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May 27, 2009

Airtel Airtel opens rural service centre at Pappampatti

Airtel, as part of its rural penetration initiative, has opened its first Airtel Service Centre (ASC) at Pappampatti in Coimbatore District recently.The ASC was inaugurated by J. Balakrishnan, Zonal Business Manager, Coimbatore Zone, in the presence of Panchayat Chairman Sathyabama.

A release from Airtel said that the cellular service provider as on date was covering 95 per cent of the population in Coimbatore Zone which comprises eight districts with 430 operational ASCs. By the end of the fiscal 2009-10, Airtel would have 1,000 ASCs operational.

The ASCs would provide a bouquet of information on Airtel products and services, helps in removing barriers towards mobility, handling customer queries and complaints, reducing rural calls per customer.

The ASCs would serve the rural customers by selling connections, replacing damaged or lost Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards, recharge – information and educate customers on self serve options to get the best value recharge and offers, value added services promoting and selling relevant Value Added Services (VAS) and educating them and enquiry to handle customer queries and complaints.

BU’s novel measures to increase GER !

As per the directive of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to the universities to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) from seven per cent to 15 per cent, Bharathiar University has come out with certain innovative measures.Speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday, Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagam said the measures were put in place taking into consideration the three main reasons for the low GER – duration of the courses being too long and hence economically non-viable, higher education not being affordable and “unemployable education”.

“Since there are many who cannot afford to bear the expenses of even normal college expenses for three years, the concept of post-graduation becomes a difficult proposition for them. For such students the university has come out with a one-year full time post-graduate diploma in 12 programmes. Colleges can choose to offer any of the 12 programmes as regular courses for graduates or as add-on courses for those already pursuing other PG courses,” he said. He added that it would be beneficial from the economic point of view as well as useful for students aspiring to go abroad for pursuing PG courses. “Most of the foreign universities require a four-year undergraduate programme as a criterion from students desirous of taking up a PG programme. Instead of going there and wasting time in doing a bridge course, they can finish this course and directly apply for a PG programme”.

As regards affordability of arts and science education, Mr. Thiruvasagam said that the university has advised all the colleges to contain the fee structure. “We do not have the regulatory authority to question colleges if they prescribe high fees. However, we can pull up colleges who charge exorbitant fees without providing the requisite infrastructure facilities. I have short-listed 10 colleges from where we have received complaints from students regarding lack of even basic amenities. These colleges will be given a year’s time to better their facilities, failing which they will be barred from giving admissions and will be denied course affiliations,” he added. Concerning employable education, he said the courses this year were being revamped to make them application oriented.

Another measure he saw would lead to increase in number of students going towards higher education was the courses being offered through the School of Distance Education.

IT department office shifted ..

All offices of Income Tax Department, Range II, Coimbatore, will be shifted from II floor, Kings Complex, Dr. Nanjappa Road to the eighth floor of the Annexe Building, 63, Race Course, from
June 1.

According to a release, the offices coming under the TDS range will be shifted to the above address on Nanjappa Road from next month.

For details, contact: Benny John, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Range II, Coimbatore (0422-2225070) or R. Govindarajan, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, TDS Range, Coimbatore (0422-2237300), the release added.

Art Grant launched by Robert Bosch

Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Limited has launched “Art Grant” as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme.According to a release from the company, those residing in Coimbatore and aged below 30 can apply for the grant. Individuals should submit proposals for art projects spanning a spectrum of activities, including painting, craft, music, theatre and dance, which should be completed in a year and this will be taken to the public.

The aim is to contribute to the artistic and cultural diversity in the city through this initiative.

Details for the application procedure are available on: www.boschindia.com/rbei. The last date for submission of applications is May 30.

The applications could be sent by post or email and should be addressed to: Robert Bosch Art Grant, c/o Ms. M.A. Acharya, Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, 123, Industrial Estate, Hosur Road, Bangalore – 95.

Conference for Chartered Accountants

A two-day conference on “Professional Development and Enrichment” will be held here on May 29 and 30 for Chartered Accountants and students. According to G. Ramaswamy, Central Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), about 1,000 participants are expected to take part.

Powewr off on 28 and 29th !

There will be no power supply from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 28 and 29 in the following areas, according to a release from the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board:

NRI Garden, Vinobaji Nagar, Bharathi Nagar, NRG Nagar, Aranga Nagar, Ramasamy Naidu Nagar, Anna Industrial Estate, Subramanian Avenue, Indu Nagar, Indu Maa Nagar, VIP Nagar, Teachers Colony, Srivignesh Nagar, Sivakthi Nagar, Jeeva Nagar and Kumutha Nagar in Cheran Maanagar off Kalapatty Sub-station.

Kallimadai Sub-Station:

Power supply will not be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 28 in the following areas:

Kamaraj Road, Bharathi Nagar, Sakthi Nagar, Jothi Nagar, Ramanuja Nagar, NK Palayam one area, Krishnapuram, Balan Nagar, Sarkarai Chettiar Nagar, NGR Nagar, College to Civil Aerodrome, Lakshmipuram, Nandanagar and Housing Unit.

Motorbike ambulance service launched !

City Police Commissioner, K.C. Mahali on Tuesday launched the ‘motorbike ambulance’ services of KG Hospital.Launching the services, Mr. Mahali highlighted the efforts taken by the City Police as part of their micro level traffic planning study and the Golden Hour trauma care initiatives aimed at reducing deaths due to road accidents.

He said that the networking of private hospital ambulances with the police control room and positioning of ambulances at vantage locations on arterial roads had helped considerably in reducing the mean reaction time and in reducing death of road accident victims.The motorbike ambulance service is another pilot and pioneering initiative to ensure first aid to the victims during the Golden Hour.

Two-wheelers by virtue of their size could manoeuvre through narrow and busy roads and reach accident spots with ease while they would be followed by a fully equipped four-wheel ambulance for shifting the victim to a nearest hospital for further treatment.Chairman of KG Hospitals, G. Bhaktavatchalam said that first aid and medical care during the Golden Hour is paramount to save the life of an accident victim, hence the pioneering attempt to start motorbike ambulance service.

He termed it as unique and said that it was the first of its kind in South India.Motorbike ambulance drivers would be fully trained in rendering first aid and would start resuscitation measures to save the victim.These motorbike ambulances would render first aid to emergencies such as accidents, heart attacks, brain attacks, poisoning and fire accidents.

Even as the motorbike ambulance reaches the spot, it would be quickly followed by a fully-equipped ambulance with ECG, ventilator, 24-hour UPS back up, oxygen cylinders and emergency medical drugs.The ambulance would shift the patient to the nearest hospital for further treatment.Dr.Bhaktavatchalam said that on Tuesday, the first motorbike ambulance had been pressed into service.In the first phase, ten such motorbike ambulances would be on the roads and in a need-based approach it would be increased up to 50.

The services could be availed of by calling phone number 155 or 0422-222 2222.

June 4th Last date for Appoval application !!

Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra has announced that the last date for applying for regularisation of unapproved layouts will be June 4, 2009 as per GO MS No. 59 of Municipal Administration and Water Supply (MAWS) Department.

People should approach the respective Zonal offices of the Corporation before the said last date with filled-in application forms.Mr. Mishra said that at first the Government issued a notification giving time till December 30, 2007. This was extended to June 4, 2009.

