Sunday, March 29, 2009

Trial run on broadgauge section between Cuddalore and Villupuram

Trial run on broadgauge section today - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE: A trial run will be conducted on the newly-laid broadgauge section between Cuddalore and Villupuram on Saturday.

Southern Railway sources told The Hindu that the 120-km stretch would have 11 major bridges, 100 minor bridges, 25 level-crossings and seven stations, including Thirupadiripuliyur, Varakkalpattu, Nellikuppam, Melpattampakkam, Panruti, Thiruthuraiyur and Sendanur.

This section is part of the Villupuram-Mayiladuthurai gauge conversion project and services are likely to begin on this route by June.

The project is about a year behind schedule for various reasons.

For instance, a railway bridge across the Kollidam linking Chidambaram and Sirkazhi was posing difficulties in erecting concrete pillars owing to frequent floods.

The sources said that the Cuddalore-Villupuram section was executed by the Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. However, the level-crossing on Lawrence Road in the heart of Cuddalore town remained a contentious issue.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Red effluent in Uppanaar

Uppanar Pollution: Fishermen find Red Effluent in Water, Report Skin Problems -

Cuddalore, 25 March 2009: The fishermen fishing early in the morning in the river Uppanar reported red effluent near Kudikadu village today. According to the local fishermen they entered the water at about 3 am and suffered from severe itching on the skin after coming to contact with the water. This prompted them to come back at a later hour to check the reasons for such skin reactions. When the fishermen came to the same site at about 6 pm they saw a red sludge like layer floating on the water (see picture). No smell was reported from the effluent.

A complaint has been filed with the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Board is yet to respond or investigate into the incident.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Groundwater pollution “alarming”

Groundwater pollution “alarming” in different parts of State, warns report - The Hindu

T. Ramakrishnan

Marked deterioration noticed in quality of shallow groundwater

— File Photo

Stream of distress: Untreated effluents from leather tanneries pose a hazard to groundwater. A scene at Pammal near Chennai.

CHENNAI: The magnitude of groundwater pollution due to indiscriminate discharge of solid and liquid waste by the industry and fertilizers/pesticides used excessively by farmers have reached an “alarming stage” in the State, according to a paper presented at a recent workshop organised by the Central Groundwater Board.

The affected areas include Dindigul, Ranipet-Ambur-Vaniyambadi-Pernambut in Vellore district; Sembattu in Tiruchi district and parts of Erode district and Chromepet near Chennai (known for the presence of tannery units); Tiruppur (knitwear and hosiery); parts of Karur and Erode districts (textile and weaving units); and parts of Salem and Namakkal (tapioca processing units).

While aquaculture has been cited as the reason for the pollution in coastal tracts of Nagapattinam district, the presence of engineering industries at Ambattur near Chennai and Coimbatore city and surrounding areas is said to have caused the pollution. The Manali industrial area in Tiruvallur district, where petrochemical units and refineries are located, is another affected area the paper said.
Undesirable change

Submitted by scientist at the CGWB K. Ravichandran, the paper stated that special studies carried out by the Board in and around tannery belts between 2002 and 2008 revealed that an undesirable change in physical and chemical characteristics of soil and groundwater had been noticed, rendering thousands of hectares of fertile land sterile. In other areas, the study began in the year 2000.

A study of analytical results of groundwater quality tested by the Board and the State government’s agencies showed that the quality of shallow groundwater, in general, had deteriorated much. The concentration of dissolved solids and chlorides in water samples collected from dug wells was extremely high, ranging between 20,000 milligram per litre and 35,000 mg/l, especially in the tannery belts.

Studies in Dindigul indicated that the common effluent treatment plant had not been effective in reducing total dissolved solids to permissible limit for domestic use. Describing the Ranipet region as an “endangered area,” the paper called for strong measures from the government to arrest the deterioration. Groundwater in Chromepet was highly mineralised and excessively hard. In Manali, toxic heavy metals were present in the industrial effluents and surface water sources.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Reconstruction of roads under way in Cuddalore

Reconstruction of roads under way in Cuddalore - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE: The Cuddalore municipality has taken up the road relaying works in stretches, in all the 45 wards, according to N. Ravichandran, Municipal Commissioner.

