|They have decided to attend the proceedings of the Assembly in black attire "Steps are being taken to erect solar fencing for 181 km in 15 districts around agricultural land"|
IN BLACK SHIRTS: AIADMK MLAs staging a protest against alleged irregularities during the Chennai Corporation polls after walking out of the Assembly on Wednesday. — Photo: M. Vedhan
CHENNAI: All the members of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Wednesday came to the Assembly in black dress as a mark of protest against the alleged irregularities in the local body elections, more particularly during the Chennai Corporation poll.
The AIADMK legislature party sources said they had decided to attend the proceedings of the Assembly in black attire, as the Local Administration Minister M.K. Stalin presented the Demand for Rural Development and Local Administration.
The House witnessed noisy scenes, as the main Opposition party and the Treasury Benches crossed swords on issues relating to implementation of various schemes executed in the rural areas.
Initiating the debate on the demand, R. Samy (AIADMK) said the residents of Chennai were shocked by reports that there had been attempts to entrust supply of drinking water to private agencies. Doubts had been raised if this would lead to a situation where people had to purchase water from such agencies, he added.
Ruling out such an eventuality, Mr. Stalin made it clear that the option was only being debated in some seminars and meetings organised under the auspices of the Central Government. The AIADMK's view on the issue was contrary to truth, he said.
Mr. Stalin also denied the claim of Mr.Samy that the Government was not implementing welfare and development schemes in the constituencies represented by the Opposition parties. He also dared the AIADMK Member to prove his charge that funds were not allocated adequately for the local bodies headed by the opposition parties.
During Question Hour, Minister for Forests N.Selvaraj said steps were being taken to erect solar fencing for 181 km in 15 districts around agricultural land adjacent to forest areas with a view to preventing wild animals from entering and damaging the crops. Replying to R.Leema Rose (Communist Party of India-Marxist), he said in Kanyakumari district alone, fence would be put up for 20 km during 2007-2008.
Deputy leader of the Opposition O. Panneerselvam asked if the Government would undertake a time-bound programme to put up solar fencing in areas adjacent to forests in the entire State to protect the farmers and the crops.
He also pleaded with the Government to permit allocation of funds from the MLAs' constituency development fund for this purpose.
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