As many as 31,432 sites in 761 layouts were regularised and Rs. 41.34 crore realised as development charges.From this fund, so far a sum of Rs. 32.07 crore had been spent on development works in such layouts.As per the scheme, unapproved layouts formed and sites sold prior to July 25, 2006 alone could be regularised and unsold sites resting with the promoters could not be regularised.

Layouts with just eight house sites need not be deemed as unapproved layouts.The release also pointed out that there had been applications showing vacant lands adjacent to sites in unapproved layouts stating that such lands also form part of the unapproved layouts.Such practices would not be encouraged.

Layouts formed after July 25, 2006 and layouts where the road width is less than 16 ft could not be regularised.Similarly there are applications for regularising vacant lands measuring 30 cents, 50, 80 and one acre and such lands need not be deemed as layouts.Those who needed clarifications could directly approach the zonal offices or the Assistant Town Planning Officers. In Coimbatore City, the task of regularising all unapproved layouts are nearing completion.

Layouts that were formed after July 25, 2006 could not be regularised hence the public are cautioned not to buy sites in such lands.In the event of information, the public could inform the Corporation.

Idea launch service in TN !

Indian cellcos Idea Cellular and Aircel have announced the launch of commercial services in new regions. Idea has announced that it has launched it GSM-based services in Tamil Nadu, with initial coverage of more than 130 towns across the state, according to the Business Standard. The operator has said that most of the region’s main towns are covered, including Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, Salem, Tirupur, Erode and Vellore, and it expects to spend approximately INR10 billion (USD212 million) on further expanding its footprint by 2011. Idea has also revealed plans to construct a network of 2,400 base stations by March 2010 in the Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka regions, rising to 2,600 sites in operation by March 2011. The cellco expects to have a pan-India presence by the end of 2009, with launches expected in the West Bengal, Calcutta, Assam and North Eastern circles by that date.

Rival cellco Aircel meanwhile has expanded its regions of operation to Mumbai, having made an estimated INR5.5 billion investment in the circle. Aircel has set aside around INR10 billion for nationwide expansion and it is expected to utilise the funds to roll out services in a six more states in the coming year; Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. It also expects to double the number of base stations it has to 40,000 by the end of 2009.

Tension at K.R.Puram !

Tension prevailed at Avarampalayam on Tuesday when a group of residents tried to enter fenced land that allegedly belonged to a private trust, demanding that the Corporation School should continue to function on that site.

The school was recently shifted to Shobha Nagar after the trust reportedly obtained an order from the High Court stating that the land should be given back on completion of the agreement period.Based on the court order, the private trust tried to fence the land with barbed wire on Tuesday.

Some of the agitators tried to force their way into the 60 cents of land by removing the fencing.A posse of police led by Assistant Commissioners of Police, A. Gopalasami and K. Kumarasami defused the tension and on citing the court order, the agitators dispersed.In connection with the incident, the police have registered a case against ten persons for trying to trespass onto private land.

May 25, 2009

Special train to mangalore !

Southern Railway has started a special train from Mangalore to Coimbatore to clear extra rush of passengers during the summer season. Train 0615 Coimbatore - Mangalore special will leave Coimbatore at 10.15 am on Saturdays from May 23 to June 27 and arrive here at 7 pm the same day. Train 0616 Mangalore - Coimbatore will leave Mangalore at 8.40 am on Sundays from May 24 to June 28 and reach Coimbatore at 5.25 pm on the same day.

The composition of the trains will be one first AC-cum-AC 2-tier, one AC 3-tier, six second sitting and eight general second class and two luggage cum brake van coaches. The trains will stop at Podanur, Palakkad, Shornur, Kuttipuram, Tirur, Kozhikode, Vadakara, Thalassery, Kannur, Payyanur, Kanhangad and Kasargod. Advance reservation for the above trains has commenced.

Co-ordination meeting for Piloor water line problem !

An exclusive sub-station was among the proposals made at a meeting on Saturday of the district administration, Coimbatore Corporation, Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board and the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board to solve the problem of frequent bursts in the Pilloor drinking water main supply line.

District Collector V. Palanikumar chaired the meeting, which aimed at ending a series of power trips that resulted in water hammer pressure bursting cement pipes. Commissioner Anshul Mishra and water supply officials represented the Coimbatore Corporation. Chief Engineer of the electricity board A. Thangavel and Executive Engineer (Pilloor) of TWAD Board S. Rathinavelu took part in the meeting.A massive breach in the Pilloor drinking water main supply line on Thursday forced this co-ordination meeting. This was the first such meeting in nearly a decade that sought to discuss temporary and permanent measures to ensure that water supply was not disrupted by the tripping in power supply.The line burst on Thursday was said to be the latest in a long list of those caused by the tripping of power.

Electricity board officials explained that power lines passing through the forests at Velliyangadu were snapped by trees that were uprooted by strong winds. This reply was in response to complaints of a number of disruptions in four to five days.While the electricity board admitted to this problem, it, however, attributed other instances of bursts to the non-provision of pressure release valves in the pipes.

At the start of the meeting, the Collector wanted to know why the Corporation was not able to supply drinking water properly in the Pilloor-served areas. The Corporation Commissioner responded by saying that the city should get 66 million litres a day of Pilloor water. But, the line bursts often denied this quantity to the city. Water board officials responded to this by pointing out that power tripping led to the bursts and the consequent disruption in water supply.
Electricity board officials said tree branches fell on the power lines and disrupted supply. Sometimes, heavy rain and strong winds uprooted trees and these fell on the lines. Prevent damage .Mr. Mishra suggested that the electricity board could prune the branches to prevent damage to the power lines. This would prevent the loss of time in repairing water line bursts and also disruption in supply.The Collector asked the electricity board officials to submit proposals for a sub-station near the pumping station at Velliyankadu and other measures for preventing line bursts.
The pumping of Pilloor water to the main service reservoir at Saravanampatti began on Friday night and Corporation officials said the supply within the city had resumed.

Photography event - Results announced !!

A photography event was organised as part of the Coimbatore Vizha held recently. Competitions were held under various categories.According to a release from Shankar Vanavarayar, Chair, Coimbatore Vizha, winners were selected under three categories.

C.R. Jayaprakash, lecturer, PSG College of Arts and Science, won the first prize under the category of Nature. Mohammed Yasin, Professor, Agronomy, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, won the first prize under the category of Monuments. D. Dhandapani, Premier Studios, won the first prize under the People and Festivals category.They were honoured by Arjun Prakash, Chairman, Young Indians, and Rajiv Kamineni, Co-chairman, Coimbatore Vizha, at a function held here on Thursday.

A Student and His friend arrested ..

A student’s attempt to write an examination on behalf of his friend has landed both of them in jail.Arulkarthik (22), doing his Masters in Computer Applications in a private college near the city, attempted to write an examination for his friend Jayaprakash (22) to clear an arrear in one of the subjects the latter had while doing his final year undergraduate course.According to the police, as Jayaprakash was working in a private company in Chennai, the two decided that Arulkarthik would write the examination. Arulkarthik affixed his photo on the hall ticket in place of that of Jayaprakash.

But, an examination supervisor from Anna University got suspicious during a check at the examination hall. On verification, he found that Arulkarthik was not the actual candidate.
A complaint was made with the Kuniamuthur Police and the two were arrested, the police said.

Universalisation of education- mission of SSA’

“It is important to continuously review civil works which are related to capacity building and filling posts. Works should be planned at the district levels so that each gets equal components and all of them succeed in achieving their targets. All aspects should be looked at since the mission of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is universalisation of education,” D.K. Gautam, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, said here recently.At the 15th National review meeting of State project engineers / civil works’ co-ordinators of the SSA, he said documentation was an important part of civil works.

