Friday, June 30, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
A ten member team of municipal workers are cleaning up the thrown outs, especially plastic wastes. (It would not be appropriate to say 'Cleaning up', since they are not actually cleaning, but collecting the plastic wastes and dumping it in 10's of approximately 3x3 foot pits, right in sandscape- a myopic and dangerous practice.)
This time roofing for the stalls are made with tin sheets. Also this time there are no 'gigantic' tora tora and Columbus, they are replaced with a smaller version of them. Wiring works are going on in the auditorium to east of Periyar College of Arts & Science. Being here one could get the real sense of the festival.
(as of 9am)
Monday, June 26, 2006
Saturday, June 24, 2006
The initiative comes in the wake of the Sathyam Committee set up by the Textiles Ministry to look into the textile chain. Apart from one at Cuddalore permission had been grated to Gujarat Eco Textiles Park, Surat, Metro Hi-Tech Cooperative Park, Kohlapur and Jaipur Texweaving Park,Silora.(Source:Panel clears 4 projects under textile parks scheme — To bring investments worth Rs 1,756 cr -Business Line). Apart from these Central Government is planning to setup 25 such parks throughtout India before 2007.
SIMA, had sought land from the State Government, and the government has offered 300 acres at the SIPCOT industrial estate Phase III with a provision to take up another 800 acres. It is said that the project will provide direct employment to 5000 and indirect employment to 50,000 persons.
This project may lead to the developement of the region. But will it lead to a 'sustainable' developement. Why all in a suddenly Cuddalore became an attractive destination for these leading mills in the industry will be the question in every mind. The answer could be easily infered from the statement issued by the Chairman of SIMA .In a SIMA meeting he said "Cuddalore has plentiful ground water and also the facility for marine disposal of wastes."
Though it promises to employe water frugal technology and biological treatment for disposal of the solid effluents, from the past experiences one can be sure that there will be open violation of all norms and standards .
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Cuddalore port is in a neglected state for more than two decades. Even on early 70's, it set records on goods handling. But fell there after. It is customary for politicians (of minister cadre) to make a visit to the port once in around every five years and make some big promises. But no notable efforts were taken.
Around 2001-02 when then (state) government was in its early stages of its term, put forth a proposal to to built a 'mega' port in Cuddalore and the task the was to be vested in the hands to a Singapore firm.
But what followed was a 'mega' chaos. It was the time when projects like Nagarjuna's refinery and Relaince's thermal power project was getting into shape.So coal from Australia and and crude oil from middle east were to be the major imports of the proposed port. It was said that, then Chief Minister of Andra Pradesh Mr.Chandrababu Naidu put pressure on Nagarjuna Group to setup the refinery in Andra Pradesh itself. At certain point of time, work on the refinery project was progressing slowly (which was partly because that Nagarjuna could not attain financial closure). It was around this time feasibility test was conducted for the port. Government stated that, since both the refinery and power plant project were dropped, it is dropping its proposal to bring up the mega port in Cuddalore.
After government dropping the new project for the port, Reliance which was actually much eager to setup the power plant here, reciprocated by dropping its plan on the grounds that the port is not to comeup here (It later setup power plant in Tuticorin). Government dropped its port project and Reliance dropped its power plant project, pointing out each other. Cuddalore lost both the 'mega' projects.
Shift chemical units to safer places: forum
CUDDALORE: Cuddalore District Consumer Protection Organisation general secretary M. Nizamuddin called for the shifting of chemical units (on the banks of the Uppanar) to safer places for the safety of residents near the industrial estate and marine life.
The premises of certain chemical units in the SIPCOT Industrial Estate were flooded with water up to five feet in height during the tsunami and the recent floods.
When the water drained, hazardous chemical waste dumped here was washed off into the Uppanar.
In a representation to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Mr. Nizamudeen alleged that certain units were producing chemicals not permitted by the TNPCB, and in certain others, the quantity produced was far more than that allowed.
Some units constructed additional buildings without the permission of the TNPCB. He said since they did not observe the zero discharge norms, untreated effluents were let into the Uppanar.
Employees handling the common effluent treatment facility were not given security cover. Mr. Nizamudeen said uncleared chemical dumps in certain units were potential hazards to human safety.
Primary health centre
The forum official appealed to the TNPCB to permanently post an assistant engineer in the industrial estate to deal with problem immediately.
He called for setting up a Primary Health Centre in the estate to provide medical attention to people in nearby villages.
