CHENNAI: “We have been discharging the duties left to us by Amma (late chief minister J Jayalalithaa) without an iota of lethargy and by defeating all hindrances that come in our way. We have only motto: governance on the path shown by Amma to achieve growth in all sectors,” said Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in his Independence Day address on Tuesday after hoisting the national flag on the ramparts of Fort St George. Tuesday marked the 71st Independence day celebrations. Palaniswami made these remarks just a day after T T V Dhinakaran, at Madurai, asked the government to work for the welfare of the people on the path shown by Jayalalithaa.
Giving a detailed account of the welfare measures being implemented by the government headed by him in the past six months, the Chief Minister said: “I have inaugurated as many as 33,139 works completed at a cost of Rs 6,772. 25 crore and laid the foundation for 4,199 new works to be undertaken at a cost of Rs 1,114. 40 crore. I say this with joy that this government had done this within a short span of time.”
He announced that the monthly pension for freedom fighters would be hiked from Rs 12,000 to Rs 13,000 and the family pension for the heirs of freedom fighters would be increased from Rs 6,000 to Rs 6,500. Palaniswami drove past the enclosures of invitees and the general public and exchanged Independence Day greetings.
He also inspected a ceremonial guard of honour given by various contingents of police and armed forces. Later, the Chief Minister presented the A P J Abdul Kalam award to SP Thyagarajan, former Vice-Chancellor of University of Madras and the Kalpana Chawla award to S Preethi, a differently-abled activist, in appreciation of achievements in their respective fields.
He also distributed sweet packets to differently-abled children.The children exchanged Independence Day greetings. Sweets were distributed to over 1,000 differently-abled studying in many institutions.
Meanwhile, to promote social unity among various sections of society, the State government arranged for ‘public feast’ at 454 temples under the HR and CE Department across Tamil Nadu to mark the occasion.
In Chennai, the feast was organised in 31 temples, including Sri Kapaleeswarar temple (Mylapore), Sri Marundeeswarar temple (Tiruvanmiyur) and Sri Kalikambal temple (Parrys Corner). Speaker P Dhanapal and all State ministers took part.