Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Information and Broadcasting L Murugan on Saturday launched COVID-19 vaccination drive at the doorstep at Semathamman Nagar, Brindavan Nagar, and Sri Ayyappa Nagar in Chennai, said a press statement issued by the Tamil Nadu government.
As per the statement, Murugan while speaking to the reporters on the occasion, said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his interaction with District Collectors a couple of days ago had asked them to provide vaccines to people at their doorsteps. Following this, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya launched the programme in Gujarat the day before yesterday and we are here today to implement it in Tamil Nadu."
Stating that India has emerged tall in the global arena by administering 100 crore doses of vaccine, the Minister added, "This is not an easy task. Our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has achieved this. This feat has been made with the support of State governments, doctors, nurses, frontline workers, and the general public.
"We have given vaccines to around 6 crore people in Tamil Nadu. While 93 per cent of people have received the first dose, 30 per cent have received the second. There are over 60 lakh people who are yet to receive a second dose jab," said the union minister.
Murugan urged people to stay cautious in view of the festive season.
"I request those who have not received a second dose to get it without further delay. Only now we are coming out of corona. We have achieved something which has not been done by anyone. People should come forward to get their shots. Tamil Nadu Health Minister and Health department officials have launched vaccine at doorstep drive. People should make use of this opportunity and get jabs," said the union minister.
The union minister requested people to wear masks and follow other COVID-19 protocols without fail.
"Though Deepavali is over, other festivals are coming up. Hence, we should remain alert," said Murugan. He said that a seaweed park had been announced for Tamil Nadu in the Union Budget.
"Besides providing employment to our mothers and sisters in the fishing community, the scheme will empower them economically. The demand for seaweed is increasing as it is used in the production of fertilizers and medicines. It is being consumed as a food item in Japan. Since it has nutritional content, it would occupy an important place in the future. There is scope for employment and economic growth. The Tamil Nadu government has to send a project report. Once it is done, works would commence and seaweed project would start soon," he said.
Earlier, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had in her budget speech FY 2021-22 had allocated an amount of Rs 1220.84 crores for the Department of Fisheries, which is the highest ever annual budgetary support for the Department.
Finance Minister had announced substantial investments for the development of modern fishing harbours and fish landing centres. To start with, 5 major fishing harbours - Kochi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip, and Petuaghat - will be developed as hubs of economic activity.
Meanwhile, stating that the Central government has reduced tax on petrol and diesel as a Deepavali gift for people, Murugan hoped that the Tamil Nadu government would follow suit and bring down the value-added tax (VAT) on fuel as many other states have done it
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