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Centre liberal in granting funds to TN: Union Minister

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The Narendra Modi government has been very liberal in granting funds to Tamil Nadu for execution of a slew of developmental schemes, Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan said on Monday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been according top priority to Tamil Nadu with respect to implementation of various schemes, Mr. Radhakrishnan said while laying the foundation for the construction of an underpass along the Tiruchi – Chennai National Highway at Siruvachur in Perambalur district.

The Centre was ready to support Tamil Nadu in all ways for its overall development, the Minister said. The views and suggestions of all Members of Parliament of Tamil Nadu, irrespective of their party affiliations, were being ascertained while allocating huge quantum of funds for implementation of various schemes in Tamil Nadu, he pointed out.

Ever since the Narendra Modi government took charge, a thrust has been accorded to further improving road infrastructure across the country.

Works relating to laying national highway roads which was in single digit per day before the BJP government assumed office has now risen to the extent of laying around 28 kilometres per day, the Minister claimed.

The Centre has planned for a two-fold increase in national highway network across the country in view of rising passenger and cargo traffic movements besides also focussing on the quality of the roads that were being laid.

Though the extent of national highways was one lakh kilometre constituting only two per cent of the overall road network, these alone catered to 80 % of passenger traffic and 65% of cargo movements.

Many State roads had been converted into national highways, he said claiming that the extent of works done in the past four years was equivalent to the activities undertaken in the preceding seven decades.

The Central government had also accorded special attention to curb road accidents by identifying black spot areas across the country. In Tamil Nadu alone, as many as 78 spots had been identified as high-accident prone zones, he further said.

The underpass at Siruvachur along the Tiruchi – Chennai national highway is being constructed heeding to the public demand in view of frequent accidents that had taken place at the spot during the last three years.

To be constructed at a cost of a little over Rs. 13 crore, the underpass would be completed before February next year, the Minister said. AIADMK Perambalur MP R.P. Marutharaja, Perambalur Collector V. Santha and NHAI, Project Director, Tiruchi M. Sankara Subramanian spoke on the occasion.

On Cauvery issue

Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan said that the Centre had made it clear that it was open to any nomenclature for implementing authority of the draft Cauvery water management scheme presented before the Supreme Court.

The composition of the team forming part of the implementing authority has been clearly spelt out comprising representatives of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry besides officials from the Centre. It was for the court to finalise the nomenclature, Mr. Radhakrishnan told reporters at Siruvachur near Perambalur.

“What we require is 177.25 tmc of water from Karnataka. That should be ensured”, the Minister said and added: “Let’s see what happens on May 16 when the next hearing is scheduled to take place in the Apex Court.”

The Centre has also made it clear that the implementing authority would function based on the majority decision of the team members, he said claiming that there could be no problems.

Replying to a query on the criticism of Opposition parties against the draft scheme, he said the Opposition was only confusing the farmers associations.

Source: The Hindu


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