Sunday, January 24, 2010

Foot overbridge work starts at Thirupadiripuliyur station

Foot overbridge work starts at Thirupadiripuliyur station - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Enhanced facility: The steel girders placed in position for the foot overbridge at Thirupadiripuliyur railway station in Cuddalore.

CUDDALORE: The Thirupadiripuliyur railway station is being fully remodelled and new facilities are being created. The prominent among these is the foot overbridge now under construction.

All the passengers would have to necessarily climb on to the foot overbridge to board the trains on Platform Nos. 1, 2 and 3.The railway sources said that the foot overbridge and the improvement of the station premises, including light fittings, seating arrangements and rest rooms, was part of the package for gauge conversion.

The Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL), executing agency, had given the works to the Tata Company which in turn had engaged sub-contractors to complete various works. But the sub-contractor assigned the task of constructing the foot overbridge had caused inordinate delay in its execution and hence, he had to be replaced with another sub-contractor, the sources said.

Now, the steel girders were being positioned for the configuration of the structure. The sources said that the unreserved ticket system would be placed on Platform No.1, and the VIP lounge and the Station Master’s chamber would be located on Platform 2 and 3. These two platforms were called the island platforms because these were located between the tracks.

A fruit and vegetable shop and a refreshment shop would also be put up. The sources further said that the regular train services on the newly laid broad gauge section from Villupuram to Mayiladuthurai via Cuddalore would commence only after completion of all the above mentioned works.

Meanwhile, trial run of goods train had begun in this sector. On Thursday, two goods trains proceeded towards Mayiladuthurai and two others chugged their way to Villupuram.

Railway officials journeyed in a trolley today to check the tracks and to carry out necessary corrections.

SACEM demands community involvement in environmental action plan for Cuddalore

SACEM demands community involvement in environmental action plan for Cuddalore -

Cuddalore, 19 January 2010: SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (SACEM) has welcomed the center's decision for temporary restrictions on new industrial projects in Cuddalore and demanded that the community should be involved in all action plans for environmental remediation. In a letter to the State and Central Pollution Control Boards, SACEM has shared all its reports on the existing environmental conditions of SIPCOT region and requested the Boards to adopt an inclusive approach to solving the problems of pollution by ensuring community and local self governments participation over the next eight months.

SACEM has also demanded a complete ban on new projects until a much needed regional carrying capacity study of the local environment is conducted. "The recommendation by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) for a carrying capacity study has been pending since 1998. The MoEF report reiterates what SACEM has been claiming for the last six years that SIPCOT is a critically polluted region. A moratorium on new polluting units is absolutely essential as a first step to resolve the problems of pollution," said SACEM. For the existing units in the region, SACEM demanded stricter monitoring mechanisms and called for immediate legal action, including prosecution of company directors, for violation of any conditions.

Earlier this month, the Center had imposed temporary restrictions on new development projects in industrial clusters that score more than 70 points on the Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests recently. Cuddalore, with a CEPI of 77.45 would be affected by this decision of the Center.

The MoEF report can be found at:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

District level marathon in Cuddalore

District-level marathon at Cuddalore on January 24 - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE: A district-level marathon will be held here on January 24. It will be conducted in four categories: men, women, school boys and school girls, according to D.Padmanabhan, District Sports Officer.

In a statement here on Tuesday, the DSO said that prior to the event it was mandatory for all participants to undergo health check-up to be conducted by the government doctors at Anna stadium on January 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

After the screening, they would be given identity cards along with the medical certificates. The distance to be covered is as follows: men – 15 km, women – 10 km, school boys and girls – five km.

Prize money

Prize money would be given to those who finish in the first three places: men and women – Rs 5,000, Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000; for students – Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000. Those who end up in the fourth to 10th places would get prize money of Rs 500 each.

Further details can be obtained over telephone – 04142-220590 or cell phone – 99403 41495.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ban on new units in highly polluted areas

Ban on new units in highly polluted areas - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

January 16, 2010

NEW DELHI: The Centre has imposed temporary restrictions on new development projects in industrial clusters that score more than 70 points on the Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The restrictions on projects from critically polluted industrial clusters will be applicable for eight months during which time the Central Pollution Control Board along with the respective State Pollution Control Boards will finalise a time-bound action plan for improving the environmental quality of these areas.

The situation will be reviewed subsequently and further instructions issued accordingly. According to a notification by the Ministry, projects from industrial clusters with CEPI score above 70 received for grant of environmental clearance will be returned to the project proponents.