Automatic equipment with computer backup should be set up in the estate to monitor the pollution level round-the-clock, Mr. Nizamudeen added.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Indian Oil Corporation intends to enter into an agreement with Nagarjuna Oil Corporation Ltd for buying petro products from the 6-million-tonne refinery that Nagarjuna is putting up in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, reports Business Line.
However, the agreement will not bind IOC into a committed offtake. The PSU oil major will have the right of first refusal Nagarjuna will have to offer its products first to IOC, informed the company.
Nagarjuna Oil Corporation is putting up a 6-million-tonne refinery at a cost of Rs 47.5 billion at Cuddalore. The Tatas are taking 26% stake in the company.
The IOC board had okayed a Rs 23.7 billion budget for the marketing division of IOC, of which Rs 11 billion would go only towards putting up more retail outlets and doing up existing outlets.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Bombay Stocks Jump Again
Indian Oil gained 8.6%. It reached an agreement with Nagarjuna Oil for buying petro products from the 6-million-tonne refinery that Nagarjuna is putting up in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. full story>>
Friday, June 16, 2006
Tata Sons is all set to pick a 26% stake in the Nagarjuna refinery at Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu. The Tatas will spend close to Rs 3,500 million for its stake in the Rs 13,700 million equity of the project, reports Business Line.
With this, Nagarjuna Oil Corporation Ltd, which is putting up a six million tonnes a year refinery, is all set to achieve financial closure shortly. IDBI has sanctioned its part of the Rs 33,800 million debt for the project and is also syndicating the loans, including the foreign currency debt.
With the Tatas coming in as an equity partner, the project is expected to get a boost and proceed smoothly. It was originally scheduled to go on stream in 2002, but the date was later put off to 2005.
The Nagarjuna group, as main promoters, will hold 51% equity in the project followed by Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO), a State Government undertaking, 5%; Krupp Uhde, the technical collaborator, 7%; and Sun Itera, a joint venture between the Itera group, a leading producer and trader of natural gas in the CIS countries, Sun Energy of India, 10% and IDBI 1%.
TIDCO, which has been actively pursuing this project, is expected to convince the State Government to provide financial incentives as per the industry policy in vogue.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
All the effluent collection stations of CUSECS in SIPCOT Cuddalore were shut down today by striking workers who were demanding compensation for the death of their co-worker. 33 year old Kathavarayan. Kathavarayan, a worker in CUSECS IV, succumbed to leukemia last evening after a futile fight against the disease for more than a year. He had worked at the effluent collection and forwarding facility for more than four years. With assistance from Rotary Club, Kathavarayan had undergone a few months of treatment. But that assistance stopped shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer at the Cancer Institute in Chennai. Employee State Insurance hospitals that run on contributions paid by workers and matched by the State and the Government have been set up expressly to render assistance to workers and their families. Also, the Insurance is meant to compensate injured workers and pay pension to those unable to work for a living. However, neither the company -- CUSECS Ltd -- nor the contractor have approached the ESI to secure medical assistance or compensation for the worker.
Other CUSECS workers suspect that the disease was caused by the unsafe working conditions and high levels of pollution in the facility. The striking workers are demanding better working conditions and safety equipment. The strike led to an overflow of effluents from the CUSECS pumping stations. SIPCOT Area Community Environment Monitors who were on the spot said the effluents from CUSECS 3 and 6 were overflowing into the River Uppanar.
The TNPCB arrived promptly upon being notified by the Monitors, and operated the pump to empty the overflowing effluents into the sea. SACEM has pressed for action against CUSECS and is urging the authorities to ensure that the worker's family is adequately compensated.
An air sample taken from CUSECS by Monitors found seven chemicals, including at least four chemicals that exceeded levels considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Hydrogen Sulphide was found 874 times higher than safe levels. Methylene Chloride, a carcinogen, was more than 900 times above USEPA screening levels. Trichloroethene, another carcinogen, was present at more than 700 times above safe levels.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Last week i had the opportunity to go to Cuddalore (visit cuddalore.nic.in) , a small town in east coast some 180 kms down south of Chennai. It came to limelight after the Tsunami devasted this town. It became after the visits of Bill Clinton and Vivek Oberoi. Vivek Oberai stayed there for weeks and helped the people in re construction.