“Documenting all good practices and fund flow and making records of them are essential. Some States and districts are very good in this. They should share their experiences with the Technical Support Group of SSA and also the Ministry of Human Resource Development,” Mr. Gautam said.He exhorted the various district and State representatives to ensure that the norms put forth by the Ministry of Rural Development for construction of toilets and water purification systems be followed. Even though third party evaluation of civil works was important and should be a part of the process from start to end, he stressed that quality assurance was more important.

R. Venkatesan, Project Director, Tamil Nadu, speaking on the implementation of SSA civil works in the State, expressed happiness that this year the Government of India had allotted a substantial amount for civil works. “This time, in addition to construction of classrooms, we will be procuring furniture and also constructing compound walls. All civil works are being implemented by the Village Education Committees.”He was also happy that the drop-out rate of primary school children had declined from 13 per cent in 2002-03 to 1.9 per cent in 2008-09. There was also a steady increase in the Net Enrolment Rate.Representatives from other States made presentations of their respective SSA civil works.

DDE admissions of MKU extended to May 30

The issuance of applications and spot-admissions for various courses under the Directorate of Distance Education (DDE) of the Madurai Kamaraj University for the calendar year 2009 has been extended to May 30. According to a release from the Co-ordinator of the admission centre of the university, undergraduate and post-graduate degree and diploma courses, certificate programmes, MBA and MCA are being offered .
Those interested can collect the study material on admission at C.S.I. Primary School, Variety Hall Road.For details contact 0422-2304910, the press release adds.

May 24, 2009

Freight rates dropped !

Delhi : Freight rates for 10-tonne pay load for select south region destinations on Saturday declined by Rs 1,000 in the local truck transport market following less arrivals of cargo along with easy truck positions.Transporters said better positions of trucks in the market as compared to the cargo movements mainly pulled down some of southern regions freight.

Delhi to Kochi and Pondicherry freight rates dropped by Rs 1,000 each at Rs 36,000 and Rs 31,000 respectively.Bangalore, Mysore and Coimbatore freights too slipped by Rs 1,000 each at Rs 32,000, Rs 33,000 and Rs 35,000 respectively.

Following were Saturday's freight rates for a load of 10 tonnes:

Ahmedabad 11,000 Hyderabad 23,000 Mumbai 17,000 Vijayawada 25,000 Baroda 12,000 Bangalore 32,000 Pune 18,000 Mysore 33,000 Surat 14,500 Pondicherry 31,000 Kanpur 9,000 Coimbatore 35,000 Kolkata 21,000 Chennai 32,000 Ludhiana 9,000 Kochi 36,000 Chandigarh 7,500 Thiruvananthapuram 44,000 Jaipur 6,000 Goa 26,000 Indore 11,000 Gwalior 6,500 Patna 17,000 Guwahati 37,000

Kovai institute selected for Indo-US collaboration

Sri Ramakrishna Institute of Technology here has been selected under the Indo-US Collaboration for Engineering Education(IUCEE) programme.The IUCEE has been launched by the American Society for Engineering Education, along with PAN-IIT and Academic and Business leaders from leading US and Indian universities.

This collaboration was aimed at making engineering education and research more relevant to the needs of global society and to the aptitude and aspirations of new generation of youth, an institute release said here today.This would help in building the next generation technical workforce using new paradigms and a series of workshops as +2009 Indo US Engineering Faculty Leadership Institute (FLI), is being organised from June 22 to July 10 at Infosys, Mysore Centre, in this regard, it said.

IUCEE has raised more than Rs. 3 crore from personal donation for conducting 24 workshops for 600 participants at the 2009 FLI.Considering the competencies and committment, the Sri Ramakrishna Institute of Technology has been selected as one of the 100 colleges across India and four faculty members would participoate in the FLI, it said.

Auction centre for roses !!

Coimbatore will soon have an auction centre for roses and cut flowers.The Agricultural Marketing Committee has constructed an auction centre here for the flowers at a cost of Rs. 10 lakhAn official of the Agriculture Marketing Directorate here told that 39 green houses had come up in the Karamadai region in the recent years for cut flowers and roses. The farmers had sought marketing facilities.

Hence, the centre was constructed at the Uzhavar Sandhai, R.S. Puram. The centre had an auction hall and cold storage facility. Farmers could display the flowers and buyers could quote prices according to the quality, the official said.The marketing directorate conducted a market study and had invited sellers from other States to participate in the auctions here.

The centre was likely to be formally inaugurated by the end of next month. Low volume of trade was already going on at the centre, he said.A number of cut flower sellers in Kerala were sending flowers to Mumbai and Bangalore through the Coimbatore airport. They could use the auction centre here.

The directorate expected 8,000 to 10,000 stems to arrive at the centre every day and the farmers could get Rs. 2 for a stem on an average. Initially, the auction centre services would be available free of cost.The main benefit for the farmers would be selling directly to the buyers and avoiding middlemen, the official said.

The cut flower growers of Karamadai were also selling the flowers at a stall at the Uzhavar Sandhai now.

“Kovaiyil Oru Kondattam” - For fund raising ...

Upaharana Trust, a charitable organisation, is organising a variety entertainment at the VOC Grounds here on May 30 to raise funds for educating 138 children, who have been child labourers in various parts of South India.According to a spokesperson of the trust, this event, called “Kovaiyil Oru Kondattam”, will also help 380 children at the Families for Children, an orphanage at Podanur, near here.

The trust also plans to help Sivakumar, who was the topper in the higher secondary examinations among the students of the Corporation schools across Coimbatore, to pursue higher education.


The event is supported by singer Anuradha Sriram, who spent considerable time with the children at the Families for Children.“Their daily life itself is a challenge and they are the real life heroes,” she said urging the people to support the cause.The event will feature programmes by Anuradha Sriram, “Maanada Mayilada” team and also performances by distinguished artistes and film actors. The children from Families for Children will also participate.

The trust is not looking for donations but invites all to be part of the event, the spokesperson said.For donor pass and details, contact 90944-95310, 98847-75656 , 99767-55808.

Expo for pet lovers !

The Kovai ‘O’ Fish Expo, an exhibition of ornamental fish along with a variety of other pet animals, including birds and dogs, is on at the Suguna Kalyana Mandapam here. It concludes on May 25.A diverse collection of rare and expensive fish such as flower horn, Arowanna, angel fish, Neon tetra, Balloon Mollies, gold fish, are among those showcased.

“We have also displayed details such as their genus name, origin, water type\temperature, and food type for all the species of fish, to educate the public so that they can appreciate them better, “said V.P. Prinson, co-ordinator.He said the expo would focus on the farmers involved in ornamental fish rearing.

“Most of the fish are imported and bred in Kolathur, Chennai, where the largest small-scale ornamental fish farming industry is situated in India.The fish here costs between Rs. 5 and Rs. 50,000,” he explained.

All the fish displayed here are brought from Chennai.Besides, the expo includes a number of exotic birds and dog breeds. All the exhibited fish and animals are for sale.These apart, pet products such as different sizes of fish tanks, oxygen generators, ornamental underwater plants, fish food, bird and dog accessories, etc. are sold here.