The residents are concerned over the condition of roads that are fully damaged by heavy rains in the past three years. The roads are full of potholes, and hence, pose great inconvenience to the commuters.

The tarred surface has been fully eroded in many places and big stones are protruding out. The problem is compounded by the slow implementation of the underground drainage project.

The Commissioner said the reconstruction of roads had been taken up from the flood relief funds amounting to Rs. 2 crore provided by Collector Rajendra Ratnoo. After studying the condition of the roads in the entire municipal limits, the stretches that needed immediate attention were identified. These were mostly the major roads which carried heavy traffic. In all, 12 km length of roads would be re-laid with bitumen tar surface.

A few stretches at Reddichathram Street, Market Colony, Chinnaponnu Nagar, Pillaiyar Koil Street, Palla Street, Kodikkalkuppam, Kuttakara Cross Street, Vaithialingam Street and Seeman Thotal will get cement concrete pavement.

Care had been taken that the newly laid roads would not be dug again for giving household connections to the underground drainage system.

All these works would be completed in a month, Mr. Ravichandran said.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Embroidery at Cuddalore Central Prison

No bar on them in unfettering creativity and mastering art - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

19 life term convicts learn the art of embroidery at Cuddalore Central Prison

— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
Changing patterns: Inmates of Cuddalore Central Prison learning the ropes of embroidery in a training session.

CUDDALORE: It is paradoxical but true that the persons whose raw passion has landed them in trouble and pushed them behind bars are mastering intricate needle works.

They believe that learning the art of embroidery will occupy them fully and eliminate the thinking that they are simply slogging within the four walls of the prison.

This is the domineering feeling of a batch of 19 convicts who are serving their life term in the Cuddalore Central Prison. Instead of whiling away time and brooding over misfortunes these inmates are eager to learn certain skills that would give them a sort of solace and a sense of direction and purpose in life.

Jail Superintendent R.Kanagaraj told The Hindu that the authorities were favourably disposed to the idea of the inmates taking up certain skill-oriented pursuits.

Grabbing the opportunity a 45-year-old inmate Krishnaraj (name changed to camouflage the identity), a lifer in a murder case, mooted the idea of starting an embroidery training centre in the prison.

Before conviction Krishnaraj was in the trade for years and hence, he was well versed to assume the role of the trainer. Soon, 18 other inmates had expressed their willingness to learn the ropes.

Therefore, the jail authorities procured them the required materials such as pieces of colourful cloth, needles and chumkis. The Jail Superintendent said it was a highly creative work meant for those who have the patience to sit through for hours together.

0They undergo the training with the hope that after their release they could take up the trade to lead a dignified life.

In the carpentry section 20 other inmates were busy cutting the wooden reapers and nailing them to make rectangular boxes. A private fabric dealer at Kurinjipadi had provided the materials from which the boxes of required sizes were being made.

For every completed box Rs.8 was being given as wages. Satisfied with the finished products the dealer had promised to place orders continuously.

The Jail Superintendent said such profitable occupation enabled the inmates to overcome the remorse of their misdeeds and instilled in them the hope that once out of the prison they could take up decent living.

Chinese boat drifts near Cuddalore

Chinese boat drifts near Cuddalore - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE: An inflatable rubber boat of Chinese origin was found drifting off Rasapettai coastal village near here on Thursday.

Jayaprakash, a fisherman of the village, towed the black-and-orange boat to the shore and informed the police.

The boat carried two cylinders, one with carbondioxide and other with nitrogen.

