Friday, September 29, 2006

Old clothes are dumped in Gadilum river

When I happened to walk along the bridge over Gadilum (connecting Thirupadhiripuliyur and Manjakuppam) I saw a huge heap of worn out clothes strewn from the top of the old bridge.These dumps are adding much strain to the already polluted local ecosystem.

Location is North side of East end of the new bridge.

I invite anyone of you to take photo and send it to cuddaloreonline for posting it in our blog.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nagarjuna refinery project to attain financial closure

Nagarjuna refinery to tie up funds soon-Business Standard
Gayatri Ramanathan / Mumbai September 28, 2006

The six-million tonne refinery at Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, promoted by the Nagarjuna group and the Tamil Nadu government is expected to complete financial closure by the end of the year.

Company sources said that most of the debt for the Rs 4,750-crore project was already tied up and that the group was in talks with several small foreign oil companies, including Russia’s Itera group, for equity placements.

“We are not sure if Itera will take up equity at this point, as we are still talking with them. We are also in talks with several other foreign companies for equity but cannot reveal any names,” said a source close to the development.

Tata Sons has already picked up a 26-per cent stake at Rs 400 crore in the project and is expected to hike it to 40 per cent at a later stage, sources said. This will be Tata group’s first foray into the down-stream refining sector.

Indian refining major, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), has also picked up a 10-per cent stake in the project through its subsidiary, Indian Oil Corporation Tankers.

IOC has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Nagarjuna Oil Corporation for marketing its products such as LPG, Euro-IV motor spirit, high-speed diesel, fuel oil petrochemical, naphtha and sulphur.

The Nagarjuna group will have a 51-per cent equity stake in the project, while co-promoter Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation holds 5 per cent. Krupp Uhde, the EPC contractor has a 7 per cent stake in the firm.

`Childline' in 72 cities including Cuddalore

`Childline' in 72 cities - The Hindu

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

News items from

Effluent leak from Arkema pipeline to CUSECS 2

Cuddalore, 21 September 2006: A leak in the effluent pipeline of Arkema Peroxide to CUSECS pump no 2 was reported at about 7:45 am today. According to the SACEM monitors, the leak was detected on the pipeline near a mini sump before CUSECS 2.

Though a substantial quantity of water had leaked the monitors reported that there was no unpleasant odour or discolouration of the water. The matter was immediately reported to the Joint Chief Environment Engineer of TNPCB. More information on the action is awaited.

SIPCOT Residents Block Highway to Protest PVC Plant

Cuddalore, 17 September 2006: About 800 villagers, mostly women from SIPCOT villages, organised a salai marial (road blockade) of the National Highway passing through the industrial estate, less than a day after learning that the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board had issued "Consent for Establish" to Chemplast Sanmar to set up a 140,000 tons per annum PVC factory in SIPCOT. Residents of Sangolikuppam, Semmankuppam, Vairamkuppam, Sonanchavadi, Chitrapettai and Nochikadu blocked the national highway demanding that the proposal to set up the PVC plant be abandoned immediately. They alleged that the TNPCB had caved in to political pressure and granted consent without giving villagers an opportunity to present their concerns. They said the TNPCB had granted the consent even before its own conditions had been fulfilled.

"The turnout of villagers was substantial despite intense mobilisation the previous night by Chemplast's agents who went around to each household asking, threatening and discouraging people from joining the action," said Vijay Kumar, a retired military man from Sangolikuppam who was one of the organisers of the blockade.

Around 30 police personnel including women cops and the village Tahsildar arrived on the scene to get the situation under control. Villagers who addressed the crowd during the action said they would not allow Chemplast to come up, and warned co-villagers against believing company's promises for jobs. "Jobs are only for engineers. How many engineers do you have in your village? In return for your health and environment, you'll be lucky if you get a coolie's job," said one speaker.

The villagers dispersed peacefully only after the Inspector of Police for Cuddalore OT police station assured them that no construction would be permitted until villagers met the District Collector on 19th September.

Since 2001, when the project was first mooted, SIPCOT residents have opposed the setting up of a PVC factory in Semmankuppam. In July 2003, the Indian People's Tribunal headed by Justice (Retd) J. Kanakaraj of the Madras High Court recommended against the setting up of any new polluting industries in SIPCOT. The panel specifically warned against setting up the PVC factory considering that PVC is a poison plastic whose production, usage and disposal are associated with the release of deadly environmental poisons.

Rejected by Cuddalore residents, Chemplast shifted its proposal to Krishnapatnam in coastal Andhra Pradesh. However, villagers and fisherfolk in Krishnapatnam gathered in massive numbers and opposed the proposal at a public hearing organised by the district authorities. Owing to public pressure, the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board did not grant consent. In 2005, the company modified the proposal and added new components including a desalination plant and re-submitted the proposal to the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board.

