Staff Reporter

THENI: Free dhotis and saris would be distributed to 2.25 crores people living Below Poverty L ine in the state for Pongal festival, PWD Minister O. Paneerselvam has said.

Launching Annadhanam scheme at Kattumannar dharga in Periakulam union on Friday, he said, for the first time free feast scheme has been launched in the district. The scheme has already been implemented in 180 temples and 18 dhargas in the state. This scheme would be extended to all dhargas in the state in a phased manner.

He said the minorities and Adi Dravida people have been living happily due peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the state. New ration cards had been distributed to 37 lakhs people so far.

Pattas for poor

The State Government has been taking massive efforts to issue free house pattas for the poor. About 1.35 crore farmers would be benefited through Farmers Protection scheme.

The Collector Rajesh Lakhoni said the main objective of the Annadhanam scheme was to feed pilgrims visiting the temples and mosques from distant places. People should utilise these schemes properly, he said.

Later, the minister distributed Rs.1 lakh each to family members of flood victims.