An orange-coloured mesh like device, said to be a radar reflector, was also found onboard. It is stated that during emergency, light will be focused on the device to attract the attention of vessels on high seas. Drinking water sachets with inscriptions ‘Made in China’ and two oars were also found in the dinghy.

The Cuddalore Port police are investigating.

Demonstration against untouchability in Cuddalore district

CPI (M) stages demo against ‘untouchability’ - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

flaying discrimination: CPI (M) cadres staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate in Cuddalore on Tuesday. —

CUDDALORE:Cadres of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), including women, staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate here on Tuesday, decrying the prevalence of untouchability in certain villages.

District secretary of the party S. Dhanasekaran said that there were about 300 Dalit families in Nallathur, who were denied their rights in all aspects of life. He alleged that the Dalits were not properly enrolled or given regular work under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Two-tumbler system was still prevalent at tea shops where the Dalits were not allowed to sit.

Temples, community halls, marriage halls and even barber shops were out of bounds for them. The village also lacked basic amenities such as schools, anganwadis and fair price shops.

At Periya Kanganakuppam, a graveyard allotted to the Dalits had been encroached upon.

The CPI (M) urged the authorities to invoke the provisions of the Scheduled Castes/Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and also restore the rights of the Dalits.

Disaster preparedness in SIPCOT area

Stress on disaster preparedness - The Hindu

CUDDALORE: Collector Rajendra Ratnoo has called upon chemical units in the SIPCOT Industrial Estate here to create awareness among residents in the vicinity of disaster preparedness and management.

Mr. Ratnoo spoke at a review meeting held here on Thursday.

He said that during natural disasters such as cyclone, floods and tsunami the chemical units set up closer to the coastal areas could be a threat to the people and environment.

Therefore, these units had to arrange for demonstrations on disaster management techniques.

Mr. Ratnoo also insisted upon the units to fully cooperate with the officials in implementing the pollution control norms.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fibre boats for Customs Department in Cuddalore

Ultra powerful fibreglass boats for Customs dept - Sakaal Times
Friday, March 13th, 2009 AT 11:03 AM
Tags: Customs dept, Tamil Nadu

NAGAPATTINAM: Customs personnel in five coastal cities of Tamil Nadu will now be better equipped to take on smugglers with the Centre allotting them ultra modern high speed fibre glass boats.

These Norwegian designed boats, fitted with two 250 Horse power Hydraulic engines, would be manned by 10 customs personnel and also help check smuggling of narcotics, medicines to other countries and ships at sea, sources said.

This is part of the Centre's plan to coordinate the activities of the customs with the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Coastal Security Force, which have already been strengthened, they said.

These boats will be given to the Customs department at Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Tuticorin, Cuddalore and Chennai ports.

The dismantled boats, which arrived at the Chennai customs office on March 9, with all the necessary equipment, would be assembled soon and put out to sea in about a fortnight, they said.

Tsunami early warning system

An early warning system for tsunami developed - ThaiIndian
March 13th, 2009 - 2:24 pm ICT by ANI -

Hyderabad, Mar 13 (ANI): The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) in Hyderabad has developed a Tsunami Early Warning System to provide special kind of data for the safety of people living in the Indian coastal areas.

The Early Warning System will mitigate Oceanogenic disasters that cause severe threat to nearly 400 million people that live in the coastal belt leading to huge devastation of life and property.
“Tsunami Early Warning System comprises seismic stations. They are actually there to identify whether any Tsunami generic earthquake has happened. So, we are capable of detecting earthquakes of more than six magnitudes because more than six magnitudes are the ones, which are capable of generating a Tsunami. To detect such events, we need a network of seismic stations. So, we have actually access to more than 300 international and national seismic stations, which are sending data to INCOIS,” said T. Srinivas Kumar, Incharge, Tsunami Early Warning System.

The centre has a special wing, the National Early Warning System for tsunami and storm surges linked to17 broadband seismic stations for real time earthquake detection and 320 international stations, which enable it to locate its occurrence within five to ten minutes.

