Jayalalitha overturns Karuna`s pet library project

The Jayalalithaa government had also earlier stopped the DMK`s flagship programme of supplying free colour TVs, and recast an insurance scheme named after Karunanidhi.

Last Updated: Nov 02, 2011, 18:50 PM IST

Chennai: Abandoning another pet project of
her arch rival M Karunanidhi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J
Jayalalithaa on Wednesday announced converting the Anna Centenary
Library, claimed to be Asia`s largest, into a super speciality
paediatric hospital here.

An upset Karunanidhi, who had described the Rs 600 crore
library as a project close to his heart, said he would leave
the matter to the Tamils and scholars with "self-respect",
even as the move evoked sharp criticism from eminent writers.
Jayalalithaa said the decision was taken at a cabinet
meeting yesterday, holding that this would be the first of its
kind hospital in the country.

Since her return to power with a landslide victory in the
April 13 elections, this is one of the major DMK initiatives
overturned by Jayalalithaa after announcing her government`s
decision to convert the new Assembly-Secretariat complex into
a multi-super-speciality hospital.

She had also announced a judicial probe into alleged
irregularities in the construction of the building, considered
a pet project of Karunanidhi.

Justifying her decision on shifting the library, which
was inaugurated with much fanfare by Karunanidhi, she said,
"It is noteworthy that such a kind of a super speciality
paediatric hospital has not been established anywhere in India
so far."

The library would be moved to the proposed integrated
knowledge centre here. "By initiating such an effort, it is
rest assured Tamil Nadu will be in the forefront of child
care," she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, noted Tamil writers said the library should be
spared, though they welcomed the idea of setting up the child
care hospital.

Writers including Sa.Kandasamy, Indira Parthasarathy,
Nanjil Nadan, Prabanchan and Manushya Puthiran among others,
some of them Sahitya Akademi Award recipients, expressed
"shock" and said the library should be allowed to continue at
the Kotturpuram site itself, earlier selected by Jayalalithaa
to construct a new Assembly complex during her 2001-06 regime.

The Jayalalithaa government had also earlier stopped the
DMK`s flagship programme of supplying free colour TVs, and
recast an insurance scheme named after Karunanidhi.

PTI