Villagers complain that the company manages to secure appointments with TNPCB and even Ministers with ease to get its job done. They say that numerous petitions by villagers to the District Collector and the TNPCB regarding the existing pollution and requesting that no further pollution be added have been ignored by the officials.

Villagers have said that they will continue their peaceful agitation against the company until the proposal is dropped, and will also take up this issue in the upcoming local body elections.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Saturday, September 23, 2006

New Police Outpost in Silver Beach

A new police outpost is being built in Silver Beach by the Government of Rajasthan. Old police outpost was brought down by tsunami. Police personnel incharge of maintaining order in the beach had to spend their evenings in open air for more than an year. Boomi pooja was conducted about a couple of months back and the construction work has started in full swing.

Friday, September 22, 2006

'Intelligent Design'

Above is the picture of perimeter wall of Periyar Arts & Science College, Thevanampattinam. This new wall was constructed after the tsunami pulled down the old wall. The design is visually appealing and it is such,for the next tsunami, the wall wont be pulled down by water, instead it would let the water pass through. Intelligent Design.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Global energy investment advisor sets foot in India-Hindustan Times

Hydrocarbon sector investment advisory firm Global Union Energy Ventures on Tuesday announced its entry into India and said it aimed to finance at least three major projects every year in the range of $500 million to $5 billion.

"We are talking to all the major players in the downstream and midstream sectors in India and hope to do at least three major projects on an annual basis," Global Union Energy Ventures Chairman Jeffrey Waterous said.

The company is part financing the Nagarjuna Oil Corp's refinery project in Cuddalore, being built at a cost of $1.1 billion on the east coast.

The mothballed refinery project will have a capacity of 1,25,000 barrels a day. "We are acting as a financial advisor to this project," Waterous said full story>>

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Free land distribution in the district

Gifted lands cannot be sold for 30 years: Minister-The Hindu

................The benefit of free land was made available to all sections of the society, he said. For instance, in Cuddalore, 990.63 acres were given away on Monday to 1,380 beneficiaries. They included Adi Dravidars–407, Backward Classes–275, Most Backward Classes–694 and others–four.

The lands were located at Cuddalore–90 acres, Panruti–168 acres, Chidambaram–80 acres, Vriddhachalam–705 acres, Thittakudi–286 acres and Kattumannarkoil–51 acres.

The Minister said 5,599 acres of land had been identified for free distribution in the entire district with the number of beneficiaries put at 7,482. Wherever necessary, officials of the Agriuclture Department would test the quality of the soil, he said full story>>

Monday, September 18, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Establishment of ITPP in progress

Minister for extension of textile schemes - The Hindu
The State Government has written to the Centre to extend the Technology Upgradation Scheme (TUF) and Integrated Textile Park Scheme for the next Five Year Plan to enhance investments in the textile industry, according to Handloom and Textiles Industry Minister N.K.K.P. Raja.

In addition to the above parks, the Central Government had given approval for establishment of integrated textile parks at Erode, Kumarapalayam and Chengampalli. Proposals had been sent to the Centre for setting up Madurai Integrated Textile Park. Establishment of advanced technology oriented processing park at Cuddalore was in progress. There was a proposal to establish another processing park at Erode full story>>
55 life convicts freed from Cuddalore Central Prison

Friday, September 15, 2006

Test Post

This post is to test whether Feedblitz blog subscription system works.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Solar-powered fish drying unit to be set up by World Vision in Kancheepuram district. Traditionally fish drying is carried out in an unhygienic manner. May these aid agencies help and change our unhealthy practice.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

JIPMER and autonomy

When institutions all around India die for autonomy, its ridiclous that JIPMER employees strike againt the plan of autonomizing the institution. Also there is a widespread discontent among all section of the public. Their fear is that, they would lose the 'excessive' fund from the Centre.
Over 18 lakh casuarina saplings to be planted along coastal belt

Action committee to intensify struggle(JIPMER strike)

Monday, September 11, 2006

We, The Staple-Outlook
S. Anand

After the J. Jayalalitha-led AIADMK crashlanded in the May '06 assembly elections, Jaya TV reporters conducted an informal survey among the fisherfolk of the tsunami-battered Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts. "Amma gave you everything after the tsunami: house, boats, nets, provisions, stoves. Why didn't you vote for her?" The reply was piercingly frank: "True, she rebuilt our lives. We'll always be indebted to her. But she did not give us a TV. Karunanidhi was offering us that and more. So we voted for him." Many had lost their TV sets too in the tsunami full story>>