The most affected industrial areas, as a result of this notification, would be Ankleswar, Vapi, Ghaziabad, Chandrapur, Korba, Bhiwadi, Angul Talcher, Vellore, Singrauli, Ludhiana, Najafgarh drain and surrounding areas in Delhi, Noida, Dhanbabd, Kanpur, Cuddalore, Agra, Haldia, Ahmedabad, Navi Mumbai, Mangalore, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam, and Patancheru-Bollaram.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Penniyar banks cleared for river festival

Banking on special day for river clean-up - The Hindu

A.V. Ragunathan

Penniyar banks are getting spruced up for river festival on January 18

— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

WAITING FOR D-DAY: The banks of Pennaiyar in Cuddalore readying for the January 18 ‘River Festival’.

CUDDALORE: The banks of the Penniyar river, just ahead of its confluence point in the Bay of Bengal near Cuddalore, are getting spruced up for the January 18 River Festival. A massive crowd from the town and the nearby taluks will throng banks on that day.

The river banks are generally infested with weeds and outgrowths which are so dense as to block the water flow during rainy season. During summer when the river trickles down, the banks will be covered with thorny bushes. Hence, it has become an annual exercise for the civic body to tone up the banks for the festival.

Chairman of the Cuddalore Municipality T. Thangarasu, who has initiated the clean-up drive well in advance, told The Hindu that the civic body had requisitioned a bulldozer from the Agriculture Department to mow down the weeds and municipality trucks to carry the pulled-down thorny bushes to be dumped elsewhere. The approach road too was getting ready for a smooth movement of holiday-makers and sanitation measures would also be taken at this point. Special buses would ply from the main bus stand to the river front, he said.

M. Kala (58), a resident of the area, said that this was an important event for the people of Cuddalore. They used to come in droves to have a holy dip in the Penniyar. Deities would also be brought from almost all temples from across the district to the river for worship. Entertainment avenues would also be provided on the banks, besides rows of shops vending trinkets, household goods and candies. She said that for generations, the Penniyar was considered sacred and therefore, the rituals and last rites were being conducted here.

Though the Pongal festival is celebrated for four days in other places, as far as Cuddalore is concerned, it would be a five-day festival comprising Bogi, Pongal, Kari Naal, Vetri Naal and Thiru Naal.

The Thiru Naal is so named because it is a unique day when one could witness the assemblage of deities from renowned temples at one place. Therefore, Ms. Kala said that the river is the rarest one in the sense that besides providing an irrigation to a vast stretch of land along its course, it also provides a spiritual avenue to the people.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mud pots sought by people for their traditional value

Mud pots sought by people for their traditional value - The Hindu

A.V. Ragunathan

Potters make use of the festive season

Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Against odds: Pots lined up in Cuddalore. —

CUDDALORE: Against all odds, the humble pot is still retaining its place in the society owing to its traditional value. The mud pots are most sought after by the farming community and the orthodox families, particularly during Pongal festival and weddings.

The art of pot-making is being nurtured by a handful of families at Chinna Kanganankuppam near Cuddalore town for generations. However, the pot-makers are becoming a fast vanishing tribe because their wards are quitting the lineal business for the greener pastures elsewhere. Of the 40 families in the area, now only five are engaged in whirling the wheels. With vessels made of alloys flooding the markets the lowly pot has a little space left to squeeze in.

The inclement weather this season too has contributed its share of woes. According to P.Mani (52) and his wife Pokila, from a dipper load of soil being brought from Ariyalur at a cost of Rs 4,000 a maximum of 300 pots can be made. Another Rs. 1,000 ought to be spent on firewood for baking the pots and on paints for decorating them. It takes three days for a pot to get its full shape: ie., initially the soil is mould to the required shape over the wheel rotated manually and then the base is added.

Later, the pot is burnt till it turns red and then red peroxide is applied on the surface to get the sheen. The profound concern of Mr. Mani is storing place. The clay mould should be exposed to sunlight for two days and if it rains all efforts will go in vain because the freshly formed pot will turn into a lump of mud.

It literally means that the wheel has come full circle for them, thus, forcing them to begin from the scratch. Considering the labour involved and the money invested the trade is hardly rewarding.

Yet, the families stick on because they are not endowed with any other skills to earn their livelihood. There is of course market resistance to the pot because of its brittle and transient nature.

However, a ray of hope for these families that are barely on the sustenance level is the “marriage sets” comprising 22-25 pots of various sizes with lids. These are considered “must items” in the weddings and hence, the marriage seasons bring the pot-makers some solace.

Mr. Mani stoically says that somehow the wheel of the fortune is rotating haltingly and it is only a question of time before it comes to a grinding halt.