The expo also has stalls that provide information, books and CDs on ornamental and fish farming.The event is supported by Tairo, Aquarium World and www.agriindia online.com. The expo is open between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Anglo Indian- State third from Coimbatore

Avithya Vasni, student of Stanes Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Coimbatore, has come third in the State with 483 marks. She has scored centums in Mathematics and Science.Always a good student, Avithya says that though the centums were expected, the State rank was a big surprise. Though she is happy with the centums and the rank, she is let down by her English marks – 88.

“I always completed my everyday portions. So, I did not have to prepare in any special manner for the final examinations,” she says.She is indebted to her Mathematics and Science teachers for having taught her well. With an aspiration to become an electronics engineer, she has chosen the Computer Science group in her Plus One.

Coimbatore has recorded a pass percentage of 98.47 in the Anglo Indian examinations.The number of centums in Mathematics is 55, while it is five in Science.The district second place has gone to P. Nandhini, St. Francis Anglo Indian High School. She has scored 481. The third place is shared by N. Indhuja, St. Francis Anglo Indian High School, and Venkatesa Prasath, Stanes Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School. Both of them have scored 478 each. Indhuja has secured a centum in Science.

State second from Gobi ..

S. Sushma, student of Saradha Higher Secondary School, Modachur, Gobichettipalayam, has bagged the State second rank in the State Board examinations with 495 marks.

Though Sushma has secured centums in Mathematics, Science and Social Science, she is disappointed with the 97 she has got in Tamil.“This has pushed me to the second place,” she laments.

A consistent first rank holder in school, Sushma wants to pursue computer science in school and wants to become an aeronautical engineer. She aspires to work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Her inspiration: Kalpana Chawla.

She believes in keeping her mind relaxed and completing her everyday portions.

“It is not enough to study all subjects everyday. What is important is to study thoroughly,” she says.

Corporation schools done well

Coimbatore Corporation schools registered 78 per cent pass in the S.S.L.C. examinations.

Of the 3,015 students (1,806 girls and 1,209 boys) who appeared, 2,339 (1,532 girls and 807 boys) passed. K. Pavithra (486 / 500 marks) of Corporation Higher Secondary School on Oppanakara Street stood first among the Corporation school students.

May 23, 2009

Flower show begins !!

With various parts of this hill station teeming with tourists and all roads leading to the famed Government Botanical Garden (GBG), the curtain went up on the 113th Ooty flower show on Friday. For the first time, the show is being conducted over three days.

While the venue wore a colourful look, the cynosure of all eyes was a 14 feet high model of Valluvar Kottam made with flowers. An aeroplane made with about 20,000 carnations and a model of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway were among the other major attractions.

A fine collection of top 10 cut flowers displayed on the galleries just beyond the threshold greeted the visitors as they commenced their tour of the venue. Among them were gerbera, gladioli, carnation, anthurium, rose and bird of paradise.

Exhibited alongside were flowers like shampoo ginger, heliconium, baby pine apple, chrysanthemum and lilium.Further down were flowers in pots like salvia, aster, begonia, petunia, dahlia and inca marigold.Among the flowers which caught the eye were dwarf antirrhinum and purple phlox.While filing past the display some of the visitors who came from different parts of the country told ‘The Hindu’ that they were fortunate to see a wide variety of flowers in a picturesque venue. Stating that the weather was also tourist- friendly, they hoped that it will remain dry till the show was over.

MRC band

As usual the renowned band of the Madras Regimental Centre (MRC) enhanced the prestige of the show.A good part of the venue was illuminated.Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugham inaugurated the show.

Among those present were Chief Secretary K.S. Sripathi, Khadi Board Minister K. Ramachandran, Director of Horticulture and Plantation Crops B. Chandra Mohan and Nilgiris Collector Anandrao V. Patil.

KMCH Doctor receives "Cum Laude Award"

Consultant Interventional Radiologist at Kovai Medical Center and Hospital Mathew Cherian was recently conferred with the ‘Cum Laude Award’ at the European Congress on Radiology held in Austria’s capital Vienna for his presentation on the treatment of intra-cranial aneurysm.

Aneurysm is an abnormal bulging of the blood vessel in the brain. If not detected early and treated, this can burst and prove fatal for the patient.The award was for the minimally invasive technique Dr. Cherian had developed. A press release from the hospital said that this technique obviated the need to open the skull. Instead, the affected portion in the brain was accessed through a blood vessel in the thigh using computerised imaging for guidance. The bulged portion was then packed with soft wires to cure the patient of the problem.

Dr. Cherian said a severe headache must be viewed seriously as it could be a symptom of aneurysm. If the bulge ruptured, it could prove fatal. He said 20 per cent of the patients (with rupture) never reached the hospital alive. And, 40 per cent would have secondary bleeding from the same area, resulting in death in a few days. Till the mid-nineties, only open surgery was possible and this carried a high risk of death or paralysis. The new technique that involved coiling (by using the wires) provided a breakthrough in treatment. Kovai Medical Center and Hospital was among the first few centres in the country to use this technique. Till date, among all these centres, a nine-year-old girl was the youngest patient and the oldest was 89 years old.

Damaged water supply Line replaced !

With the damaged Pilloor supply line pipe replaced on Friday, the pumping of drinking water was set to resume in the night. A cement concrete pipe burst on Thursday near Velliyankadu, more than 40 km north of the city, a forced suspension of supply under the Pilloor Drinking Water Scheme to one half of the Coimbatore Corporation areas and more than 500 panchayats.

About 20 workers engaged by the Tamil Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board worked continuously since Thursday afternoon to dig out the pipe that burst under heavy pressure.

A power trip and the consequent forceful backflow caused a 15 ft breach in the line. Water board officials said on Friday that uninterrupted excavation helped in reaching the damaged line that lay about 10 ft below. Mercifully, there was no rain, said an official overseeing that work at the burst spot, a little more than a kilometre from the pumping station at Velliyankadu.

The line was removed using a crane and this helped save time, compared to the normal laborious and time-consuming process of workers hammering it to pieces and then removing these.A pipe made of mild steel replaced the damaged one and it was being welded into place around 1.15 p.m. Again, the dry weather helped speed up this process. Though a bit cloudy, there was not even a drizzle in the city or the suburbs till afternoon. Rain would hold up welding and lead to a cascading effect on the rest of the process of restoring water supply, the official explained.

Work would have been even faster, but a lot of silt had entered the adjoining pipes after being sucked in through the breach. A lot de-watering too had to be done, the official said.An official source in the Corporation said that even if the pumping of water began on Friday night, normal supply to the public would resume only on Sunday. The full quantity needed for normal supply in the city would be available in the 30-lakh litre main service reservoir only past afternoon on Saturday. From here, water had to be supplied to 19 overhead tanks in the city, varying from 2.5 lakh litres to 27 lakh litres in capacity.

It would take 10 hours for water to reach the city from Velliyankadu.After the first motor was switched on, it would take two hours for water to reach Kattan Hills. Only then would the second motor be switched on. Later, the other two motors would be activated one after the other. All the four motors would have to run for normal flow of water to the city.Once it reached the city, it would take four hours for the main service reservoir to fill up and another eight hours in the case of the other tanks. Therefore, normal internal distribution in the city would normalise only on Sunday.

Female elephant electrocuted ...

A female elephant aged around 15 was electrocuted when it came into contact with an electric fence put up around a farmer's field near Thalawadi forest in the district.The incident occurred in Mallankuzhi on Thursday and a case has been registered against the farmer for allegedly causing the death of the elephant, forest officials and police said.

According to forest personnel, farmers in the area used to erect barbed wire fence and connect it to "mild" electric supply, which is permitted, in a bid to scare wild animals from entering their fields. However, some connect the normal electric supply, resulting in electrocutions.

