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Tata to complete projects for tsunamit hit by June

Special Correspondent

Amenities costing Rs. 45 lakh have been built in Kovalam village



REHABILITATION: Some of the boats distributed by Tata Relief Committee in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu.

CHENNAI: The Tata initiative for lending a helping hand to the tsunami affected, Tata Relief and Rehabilitation Project-Tamil Nadu, is set to complete all projects in the State by June 2006. Spending Rs. 35 crore, the Tata Relief Committee (TRC), has launched a series of rehabilitation projects in the affected areas in Kancheepuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari, over the past year. Swinging into action right from the time the tsunami news broke, the TRC has ever since moved into rehabilitation and livelihood generation activities.

Amenities costing Rs. 45 lakh have been built in Kovalam village, including the overall sanitation, and 36 fishing boats with nets and engines have been providedfor the fishermen and self-help groups, according to R. Krishna Kumar, steering committee chairman, TRC.

TRC has also provided alternative sources of livelihood such as seaweed culture and vocational training for women .

Construction of 100 `in situ' houses costing Rs. 2.25 crore and 800 houses costing Rs. 18 crore hasbeen undertaken in Nagapattinam.

A desalination plant has been set up in a relief camp in Nagapattinam at a cost of Rs. 25 lakh. A rural knowledge centre has been established in Nagapattinam and seven more will soon be set up , he added.

In Kanyakumari, repairs and reconstruction activities have been undertaken at a cost of Rs. 4.5 crore, while in Tirunelveli, works worth Rs. 2 crore have been commissioned.

In Cuddalore, two community amenity centres are under construction .

Yet another initiative of the corporate sector, Wipro Cares, the social outreach programme of Wipro, adopted Pushpavanam village, about an hour's drive from Nagapattinam along with BITsunami, a trust formed by the alumni of BITS, Pilani.

Their commitment includes construction of houses, rebuilding of schools (seven) and community centres, supplying of boats and nets, reclaiming agricultural land (100.25 acres), providing support for animal husbandry, giving training in other village-based vocations, establishing self-help groups and building a network of IT enabled village centres, according to a release.

They have also provided financial assistance by developing 1.8 lakh saplings under the coastal tree plantation programme. In addition, they launched an extensive coastal tree plantation drive on October 1 and 2, planting around 1.6 lakh saplings.

Metro AG, a wholesale and retail group based in Germany, has also spent over Rs. four crore for the rehabilitation of affected fishermen in Nagapattinam through Metro Cash and Carry, in India.

A sizeable chunk of the money has gone into building modern fish auction centres at Keechankuppam and Pazhayar, five desalination plants for the villages and provision of 35 fibreglass boats with iceboxes, engines and nets for the Nagapattinam fishermen .

Metro Cash and Carry also sponsored the education of children orphaned by the calamity, besides involving itself in restoring health and hygiene to the localities.

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