On this happy occasion
of the 54th Anniversary of the Republic Day of India, I have
great pleasure in extending my warm greetings and best wishes to my fellow
citizens in the Union Territory of Pondicherry.
Today India celebrates her 55th Republic Day. As you all know, fifty four years ago this day India emerged
on the world scenario as a Sovereign Democratic Republic.
This was made possible by the untold sacrifices made by the freedom
fighters of Indian Freedom Struggle.
It is a day of introspection, assessment and resolution.
largest Democratic country has made impressive strides in the realm of
Economy, Science & Technology. It
has now become a shining example for all developing countries and is
treated with a new found respect by the major powers.
line with the rest of the nation, the Union Territory of Pondicherry has
also made spectacular
progress and development in all major sectors of development such as
agriculture, industries, education, health, welfare, etc.
progress in implementation of plan schemes in the five year plans, over
the decades, has been very impressive in this Union Territory.
Commission has agreed to the plan size
of Rs. 452.77 crores for the annual plan 2003-04 envisaging an
increase of 9.88% compared to the Annual Plan of 2002-03.
Programmes for the growth of agriculture continue to enjoy the
highest priority in the economic development of the Union Territory.
Launching of Website and Wide Area Network (WAN), being the first
in the country, will undoubtedly usher in another Green Revolution in
Pondicherry. ‘Uzhavar Udaviyagams’ have been established in the rural
areas of Pondicherry catering to the requirements of the farmers by
providing One Stop solution to their problems.
‘Uzhavar Santhai’ have been opened in Pondicherry town and
Lawspet to serve as a mutual
benefit for the farmers and consumers.
A group insurance scheme called ‘Jana Shri Bhima Yojana’ for
agricultural labourers has been instituted, which is the first of its kind
in India. ‘Flower, Fruit
and Vegetable Shows’ are being annually conducted in all the four
regions of the Territory encouraging public participation.
Animal Husbandry and Animal Welfare Department has evolved progressive and
and profitable milk production for the upliftment of the farmers of
Pondicherry. The ‘Kamadhenu
Scheme’ envisages insurance coverage for the selected animal for Rs.
12,000/-; insurance coverage for the owner of the animals paying
Rs.1,00,000/- in the event of accidental death and one time medical
expenses upto Rs. 5000/- to the farmers or spouse for any illness
contracted during this period.
Cooperative movement launched in the territory after the ‘defacto
merger’ has witnessed significant growth and change in various fields.
It has a sprawling network of
cooperative activity of about 4.11 lakhs members with
491 cooperative societies covering every segment of the population.
The capacity of the Pondicherry Cooperative Milk Production Unit
has been enhanced from 50,000 litres to 1.00 lakh litres.
The Govt. is keen on the upliftment of the economic condition of
the handloom weavers whose wages were recently revised.
Some of the Cooperative Stores have been converted into Cooperative
Cost Price Shops to make them run profitably.
Public Distribution System has been streamlined for ensuring proper
distribution of essential commodities.
The National Consumer Day and World Consumer Day are being
celebrated to create public awareness on consumer participation and to
assert their rights. The
activities of the department has been fully computerized and the data of
card holders are being updated regularly.
A reliable power supply is ensured with establishment of 110/11 KV
sub-station in Karaikal through Power Grid Corporation of India. Similarly, to improve the power supply position in
Pondicherry, the third 16 MVA power transformer and the second 10 MVA
power transformer have been commissioned at Kurumampet and Thethampakkam
efficacy of the transformers has also been toned up in order to ensure
steady and reliable power supply. Generation
of electricity using solar energy is also being implemented on
The Union Territory of Pondicherry has a viable industrial climate to
boost industrial development in the Union Territory.
The District Industries Centre, Khadi & Village Industries
Board and PIPDIC play a key role in contributing to the industrial
development in Pondicherry. The District Industries Centre is implementing
various plan schemes sponsored by Government of
employment opportunities for the educated unemployed.
Recently, a ‘Growth Centre’ has been declared open at Polagam
in Karaikal region on behalf of PIPDIC, ensuring a bright industrial
climate in the region. The
setting up of a Special Economic Zone in Pondicherry is on the anvil
ensuring exponential exports growth in potential besides providing
enormous employment opportunities. Similarly,
the establishment of an Electronic Park at Thirubhuvanai, Pondicherry
Technopolis at Kalapet and an Export Facilitation Centre at a cost of
Rs.100 lakhs are major break through by PIPDIC.
The performance of the Union Territory in the field of Public Works is
impressive. Laying of
roads, improving of irrigational facilities, construction of bridges,
laying of underground sewerage system, water supply, rehabilitation of
minor irrigation tank, desilting of canals under Tank Rehabilitation
Project, construction of buildings beautification of Beach Road, rain
water harvesting system are some of the highlights of the
Public Works Department.
has shown remarkable development in the field of Education with the
upgradation of Government schools, conducting of regional level science
exhibitions, holding of national level school games, introduction of
computer facilities, distribution of free supply of textbooks, stationery
and uniforms to poor students, encouraging promising students in the field
of sports activities etc. The
introduction of ‘No
detention up to IV Standard Scheme’ and ‘Breakfast Scheme upto X Std.
in Govt. Schools are other major activities of the sector.