Forest officials buried the elephant in a nearby forest area.

ESIC Office awarded ISO 9001

The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation’s sub-regional office at Ramanathapuram in the city has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification, Joint Director of the corporation R. Mohankumar said in a press release on Friday.

With a quality management system in place, the organisation hoped to work towards providing quality service to employers and insured persons, the press release added.

Podanur-Pollachi-Dindigul railway line closed !

The metre gauge railway line between Podanur-Pollachi-Dindigul will be closed for gauge conversion work from May 26.

Consequently, there will be no train service in the Podanur-Pollachi and Pollachi-Dindigul sections, a southern railway release said on Friday.Train No.771 Podanur-Dindigul passenger on May 25 would be the last train in the MG section, the release said.

The section would be converted to broad gauge, it said, but did not mention the time frame for completion of the project.

May 22, 2009

Workshop on Audiology

Hearing Aid Centre in the city will hold a workshop on advances in hearing aid technology on May 24.

Titled “Recent Trends in Audiology”, the meet is to update ENT (ear, nose, throat) surgeons and other professionals in this field, Managing Director of the centre S. Muralidharan and audiologist Tharani Muralidharan said on Thursday. A free check-up for children would be done from June 1 to 15.

They said that early detection of hearing defects was important for effective treatment. A child should be able to speak two or three words when it was one or one-and-a-half years old. If there was any delay in speaking, it should be taken to a speech diagnostic centre.Early detection would help determine what type of treatment was needed. Counselling for parents was equally important. Ears were more of psycho-social organs as the lack of hearing ended in a stigma being attached to the patient. This led to people going in for treatment only when they had lost 60 to 80 per cent of hearing.

The meet would also provide an update on the latest digital hearing aid. The advantage was that the aid need not be changed when the hearing deteriorates. It could be programmed to match the current requirement.

Apparel Exports rise !

Apparel exports rose over four per cent to $10.13 billion in 2008-09 as against $9.68 billion in the previous year.Apparel Exports Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman Rakesh Vaid attributed the reason for the growth to robust performance witnessed in the first two months -- April and May in 2008, after that there was a slowdown during the last six months of the fiscal.

Vaid, who is in Tirupur to attend the 3-day 28th India Knit Fair, told reporters that the recession usually put pressure on prices only, particularly in apparel industry. Due to the constant increase in the population, the demand for apparels was always on the upper side.

Asked about the situation this fiscal, he said it was projected to register a growth rate of seven per cent.However, compared to India, other Asian countries like China, Bangladesh and Indonesia had registered exponential growth of 15, 20 and 35 per cent, respectively, Vaid said.
A wide range of spring and summer collections of apparels and readymade garments were on display at the fair.

Santosh Trophy starts on May 24 !

The 63rd National Senior Football Championships for the Santosh Trophy begins at four venues, including two here, in Tamil Nadu from May 24.

The initial phase of the championships to spot the four teams, which would join four directly seeded teams, will feature 27 teams drawn in eight clusters.The eight teams will play in knock-out pre-quarterfinals and four teams will join defending champions Punjab, last year's runners-up Services and semifinalists West Bengal and Karnataka in the quarterfinal league which will be held in chennai from June 2.

Kerala take on Nagaland (cluster I) in the inaugural match on May 24 in Coimbatore while hosts Tamil Nadu play Rajasthan (Cluster VIII) at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on the opening day.

On the same day, Madhya Pradesh (Cluster III) play Jammu and Kashmir at Tiruchirappalli while Railways meet Delhi at Thiruvallore in a cluster V match.The championship is being held in Tamil Nadu for the 10th time and the hosts' best performance so far is a runners-up finish in 1972-73, losing the final to Goa.

Cletus Babu, President Tamil Nadu Football Association, told reporters that about 40 national referees have been drafted for duty by the All India Football Federation.Former champions Kerala and Maharashtra, with a clutch of top rung players are favourites in Cluster I and II, while strong contenders Goa are placed in Cluster V.

Corporation ready for Floods ?

The Coimbatore Corporation is planning measures to prevent flooding of the city’s roads and residential colonies during monsoon. Removal of silt from storm water drains and water ways, quick response to complaints of water stagnation and round-the-clock monitoring of the situation during heavy rain are some of the measures.

With the prediction that the South West Monsoon may set in early this time, officials in the Corporation have already held a meeting to discuss ways to prevent flooding. More planning will be done and measures taken before the monsoon sets in, according to Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra.

“The officials have prepared a list of areas where silt has to be removed from canals. The removal of silt is vital to preventing stagnation. Mostly, stagnation in the drainage results in sewage overflowing from the canal and mixing with rain water,” he says.The Corporation removed silt and garbage from the storm water drain along Brooke Bond Road before the elections.Work in other parts of the city will resume soon as they had been halted by the election.

“Clogging of drains is the major problem. The practice of dumping all kinds of waste into the drains must stop. People should realise that by dumping plastics waste into the drainage or canals, they are only inflicting harm on themselves. The impact of this practice is on them during rain,” he points out. The canal along Goods Shed Road is choked with garbage.

The Commissioner says some amount of awareness creation will have to be done in order to prevent people from resorting to such indiscriminate dumping. “They need to know of the consequences,” he says.On other measures, Mr. Mishra feels that there is no need for any elaborate flood prevention measures. The city is not completely vulnerable to flooding. There is heavy stagnation only in some pockets and steps will be taken to tackle this. In many other areas, water drains gradually.

Every year, the Corporation faces flak from the public when water stagnates at the underpasses near Kikani School, on Big Bazaar Street and the one on the Somasundara Mill Road.For the last three to four years, there has been no complaint on the Sivananda Colony underpass as it had been re-laid. Efforts are on to prevent water and sewage stagnation at the underpass on Somasundara Mill Road. But, the underpass near Kikani school remains a concern.

24-hour cell

The Commissioner said a 24-hour cell will be established at the Corporation to respond to calls for help from the public, especially at night. The staff of the civic body will be put on shift.

Contact numbers will be provided to the public sometime later.

Medical news ..

A team led by surgical oncologist at city-based Sheela Hospital A. Suresh Venkatachalam has created an artificial urinary bladder in a woman suffering from cancer of the cervix.

A press release from the surgeon has said that the cancer in the 45-year-old woman from Kerala was found to have infiltrated the urinary bladder. After initial consultation did not offer her much hope, she was referred to the city hospital.

When Dr. Venkatachalam found that the cancer had not gone beyond the urinary bladder, he decided to perform iliostomy, a procedure to create an artificial bladder by using two uterers that originated from the kidneys. The urine would be stored in this bladder and let out into a special bag called iliostomy bag. The bladder had to be created because the uterus, cervix, vagina, urinary bladder and urethra were surgically removed.

Orthopaedic meet

The Coimbatore Bone and Joint Foundation has said it would conduct from May 22 to 24 an International Orthopaedic Trauma and Complication Meet.

President and Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon of the foundation Velsamy Raveendran said in a release that more than 50 faculty members from abroad and also various parts of the country would deliver special lectures to update orthopaedicians on the management of complications owing to some methods of treatment.

The meet would discuss various issues relating to non-healing of fractures, keyhole surgery, arthroscopy and specific areas such as spine and knee joint surgery.Dr. Raveendran said the foundation would hold a conference on trauma care, “Trauma Con 2010” in Udhagamandalam in April 2010.