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Roads lead nowhere

Improper planning on a larger scale and violations of norms has resulted in too many dead ends in newly emerging residential areas. There is a definite pattern in which these new residential areas come up. First the fields along the prominent roads are cleared for plots. Houses and shops come up along these roads. Only after few years houses come up on the inner lands. Due to lack of long sighted planning the streets of the earlier developed areas dont lead into the the later, resulting in dead ends. Real estate owners while designing a 'nagar' tries to utilise as much area as possible and makes plot at the end of road which actually must have lead into the next nagar which come up later. Also these nagars dont have as much public spaces or broader streets as it is supposed to have. Nagars and their streets in Semandalam and Koothapakkam are good examples.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

USAID focus on disaster preparedness in six districts

USAID focus on disaster preparedness in six districts - The Hindu

The US Agency for International Development's (USAID) support is targeted at improving disaster preparedness in six coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, David T. Hopper, U.S. Consul General in Chennai, said on Tuesday, while inaugurating sanitation systems in the coastal hamlets of Chinnakuppam, Injambakkam and Periyakuppam.

A programme linking the cities of Cuddalore and Nagapattinam with the U.S. cities in the State of Florida, which are highly prone to disasters, is also ongoing, he said full story>>

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Possibility of Chennai to Cuddalore ship service

Maritime varsity to get Cabinet nod - The New Indian Express

The Indian Maritime University proposal at Semanchery will get cabinet approval in the next Parliamentary session said Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T R Baalu.

Inaugurating the five-day Bharat Nirman Campaign at Okkiyam Thuraipakkam on Sunday, the Minister said the proposal would be tabled for approval next week.

In the next parliament session, approval will be given and become a law. Besides the university, a massive maritime complex in an area of 400 acres, is also on the anvil, the Minister said.

To boost internal shipping transport, the Buckingham Canal will be dredged to a length of 1,750 kms at an outlay of Rs 600 crore. Small ship service would be made feasible from Chennai to Cuddalore once the project became a reality.

The scheme has also been submitted to the Central Government for approval, Baalu said.

Speaking about the performance of the shipping industry, the Minister said in the last 18 months, the tonnage had increased from 7.05 million tonnes to 8.65 million tonnes.

The Central Government has allowed Rs 1,00,000 crore for port development works which has to be completed by 2009. Out of this, a container terminal at Tuticorin would be developed at an outlay of Rs 150 crore, a second container terminal at Chennai Port at Rs 490 crore, a coal terminal at Enore at Rs 380 crore and an iron terminal near Enore at an outlay of Rs 500 crore.

Speaking about the Central Government road projects in the state, T R Baalu said in Tamil Nadu Rs 16,000 crore has been taken up under various central funded schemes.

Roads for a length of 3,200 kms have been taken up by the National Highway Authority. 265 kms on the Golden Quadrilateral, 34 kms on the North-South corridor and Chennai two-way bypass road measuring 19.20 kms and Tambaram-Tindivanam for 93 kms both on NH 45 have been completed in the first phase.

A total of 444.60 kms at an outlay of Rs 2,453 crore is in progress in the state. This includes the Golden Quadrilateral, North-South Corridor, port connectivity scheme and others in Phase 1 and 2 of the National Highway development scheme.

State highway roads development from Central funds has been taken up from May 2004 in Tamil Nadu for a length of 1,140 kms at an outlay of Rs 177 crore, Baalu said.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Broadening of Hospital Road and the shortfalls

Several months back Hospital Road was broadened. There were electric posts at the edge of the old road. The extension work was carried without shifting the posts away. As a results vehicles cannot go beyond the old road. The broadening work did not serve its purpose. Concrete floors laid as a part of the extension work were of extreme poor quality.
Now a few weeks back a black topped road was laid over that again without shifting the electric posts outwards. May it be luggishness of Electricity Board or the Department of Highways, ultimate sufferers are the people.

The footpath construction work is in progress on the other side of the road. Though in a very slow pace,seems the work would get complete in a couple of months.

The most dangerous part of the road is turning where Hospital Road leads into Nellikuppam High Road. Building of median helped to bring down the number of accidents here. But still it is not a safer place. Trees are cut down and culverts are extended to broaden the road here. Seems some work on the drainge need to done (to the north of the road) before the actual broadening process can take place. But the temple to the south of the road here remains untouched. It is sensitive issue to remove an encroachment when it is temple. People easily get infuriated and fall to pseudo sentiments when a temple is to be removed and try all they can do to stop the removal work. Without realising that it is being down for their comfort and saftey, and finally one day they themselves or their children become the prey.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Trucks find difficult to enter Panpari Market

Panpari market in Thirupadhiripuliyur is an important centre of commercial activity in the town. Since it is located in most accessible part of the town people conveniently use it to get the essential daily commodities. Vegetables from the all around the state and from the neighbouring states reach the market through trucks. There are three notable entry points for the market, two in Lawrence Road and one in Vandipalayam Road. Of these the one in Vandipalayam Road and one among the two in Lawrence Road is too narrow for the trucks to enter.

