Drinking water requirements, infrastructure are major focus areas: Stalin
TIRUCHI: Meeting the drinking water requirements of people and strengthening the civic infrastructure in all rural and urban local bodies were among the major focus areas of the State government, Local Administration Minister M. K. Stalin said here on Friday.
“Whenever the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam came to power in the State, there has been a thrust on addressing people’s needs,” Mr. Stalin said speaking at a function to mark the laying of foundation stone for various projects, including the construction of a new Collectorate for Tiruchi, and the inauguration of several other development works. Listing out some of the major drinking water supply schemes being executed in the State, Mr. Stalin said that the Ramanathapuram Combined Drinking Water Supply Scheme, taken up at a cost of Rs.616 crore, would be commissioned by April, a year ahead of schedule as instructed by the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. Works were about to begin on the Rs.169 crore drinking water supply augmentation scheme for Tiruchi.
For Chennai, a couple of desalination plants were coming up.
Though they were planned during the previous regime of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, it was only under the DMK regime that the projects were executed with financial assistance from the Union government.
The DMK government did not lose focus on improving other civic amenities too. Under the Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam, about Rs.1,530 crore has been sanctioned over the past three years for improving amenities in about 7,650 villages since 2006-07.
Each village was sanctioned Rs.20 lakh under the project. Besides, development works sanctioned through other departments were dovetailed so that each village got about Rs.80 lakh to Rs.1 crore. The scheme has now been extended to Town Panchayats and Municipalities too.
These apart, the government was implementing social welfare schemes for all sections of the people, Mr. Stalin said.
Collector T. Soundiah said 5,000 self-help groups in the district have been provided Rs.5 crore as revolving fund and Rs.23 crore as credit this year. Besides, Rs.32 crore have been extended as economic assistance. The district will exceed the target of Rs.50 crore and touch Rs.60 crore during the year in terms of the assistance extended to SHGs, he said.
Mayor Sarubala R. Tondaiman said the drinking water augmentation scheme for Tiruchi would be completed in a year. The Corporation has planned to execute the second phase of underground drainage scheme and also build a modern sewage treatment plant.
Mr. Stalin laid the foundation stone for 49 projects sanctioned at a cost of Rs.43.95 crore, including the Collectorate sanctioned at a cost of Rs.12 crore, and declared open 4,842 works executed at a cost of Rs.89.14 crore. The widened Chettipalam in the City was among the works inaugurated.
He also distributed welfare assistance worth Rs.47.42 lakh to 563 beneficiaries in the presence of Transport Minister K. N. Nehru and Forest Minister N. Selvaraj.
L. Ganesan, MP, M. Rajasekaran, MLA, and others spoke.