Awareness rally

MediIndia Hospitals has organised for May 24 a rally to generate awareness among the public on Hepatitis B, as part of the World Hepatitis Week being observed from May 19 to 26. Free blood test, interface with the public and a free digestive diseases camp are some of the events for the day, a press release said.

The rally will be taken out from Devanga Higher Secondary School, off Brooke Bond Road at 8 a.m. It will end at Gujarati Samaj on Mettupalayam Road at 9 a.m.

Power Shutdown ..

There will be no power supply in the following areas from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 23 due to maintenance works:

Madhampatty Substation:

Madhampatty, Kuppanur, Karadimadai, Sennanur,Alandurai, Semmedu, Poondi,Siruvani, Devarayapuram, Kulathupalayam, Dhaliyur, Sundapalayam, Theethipalayam, Kalampalayam, Perur, Perur-Chettipalayam, Goundanur, Iruttupalayam, Kalikanaickenpalayam.

Devarayanapuram Substation:

Thondamuthur,Puthur, Booluvampatty,Viraliyur, Jaackeernaickenpalayam, Muthipalayam, thennamanallur, Naraseepuram and Kaliyannanpudur.

Peedampalli Substation:

Kalangal, Peedampalli, Pattanam, Pappampatty, Akkanaickenpalayam, Pattanampudur, Nadupalayam ( part), Chinnakuili, Naickenpalaym, Pallapalayam, Pappampatty Pirirvu,Kannampalayam

Nethaji Apparel Park Substation, New Tirupur:

Nethaji Apparel Park, Arulmigu Solieeswarar Periyanayaki Amman Kovil,Avinashi Kaikattipudur, Sathi Nagar, SP Apparels, Kuppandampalayam, Ayee Goundampalayam,Thulukkamuthur, Nalla Kattipalayam and Unjapalayam.

B.Ed entrance exam results today !

The results of the B.Ed. entrance examination, for the distance education programme, of the Bharathiar University will be published on May 22.According to a press release issued by the university, the examination was held on March 29.


Nearly 500 candidates have been selected on the basis of entrance examination marks and community reservation.The list of selected candidates will be available on the university website www.b-u.ac.in on May 22.

Candidates will also be intimated by post.

May 21, 2009

Shanthi Gears - speculation over possible takeover

An announcement by city-based Shanthi Gears in the exchanges has triggered speculations in the market about a possible change ofmanagement in the country’s second largest industrial gearbox manufacturing company.The company informed the exchanges on Tuesday that it is in the process of revamping and restructuring the entire operational and organisational structure. This may lead to slowdown in production in all units for a short tenure, it added.

Shanthi Gears manufactures a wide range of power transmission products including gears, gearboxes, geared motors and gear assemblies. It reported a turnover of Rs 245.3 crore in 2007-08.Company sources said, all top officials including GM production and administration manager have resigned and CMD P Subramanian is steering the affairs of the company.

According to market, the company had few weeks reduced its workforce by offering VRS to 937 people. It had a strength 1500 employees.Sources at Labour Commissioner office
said they haven’t heard any news from Shanthi Gears. “There has been no major dispute in Shanthi Gears in the last five years,” Mr P Marimuthu, Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Coimbatore told .

However, there is speculation in the market that the company is in talks with L&T to sell stakes. L&T, which already has a big manufacturing unit in Malumichampatti, near Coimbatore is a leader number in the manufacture of low voltage switchgears.When contacted L&T Media Relations chief Mr Debojyoti Chatterjee denied any such talks. “L&T does not comment on market speculations,” he said in his reply to the mail sent by ET. Shanthi Gears CMD Mr Subramanian couldn’t be contacted for his comments.

Earlier in August 2008, there was a rumour of Suzlon Energy acquiring majority stake in Shanthi Gears. But the company had denied entering into any agreement with Suzlon.In November 2008, CMD Mr Subramanian in a statement said the company had redeemed the outstanding FCCB liability of $5.30 million.The company’s board is to meet on May 27 to consider and take on record the audited financial results for the year ended March 31, 2009.

Stated as a private limited company in 1972, Shanthi Gears was converted into a public limited company on March 10, 1986.Shares of the company lost –2.90, or –8.31%, to settle at Rs 32.00 at BSE on Tuesday

SBI opened its SME Branch !

State Bank of India plans to add four more branches for small and medium-scale enterprises (SME) in 2009-10 in Chennai circle, according to J. Chandrasekaran, Chief General Manager of the bank, Chennai.

He told presspersons here on Wednesday that the bank had 17 SME branches and eight branches for the mid-corporate group now.This year it would increase the total number of branches in the circle by 140.

One SME branch was opened here on Wednesday.It already had SME City Credit Centres in Chennai, Madurai and Tiruchi.The bank provided cluster- level and branch-level relationship managers to these units as SMEs required personal support. The bank was also taking efforts to build the SME cadre through special training programmes.

The business loan outstanding in the SME sector in the circle by the end of 2008-09 was Rs. 8,090 crore.In Coimbatore, advances to the sector, that excluded the mid-corporate group, were 1,435 crore and deposits 1,053 crore. Chennai circle had restructured loans for about 1,700 SMEs.

Inox eyes Coimbatore !

Inox Leisure, the national multiplex chain launches in Hyderabad and opened its screens at the premium GVK One Mall in Banjara Hills. The new Inox Hyderabad has six screens and 1257 seats including 75 luxurious recliner seats.

On the launch, Alok Tandon, CEO, Inox Leisure commented, “With this opening we have ensured the top of the line Inox experience to the Hyderabad movie lovers through convenient location, easy accessibility and modern comforts.”Inox has also introduced its own food and beverage counter Refuel in the new multiplex premise.In Andhra Pradesh, Inox already has a three screen multiplex in Vijayawada and proposes to set up two more multiplexes comprising of 10 screens in Vishakhapatnam by the end of the year and a four screen multiplex in Warangal by mid 2010.

Nationally, Inox has 27 multiplexes and 97 screens in 20 cities across India. Coming to the expansion plans, Inox aims to have total 39 multiplexes and 147 screens during the financial year 2009-10 with the opening of another 12 multiplexes and 50 screens in Siliguri, Kolkata and Howrah in West Bengal, Indore, Bangalore, Kanpur, Vishakhapatnam, Navi Mumbai and Bhuvaneshwar.

In the next phase, Inox plans to open another 22 multiplexes and 100 screens to take the count to total 61 multiplexes and 247 screens by the end of 2010-11 in Kolkata and Haldia in West Bengal, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Kotra Sultanbad, Coimbatore, Pune, Ranchi, Jalgaon, Warangal, Bangalore, Hubli, Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Chennai, Goa, Bilaspur and Jabalpur and by the end of financial year 2011-12, opening of another nine multiplexes and 44 screens is planned to add to the total count to 70 multiplexes and 291 screens in places like Kharagpur, Jodhpur, Kolkata, Howrah and Asansol in West Bengal, Guwahati, Pune and Hyderabad. According to Inox, the average investment would be of 20 to 25 million planned as per screen set up excluding the cost of real estate.

Answer sheets go missing prior to exams !!

Nearly 2,000 fresh answer sheets received from Bharathiar University were found missing from a private college at Kangayam on May 19. This was noticed by the college authorities when the arrangements were going on for the conduct of examination at the college on May 20 Three members of the university Syndicate have been deputed to investigate the faux pas. Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagam told he had immediately debarred the college from holding any examination till further instruction from him. “The college has been blacklisted. An inquiry will be held to find out the reason behind the disappearance of the sheets,” he said.

