SALEM: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Saturday said foundation stone for the much-awaited Mettur Surplus Water Scheme would be laid in March next year, adding that the Rs 615-crore project would fill around 100 lakes in Edappadi, Omalur, Sankagiri and Mettur assembly constituencies. Taking part in a taluk-level grievance redressal meeting, the chief minister also laid the foundation stone for 116 new schemes worth Rs 112.35 crore and inaugurated 43 completed projects worth Rs 18.88 crore, all pertaining to Salem district.
Palaniswami distributed welfare assistance to the tune of Rs 25.89 crore for 5,723 beneficiaries, according to a government release. “Through the surplus water scheme, 100 lakes in Edappadi, Omalur, Sankagiri and Mettur assembly constituencies would be filled. In next two to three months, a tender would be floated for the scheme and foundation stone laid in March 2020,” Palaniswami told reporters.
The meeting was held based on petitions received last month under Chief Minister Special Grievance Redressal Scheme. Confirming receipt of 5.11 lakh petitions from the public across the State, he said 4.37 lakh petitions out of the total were rejected and 23,538 petitions were under consideration.
“The rejected petitions would be reconsidered. In the second phase, officials would visit people of Schedule castes, Schedule Tribes and Backward Classes and Most Backward Classes to receive their petitions,” he said. He offered flowers to the 52-acre Velliri Velli lake in Salem, after the government instructed diversion of surplus water from Mettur dam to the lake at a cost of Rs 75 lakh.
Stating that the present ceiling of Rs 50,000 on annual income for old-age pension scheme would be increased to Rs 1,00,000, he said those petitions rejected would be reconsidered. Tamil Nadu would be free of huts in the next five years as petitions seeking houses would be reconsidered, the CM said besides promising to hasten the implementation of the ambitious Godaveri-Cauvery interlinking project and Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar scheme.