Friday, October 24, 2008

Senior citizens of Cuddalore demanding their rights

"850 older persons to travel on a specially comissioned train from Cuddalore to New Delhi. Once there, they lobbied the government to acknowledge their rights to healthcare, transport and pensions." full story>>

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Underground drainage construction - Part 4

Rain makes project delay more painful - The Hindu

Special Correspondent
— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Residents of Vallalar Nagar in Cuddalore sowing seeds on the muddy road that remains unattended by the civic body, on Tuesday.

CUDDALORE: The slow pace of the Rs 40.40-crore underground drainage project in Cuddalore town has posed a lot of hardship to the residents. The onset of monsoon has made the situation worse.

The roads on which the pipeline has been laid are in bad shape. Deep trenches that have been dug up pose threat to the people.

Pedestrians, cyclists and two-wheeler riders have complained that they fall into the trenches and get hurt often. Four-wheelers are not able to enter the streets and are forced to take a detour.

The rain in the last few days has made the streets slushy.
Mock operation

According to residents, several representations had been made to the authorities concerned to speed up the work but in vain.

Frustrated by the delay, the All India Agricultural Workers’ Union, led by district secretary T.Ravindran, carried out a mock sowing operation on the inundated streets at Vallalar Nagar.

The Tamil Nadu Retired Employees’ Association too condemned the “lethargic attitude” of the officials. Senior citizens were the worst-affected, it said.

The project was launched last year and was scheduled to be completed within one year.

When contacted, Commissioner of Cuddalore Municipality Liaqath Ahmed Papa said the delay was owing to adverse soil condition.

Contractors were finding it difficult to complete the task because of high water table, ie., even if the trenches were dug for a depth of three feet, they got filled in no time by groundwater. Hence, it had become difficult to bale out the water from the entire stretch.

Mr. Papa said it might take another six months to complete the project .

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Centre for propagating folk arts sought

Centre for propagating folk arts sought - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE: The folk artists have urged the State government to set up an art and cultural centre exclusively to propagate and patronise folk arts and artists. The centre, with its branches in the districts, should prepare a list of folk artists and issue identity cards to them. These resolutions were passed by the first State-level folk artists’ conference organised under the aegis of the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers’ Association here on Wednesday. The centre should take steps to release audio and video cassettes of the folk art forms.

Photos from the conference:

A collection of articles about doll-makers in Cuddalore

Cuddalore’s doll-makers toil throughout the year - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

BUSY TRADE: With Navaratri fast approaching dolls are being made on a large scale in Cuddalore.

CUDDALORE: Doll-making is not only an economic proposition but also a passion for 20-odd families in Vandipalayam area of Cuddalore town. For generations, they have been mastering the craft that has been recognised in other States such as Maharashtra.

In the midst of festive season, the doll-makers are working almost 18 hours a day to meet the orders. A. Sampath Kumar (45), who has been in the trade for over two-and-half decades, told The Hindu that though the demand was seasonal, they had to work throughout the year.

For instance, bulk buyers such as the Khadi Bhavan, Khadi Kraft, Kuralagam and Sarvodaya Sangam would place orders in March/April. Once the orders are obtained, the procurement of raw materials would begin.

Mr. Kumar said the dolls were made of clay, papier-mâché, plaster of paris and cement.

Care ought to be taken to choose the kind of clay that would firmly hold in place and would not crack while being roasted in the kiln.

While plaster of paris was being obtained from Puducherry and Chennai, glue was bought from Andhra Pradesh. Casting the die was a challenging task because it involved creativity and closer attention to detail, such as ornaments, weapons and so on, Mr. Kumar said.

Die-making would take about four months and the drying process another one month. Painting of the idols would then begin. Mr. Kumar said clay idols were fast moving, particularly during Navaratri, Krishna Jayanthi and Vinayaka Chaturthi

Mr. Kumar said the market reacted to the price tag differently – priced from Rs. 25 to Rs. 5,000 apiece.

He was apprehensive that the trade may not last for more than a generation, because youngsters were not interested in the trade and wanted to pursue higher education to take up salaried jobs. As the doll-makers had to stock the finished products for months, they appealed to the government to grant them bank loans at concessional rate of interest, to be repaid at the end of the festive season.

