Starting her fifth stint as Tamil Nadu chief minister, Jayalalithaa on Sunday announced development and welfare measures worth over Rs 1800 crore, including for improving roads and drinking water facilities and extending assistance to needy families headed by women.
Continuing with her streak of welfare projects in the state where elections are due next year, Jayalalithaa approved five major schemes such as opening more Amma canteens that provide subsidised food, housing for poor and setting up Reverse Osmosis plants for drinking water.
Arriving at the state secretariat in Fort St George for the first time after being sworn on Saturday, she signed the five files approving the new schemes.
"Chief minister Jayalalithaa has ordered improvement of roads in urban local bodies at a cost of Rs 1000 crore," a state government release said.The AIADMK chief also opened 201 more Amma canteens, providing food at subsidised rates, across the state through video-conferencing.
Under a Rs 800-crore 'Tamil Nadu Rural Roads Development Scheme', 3,500 km road stretch will be taken up for development this fiscal.
"The chief minister has given consent for a special housing scheme for the poor in town panchayat areas," it said.
An assistance of Rs 2.10 lakh will be given in staggered manner to the poor to convert their thatched houses into concrete roofed structures with solar power.
In the first phase, 20,000 families will be given assistance in town panchayat areas.
Giving a big push for drinking water facility, 1,274 Reverse Osmosis plants will be set in residential neighbourhoods, Amma canteens, hospitals and public places at Rs 77.13 crore.
This includes providing drinking water facility in 69 neighbourhoods in arid areas of Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts.
Under the scheme for indigent families headed by women, loans with a grant component on interest will be provided to eligible beneficiaries alongside skill development training with employment opportunities.
Government would spend between Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 for development of each beneficiary and the scheme is intended to cover all women-run indigent families in five years.
"While the total outlay for the scheme is Rs 750 crore, the chief minister has ordered allocation of Rs 100 crore in the current fiscal for the scheme," the release said.
With just a year to go for assembly polls, the schemes assume significance. Parties like PMK have been targeting AIADMK for its 'freebie' schemes like free mixies and grinders accusing it of not focusing on generating employment, developing infrastructure and providing basic amenities.
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