The Department of Education was bifurcated into two separate
Directorates namely i) Directorate of School Education and ii) Directorate
of Collegiate & Technical Education to give a boost to the Educational
Standard in this Union Territory. Apart
from this, establishment of a separate Secondary and
Higher Secondary Education Board is at an advanced stage which for
Pondicherry which will be another milestone in the development of
education. Sports Stadia will
be opened in rural areas for encouraging sports activities.
Union Territory of Pondicherry ranks ahead in the Health sector
particularly in ensuring ‘Health for All’.
All modern facilities have been provided in ensuring good health
and care. Targets have been
exceeded in the Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme. The department has
received appreciation from the Union Ministry of Health for intensive
implementation of health related programmes.
The Administration has been taking all possible steps for providing
comprehensive health services to the common man right from the issue of
Health Identity Cards, etc.
The welfare of fishermen is being ensured by the Government remarkably by
extending succor during natural calamities and fish ban periods. Fishermen
Pension Scheme is being implemented for their welfare.
fishing harbour is
nearing completion. Steps are
being taken vigorously to improve the Pondicherry port and a meeting of
the Maritime States Development Council is being
held in this month for better prospects.
Social Welfare Schemes continue to be effective with multi-pronged
approach. The programmes for
the welfare of the aged widow and economically weaker section deserve
special mention. The state age old pension and widow pension have been
enhanced from Rs.150/- / Rs.175/- to Rs.200/- per month, besides provision of grant of funeral expenses to the family
of aged and widow pensioners, distribution
of free supply of sarees and dhotis, free rice, subsidy for Mangalyam of
Rs.1000/-, etc. Integrated
Child Development Services play an important role in ensuring healthy
children, besides pregnant and lactating mothers.
activities of Pondicherry Corporation for Development of Women and
handicapped persons make every woman and handicapped person socially and
economically independent. Various
training programmes are being implemented with financial assistance in
order to improve their skills. The Government has enhanced the monthly
financial assistance for the handicapped from Rs.250/- to Rs.400/- and
reduced the deformity
eligibility percentage from 75% to 40%.
The reservation of 3% has been made for them in Education and
given. A 50% fuel
subsidy, free bus facility, travelling allowance of Rs.50/-, free
distribution of orthopaedic appliances and implementation of Handicapped
National Trust Act for their social security are the other measures
undertaken for the welfare of the physically challenged people. A sum of Rs.10,000/- is being given under National Family
Benefits Scheme to persons who have lost the bread winner of the family.
A new scheme with financial help of Rs.10,000 is being given as
marriage assistance for the people Below the Poverty Line.
Government of Pondicherry has been implementing various schemes for the
upliftment of the Adi Dravidar Community in Pondicherry.
Free distribution of house site pattas,
subsidy for house construction, free distribution of sarees and
dhoties , free distribution of textbooks and stationeries, disbursement of
incentives and educational allowance for the Adi Dravidar students,
provision of separate hostel facilities, payment of contingencies for the
parents, provision of basic amenities for the Adi Dravidar localities,
provision of marriage allowance, medical allowance, funeral rites
allowance and inter-caste marriage allowance are some of the major
highlights of the sector.
is gratifying that Pondicherry has a rich potential for tourism
development. Hence, the
Government is giving special importance for the development of Tourism
prospects in Pondicherry. The
‘International Yoga Festival’, ‘World Tourism Day’ and ‘Food
Festival’ are being celebrated annually including the ‘Shopping
Festival’ as a way of encouraging tourism development in Pondicherry.
Efforts are underway to identify tourist spots in Pondicherry and
also facilities are being provided to attract inquisitive tourists. Steps
are being taken to make Pondicherry a
highly desirable tourist destination for Holiday makers
up tourist facilities
such as sight seeing tours, package tours,
boating facilities and other related aspects.
being contemplated to protect and
buildings in the Union Territory of Pondicherry as an integral part of
imparting a push to heritage tourism in the territory.
The administration had entered into contract with the Government of
Andaman & Nicobar Islands for tourism development prospects and
accordingly signed an ‘MOU’ in June 2003 last.
It is pertinent to note that the Government of India have
sanctioned Rs.2.50 crores for the beautification of Beach Road, making
a landmark Territory. Infact,
Tourism will be accorded top priority as was done in Andaman & Nicobar
Islands. It is expected
that the conversion of Metre Guage to Broad Gauge Rail between Pondicherry
and Villupuram will be completed by February 2004 and Railway Traffic will
commence thereby giving a highly overdue to the Territory’s economic
Government is well aware of the services of Police officials in
maintaining the law and order situation in Pondicherry and their interests
are being protected and maintained by all means.
Modern facilities including computer facilities are being provided
in the police stations to make their work updated and reliable.
Government also respects the freedom fighters of Pondicherry who have
dedicated themselves in liberating Pondicherry from the foreign yoke.
The administration never fails to honour them on important
evaluation of our progress is essential for applying appropriate
correctives in time. There is
much to enthuse and exult over what has been achieved, but we have a long
way to go before we can ever think of relaxing.
I conclude, I take this opportunity to greet every citizen of Pondicherry.
Pondicherry is a peaceful city with rich cultural heritage.
It is our duty to ensure that it remains so for ever.