Sunday, May 29, 2005

News items

French Referendum
French vote today whether or not to adopt the EU constitution.Opinion polls have predicted 'NO' is ahead with 55% of the vote share.But it is expected the small fraction of undicided voters will paly a vital role in determining the outset of results.

French people in Pondichery will also be casting their votes in French Counsel.

Rs 75 cr disbursed for tsunami relief in Pondy: CM
As much as Rs 75 crore had been disbursed so far towards relief and rehabilitation of tsunami-hit people in the Union Territory, Chief Minister N Rangasamy said on Saturday.

Housing projects for the tsunami affected people would be taken up utilising the loan from World Bank and funds generated from outside the state, he told reporters here while detailing the achievements of his ministry during the last four years.

He said the government had been in the process of acquiring 100 acres for development of infrastructures for a cricket stadium, educational institutions and a government sponsored medical college in Kadirkamam.

The proposed medical college would be started during 2006-2007 and the approval of the Medical Council of India was being sought for the same. It would have 100 seats.

He said that Rs 1 crore would be available as subsidy to private entrepreneurs constructing hotels in the Union Territory as the government was keen on promoting tourism.

His government had been able to maintain law and order and this was chiefly responsible for development of Pondicherry, he said adding the plan outlay for the current year had been fixed at Rs 810 crore compared to around Rs 400 crore when he took over in 2001.

He said the Pondicherry administration had expressed its readiness to hold the 2nd South Zone Chief Ministers Conference.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

Jumbo DVDs coming — but at what price?

"Danish ship must be driven out"

The Supreme Court Monitoring Committee (SCMC) has said that the Danish ship "Riky'' docked at a Gujarat port for dismantling, should be "mercilessly driven out of Indian sovereign territory without loss of time."

Responding to a complaint filed before the Monitoring Committee by Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Parikh on behalf of Greenpeace, an environmental group, SCMC chairperson Gopalkrishnan Thyagarajan sought a full-fledged inquiry by a Central agency into the "illegal" entry of the ship into Indian waters.

In a letter to all SCMC members and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, Mr. Thyagarajan said the SCMC was against "entertaining any interest in allowing the ship to stay for ship-breaking. It should go back to its source country, get decontaminated and thereafter seek return observing all rules and regulations of the Basel Convention as well as applicable rules of the Indian Government."

A formal order to this effect would be issued on June 2, a Greenpeace spokesperson said. "As far as SCMC is concerned, we take a serious and alarming view of the ship as fait accompli, which can have far reaching and adverse implications to India`s environmental care and concerns and international image," Mr. Thyagarajan said.

`Intention to cheat'

"The ship changing its name and arriving on Indian shore illegally clearly demonstrates its intention to cheat and deceive. Its arrival is in gross violation of the directives on ship breaking of the Supreme Court. The ship should not have been allowed to enter Indian territorial waters at all. The letter from the Danish Minister for the Environment cautioned India loudly and clearly. If the ship is considered hazardous by Denmark, the Basel Convention requires India also to treat it as such.

Copyright © 2005, The Hindu.

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