Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has said that there will be 50 per cent reservation for women in local body posts from next elections.

Inaugurating a Periyar memorial samathuvapuram at Se.Gudalur near here on Wednesday, Mr. Stalin said that Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had been espousing the cause of reservation for women in local body posts.

Mr. Stalin also declared open 321 government buildings and structures, including Kuppanatham and Miruganda Nadhi reservoirs, constructed in the district at a total cost of Rs.128.7 crore.

He has also laid foundation stone for 97 developmental works that are to be executed at an estimated cost of Rs.23.63 crore.

The projects include construction of combined office buildings for cooperative department and agricultural department in Tiruvannamalai and execution of combined drinking water scheme covering Chengam and Pudupalayam town panchayats and 40 villages.

The Deputy Chief Minister formally released welfare assistance to 43,402 beneficiaries under various programmes of the government.

He handed over revolving fund to 2,000 women self-help groups. “As far as giving revolving fund to women SHGs is concerned I prefer to give it personally to the beneficiaries. Until now I have distributed funds to 1.22 lakh women SHGs in various parts of the State,” he said. “The SHG concept, introduced by DMK government way back in 1989, has now evolved into a big movement in the State. During my recent visit to New Delhi, people from other States enquired with me about the success of SHGs in Tamil Nadu.”

The government was planning to construct 95 samathuvapurams in the State to commemorate Periyar who lived 95 years, Mr. Stalin said.