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Jaya grants Rs 1 lakh more to fishermen released from Iran

Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday handed over a cheque of Rs one lakh to each of the 16 fishermen released from a jail in Iran, taking the total relief amount to Rs two lakh.

The fishermen called on her at the Secretariat to express their gratitude for her intervention which culminated in their release.

The families of the distressed fishermen belonging to Ramanathapuram, Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari districts have already been given financial assistance of Rs one lakh by the government when they were languishing in jail.

An official release said the chief minister advised the fishermen against venturing to foreign waters to avoid this incidents.

Also, to help fishermen buy boats, which would cost Rs 60 lakh, the State government would provide a subsidy of Rs 30 lakh and arrange bank loan for the balance amount, it said.

Meanwhile, chief minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday inaugurated 5,674 houses, roads and new buildings for the benefit of people who lost their homes in the December 2004 tsunami. The chief minister inaugurated the houses, roads and buildings through video-conferencing from the Secretariat. The houses have been constructed at a cost of Rs 209 crore, 41 km connecting roads built at Rs 23 crore and new buildings constructed at a cost of Rs 21.76 crore, an official release in Chennai said.

Also, with regards to the state government’s decision to probe illegal sand mining in the state, the Union Government is contemplating banning illegal sand mining across the country. This is based on the model of Tamil Nadu government, union shipping minister G K Vasan said here on Wednesday.

 ‘The Centre is planning to ban illegal (sand) mining across the country’, he told reporters here and welcomed Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa’s decision to order a probe into illegal mining in 71 large mineral quarries in Tirunelveli, Kanniyakumari, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli districts.

To a query on the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal project, Vasan said the Centre is in favour of expediting the project.
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