“We have used earthquake sensors. So we try to monitor if there is any earthquake happening in the ocean. Once if it has happened, then we see if it is a large one or not because then the displacement of water will be large. Then we monitor water level changes using bottom pressure recorder. If we see any changes in the level of the seawater, we confirm whether Tsunami is likely to come or not,” said M.Ravichandran, Head, Modeling and Ocean Observation Group, INCOIS.

The giant tsunami waves that occurred on December 26, 2004 triggered by a powerful earthquake that killed over 150,000 people across Asia and Africa, swept across India’’s southeastern and southern coast killing 12,405 people and left millions homeless.
India was among the most grievously hit by the tsunami, with a death toll of more than 7,400 in Tamil Nadu alone.

The coastal districts of Tamil Nadu suffered massive destructions and damage to life and property.

The tsunami swept through Chennai, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and other coastal belts and thousands of people were washed away. (ANI)

Tamil Nadu tourism department to promote dawn festival

TN welcomes private initiatives in tourism - Time of India
10 Mar 2009, 0411 hrs IST, V Ayyappan, TNN

CHENNAI: Public Private Partnership (PPP) is going to be the watchword for Tamil Nadu Tourism, which is planning to tie-up with industry and
private firms to provide better facilities, logistics and even packages for tourists.

Sources said that the department was planning to open up more spheres for PPP initiatives, encouraged by the feed back received from industry in a recently held seminar on role of corporate sector in tourism promotion.

Construction of accommodation
, infrastructure development, providing basic amenities to tourists and managing and maintenance of tourist spots will be some of the areas that may be outsourced to private agencies in the future.

"We have received good response from industry for partnership. They have expressed interest to promote tourism promotion, development of tourist spots, and provision of infrastructure at tourist
spots," said Tourism commissioner M Rajaram.

Taking a leaf out from the India Tourism initiative to lease out heritage monuments, Tamil Nadu Tourism also wanted to outsource maintenance of state owned tourist monuments and tourist spots for maintenance and upkeep, he added.

"It will be a good idea to lease out monuments like Tarangambadi to private agencies to maintain it and also to provide and operate facilities for tourists. The India Tourism's
initiative to lease out heritage monuments will have to be implemented when the project is expanded to other states also."

Tourism secretary V Irai Anbu said that "tourism department will like the corporate sector to provide accommodation and install infrastructure facilities at lesser known and small tourist spots across the state. Infrastructure and accommodation for tourists are two areas that require more attention."

Tourist arrivals to the state have not decreased even after economic slowdown has reduced the number of tourist arrivals to other parts of the country. And Tamil Nadu expects more tourists to visit its tourist attractions in the coming months.

Hence, "we will need better facilities at tourist spots. Already, we are receiving good support from private firms to develop eco-tourism and rural tourism spots. Dhan Foundation is doing a good job by developing and maintaining eco-tourist village," said Rajaram.

Cycle tourism, launched in April 2008, is a good PPP example. TI Cycles have provided bicycles at Mamallapuram and Madurai. These can be hired by the tourists, especially foreign tourists to pedal around the town for sight seeing.

"More such innovative ideas from private sector will be useful in attracting more tourists," said an official.

Tamil Nadu tourism already has tie-ups with corporate to promote boat festival, food festival, summer festivals at Ooty and Kodaikanal, Chennai Sangamam, heritage walk, hop-on hop-off tour, bed and breakfast scheme rural tourism and dawn festival at Cuddalore.

Dawn festival is conducted in Pichavaram to promote the eco-tourism. Anybody knows what is "bed and breakfast scheme rural tourism" ?

Related articles:

Dawn Fest 2008

Shoring up Pichavaram as tourist centre

Showcasing Pichavaram

A dawn fest at Pichavaram

Indian Railways Southern Zone's discussion forum

I have recently come across Indian Railways Southern Zone's active discussion forum. The forum contains section for official press releases and project updates. Even in other sections, it looks like officials respond to user queries.