Final decision regarding action to be taken against the college would be taken after the receipt of the inquiry report. Blank examination papers under Code ‘C’ were missing from the room where the college had stored them. “Usually the college is supposed to store question papers, answer sheets and all examination-related paraphernalia in the same place. The college had not done so. Answer sheets that were stored in a separate room were found missing a day before the examination,” said the Vice-Chancellor.

He had instructed the college to lodge a complaint. He had also instructed the college to and bear the transportation and other costs of students to enable them to take the examination at the TERF’s Academy College of Arts and Science, Kovilpalayampudhur.All affiliated colleges of the university had been asked not to use answer sheets under Code ‘C’ for undergraduate or postgraduate examination.

CBSE starts psychological counselling

The Central Board of Secondary Education on Wednesday launched psychological counselling for students through a tele-helpline, an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) and its website, as it announced Class XII results for certain regions.

The CBSE has been providing such counselling for 12 years. It will be on till June 3. Principals and trained counsellors numbering 37 from CBSE-affiliated schools, psychologists and social scientists are operating the helpline individually from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in four time-slots. They are located in 18 centres including Delhi, Noida, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Bhopal, Nagpur, Bangalore and Guwahati. There are three centres in Dubai, Doha-Qatar and Kuwait. Tele-counselling will be provided by individual volunteers free of cost.

CBSE is also providing tele-counselling through IVRS mode for the fifth consecutive year. Information and techniques to cope with anxiety are provided at the website www.cbse.nic.in.

Ugam Solutions Opens Up !!

India-based MR outsourcing firm Ugam Solutions has opened a new delivery center at the Coimbatore Park in Sarvanampatti, Tamil Nadu. Over the next two years, the firm plans to hire 400 staff for this new facility.

The center, which is spread over 44,000 square feet, will offer market research outsourcing, analytics and online marketing services.Dharmesh Mistry, VP and Chief Talent Officer (CTO), explained that the firm already has two facilities in Mumbai and had been looking for a suitable delivery center outside the area. Sarvanampatti has a high number of engineering colleges from which Ugam will be able to recruit the ‘right talent’, and this drove the decision to locate there.

Mistry says the company’s growth will come from the Coimbatore centre. ‘The idea is to keep growing in Coimbatore, so that all the investment required to do this in the next couple of years is made from here,’ he explained.

In addition to its operations in India, the firm has units in the US in Rochester, New York and Dallas; and an international data collection and client service facility in London, UK.

Web site: www.ugamsolutions.com .

Police continue vigil

Even as the city police are maintaining vigil at various points to ward off any untoward incident following the news of the death of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, some forms of protests surfaced in the city and suburbs.

Three persons, claiming to be members of the Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam, raised slogans in front of the Collectorate to condemn the developments in Sri Lanka. They were removed by the police when they threatened to commit self-immolation.

A banner with the image of the body of Prabhakaran was put up at a colony of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees at Pooluvapatti.


Police removed it last night and dumped it along the road. But, the refugees were said to have displayed it again on Wednesday.The banner had slogans that claimed that Prabhakaran was alive.The city police arrested two persons, allegedly involved in throwing stones at a bus at Saravanampatti and damaging its windscreen.

Three persons from Avarampalayam and two from K.K. Pudur were arrested by police for allegedly planning similar attacks.There were no preventive arrests in the city on Wednesday, police said.Ten persons had been taken into preventive arrest till Tuesday.Tight vigil continued on Wednesday at Pollachi and Udumalpet also in the Coimbatore Rural Police limits.

Counselling for teachers !!

The promotion and transfer counselling for teachers working in the panchayat union primary and middle schools of Coimbatore district will be held between May 22 and 27 at the Corporation Higher Secondary School, Siddhapudur, Coimbatore.

Following is the schedule for counselling:

May 22: 9 a.m.: for HMs of middle schools

May 22: 2 p.m.: for Graduate Assistants and Tamil Pundits

May 23: for Primary school HMs

May 26: for Secondary Grade teachers who seek transfer within the panchayat union

May 27: for Secondary Grade teachers and Graduate Assistants who seek transfer outside the panchayat union

May 29: for Secondary Grade and Graduate Assistants who seek transfer outside the district, counselling will be held at TVS Elementary School, Lakshmipuram, Pazhanganatham, Madurai.:

Morning: Ramanathpapuram, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar and Dindigul districts

Afternoon: Madurai, Theni, Pudukottai, Karur and Sivaganga districts

May 30: Counselling for Secondary Grade and Graduate Assistants seeking transfer outside the district would be held at Ramakrishna Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Poonthottam, Villupuram.

Morning: Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur, Vellore and Villupuram districts

Afternoon: Cuddalore, Thiruvannamalai, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts

May 31: Counselling for Secondary Grade and Graduate Assistants seeking transfer outside the district will be held at Bishop Heber higher Secondary School, Teppakulam, Tiruchy-2.

Morning: Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal, the Nilgiris and Salem Districts

Afternoon: Tiruchi, Perambalur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Thanjavur districts.

Special buses for Ooty flower show

A number of special buses for the Ooty flower show will be operated by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, Coimbatore, from May 22 to 24.According to an official release, while 50 services would be operated from Coimbatore, it would be 15 from Mettupalayam and 10 from Coonoor.

Besides, additional services would be operated from Erode and Tirupur.From the Dhoddabetta Pirivu, three buses would be operated to Dhoddabetta.

TNSTC personnel would function round-the-clock at various points including the Central Bus Stand at Gandhipuram here.Besides, service vans and recovery vans would be kept ready.

May 20, 2009

KMP asks CM to lift ban on toddy ...

The Kongunadu Munnetra Peravai on Tuesday appealed to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to lift the ban on toddy tapping in Tamil Nadu by passing legislation immediately.At a press meet, KMP general secretary E R Eswaran said the time had come for the State to allow toddy tapping as it would become a major poll issue in the 2011 Assembly elections.He said the fledgling Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam, which contested 12 Lok Sabha seats on its own in the Kongu region, secured six lakh votes and proved its strength politically to the DMK and AIADMK fronts.

According to Eswaran, who contested from Coimbatore, his party had pushed the DMDK to the fourth position in all seats of the region and he himself had secured 1.28 lakh votes.The KMP would be ready to back any political party that showed interest in lifting the ban on toddy tapping and worked for the welfare of the lakhs of farmers in the State.Easwaran said his party had targeted the Congress in the polls for its stand against toddy tapping and the result was there for everyone to see - defeat of the party’s candidates in the Kongu region.He added peravai members would meet the CM soon and demand that the ban on toddy tapping be lifted as per his poll promise. He hoped the CM would initiate action as soon as he returned to TN from Delhi.

Tamil Nadu Farmers Association has said that the farmers will continue to tap toddy and face the police action legally. In a statement issued in Coimbatore on Tuesday, Association president Vazhukkuparai Balu and secretary P Kandasamy requested the police not to prevent the farmers from tapping toddy till CM took a decision on it. They pointed out that Karunanidhi and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi had assured to consider permitting toddy tapping during the election campaign. Meanwhile, DIG M Ramasubramanian in Erode has warned that take stringent action would be against all those indulging in illegal toddy tapping in the region. He told reporters on Tuesday that “Our silence during election should not be misinterpreted as licence to indulge in an illegal act.”

