Jayalalithaa seeks UNDP aid for welfare schemes

CHENNAI NOV. 13. The Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, today sought technical and financial assistance for various welfare schemes, being implemented in the State, including prevention of sea erosion in coastal areas, rainwater harvesting and development of self-help groups for women.

The Chief Minister made this request when a delegation of the United Nations Development Programme met her at the Secretariat here.

Listing the schemes, she wanted the UNDP to provide technical help to tap solar power for energising pumpsets in rural areas, besides providing financial assistance. Similarly the UNDP should provide technical knowhow and financial assistance for judicious and continuous utilisation of groundwater, especially in and around Chennai city.

The delegation, led by Zephirin Diabre, Associate Administrator, UNDP, and Under Secretary-General, UN, complimented the State Government on preparing the Tamil Nadu Human Development report for the welfare of poor people with a long-term perspective. Mr. Diabre assured the Chief Minister that the UNDP would take effective steps to provide further assistance to the State.

Earlier, the delegation visited the State Planning Commission, where the Member-Secretary, Naresh Gupta, made an audio-visual presentation of the Tamil Nadu Human Development report, released by the Chief Minister in July this year.

The human development index of Tamil Nadu was 0.657 in 2001 compared to 0.571 for India as a whole.

The State was also placed third next only to Kerala and Punjab among 15 States.

The delegation also held discussions with the Vice-Chairman, State Planning Commission, M.S. Swaminathan; the Finance Secretary, N. Narayanan, and other senior government officials.