Sea safety

I have long been wondering if we could in any way make fishing a safer experience for the fisheries. With the present technological advancements the safety of the fishermen can be improved even with the low cost equipments.

I have come accross Sea Safety South Asia's website which contains huge information about fishermen safety and safer fishing practices. Sea Safety South Asia is a sister concern of South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies's (SIFFS).

According to SIFF's estimate there 12874 fishing families in Cuddalore district. It further says safety awareness has greatly improved in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam after the tsunami. But obviously a lot more to be improved.

As many of the viewers are from the fishing community and many others are in some way closely connected to fisheries friends, I request you to visit Sea Safety South Asia's website and the take the safety practices to the fishing masses.

The organisation also has an active discussion group.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cuddalore residents want drainage project speeded up

Cuddalore residents want drainage project speeded up - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

“Uncovered trenches have become accident spots”

— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
SOLUTION NOT IN SIGHT: The underground drainage work in Cuddalore town is going on a slow pace.

CUDDALORE: The slow progress on the underground drainage work in Cuddalore town is causing great inconvenience to the residents.

The uncovered trenches dug for laying the pipelines have become veritable accident spots, according to M.Marudhavanan, general secretary of the Federation of All Residents Welfare Associations.

Voicing concern over the delay in its implementation, he said only 60 per cent of work on the proposed 162 km pipeline was completed so far. Started on January 1, 2007 the project should have been completed by December 31, 2008, but still there were yawning gaps in its execution, he said.

Mr. Marudhavanan further said that the move to acquire 47 acres of land at Thevanampattinam for the erection of the sewage treatment plant too encountered a problem.

Therefore there was an apprehension that the sullage might be discharged into the Gedilam. He said even before the trenches were properly and firmly filled up there should not be any move to relay the roads, as it would result in wasteful expenditure.

Construction of small pits in the households for linking the underground drainage system was fraught with problems as in the event of blockade it would result in unhygienic condition.

He noted that if the authorities were insisting upon completion of all the four phases before making the system operational the project would take another three years to fructify.

General secretary of the Cuddalore District Consumer Protection Organisation M.Nizamuddin said lack of coordination among the departments was the primary reason for the delay and hoped the works would be expedited to alleviate the problems of the residents.
Resource crunch

Municipal Commissioner N.Ravichandran said owing to upgradation of sewage treatment technology the project cost would go up from Rs 40.40 crore to Rs 48 crore.

As per the original plan the cost would be shared by the Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project (Rs 10 crore), the Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Corporation (Rs 15.36 crore) and the local body as well as the residents (Rs 15.04 crore).

The civic body was yet to realise the tax arrears of Rs 18 crore and in such a piquant situation it would be a challenging task for it to mobilise necessary resources. Mr Ravichandran said he would soon meet Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi and seek financial assistance for the project.

Following a spate of representations District Collector Rajendra Ratnoo has initiated measures for better coordination among the departments.

Cuddalore Municipality intensifies tax collection

Cuddalore Municipality intensifies tax collection drive - The Hindu

— Photo:C. Venkatachalapathy

AUGMENTING REVENUE: Cuddalore Municipality’s tax collection apace.

CUDDALORE: The Cuddalore Municipality has intensified tax collection drive to realise arrears amounting to Rs. 18 crore, according to N. Ravichandran, Municipal Commissioner.

He told The Hindu that a special drive launched on March 2 would go on till March 20. Of the total outstanding, unrealised property tax alone accounted for Rs. 12 crore, and the remaining by way of water cess and profession tax.

There was an entrenched feeling that as nobody was claiming arrears, tax collection had touched its nadir in the past several years. It had stalled development works in the municipality.

A situation had arisen in which annual tax payment had tapered off and this resulted in mounting arrears. Mr Ravichandran said that soon after he assumed office, he prepared a list of property owners who defaulted on payments.

