Saturday, June 4, 2011

MK’s pet projects go out of window

Last Updated : 04 Jun 2011 07:32:39 AM IST


CHENNAI:  The customary address of Governor Surjeet Singh Barnala to the 14th Assembly on Friday was on expected lines. Barnala made announcements fulfilling many more election promises of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, such as the distribution of free laptops to students of classes XI and XII and students of government and government-aided colleges, distribution of fans, grinders and mixies to women, while scrapping the pet projects of former CM M Karunanidhi — the Kalaignar Housing Scheme and the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme for Life-saving Treatments.

The AIADMK government’s warning that it would have zero tolerance towards corruption, an assurance on maintaining smooth relations between the Centre and the State, and preparation of a Vision 2025 Document for Tamil Nadu to identify and remove bottlenecks in development are some of the highlights of the Governor’s address.

Revival of the Mono Rail Project for Chennai and other major cities, nationalisation of cable TV operations, implementation of Solar Powered Green House Scheme and Public Health Insurance Scheme instead of the existing schemes, merger of the five Anna Universities created by the DMK, extension of welfare schemes of the State government to Sri Lankan Tamils in refugee camps, ban on plastic bags made of virgin plastics or recycled plastic less than 60 microns thick and 8 x 12 inches size are the other chief aspects of the address.

Reading out the highlights, the Governor said an inquiry commission headed by a retired HC judge would be set up to inquire into the alleged irregularities in the construction of the new Secretariat, such as excess expenditure, inordinate delay and deficiency in the standard of construction. He said further works in the new Secretariat complex would be stopped to facilitate this inquiry.

Stating that the government would work towards smooth Centre-State relations, the Governor said it wanted to solve inter-State water disputes through peaceful negotiations and wherever it was not possible, the government would not hesitate to take legal recourse for such problems.
For controlling the prices of essential commodities, the Governor said the Public Distribution System would be strengthened and a Price Stabilisation Fund with a corpus of `50 crore would be constituted immediately.

Hours after the Governor’s address, the CM held a Cabinet meeting to formulate plans for the implementation of the various schemes. She also reviewed the power situation in the State.

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