When i talk about Cuddalore, I need to mention about its collector Shri Gagan Singh Bedi. A dynamic person, who speaks a broken Tamil, has done a lot for the district both during pre and post Tsunami period. When i hear about him i think that India does require such Civil Service peoples more
Monday, June 12, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
Though the festival provides good entertainment for the locals residents, it should not end in itself. The festival must showcase Cuddalore's beautiful beaches to outside world to attract both domestic and foreign tourists(If Pondicherry can attract 25,000 foreign tourists a year, Cuddalore can attract atleast one fourth of it if a little effort is taken). To achieve this getting the attention of the media is necessary. And media attention can be got by adding some new attractive events/competitions (in addition to the existing) to the schedule.
Making of sand sculptures and organising a competition for the same, will greatly attract media people.It might be difficult for the first fews years to attract a large no. of competitors.But as the event gets popular there will be more competitiors. Students and staff members of 'Barathiyar Kalaikoodam' are well versed in making sand scluptures. To begin with, their expertise can be sought.
Beach volley ball used to be a event once.Over the years the event has disappeared. Necessary arrangements can be made to bring back the event.
'Kite Festival' is another attractive event.(If wind in this part of the year isn't strong enough, a seperate festival for flying kites can be held around the month of August (or when the wind is strong) with the assistance of Department of Tourism.)This will greatly attract the foreign tourists.
Similarly firework display (preferably from offshore) by the late evening hours will attract more crowd and will get the much needed media hype.
This time, I hope, some stalls will be reserved for conveying information about disaster manage -ment, awarness towards disasters and importance of coastal vegetation. Usually stalls use to come up in the beautiful green spread to the east of 'White House' (SP's official residence). But now Government of Rajasthan's makes bricks here for its tsunami rehabilitation project (thus spoiling a part of the green spread). It would not look tidy to have stalls arround this. It is too early to guess the solution the district administration will come up with.
Construction of new bridge is another problem faced this time.The make shift ground level bridge near the old one will be unsafe for such huge crowd that would turn up. Though it is said that the other bridge connecting Cuddalore straight to Devanampattinam is ready this time, its still not clear what other arrangements will be made (apart from wooden bridge for pedestrains).
I will keep updating the developements as it happens.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
First photograph shows Boat House as it was back one year.
Recent flood in Gadilam has greatly changed the course of the river near its mouth.
Third photograph shows the plight of the pier after the flood.No corrective measures were taken till date.
As the 'Summer Festival' is nearing, people will be really missing it.
Second photograph shows the boats once used for boating, lying in the nearby ground.
The shops along the north end of the beach is the prime reason. Also people through plastic papers they bring with them. As a result heaps of garbages collected over several days spoils the aesthetic of beach.
Monday, June 05, 2006
The people of cuddalore are awaiting to enjoy the event which is happening after a long gap due to tsunami tragedy.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Pondicherry to Chennai – Rs.1,500
Pondicherry to Bangalore – Rs.2,400
Pondicherry to Tirupati – Rs.2,400
Jagson Airlines, a Delhi-based private operator, has come forward to operate flights to Chennai, Bangalore and Tirupati sector and back.
An 18-seater Dornier 228 aircraft is being flown to Pondicherry on Sunday, which would be used for flight operation to all the three destinations, Vinod Malhotra, General Manager (Marketing) and Business Head of Jagson Airlines, told this website’s newspaper.
“We would be operating the flights to all the three destinations daily but confine it to six days a week. There would be no flights on Sunday which would be kept for maintenance of the aircraft. A maintenance unit under H R Sharma, Maintenance Engineer, has been set up to keep the aircraft in good condition,” he said.
The ground clearance from Bangalore and Tirupati has been given but the landing rights from Chennai Airport are awaited. The operator is expecting to get the clearance in the next couple of days.
“As far as Pondicherry airport is concerned, we have received all the clearances from the DGCA and we are ready to operate the flights from June 7,” said Malhotra.
The government has assured guarantee for the sale of 50 percent of the tickets (nine seats) as per the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Jagson Airlines with the Government of Pondicherry earlier.
The Pondicherry Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) would sell nine tickets on behalf of the government, while the tickets for the remaining seats would be sold by the travel agent, Bon Jour Bon Heur Travels.
“Once the green signal is given by the operator, the sale of tickets would begin,” said Abhimookh Patel, Head of Bon Jour Bon Heur Travels.
The airport has been made ready by upgrading and modifying the facilities as per the directions given by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
A team comprising Regional Controller of Air Safety Bir Singh Rai and Regional Deputy Commissioner, Civil Aviation Security, P Gauri Shankar, after assessing the facilities at the airport on February 24, issued the directions.
