Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday announced that a mega food processing plant will be set up at Nagapattinam at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore. Speaking at the Collectorate after his review on the measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic crisis, he said that the state is taking big steps forward in agriculture and healthcare sectors despite the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Mr Palaswami stated that agricultural activities in the state are being carried out without any disruption, while adding that about 28 lakh tonnes of paddy had been procured from farmers in Cauvery delta districts amid the pandemic. Calling it a historic feat, he added that five lakh tonnes of paddy surplus has been acquired this year in comparison to 2019. He also informed that thorough desilting work is being done in the delta districts in order to facilitate the free flow of Cauvery water. 

Addressing the healthcare sector, Mr Palaniswami said the state-run hospitals have been providing better service compared to private medical facilities. He stated that the infrastructure in these facilities have received a facelift, where people from below the poverty line can gain easy access to high-quality healthcare in the state. He also said that a new medical college with a modern hospital is currently being constructed at Nagapattinam at a cost of Rs 365 crore. 

Chief Minister Palaniswami spoke about the formation of the Mayiladuthurai district bifurcating Nagapattinam and said that the new district will begin functioning soon with a public hearing currently in progress. Talking about Tamil Nadu attracting investors during the COVID-19 crisis, he added that the state is laying emphasis on a large-scale employment generation. 

He also announced that the proposed upcoming mega food processing plant in Nagapattinam will create more employment opportunities in the region, while a textiles park will also be set up in the district in the days ahead. In regard to the higher education enrolment, Mr Palaniswami stated that notable developments have been made in the past 9 years. 

Mr Palaniswami also spoke about the state government's efforts in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and assured that all necessary steps are being taken, while pointing out that Tamil Nadu currently has the highest recovery rate in the country and is carrying out more COVID-19 tests per day than any other states.