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Jayalalithaa vows to implement Chennai desalination project

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SEEKING VOTES IN CITY: AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa campaigning at Gangai Amman Koil Street, Saidapet, on Wednesday. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan
SEEKING VOTES IN CITY: AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa campaigning at Gangai Amman Koil Street, Saidapet, on Wednesday. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

Special Correspondent

Highlights "achievements" of her regime as she embarks on last lap of campaign

CHENNAI: Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa has reassured Chennaiites that if her party is voted back to power in the Assembly elections, it will successfully implement the 100 million litres a day (MLD) capacity desalination project, "defeating all the impediments put up by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam."

Commencing the last lap of her campaign for the "historic election battle" in Chennai on Wednesday, Ms. Jayalalithaa referred to various development projects implemented by her Government, besides highlighting new proposals for the next five years, such as achieving 10 per cent economic growth, creating 32 lakh new jobs, creating two satellite towns near Chennai, enrolling one crore new members in women self-help groups and ending "DMK monopoly" in the cable television sector.

The city, she said, would attain the status of Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai in 10 years with an outlay of Rs. 35,000 crore.

Premier status

Addressing meetings in Saidapet, Theagaraya Nagar, Mylapore, Triplicane, Chepauk and Park Town Assembly segments, she said her Government had restored the "premier city" status to Chennai apart from making it the eastern gateway.She accused the Union Ministers from the State of persisting with the "lie" that the Centre was prepared to earmark Rs. 1,000 crore for setting up a desalination plant in the city, though no such allocation was made.

Ms. Jayalalithaa charged Union Minister for Forests and Environment A. Raja with betraying Chennaiites' interests by withholding environmental clearance for the biggest desalination project in the country, though a Central team of experts had cleared it. The State Government had signed a memorandum of understanding with a private agency.

Despite stiff opposition, the 180 MLD New Veeranam Scheme was implemented, she said. If it had not been done, Chennai would have seen a mass exodus of people.

She referred to the progress of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Plan being implemented with an outlay of Rs. 18,000 crore. Issues pertaining to infrastructure needs and urban aesthetics of Chennai such as parks were addressed through the `Chennai Forever Initiative'.

Many road projects were completed at a total cost of Rs. 258.35 crore and several other road improvement works were on.

A total of 35 road development projects had been taken up under Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project-III at a cost of Rs. 688.80 crore.

Software export from the State had exceeded Rs.14,000 crore, she said, adding that the IT industry provided 1.45 lakh jobs.

Several IT giants had been expanding their operations in the city.

Areas in and around Chennai attracted foreign investment in the industrial sector.

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