In yet another measure to safeguard the public from the onslaught of rise in prices of essential commodities, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday announced that she would launch the sale of Amma Mineral Water (AMW) at bus stands at prices cheaper compared to local brands of bottled water. Initially, AMW will be sold in the bus stands in Chennai and its suburbs besides long-distance express buses.
The sale of AMW would be launched by her on the birthday of former Chief Minister C N Annadurai which falls on September 15. In due course, AMW manufacturing units would be set up in nine places, the Chief Minister said in a statement here.
Jayalalithaa said she has directed State-owned transport corporations to set up manufacturing units of AMW across Tamil Nadu with a view to provide safe drinking water at a low cost. In the first phase, a manufacturing unit of AMW would be established at Gummidipoondi with a capacity to produce three lakh litres per day.
The equipment for this manufacturing unit would be procured by the Institute of Road Transport and the mineral water produced there would be packed in one litre plastic bottles and would be sold at `10 per bottle. At present, one litre of mineral water is sold at `15 by the Railways and `20 by private companies.
The Chief Minister’s initiative would be a boon to passengers who travel long distances. Recently, Chennaiites were left in the lurch when packaged drinking water companies struck work after the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board shut down 92 manufacturing units for illegal operation.
Recalling the steps taken by her government to cushion the poor and the middle class from the impact of price rise due to the wrong economic policies of the Central government, the Chief Minister said opening of Amma canteens that serve breakfast, lunch and dinner at nominal rates, launching of outlets selling vegetables at cheaper prices, supply of 20 kg of free rice to all ration card holders and implementation of special PDS scheme were among the measures taken by her government to provide much-needed welfare to the people.
New RTO facilities
The Chief Minister on Thursday inaugurated a host of facilities to improve services and infrastructure for Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) in the State.
In a function held at the Secretariat, she inaugurated RTO buildings in Tenkasi and Red Hills, apart from formally announcing five new RTO regions.
The new office at Tenkasi has been constructed at a cost of Rs 1.44 crore, while the one at Red Hills at a cost of Rs 1.48 crore. Jayalalithaa also inaugurated two newly bifurcated RTO regions in Tiruchy and Namakkal, and three new RTOs that have been upgraded from regional offices at Poonamallee, Sankarankoil and Ulundurpet.
She also opened new regional offices at Musiri, Thirupattur, Sulur, Sirkazhi and Aruppukottai. Jayalalithaa also inaugurated two new driver testing tracks at Valliyur and Kulithalai.
Chief Secretary Sheela Balakrishnan, Transport Minister Senthil Balaji, Revenue Minister Thoppu D Venkatachalam and Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi were among those who attended the function.