Sethu project at any cost, says Baalu
Chennai, Oct. 12: Shipping minister T.R. Baalu on Friday said AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa’s remarks that Sethusamudram project was “a closed chapter” had betrayed her love for the state. “We will implement the project at any cost. Jayalalithaa can never succeed in her attempt to stall the project,” Mr Baalu said in a statement. Reacting to her allegation that the chief minister was obsessed with the Sethusamudram project and was ignoring many important issues concerning the people, Mr Baalu said, “Ms Jayalalithaa who has been holidaying in Kodanadu Estate has no locus standi to criticise a chief minister who is working 20 hours a day.”
“Can she follow the busy schedule of the chief minister for a week?” he asked. On Ms Jayalalithaa allegation that the ministers in the state were corrupt, Mr Baalu said it was a “shame” that Ms Jayalalithaa, who was facing court proceedings for acquiring assets disproportionate to her source of income, had indulged in mudslinging against the ministers. “Can she name one DMK minister who is facing a corruption case?
But there are so many tainted AIADMK ministers,” he said. Answering Ms Jayalalithaa’s claim that the Sethusamudram canal was too shallow for ships with 100,000 tonne capacity, Mr Baalu said such vessels were only few. “Of the 9,147 ships, only 1,367 ships have this capacity. Large ships constitute only 2.4 of the ships that visit Indian ports. We can implement such a mega scheme only in a phased manner. Anyway, there are only a handful of ports including Chennai and Vishakapattinam, which allow such a big ships,” he added. Mr Baalu alleged that Ms Jayalalithaa was overcome by envy and hatred because the project would soon be completed. “Her statements reflects her mind,” he said.
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