TAMIL NADU

Housing project falls flat

CHENNAI Oct. 31. As many as 7,545 flats and houses of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board, worth Rs. 341.99 crores, are lying unsold, the Housing Minister, M.C. Sampath, informed the Assembly on Wednesday. During question hour, he said 5,312 of the unsold houses were under the general category and 2,233 under the government discretionary quota. Even while initiating steps to dispose of the houses, the government decided not to build any more houses and only to develop plots and undertake constructions at the instance of buyers.

Raising the issue of unsold houses, C. Gnanasekaran (Congress) said the construction quality was poor and the Government should reduce the cost to make them attractive to buyers.

`Make thrift attractive'

The House witnessed a lively debate on improving the thrift target. While the Finance Minister, C. Ponnaiyan, said the Government had fixed a target of Rs. 2,400-crore deposits through the small savings scheme for this financial year, several MLAs including the PMK's I. Ganesan asked it to come up with attractive schemes to draw more depositors.

The Minister said the Government offered prize schemes, which resulted in increased deposits of Rs. 1,818.04 crores last financial year, despite the Centre cutting down the interest from 11 to 10.5 per cent. Several members also raised concern at the security of self-help group women, who were being involved in the campaign against illicit liquor. The PWD and Excise Minister, O. Paneerselvam, said the Government would provide security to them, if necessary.

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