For arrears above Rs. 2,000, legal notices were sent to households concerned to make the payment within the stipulated period.

The move was widely publicised through public address system fitted to jeeps and autorickshaws. Handbills were distributed to the households besides municipal employees making door-to-door visit to impress upon the property owners to clear the arrears and make regular tax payments.

Mr. Ravichandran said that the attempt paid off and the civic body had so far netted arrear collections of Rs. 2 crore.

After the exercise was completed, the civic body would have to mobilise resources to the tune of Rs. 23 crore for the execution of underground drainage project, both from internal resources and by way of people’s contributions for linking households to the system.

Following technology upgradation, the project cost had gone up from Rs. 40.40 crore to Rs. 48 crore. Mr. Ravichandran said that he would soon approach the Commissioner of Municipal Administration to raise funds .

Villagers boycott Masi Maham

Villagers boycott festival - The Hindu

CUDDALORE: Voicing concern over the continuing atrocities against the Sri Lankan Tamils the residents of at least 20 villages in Cuddalore district boycotted the Masi Maham festivities on Monday.

The temples in villages such as Alapakkam, Keezh Poovanikuppam, Mel Poovanikuppam, Ambedkar Nagar, Mullai Nagar, Karaimedu, Pethanguppam and Karaimedu abstained from the Masi Maham fete.

At Alapakkam black flags were hoisted on roof tops. — Special Correspondent

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Send back Japanese ship

Send back Japanese ship, says CPI (M) - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

No harm in berthing: company

CUDDALORE: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has voiced its apprehension over a Japanese ship carrying vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) berthed at the Cuddalore Port since February 26.

District secretary of the CPI (M) S.Dhanasekaran in a statement here stated that the cargo meant for the upcoming PVC pipe manufacturing plant of the Chemplast Sanmar Ltd did not seem to have got the consent of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

The party voiced concern that the berthing of a vessel with unauthorised chemicals might endanger the ecology and the marine life. It expressed anguish over the slackness of the officials in allowing the vessel to ferry chemicals of dangerous nature.

Charge refuted

The company sources told The Hindu that the VCM was an ingredient for the manufacture of poly-vinyl chloride (PVC) pipes. It was a semi-finished product in liquid form and highly inflammable in nature—characteristics similar to the cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas.

Hence, the sources refuted the allegation that it was an objectionable cargo brought in surreptitiously. The company had cleared the Customs formalities and but for the intervening government holidays it would have by now obtained the TNPCB consent too. The sources further said that the company was following ethical practices and for the PVC unit it had adopted the 4G (fourth generation) technology. A jetty was constructed at Chithiraipettai for the ships to anchor and from there the VCM would be carried through a two-layered pipeline laid under water to the plant at Semmanguppam.

Since the entire pipeline was radiographed and valves were fixed at regular intervals any minor defect could be easily detected and remedial measures taken immediately. There would absolutely be no spillage during the operation.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Cuddalore fisheries protest Chemplast Sanmar's PVC plant

Bharathiar museum in Cuddalore prison

Bharathiar museum in Cuddalore prison to be thrown open soon - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

It displays the poet’s books and the documents relating to his imprisonment

— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Homage: Director General of Police, Prisons R.Natraj visiting the Bharathiar museum in the Cuddalore Central Prison on Wednesday.

CUDDALORE: The newly set up Bharathiar museum in the Cuddalore Central Prison will be thrown open to the public soon, said R.Natraj, Director General of Police, Prisons.

The DGP who visited the prison on Wednesday garlanded the Bharathiar’s bust installed at the main entrance and also the life-size portrait in the museum. The museum displays the books authored by the poet, the documents about his imprisonment and also the letter written by him to the then Governor of Madras Presidency Lord Pentland seeking his release.

