Govt will announce prize scheme for crew members: Karunanidhi

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Chennai, Jan 3 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who repeatedly expressed concern over road accidents, today said the government would announce a prize scheme for state transport crew members, who maintain accident-free record.

Inaugurating new service routes and launching 1,094 new buses for the state transport corporations, Mr Karunanidhi said the prize money would be announced in the budget for the year 2008-09 to be presented in the Assembly during February-March.

The Chief Minister had always expressed anguish over frequent road accidents and two days back also, while addressing a function, he wished an accident-free New Year.

Mr Karunanidhi, who issued appointment orders for 484 people on compassionate grounds, said after coming to power, the DMK government had provided employment to 3.5 lakh people in various departments.

He said after the government assumed office in May 2006, the government had introduced as many as 5548 new buses. The transport corporations, which were running on loss, started earning profits and they make a profit of Rs One crore a day now.

Thanks to the additonal fleet strength, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), which had recently extended its services to a number of suburban areas, would further extend its service up to Chengalpattu, Kadambathur and Periyapalayam from today.

The new services were also inaugurated by Chief Minister in the presence of Transport Minister K N Nehru and Local Administration Minister M K Stalin.

Following representations seeking new routes in various parts of the city and suburbs in the recent face-to-face meeting, the MTC, in the first phase, would introduce 36 new routes on which a total of 83 buses will be inducted, official sources said.

Of the 1,094 new buses, the MTC would get 504 buses, which would help to replace 379 old buses. Utilsing the additional fleet strength, the MTC would press into service 42 additional buses in 20 existing routes.

The government also decided to introduce air-conditioned express buses, using the new buses.

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