The blog links below contains photographs showing the dolls at their destiny.

Come home and see my Golu - Lakshmi Sharath's blog

Cashing in on Brand Kolu - The Hindu

Splendour in clay - The Hindu

NAVARATHRI - A Season for dolls - Raji's blog

Development Commissioner studies post-tsunami housing model in Cuddalore

Bihar against ‘adoption’ of villages - IndianExpress

Santosh Singh Posted: Oct 06, 2008 at 0055 hrs IST
Patna, October 5 The Bihar Government is against the idea of corporate houses, film stars, trusts and voluntary groups “adopting” flood-ravaged villages. Instead, it wants them to raise village infrastructure like building schools, community halls, health centres and roads.

The Government has taken the “tough” call following its decision to build or reconstruct adequate homes — over 3.5 lakh of them — at the cost of Rs 1.5 lakh each. It has been waiting for the disbursement of Rs 9,000 crore additional flood package, which includes Rs 4,500 crore for homes, from the Centre.

Speaking to The Indian Express on Sunday, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said: “Allowing corporate houses to build homes would only create confusion. We are building adequate homes for the flood-hit and want others to add value to our efforts.”

Modi said the Tamil Nadu Government’s post-tsunami experience with corporate groups and individuals regarding rehabilitation had not been rewarding. “In some cases, some private groups left the scene without completely raising homes. On the other hand, quality homes for some caused heartburns among a big group of the displaced.”

The Deputy Chief Minister said state Development Commissioner S Vijayaraghvan would be nodal officer to coordinate with voluntary groups and corporate houses. The Development Commissioner recently visited Bhuj (Gujarat) and Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu) to study house models post-earthquake and tsunami. The Government will get Vijayaraghvan report after Dussehra full story>>

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cuddalore-Chithoor road to be upgraded as National Highway

Highway upgrade - The Telegraph

An upgrade is on way for some of Tamil Nadu’s key roads.

The state government has recommended that three state roads be turned into national highways this year, road minister Vellakoil Saminathan said recently. The Madurai-Thondi, Dindigul-Singampunari and Cuddalore-Chithoor (Andhra) roads will be upgraded. The new-look roads will make links with Chennai quicker.

As part of the improvement, 50 of the 300 “accident-prone curves” on the highways have been straightened.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

New thermal plant

SRM Energy to set up thermal power plant in Tamil Nadu

BS reported that Mumbai based SRM Energy a Spice Energy group company is planning to set up 1,800 MW to 2,000 MW coal based thermal power plant in Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu. The company is expected to invest around INR 9,200 crore in the project.

Mr P Srinivasan COO of SRM Energy said that the company would fund the project through 80% debt and 20% equity. The project is scheduled to be completed in about five years. The initial unit would commence operations by 2012.

He said that the company is also mulling construction of jetty at the Cuddalore port or close to the project site to handle ships that would be transporting coal. It inked a coal sale purchase agreement with an Indonesian Company. The talks on the agreement are in the advanced stage.

Tamil Nadu Electricity Board is likely to purchase 250 MW with a possible increase to 500 MW. The company is negotiating with TATA Power Trading Corporation and Power Trading Corporation of India. The company is planning a 2,000 MW pithead coal based power plant in East India at an investment of USD 2 billion.

Source: SteelGuru

Monday, October 06, 2008

Unfinished median

Median construction work in Hospital Road began three years back. Like many, I too wished and expected that the median will be extended till Chavadi. Though we may not know the point where the median was originally proposed to end, one thing we know for sure is that the work was stopped half way.

The board placed at the unfinished end of the media reads "Work in progress. Go Slow". It was placed while the construction was in progress. Now after three years, the board remains untouched.

Recently Municipal Vice-Chairman Thamarai Selvan insisted the extension of the median till Chavadi to regulate the traffic.

Road median work stopped halfway in Hospital Road

Photograph taken on March-2008

Related articles:

Hospital road is being divided - CuddaloreOnline,, Apr 2008

New road divider from outskirts of Cuddalore - CuddaloreOnline Apr 2008

Hospital road needs more focus - CuddaloreOnline, Mar 2008

Narrow point in Hospital Road
- CuddaloreOnline, Oct 2008