Jail Superintendent R.Kanagaraj said that the museum housed in an isolated building had two small cells: one was devoted to the documents and another to the library. When he was 36 years old C.Subramania Bharathi was kept in the Cuddalore Central Prison from November 24, 1918 to December 14, 1918. The letter dated December 10, 1918 addressed to Lord Pentland, Governor of Fort St.George, Madras, gave an insight into the background in which Bharathiar was arrested and how he viewed his detention.

“It was over a week ever since I was arrested at Cuddalore on my way from Pondicherry to Tinneveli which is my native district after many loyal assurances on my part as your Excellency may well remember the Deputy Inspector General (CID) was sent by your Excellency’s government a few months ago to interview me at Pondicherry.

“The DIG after being thoroughly satisfied with my attitude towards the government asked me if I would be willing to be kept interned partly as a war measure in any two districts of Madras Presidency during the period of the war.

“I could not consent to the proposal because having absolutely renounced politics I could see no reason why any restraint should be placed on my movements even while the war lasted. Subsequently to that also, I have addressed several petitions to your Excellency clearing away all possible doubts about my position.

“Now that the war is over with such signal success to the allies I ventured to leave Pondicherry, honestly believing that there would be no difficulty whatsoever in the way of my settling in British India as a peaceful citizen…..

“I once again assure your Excellency that I have renounced every form of politics. I shall ever be loyal to the British government and law abiding.

“I therefore beg your Excellency to order my immediate release. May God grant your Excellency a long and happy life.

“Your Excellency’s most obedient servant —C. Subramania Bharati.”

Women sub-jail opened at Cuddalore prison

Women sub-jail opened at Cuddalore prison - The Hindu


It was built on 1.95 acres at the cost of Rs. 2 crore
Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Inaugurating new facility: Director-General of Police (Prisons) R. Natraj at the Cuddalore prison on Wednesday. —

CUDDALORE: Director-General of Police (Prisons) R. Natraj inaugurated a women sub-jail built at the cost of Rs. 2 crore on the Cuddalore Central Prison premises here on Wednesday.

Mr. Natraj said that the sub-jail had come up on 1.95 acres on the 177-acre prison campus and could accommodate 100 inmates. Built by the Tamil Nadu Police Housing Corporation within a year, it was provided with all basic amenities, a pharmacy and a crèche.

At present, the Villupuram sub-jail had about 70 inmates as against its sanctioned strength of 40. The excess number of inmates would be shifted to the Cuddalore sub-jail, he said.

Henceforward there would not be any need to transport women offenders from Cuddalore to places such as Salem, Tiruchi, Vellore and Villupuram. It would enable better deployment of manpower and cut transport cost.

Mr. Natraj said that there were 14 separate sub-jails for women in Tamil Nadu, which no other State could boast of. During his tenure as Inspector-General of Police (Prohibition enforcement wing) he had learnt that majority of prohibition offenders were women. In Cuddalore and Villupuram districts, women were at the front-end of illicit trade and in “black spot” villages, they were unaware that it was illegal.

Mr. Natraj said that such women should not be arrested as a matter of routine but their illicit brew and wares be seized. They should be assisted through “rehabilitation of prohibition offenders’ funds.”

It was ironical that a visually impaired person, facing charges of smashing windscreens of a bus, was kept in Madurai prison. Humanitarian concern should precede any arrest and mere transferring of problem from police station to prison would not provide a solution, Mr. Natraj said.

Superintendent of Police Pradip Kumar said that prisons had now become house of reforms. The sub-jail would provide safety and security to the inmates and safeguard their dignity. It would help them turn a new leaf.

Principal District and Sessions Judge T. Ramapathiran said that a renaissance had come about in prison administration now as prisons had morphed into reformative schools.

Deputy Inspector-General of Prisons R. Durairaj, Jail Superintendent R. Kanagaraj and Additional Superintendent R. Jayaraman participated.

Mr. Natraj also inaugurated a carpentry training programme and gave away certificates to 29 inmates, who had successfully completed diploma courses in refrigeration, fashion designing, motor winding and borewell technology offered by the Tamil Nadu Open University.

