Chennai: The ruling AIADMK's populist free bicycle scheme was on Wednesday formally rolled out by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in Chennai for the academic year 2016-17 to students of class eleven, costing Rs 243.96 crore to the exchequer.
Late AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa had introduced the scheme during the 2001-02 academic year, benefiting students of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It was later expanded to students of those schools receiving financial assistance from the government.
At a function at the Secretariat on Wednesday, Panneerselvam handed over the bicycles to seven students as part of kick-starting the scheme, an official release said.
Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Minister V M Rajalakshmi, Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Minister S Valarmathi and senior government officials were present, it said. Earlier, Panneerselvam chaired a cabinet meeting at the Secretariat, sources said....