How much Commission did TR Baalu make, asks CM

Countering senior DMK leader Duraimurugan, who alleged that the Salem-Chennai green corridor was being favoured only because Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s family members received commissions, the latter on Sunday questioned how much commission was earned by former Union Highways Minister T R Baalu (DMK) for projects executed under his watch.

The Chief Minister sarcastically remarked that it appeared that Mr Duraimurugan was denied road contracts by Mr Baalu and hence had provoked him (CM) into exposing the former Union Minister.

Participating in an AIADMK organised free wedding function, he said Mr. Baalu, was the Union Minister for Highways when between 2006 and 2009.

“He zealously sanctioned several projects across the country and in the State. How much commission did he take,” Mr. Palaniswami asked.

Batting for the much contested greenfield project, the Chief Minister said, the corridor would reduce the travel distance to Chennai by 60 kms.

It is estimated that about 30,000 lorries would travel the route and would save 15 litres of diesel per lorry. By this, a lorry would save Rs. 1300 per day.

Also, the expressway would be an accident free Zone, according to the Chief Minister.

“There have been 16,217 accidents in one year. The number of vehicles have gone up from 1.7 crore in 2008 to 2.57 crore in 2018 and by another 5 years would be 3.27 crore. There would be a resultant increase in accidents.” The proposed expressway would solve the problem, he said.

According to Mr. Palaniswami, the State has seen 31,000 protests in the last one year and the government led by the AIADMK “had triumphantly survived defeating the conspirators.”

Earlier Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and former minister K. P. Munusamy spoke of the ‘conspirators’ and ‘betrayers’, who briefly managed to split the party but finally the party triumphed.

Later, an additional block was inaugurated at the Government Girls Higher Secondary school in Krishnagiri.

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