So all the trucks entering the market to unload must rely on the thrid entry point near the railway gate in Lawrence Road. But this entry point is also narrow. It can merely let a truck to crawl in. As the day gets busy this place gets congested making it more difficult for the trucks. Also a large number of hawkers,foot path vendors and push cart vendors throng along this entry. Since there no enough space in Lawrence Road at this place for the trucks to take a turn, trucks takes a lot of time to get in and get out this entrance which leads to traffic blocks in the Lawrence Road. To add to the agony, there is step slope from the Lawrence Road. A slightest mistake by truck driver would prove disastrous (Its is worthwhile to recall an accident near Aanjinair temple several years back. Brake failure on a truck riding up the slope costed the life two pilgrims). Further whenever traffic gets blocked here some haste their way into the right side of the road which increases the possibilities of head-on collision with the vehicles coming from the railway station end.

Though broadening of this entry point would be helpful, an alternative entrace would be a lasting solution. Possibilities of an altrenative entrance from Vandipalyam Road and from the new Railway Overbridge end must be explored.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tsunami-hit elderly learn to help themselves

Tsunami-hit elderly learn to help themselves - Indian, Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu) - For days together, in the aftermath of the tsunami that ravaged Tamil Nadu in south India, Perumal would only watch from a distance when aid workers distributed relief.

The 75-year-old man from the coastal district of Cuddalore explained why.

‘I have been pushed around, I even fell once. I know I will get nothing. The fastest get the food, the old and injured don’t get anything.’

Perumal was not the only old man complaining along the coast. It needed HelpAge India to make a difference to the situation. But HelpAge is not the only NGO at work among the aged and infirm, battered both by age and a disaster that killed almost 10,000 people in Tamil Nadu and wiped out entire communities.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has also chipped in by promising micro-finance to the elderly.

Two weeks after tsunami, a survey of 1,507 elderly people in Cuddalore district showed they had received almost no assistance.

‘There were no special packages for the elderly as they were seen as an integral part of the family. In the coastal areas only those people are considered family who can fish,’ Rajeshwar Devarakonda, head, HelpAge India Tsunami Project, told IANS.

‘When our own children wanted us to die, HelpAge helped us,’ said a despondent Radha of Cuddalore’s Granny Care Board.

HelpAge formed Elders Self Help Groups (ESHG) to empower Radha and 5,634 other members like her. In the last one-and-a-half years, HelpAge has established 350 self-help grouns for sustaining livelihoods and for advocacy.

In this year, HelpAge India has earmarked Rs.700,000 to provide for Income Generation Seed Capital through the groups.

‘The self-help grouns have been graded on their performance by NABARD. The challenge has been to unite them at the village, block and district levels,’ Devarakonda said.

‘If the self-help groups have regular savings, proper lending policy and systems including problem-solving ability we will help them,’ NABARD DGM J.K. Chetalan said at the workshop.

The elderly have requested NABARD to assist them in opening bank accounts for self-help groups, which is a big hurdle for the movement.

Copyright ©

Government sanctions Rs.35 crores for SHGs in tsunami hit areas of Cuddalore district

Funds for SHGs in tsunami-hit areas sanctioned - The New Indian Express

CUDDALORE: The State Government has sanctioned Rs 35 crore for the development of women self-help group members in tsunami-affected hamlets in the coastal district, said Minister for Backward Classes M R K Panneerselvam.

Inaugurating a five-day ‘Bharat Nirman - Public Information Campaign’ in Bhuvanagiri, near here recently, he said Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had sanctioned the fund for various livelihood support programmes for women and physically-challenged persons in tsunami devastated region.

The government has organised special camps for issuing certificates and other documents to physically challenged persons in the state.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government has been taking effective steps to provide a telephone link to all the villages soon. As many as 62,000 villages, which do not have telephone connectivity, will be provided with the service by 2007.

The state has achieved a phenomenal growth in the field of Information and Technology in the past two years. The Cuddalore district administration has set up 41 stalls in the school and women Self-Help Groups have displayed the wares, which were produced by them. Central and State Government officials participated in the programme.

Early warning system for disaster management

Early warning system for disaster management - The New Indian Express

CUDDALORE: For the first time in the country, a disaster management wireless communication network fitted with a public address system has been inaugurated on a pilot basis here on Tuesday.

District Collector Gagandeep Singh Bedi launched the innovative ‘Early Warning System’ at a cost of Rs 33 lakh in the coastal district on Tuesday.

Coordinating with the Tamil Nadu Government, the UN Development Project also established the two-way communication network in 55 hamlets in the district.

The system has been placed at nine village panchayats in Cuddalore Union, 12 in Kurinjipadi Union, seven in Kumaratchi Union, five in Mel Bhuvanagiri Union, six in Parangipettai Union, five in Kammapuram Union, three Panruti Union, five in Kattumanar Koil union and a village in Kammapuram Union.