Minister's surprise visit exposes poor sanitary condition in school

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Chennai, Nov 17 (UNI) Union Minister for Shipping and Road Transport T R Baalu today made a surprise visit to an Adi-Dravidar Welfare School at suburban Palavakkam near the East Coast Road and pulled up a local DMK functionary for poor hygiene and sanitary conditions in the school.

Official sources said the minister was supposed to visit Kancheepuram after a brief stop-over at a marriage hall in Pallavaram before proceeding to the district via Padappai and other five panchayat unions on the way.

But Mr Baalu took the DMK functionaries and others by surprise and chose to visit Palavakkam. Hearing the news of the sudden visit by the Union Minister, St Thomas Mount Union president M K Ezhumalai, local panchayat Vice-President T Padmanabhan and DMK's fisheries wing organiser Vijayabalan for the Kancheepuram district rushed to the school, where special classes were being held.

Mr Baalu inspected each and every class of the school and found that the sanitary conditions were poor. Since officials were not present, Union President Ezhumalai intervened and informed the Minister that DMK functionaries and officials had not received prior information about his visit.

''Angered'' by the reply, Mr Baalu said being an MP he need not inform about his visit to anybody and was not obliged to brief about his travel itinerary to partymen. The ''strong'' and ''angry'' retort by the Minister left the DMK functionaries speechless for the rest of his visit at the school.

Later, Mr Baalu went to Injambakkam and pulled up officials for keeping the two government hospitals closed. The hospitals were set up at a cost of Rs 25 lakh and Rs 20 lakh.

When informed that non-availability of doctors led to the closure of the hospitals, the Minister directed the officials to appoint doctors immediately and open the hospitals.

Later, the Union Minister had a brief stop-over at Sholinganallur and inspected a Government Higher Secondary School, constructed at a cost of Rs 80 lakh recently.

UNI

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