The government is committed to the development of Coimbatore, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said here on Sunday. Inaugurating schemes worth Rs.543 crore through videoconferencing from Chennai, he said a slew of projects were implemented in the run-up to the World Classical Tamil Conference that was held here in June.

Mr. Karunanidhi recalled the days he had spent at Singanallur in the city and how he developed a special attachment to Coimbatore since then.

The Chief Minister was scheduled to inaugurate the schemes at a function on V.O.C. Grounds in the city, but his visit was cancelled owing to health reasons. Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran and State Law Minister Durai Murugan were present with the Chief Minister when he inaugurated the schemes from Chennai.

In Coimbatore, Rural Industries Minister Pongalur N. Palanisamy preside. Ministers K.K.S.R. Ramachandran, M.P. Saminathan and U. Mathivanan; Collector P. Umanath, Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra, Anna University Vice-Chancellor Karunakaran, Mayor R. Venkatachalam and Deputy Mayor N. Karthik took part.

Regretting his inability to make it to the function, the Chief Minister listed a number of projects the DMK government had carried out in the past and schemes drawn up now, to show the “special attention” it bestowed on Coimbatore.

Mr. Karunanidhi pointed out that the works implemented during the World Classical Tamil Conference were aimed at improving the infrastructure in the city. Many of the schemes announced during the conference for the development of Coimbatore were being launched on Sunday, he said.

The projects inaugurated included the Rs.150-crore Gandhipuram flyover and the botanical garden.

In the first phase, the garden would come up on 45 acres on a part of the Central Prison.

It would be expanded over another 120 acres after the prison was shifted to a 75-acre site belonging to the Coimbatore Corporation at Vellalore.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated the renovation of the Contour Canal, which is a part of the 50-year old Parambikulam-Aliyar Project. It would be renovated at Rs. 185 crore.

The agricultural belts in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts would benefit from this.

The other scheme that took off on Sunday was the construction of two new blocks at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital at Rs.50 crore. This would increase the bed strength of the hospital from 1,000 to 2,000.

A new campus of Anna University-Coimbatore would come up on 131 acres at Somayamapalayam under a project costing Rs.67 crore. It would have 44,600 sq.ft. of buildings with various facilities.

The profit-making co-operative milk society would be modernised at Rs.28 crore to increase its handling capacity from 2.5 lakh litres of milk to five lakh litres a day. A Rs.25-crore National Apparel Design Training Institute would also be established.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated the Union government's Rs.21-crore Sardar Vallabhai Patel Textile Management Centre's building and auditorium.