Govt to spend Rs 51.44 crore on relief to Tamil refugees

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Chennai, May 13 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu government today announced that it would spend Rs 51.44 crore for extending various relief measures to the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.

Replying to the demand for grants for Public Department in the state Assembly, on behalf of the Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Finance Minister K Anbazagan said an allocation of about 40 crore was made and the amount was spent for such measures till March 31.

''The refugees, who were willing to go back to their homeland or to any other country from the camps in the state at their own cost were allowed to do so,'' he said, adding during 2006-2007, 106 exit permits were issued to Lankan Tamil refugees. And during 2007-2008 74 exit permits had been issued to them by district collectors.

He further said at present 20,849 children of refugee families in the camps, were provided free uniforms, noon-meal, bus passes, text books, notebooks and bicycles.

The children of refugees staying outside the camps were allowed to pursue their studies anywhere in Tamil Nadu with an admissible cash dole and other assistance.

On the infrastructure development programme for the refugees, Mr Anbazagan said the scheme aimed at carrying out necessary repairs to their huts, provision of drinking water, sanitary arrangements, road and street lighting at the refugee camps.

''Sanctions have been accorded for Rs 12.26 lakhs for repair works at Chengalpattu special camp and six lakh for construction of new huts in M Mettupatti refugee camp in Namakkal district during 2007-2008'', he added.

The Lankan Tamils numbering 4,61,639 were being repatriated to India from 1965. They have been provided with rebhabilitation assistance and settled in tea, rubber and cinchona plantations, co-operative spinning mills, industrial schemes of Repco Bank and agricultural schemes, besides grant of business and housing loans, he pointed out.

UNI SNR PY NS1912

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