The process of identifying differently abled persons in all panchayats of Cuddalore district has already started, according to Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam.

He was speaking to residents of Poondiankuppm near here on Saturday, where he had gone to collect petitions.

Mr. Panneerselvam said that already 1,541 differently abled persons had been identified in the district and orders would be issued on April 28 for giving them a pension of Rs. 400 each.

The Minister said that he would be going to 14 panchayats, including Thiagavalli, Andarmullipallam, Poovanikuppam, Thirupalayur and Adhinarayanapuram on Saturday to collect petitions from people.

A fortnight ago, he had covered nine panchayats in Kurinjipadi Assembly constituency and collected a total of 2,242 petitions seeking ration cards, pattas, old age pension and water supply. Fifty per cent of these petitions were cleared, he said.

Self-help groups had sought loans for carrying out their activities, and accordingly, he disbursed loans to the tune of Rs. 61.31 lakh to 70 groups on Saturday, the Minister said. As regards petitions collected on Saturday, Mr. Panneerselvam said that action would be taken within a month and public utilities given priority.

He further said a part-time fair price shop would be opened at Poondiankuppam soon to avoid rush at the existing shop. The Minister noted that during his recent visit to Cuddalore, 10 persons had sought medical assistance for kidney ailment, cleft lips and heart surgery.

They were all given medical care and the notable among them was the successful heart surgery performed on a five-year-old girl, Swetha. Later, the Minister inaugurated an open auditorium at Reddiyarpettai.

Collector P. Seetharaman, District Revenue Officer S. Natarajan and other officials were present.

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