The Tamil Nadu government is embarking on a comprehensive restructuring programme of the transport corporations, with the support of German bilateral financing agency, KfW, governor Banwarilal Purohit told the state assembly on January 2, 2019, in his customary address to its members, on the opening day of the first assembly session. This will involve replacement of the ageing transport fleet, with fuel-efficient BS-VI buses and procurement of electric buses in metro cities like Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai, he said.
The governor said transport corporations were operating in excess of 21,000 buses, carrying 1.74 crore passengers per day and added that tariffs in the state, despite revisions in ticket rates, were still among the ‘lowest’ in the country. The government was absorbing the additional costs, arising due to increase in diesel prices and has sanctioned about Rs 268 crores as compensation to the corporations, between January 2018 and October 2018, he said.
Further, the government would soon release the Tamil Nadu Aerospace and Defence Industrial Policy, to promote aerospace and defence production. “The establishment of industrial hubs for defence products in the Chennai-Vellore-Salem-Hosur-Coimbatore-Trichy corridor, will definitely improve the prospects of Tamil Nadu as a major defence manufacturing force,” Purohit said. The new start-up and innovation policy would also be unveiled by the government ‘shortly,’ he added.
On the education front, Purohit said the government would soon launch a scheme, to extend financial support to NGOs to open schools in interior tribal areas. This was aimed at reaching out to tribal students as literacy among them was significantly lower than the state average, he said.