Chidambaram temple, surroundings to be improved

Chidambaram temple, surroundings to be improved - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE: The Natarajar temple and its surroundings at Chidambaram will be improved at a cost of Rs.25 crore, according to District Collector Rajendra Ratnoo.

A proposal to upgrade tourist spots and surroundings of renowned temples in the district to international standards will soon be sent to the government for approval, Mr. Ratnoo said after attending a consultative meeting on tourism promotion.

Roads leading to Thiruvahindrapuram and Padaleeswarar temples at Cuddalore, Vriddhagireeswarar temple at Vriddhachalam, Veerattaneeswarar temple at Panruti, and water bodies such as the Veeranam tank, Wellington reservoir, Perumal Eri and Keelanai would be properly maintained.

The islets at Pichavaram, M.G.R.Thittu and Chinnavaikkal and the Silver Beach would be beautified .

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Cuddalore-Chennai-Bangalore-Mumbai Industrial Corridor

Nod for extension of Industrial Corridor - The Hindu
N. Anand

CHENNAI: The Union government has given its nod for the extension of the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor up to Cuddalore, an official of the State Industrial Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) said.

“What was started as an experimental industrial corridor from Chennai to Hosur has assumed a new dimension, with the recent approval from the Centre. The industrial corridor starts at Cuddalore and ends in Mumbai, and it has been rechristened Cuddalore-Chennai-Bangalore-Mumbai Industrial Corridor,” SIPCOT Chairman and Managing Director N. Govindan told The Hindu.

The extension will mean inclusion of important places such as Puducherry, Tindivanam, Chengalpattu, Tambaram and Oragadam, along with Tier-II and Tier-III cities, to provide competitive infrastructure and promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development up to Mumbai.

The Chennai-Hosur industrial corridor is developed in two phases. The United Kingdom-based Mott McDonald has submitted an interim report for the first phase that will span from Chennai-Sriperumbudur to Ranipet. The second phase starts at Ranipet to reach Bangalore through Hosur. . The draft concept paper was conceived by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the Union Ministry of Commerce of Industry. “After going through the interim report, we have made some suggestions to Mott McDonald. After incorporating the changes, the consultant is expected to submit one more report in the next two weeks,” Mr. Govindan said.

On Monday, the SIPCOT board cleared an industrial corridor connecting Madurai and Tuticorin. The board will shortly float a tender to fix a consultant for conducting a feasibility study.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Explosion at Chemplast's Silicon unit

Explosion at Chemplast's Silicon unit; One worker maimed -

21 February, 2009, Mettur Dam One worker - P. Thangaraj (23 years) of Anaipallam hamlet -- had to have his left leg amputated after a massive explosion at Chemplast's Metkem Silicon plant in Mettur Dam crushed the victims limb. The explosion which was heard at around 2.30 p.m. on 21 February is the latest in a series of serious mishaps at Chemplast's chemicals complex in Mettur. A few months ago, there was a major leak of HCFC - an ozone depleting substance - from the company's freon plant.

Saturday's explosion occurred due to failure by the company to maintain equipment properly and by their failure to observe precautionary measures in their work. According to one report by a worker, Thangaraj and some other workers were brought in to clean a hydrogen tank. Because the hatch covering the tank was in poor condition and the bolts were rusted, the workers were ordered to cut through the hatch using a blow-torch. Hydrogen is a highly explosive substance. When the blow-torch was used, the inevitable happened and the tank exploded sending shrapnel that crushed Thangaraj's left leg. The leg was later amputated below the waist at Manipal Hospital, Salem.

Thangaraj was a contract worker engaged for work in the factory for more than two years. Employers are prohibited from using untrained contract workers for hazardous work requiring trained personnel. The victim's family members and representatives of the West Gonur Agriculturists Development Union have filed a complaint with the Karumalaikoodal police station. However, the Police have refused to give an acknowledgement of the letter.