The World Bank gave recently its consent to the proposal of constructing 17,000 houses under the Emergency Tsunami Reconstruction Project, according to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

He mentioned about the multilateral agency’s approval in his interaction with Roberto Zagha, World Bank’s Country Director for India, at the Secretariat on Thursday.

The Chief Minister wanted the Bank to provide funds for projects on rural housing, roads, health and underground sewerage. He highlighted the need for interlinking of rivers at the national level as a solution to resolve inter-State disputes and underscored the role of the Centre.

Mr. Karunanidhi also explained to him the implementation of different welfare schemes such as nutritious noon-meal programme and marriage assistance scheme for girls belonging to the poor.

An official release stated that the Bank had been assisting the execution of six development projects, estimated to cost Rs. 9,760 crore totally. Among the projects were the Road Sector Project, Urban Development Project, Health Systems Project and the Irrigated Agriculture Modernization and Water-Bodies Restoration and Management (IAMWARM).

Mr. Zagha, expressing satisfaction over the implementation of the projects, said Tamil Nadu was a role model to other States in this regard. K. Anbazhagan, Finance Minister, M.K. Stalin, Deputy Chief Minister, K.S. Sripathi, Chief Secretary and K. Gnanadesikan, Principal Secretary (Finance), were among those present.

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