CM’s demands include Bharat Ratna for Jaya, naval station in Kanniyakumari
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday presented a 20-point memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Among the demands set out in the memorandum were the establishment of a permanent naval / coast guard station in Kanniyakumari and the posthumous conferment of the Bharat Ratna on former Chief Ministers C.N. Annadurai and Jayalalithaa.
This was the fourth time that Mr. Palaniswami had gone to the national capital to submit a memorandum on issues concerning Tamil Nadu since he took over as Chief Minister in February 2017. Besides, in April, he had presented a memorandum to Mr. Modi in Chennai, exclusively on the Cauvery issue.
Sanction of grants
In the latest memorandum, the Chief Minister urged the Prime Minister to use his good offices with the Union Finance Ministry to release the Performance Grant of ₹560.15 crore for 2017-18 and the Basic Grant of ₹1,608.03 crore for 2018-19, both meant for local bodies.
As for issues facing the fishing community, he sought the establishment of a permanent station in Kanniyakumari for naval and coast guard operations, provision of a high frequency communication system and satellite phones; coverage of NavIC [the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) developed by ISRO, providing signals in the ‘L’ & ‘S’ bands], supply of transponders and distress alert transmitters and creation of a dedicated marine information service for radio.
Mr. Palaniswami requested Mr. Modi to instruct the Civil Aviation Ministry to begin air services to Hosur, Ramanathapuram and Neyveli and introduce an evening service to Salem. The Centre should approve the setting up of a government dental college in Virudhunagar and a medical college in Ramanathapuram. It should exempt the fireworks industry from various provisions of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, thereby saving the livelihoods of 8 lakh families dependent on the industry in the State, the Chief Minister added.
On OPS-TTV meet
Addressing mediapersons, Mr. Palaniswami, flanked by M. Thambi Durai, Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha and D. Jayakumar, Fisheries Minister, declined to comment on the July 2017 meeting between Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and rebel leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran, saying Mr. Panneerselvam had clarified his position publicly.
On the postponement of the byelections to Tiruvarur and Tirupparankundram constituencies, he said it was the decision of the Election Commission and “not ours”.
Asked whether the State government would reduce the tax on petroleum products, the CM said such a move would be considered only after creating the scope for revenue to meet the cost of a host of development projects and other commitments.
On the State government’s position on reopening the Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi, Mr. Palaniswami reiterated that no project that was “detrimental to the people” would be allowed in the State.
As for the construction of check dams on the Cauvery, the CM said that even though the question of obtaining permission from other States in the Cauvery basin like Karnataka had to be considered, the State government was examining a proposal for building a check dam, east of the Mettur dam, which would help store flood water.