Staff Reporter

SALEM: Steps will be initiated to set up a welfare board for the handloom weavers, Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veerasamy has said.

He was speaking at the 2nd State conference and Silver Jubilee celebrations of All India Devangar (Telugu) Welfare Association held here on Sunday evening.

Responding to a resolution passed in the conference in this regard, the Minister said that he would take the associations demand to the notice of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

Replying to another demand seeking 250 units of free electricity to handloom weavers, Mr. Veerasamy said that it would be considered after sorting out the power crisis in the State.

He further said that efforts would be made to recommend the National Commission for Backward Classes to include the Devangar (Telugu) community in the most backward classes list.

The State Government had already recommended the Centre to release a stamp in memory of Sir Pitti Theagaraya Chetty, he added.

Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam said that the demand for Government take over of the management of Sir Theagaraya College at Chennai would also be taken to the notice of the Chief Minister.

Earlier, Mr. Arumugam flagged off a massive procession. Association Founder president B.S. Perumal inaugurated the conference. Veerapandi MLA A. Raja and Mayor J. Rekha Priyadarshini spoke. President K.A. Palanisamy presided.

Bank gesture

The Azhagapuram Branch of Canara Bank donated furniture and books worth Rs. 2.5 lakh for the libraries in Salem Corporation Higher Secondary Schools in the city. Mayor J. Rekha Priyadarshini received the furniture and books from Bank’s Chief Manager Balasubramanian here recently.

The bank donated tables, chairs, fans and books. The furniture and books would be utilised to equip libraries in seven Corporation Higher secondary schools, civic officials said. Officials said that the civic body had planned to upgrade libraries in the seven schools initially. More than 8,000 students studying in the seven schools would benefit from the Corporation’s plan. The libraries in all the Corporation schools would be equipped with adequate facilities in a phased manner, they added.

JD (S) plea

The Salem district unit of Janata Dal (Secular) has urged the State Government to take steps on a war footing to sort out the power crisis.

In a press release, District president G. Velayutham claimed that the power shortage had affected the industries, weaving units and other commercial establishments. He also demanded the Salem Corporation to clean the drainage channels on a regular basis.