CHENNAI: The government headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, which began with a battle for survival on February 16, 2017, is successfully stepping into its fourth year after crossing many political hurdles. All the credit goes to Palaniswami for turning all the stumbling blocks into stepping stones. The past three years have been eventful with the Chief Minister announcing new welfare schemes for every section of the society and have been marked by sustained efforts to reach out to the common man. Palaniswami did not allow the developments within the AIADMK, in the first few months of his tenure, to affect the State administration in any way. In fact, in the past 36 months, he has cleared a whopping 16,382 files — an average of 15 files a day — proving there has been no stagnation in the taking of administrative decisions.
The key achievements of this government include declaring Cauvery delta as a protected special agricultural zone, implementation of the Kudimaramath scheme for rejuvenating water resources, ban on single-use plastics, successful conduct of second edition of the Global Investors Meet, providing low-cost cable connections to the poor through Arasu Cable TV, getting Central government approval for 11 new medical colleges, laying the foundation for South Asia’s biggest livestock park in Salem, receiving Krishi Karman awards for the fifth time, continuously hiking allocations for social security schemes and initiation of the Chief Minister’s Special Public Grievance Redressal Scheme.
The Global Investors Meet held in January 2019 was a major success, attracting `3,00,501 crore worth of investments and providing employment to 10.5 lakh persons. Till date, 53 projects have already commenced commercial production and 219 projects are at various stages of implementation. During investors’ meets in New York and San Francisco, 41 MoUs were signed with an investment of `8,835 crore generating employment for 35,520 persons. Altogether, during 2019-2020, 63 new MoUs have been signed, committing an investment of `19,136 crore with employment potential for 83,837 new jobs.
To attract new investments, a web portal named ‘Yaadhum Oore’ was launched in the USA in September 2019. To give approval for investments, the ‘Thozhil Thozhan (Biz Buddy)’ website was launched and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Guidance & Export Promotion Bureau was renamed as ‘Guidance’ with a new logo at the Investment and Skill Development Conclave held on November 30, 2019. The Tamil Nadu Aerospace and Defence Industrial Policy was released during the Global Investors Meet 2019. Tamil Nadu State Startup and Innovation Policy 2018-2023 was released by the Chief Minister in January last. To give a fillip to Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), a new policy was released on February 9.
Fillip to agricultural sector
In the agriculture sector, under the Kudimaramath scheme, 4,965 works have been completed at a total cost of Rs 930.25 crore. The long-pending Athikadavu-Avinashi scheme is finally becoming a reality with works on at a cost of `1,652 crore. A barrage is being constructed across the Kollidam river at a cost of `427.76 crore. Ensuring Minimum Support Price to farmers’ produce is one of the important initiatives in which the State government has taken pioneering steps for the procurement of black gram, green gram and copra from farmers under Price Support Scheme.
Besides, the initiative taken for establishing Mega Food Parks in nine select districts for bringing value addition to prevent food wastage and to get good remunerative price for the farmers’ produce is a key move. The proposal was applied for grant of `10 crore for eight food parks to be developed at Dindigul, Krishnagiri, Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Theni, Madurai, Cuddalore and Villupuram (Tindivanam). In the past three years, 34 new varieties, and hybrids have been released by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University — Rice VGD1, Rice ADT53, Samai ATL1, Green Gram VBN4, Groundnut BSR2, Castor YTP1, Kadam MTP1, Bottle Gourd PLR2, Garlic Ooty2, Star Jasmine Co1, Potato Kufri Sahyadri, Banana Kaveri Saba, Banana Kaveri Kalki, Banana Kaveri Sugantham, Rice ADT51, Cowpea VBN3, Groundnut TMV14, Sunflower COH3, Sugarcane COG6, Sugarcane CO-06022, Ribbed Gourd COH1, Malai Vembu MTP2, Rice Co52, Barnyard Millet MDU1, Redgram Co8, Blackgram ADT6, Blackgram KKM1, Sesamum VRI3, Castor YRCH2, Cotton K12, Sugarcane CoC (Sc)25, Snake Gourd CoH1, Bottle Gourd PLR1 and French Beans Ooty3.
5 thousand new buses
Over the past three years, 4,921 new buses have been pressed into service. Besides, agreements have been signed with the German Development Bank for buying 12,000 new buses and 2,000 electric buses. To meet the drinking water requirements of Chennai, a new desalination plant has been started at Nemmeli at a cost of Rs 1,259.38 crore. Besides, drinking water and underground sewerage schemes are being implemented at a cost of RS 3,813.95 crore. Combined drinking water schemes at a total cost of Rs 2,638.24 crore are also under implementation in the nine districts of Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, Sivaganga, Cuddalore, Coimbatore, Dindigul, Salem, Nagapattinam and Virudhunagar.
The government has established nine new Government Arts and Science Colleges, three University Constituent Arts and Science Colleges and three new Government Polytechnic Colleges during the past three years. An educational channel catering to the needs of students has been launched. The channel telecasts educational programmes 24x7. The government has ordered a four per cent reservation for persons with disabilities in employment in government establishments, Public Sector Undertakings, Corporations and educational institutions.
Allies congratulate palaniswami
AIADMK alliance parties have extended congratulations to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for entering his fourth year as Chief Minister of the State. PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss has congratulated Palaniswami on his official Twitter handle for completing three years in office. Ramadoss wished the Chief Minister well in serving the welfare of poor, farmers and students. Former union minister and TMC(M) president GK Vasan also congratulated Palaniswami. Vasan extended his wishes to Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam too for supporting the Chief Minister in discharging his duties. DMDK founder and president Vijayakant wished the Chief Minister on entering his fourth year in office and requested that he continue rendering good service to the State for the rest of his tenure