Special Correspondent

Says renovation programmes are being implemented in a phased manner

CHENNAI: While listing out the efforts to modernise the Tamil Nadu Government printing presses at a cost of Rs.79.76 lakh, State Minister for Information Parithi Ilamvazhuthi said the renovation and modernisation programmes are being implemented in a phased manner.

Speaking after moving the demands of the Information department in the Assembly on Monday, the Minister said steps are being taken to modernise the printing press in Tiruchi, equipping it with the gadgets such as web-offset printing machines at a cost of Rs.53.56 lakh.

While the Government has allocated Rs.55.48 lakh for upgrading the printing press branch at the Madras High Court, the Minister said Rs.2.64 lakh had been allotted for improving the infrastructure facilities in the presses at Pudukottai, Viruduchalam and the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.

116 exhibitions

Pointing out that the Government had earned Rs.18.38 crore by conducting 116 exhibitions, he said a memorial to Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar at Madurai was being raised at a cost of Rs.34 lakh. Freedom fighter Vellayathevan memorial was also being built at Vallanadu in Tuticorin district at a cost of Rs.25 lakh. Work has already begun to build a Manimandapam in honour of Rettamalai Srinivasan on the Gandhi Mandapam campus in Chennai and Rs.19.50 lakh had been allotted for the purpose. Stating that construction works on a memorial for freedom fighter Sundralingam in Governagiri in Tuticorin district at Rs.25 lakh was in the final stages, the Minister said the house of former Assembly Speaker S.B. Athithanar in Sri Vaikundam in Tuticorin district was being converted into a State memorial. Repair works have been completed at a cost of Rs.7.50 lakh.

Developmental works have been completed at Gandhi Mandapam, Kamarajar and Bhakthavatsalam memorials at a cost of Rs.29 lakh. The Minister said repair works of the tsunami- affected Perarignar Anna Memorial and Dr.M.G.R. Memorial on the Marina Beach have been taken up at a cost of Rs.109.50 lakh.

On the renovation of Rajaji Hall, the Minister said it was decided to take up the work through the grant in aid from the Finance Commission at a cost of Rs.1 crore.

While the Government has renamed the Film and Television Institute of Tamil Nadu as "M.G.R. Film and Television Institute," the Minister said efforts were under way to renovate the Kalaivanar Arangam in Chennai and also allow screening of preview shows of commercial films.

Referring to the initiatives of the journalist-friendly measures including provision of pension, the Minister said the Government has decided to provide Rs.2 lakh to the families of journalists who die in harness after 20 years of service, Rs.1.5 lakh for 15 years of service, Rs.1 lakh for 10 years of service and Rs.50,000 for 5 years of service.