource development, the Minister expressed hope that this would attract outstation students. Stating that it was only fitting to have a course on B.A. Tamil literature at the Avvayar Government Arts College here, the Minister announced that the course would commence in the forthcoming academic year. Further, a playground spread over 5 acres was also announced during the occasion.

Temporary repairs

Earlier in the day, inspecting the Thirumalairajanar bridge, V. Narayanasamy, Union Minister of State for Culture, Planning and Parliamentary Affairs stated that Rs.50 lakh has been allocated for the temporary repairs of the Thirumalairajanar bridge, proposed to be completed within a month to provide immediate relief to vehicular traffic other than four wheelers. A new bridge at a cost of Rs.10.5 crore has been proposed to the Centre, and tenders would be floated for completion within a year.

Also, other bridges of over 100 years old would be taken up for renovation, Mr. Narayanasamy added.

Unveiling the statue, M.O.H. Farook, Governor of Jharkhand, underlined the need for professional courses such as catering, marine and aeronautical engineering to ensure employability of the students.

A.M.H. Nazeem, leader of Opposition; V.K. Ganapathy, MLA; Ansari Babu, president, parent-teacher welfare association were among those present.