According to officials of the Airport Authority of India (AAI), the airport already had the logistic support machinery and the 4,000 feet runway was in good shape and did not require any re-laying or repairs.
The airport has been handling trainer aircraft from Orient Flight School and NCC and occasionally some chartered flights.
The Territorial Administration has agreed to provide the manpower required for airport security.
The aircraft security has however, been arranged by the airline operator.
Separate counters for Chennai, Bangalore and Tirupati have been put up by the operator. The airport is now ready after the completion of the work last month.
However, there are still some problems as the airport is manned only up to 1 pm. Since three flights are being operated, the schedules are tight.
“If the flights get delayed beyond 1 pm, the operator has to pay an additional amount to the AAI for extended services,” said Malhotra.
Moreover, there was no night landing facilities.
The other drawback is that Pondicherry does not have refuelling facilities and the operator was dependent on Chennai or Bangalore for refuelling. “We have requested oil companies like Indian Oil and others to open a unit here,” said Malhotra.
COURTESY - INDIAN EXPRESS - June 4TH
There was a proposal to connect Cuddalore-Pondicherry-Thindivanam and thus Chennai thereafter.This wont be a prefered route from Cuddalore to Chennai because of the travel time.Somehow the proposal got droped.
Later Pondicherry government put forward a proposal to connect Chennai (I suppose through Mahabalipuram) and Pondicherry thus leaving out Cuddalore.When Pondicherry government brought up the issue in 23rd Southern Zonal Council meeting, then Chief Minister Ms.J.Jayalalitha had promised to give the land along Buckingham canal.This proposal also seems to have failed the feasibility test.
Finally Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-Pondicherry conducted a survey by itself. CII survey results showed the essential return could be got only if the railway line started from Cuddalore. So understanding necessitivity, Cuddalore was also include in the project and the survey findings where submitted to Southern Railways. It seems Southern Railways submitted (by the end of October 2005) the proposal to Railway Board for further proceedings.
This being the scenario, Mr.Velu he himself came forward and said that "a survey had been commissioned with regard to a railway line to link Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry and Cuddalore."
while inspecting the ongoing works on MRTS in Perungudi.
Railway projects in Tamil Nadu were never given prefernce by successive governments. Since parties from Tamil Nadu has a stronger vioce this time, many railway projects are sanctioned here.A total of 80 new Railway Over Bridges are to be constructed in Tamil Nadu.The project must be sanctioned before the end of this term.If not it is less likely that the project will get the approval, especially because Tamil Nadu really got much in the present term.
As of now it appears that the MRTS will be extended along the Old Mahabalipuram Road upto Mahabalipuram, to provide the necessary support for the IT Corridor .So once Cuddalore-Pondicherry-Mahabalipuram line is laid it will make a complete the connection to Chennai.Old Mahabalipuram Road being the prefered destination IT firms this railway project once completed will get competitive advantage to both Pondicherry and Cuddalore.
It is interesting to note that work on Velachery-St.Thomas Mount is to start soon and is expected to be completed in four years.So making it easy for the tourists (from the Air Port) to reach places of touristic importance along the east coast.
Let us put aside our assertions and wait for the survey results of Department of Railways.
A fire at the premises of the now-abandoned Coromandel Indag factory in SIPCOT, Cuddalore, spread thick white smoke and panic among local residents. Lakshmi (35), wife of Rajiv, reportedly fainted, upon which the villagers alerted the SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors. Lakshmi was admitted to Surendra Hospital. The breeze blowing from the Southeast to the Northwest carried the smoke from the fire as far away as the Cuddalore Old Town, about 3 km away.
SACEM estimates that the fire started at around 4.30 p.m. “It was very less at the time, and not many people knew. There was not much of a flame. There was a low blue flame, but a lot of smoke. There was an acid-like smell. We couldn’t go near the smoke,” said SIPCOT monitor S. Ramanathan, who reached the spot by 6 p.m. and alerted the Fire Services. The fire tenders that arrived by 8 p.m. eventually put the fire out by 9 p.m. SACEM has taken an air sample using the bucket.
According to Ramanathan, the Fire Service personnel were hesitant to use water because they did not know the nature of the chemical that was burning and did not want to aggravate the situation. TNPCB Assistant Engineer said he was on leave, and the District Environmental Engineer was not reachable. The factory is under lock-out, and the premises are under the control of the Court. A police complaint has been filed.
