Minister for Backward Classes, K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran, and School Education Minister, Thangam Thennarasu, have instructed the district administration to prepare the cost estimate to provide basic amenities in all the Sri Lankan refugee camps in Virudhunagar district by Sunday.

The officials have also been asked to prepare estimate for repairing/re-construction of the dwelling units.

The Ministers, along with the District Collector, Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan, and other officials, inspected all the seven Sri Lankan refugee camps in the district on Tuesday and interacted with the inmates to ascertain the basic amenities and their living condition.

“We have inspected these camps in 2006 and 2008. Besides looking for basic amenities like drinking water, street lights, toilet and drainage facility, we also studied the condition of their dwelling units constructed 25 years back,” Mr. Ramachandran said.Panchayat presidents, chairpersons of panchayat unions and other related officials were taken along during the inspection since the inmates wanted all the facilities provided to the people outside the camps to them also, Mr. Ramachandran said.

Mr. Thennarasu promised the people of Sevalur camp of providing them with an education guarantee centre there by next academic year as they had to commute five km to reach the nearest school.

The Minister ordered the district administration to operate buses for the benefit of residents of Mottamalai camp.

The students sought educational scholarships for higher secondary and higher education.

“Though we give all the facilities of free education meant for our students to these students also, the issue of scholarships has to be decided by the Chief Minister,” Mr. Thennarasu said.

The officials have been asked to study the stability of dwelling units and come up with report of whether the buildings required mere repair works or re-construction.

Separate estimates for basic infrastructure and dwelling units would be prepared by Sunday and handed over to the Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi on November 10, Mr. Ramachandran said.

The inmates urged the Ministers to allow them to be away from the camps for at least 15 days for work in other towns.

“They feel that the present roll call once in three days is not flexible to work in other towns,” he said.

Sivaganga

The Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments K.R. Periakaruppan said that a report would be submitted to the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi within two days on the demands made by the Sri Lankan refugees living in camps in Sivaganga district.

Speaking to the reporters after visiting various refugee camps in the district, he said 3,648 refugees belonging to 1007 families had been living in 6 camps such as Manamadurai, Okkur, Chennalakudi, Nattarasankottai, Devakottai and Karaiyur.

The government had been implementing many schemes, including cash doles, subsidised ration goods, dresses, utensils and others.

He visited the camps and met the refugees based on the direction of the Chief Minister and heard their grievances. They had demanded improvement in basic facilities including toilet, road and others.

Collector Mahesan Kasirajan and the Superintendent of Police N. Rajasekaran and others accompanied the Minister.

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