Besides Indag, hazardous wastes are stored in several other closed units including JK Pharma, Maruti Synthetics, Oswali Chemicals, Maruti Labs, Kumaran Carbonates, Pentafour and Tamilnadu Pigments. As early as in January, 2005, SACEM brought the matter of hazardous wastes stored in SIPCOT factories to the notice of the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee and the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board. But no action has been taken on the matter by either.
A copy of the report titled “Groundtruths” is available at:
Industries continue to poison Cuddalore
This news item contains a detailed tabulation of pollution patrol report.
Accident at Pioneer Miyagi; One worker seriously injured
Cuddalore, 28 May 2006: 35 year old J. Kaliamurthy of Periya Karaikadu sustained a severe head injury and fractured both hands after falling from a height on the third floor of an unapproved construction within Pioneer Miyagi Chemicals. The mishap took place at 7:45 am on 28 May, 2006. Mr. Kaliamurthy’s friend rushed him to Krishna Hospital with no assistance from the company. SIPCOT monitors who were at the spot within 30 minutes said none of the company officials accompanied the victim, and worked continued apace even after the accident. The victim was not given first aid in the company, and he was able to reach the hospital after a car obligingly stopped on the highway to take him. SACEM confirms that construction work resumed on 29 May. The DEE has been informed of this development as well.
SACEM informed the District Environment Engineer (DEE) of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and the Deputy Inspector of Factories immediately. The TNPCB official confirmed that Pioneer did not have a Consent to Establish for the construction in question. According to Mr. Karthikeyan, the DEE of TNPCB, the company was issued a letter directing it to not engage in any construction activity until clearance was given. The company chose to ignore the letter and continued to build. The Plant Supervisor Mr. M. Ramaiah also confirmed that the company did not have a Consent to Establish from the TNPCB.
DEE along with the SACEM members inspected the site of the accident, accompanied by Mr. Ramaiah. According to SACEM, the construction site was strewn with rods and pipes, and the conditions and work practices were inherently unsafe. The third floor of the unit was flooded with water, increasing the vulnerability of workers. The DEE has promised to take strict action against the unit for violating the Board's order. The Deputy Inspector of Factories has also promised to look into the matter.
However, going by previous experience, the DEE’s actions and recommendations will not be followed by the Board. If the Board’s track record is anything to go by, Pioneer Miyagi’s construction schedule will suffer a slight delay, but the company’s illegal construction will be legalized by the Board without levying even a token fine for having commenced construction without permission.
No new construction can be undertaken without permission from both the TNPCB and the Inspector of Factories. However, the TNPCB routinely condones illegal construction, especially for companies that are politically well connected. Recently, it accorded post-facto clearance to Tagros Chemicals – a notorious polluter and one of the more unsafe units in SIPCOT – after the company had illegally constructed an entire factory and operated the factory for several years. The company had been ordered shut for a month, after which the company resumed operations upon receipt of post-facto clearance.
Pioneer Miyagi manufactures gelatin from cow and camel bones for export, among other places, to Japan. Known as a notorious polluter, the company’s emissions smell of rotting carcasses. SACEM members have also identified Pioneer as a routine discharger or illegal effluents through streams and illegal channels to the River Uppanar.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
The Nagarjuna Group has given up control of the Rs 4,300 crore power plant in Mangalore to the Hyderabad-based Lanco Group.
Lanco has picked up 74% equity in the 1,015 mw coal-fired thermal power project that has been hanging fire for a decade now.
...As to the reason for hiving off the majority stake in the project, which is at an advanced stage of implementation, Sinha said the group, which is also implementing an ambitious 6 million tonnes per annum refinery project at Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, did not have the requisite funds to put into the power project.
“Therefore it felt it had to offload equity,” he added.
The Cuddalore refinery, which, too, has been under implementation for almost a decade now, is slated to cost Rs 4,500 crore. full story>>
Lanco takes control of Nagarjuna Power- The Telegraph
The Lanco group has picked up a controlling stake in Nagarjuna Power Company Ltd, which is setting up a power plant near Mangalore.
The Nagarjuna group, which is the promoter of the power company, has been forced to sell the majority stake for lack of funds. The group had suffered a setback after the collapse of Nagarjuna Finance Ltd.
....He said the group was implementing a 6-million-tpa refinery project at Cuddalore and, therefore, felt it necessary to offload its stake in the power project. The Cuddalore refinery will cost Rs 4,500 crore. full story>>