Mother, son test negative for H1N1 flu

Health department officials in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka heaved a sigh of relief after the National Institute of Communicable Diseases inNew Delhi confirmed that samples of the 26-year-old boy and his mother quarantined in Coimbatore had proved negative for H1N1 flu.

The MBA student from New Jersey and his mother were quarantined at the Government Coimbatore Medical College Hospital after they showed symptoms of the flu. On Monday, health officials here alerted the Bangalore corporation about the 26-year-old who had travelled from the United States to Bangalore via Dubai with a sore throat and body pain and disembarked at Bangalore international airport on May 11, staying on in the city.

After returning to Coimbatore, the student showed symptoms of the disease. His mother also displayed symptoms of the flu. They were quarantined in a ward. Meanwhile, officials from New Delhi told the health department that their blood samples had proved negative and that they could be released from quarantine.

"We will be discharging them today. The six people kept under residential quarantine in the city have also been asked to leave as they have shown no symptoms of the disease," director of public health Dr S Elango said.Health department officials today said they have so far screened passengers from 907 flights. While 769 flights had landed at Chennai international airport, 39 flights landed in Coimbatore and 99 in Tircuhi."There were 1.13 lakh passengers screened at the airport and 2,764 crew members at the sea port," he said.

Ford starts service plan for Fiesta & Ikon

Carmaker Ford India has announced a service offer for the new buyers of its Fiesta and Ikon cars to boost sales through reduced cost of ownership.It has come out with scheduled service plan (SSP), a new service offer for periodic and scheduled maintenance of Ford cars.“This new scheduled service plan will initially be available for Fiesta and Ikon range of models. We are working on such offerings for other Ford models as well,” said Nigel Wark, executive director (marketing, sales & services), Ford India.

The new plan has come into effect from May 15 and the services will cost between Rs 8,400 and Rs 9,350 for Fiesta petrol and diesel cars. A wide range of schemes will be available according to customers’ requirements. The SSP can be availed by new customers at Ford dealerships across 15 cities in the country. These include Chennai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad & Secunderabad, Delhi & NCR, Mumbai, Ahme-dabad, Ludhiana, Pune, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Jai-pur, Cochin, Kolkata and Surat.

The new scheme covers scheduled services such as engine oil change, fuel filter, oil filter, air filter, spark plugs, among others. The pack includes labour charges of periodical maintenance service and replacements at a discounted price for a fixed duration.“The SSP scheme is aimed at offering easy maintenance and allowing the cost of periodic maintenance at specific intervals to remain unaffected by inflation, with the consumer making a one-time payment upfront,” said Wark.

The SSP is being offered as an extended service business (ESB) product where the customer pays for the same upfront. The new plan will be available to both fleet and retail customers. In addition, the plan is also transferable. SSP does not cover wear & tear of parts, accident repairs, mechanical & electrical failures and tyres. There are over 80,000 Fiesta cars running on Indian roads. Ford India sold 2,034 units in April 2009 as compared with 2,223 units in April 2008, according to Siam statistics.

Parents appeal to Collector ..

The S.B.O.A Matriculation School Parents’ Association, Coimbatore, has appealed to the District Collector to ensure that SBOA, Coimbatore, collects only the 2008-2009 fees until the Government issues orders on the fee structure.

In a memorandum submitted to the District Collector, association president R. Mani Mohan said that the revised fee structure should not be implemented since it was not approved by the Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA) of the School.

The Collector should issue instructions to the authorities to verify the stability and safety of the school building in the R.S. Puram campus before it was reopened for the next academic year and whether the premises at Chockampudur, which was adjacent to the burial ground, complied with the pollution control norms.

The Collector should issue instructions to the school authorities not to involve the students or teachers in the dispute as it was between the school management and the parents.Mr. Mohan said the parents had been protesting for more than two months the “enormous increase in the fees by the S.B.O.A. Matriculation and Higher Secondary School for 2009-2010.”

He said that the fee increase had not been approved by the PTA of the school and there was no such association so far.Since there was no PTA, the fee revision was not approved by the parents’ representatives and parents could not voice their apprehensions and grievances regarding the safety, hygiene and infrastructure in the campus, the association said.

The classes would reopen on June 3 and the school authorities had been pressuring parents to pay the revised fees, he alleged.Fearing adverse reaction from the school authorities and anticipating that the excess amount collected would be refunded when the Government issued the regulations, some parents had paid the fees.

Those who had not were anxiously awaiting the Government orders.The Collector should bring to the attention of the Government the plight of these parents, he said.

No pwer supply !

There will be no power in the following places on May 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. due to shutdown at Peelamedu sub-station and Avinashi sub- station for maintenance work:

Peelamedu: V.G. Rao Nagar, Bharathi Nagar, Ganapathy Industrial Estate, Ramakrishna Puram, Police Quarters, Housing Unit, Elango Nagar, Murugan Nagar, M.K. Palayam, K.R. Puram, Kamaraj Nagar, Ellaithotta, Gopal Nagar, V.N. Industrial Estate, P.K.D. Nagar, Varadharajanagar, Kamadenu Nagar, Avarampalayam, Shopha Nagar, Nava India, Peelamedu, Anna Nagar, PSG Institute, Chandragandhi Nagar, Bharathi Colony, Peelamedu Pudur, Thirumagal Nagar, PSG Hospital, Sowripalayam, Meena Estate, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, Uppilipalayam, Pankaja Mill area, Puliakulam, Lakshmi Mills, Amman Nagar, Ramanathapuram, Nanjundapuram Road, Olampus, Krishna Colony, Hindusthan College Road, Kongu Nagar, Sripathy Nagar, Nethaji Nagar, Kallimadai Kothari Layout, Trichy Road, Nanjappa Nagar.

Avinashi: Avinashi, Velayuthampalayam, Rakkiapalayam, Uppilipalayam, Karumapalayam, Sembianallur, Chenneripalayam, Ramanathapuram, Karuvallur, Nambiampalayam, Vettuvapalayam, Palangarai, Srinivasapuram, Muthuchettipalayam, Kamaraj Nagar, Soolai, Madathupalayam, Cheyur Road, VOC Colony, Sakthi Nagar, Kumaran Colony.

Dealers urged to e-file commercial tax returns

The Commercial Taxes Department aims to bring all assessees in Coimbatore under the system of e-filing of returns by August.

Ashish Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (Enforcement), told the participants of an awareness meeting on “e-filing of Commercial Tax Returns”, organised by the Coimbatore District Small Industries’ Association here on Tuesday, that Coimbatore had about 42,000 assessees and nearly 22,000 of them were into e-filing.Coimbatore had been a pioneer in the e-filing initiative.

However, under the mandatory category, 75 to 80 per cent of assessees in Madurai and Tiruneveli were adopting e-filing. In Coimbatore, it was 70 per cent.He urged the dealers here to use the help desks available with the association, the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore and the Department and go in for e-filing.

Statutory forms

Mr. Kumar said apart from e-filing, the department had started issuing statutory forms online.The applications could be submitted manually or online and it was proposed to make it completely online.Similarly, discussions were on regarding e-payment by big dealers. This would be implemented in a couple of months.

“We should be ready for e-payment and e-filing before the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax,” he said.The aim was to make the system easy for the assessees and convenient for the department.The department had also introduced fast-track clearance system at check posts for transporters.Details of a particular transport could be entered online and an acknowledgement would be given.This could be showed at the check-post and the clearance would be faster.The department held a meeting with the transporters here in this regard recently.

Help desk

K. Ilango, president of the association, said it had established a help desk here for Central Excise and for commercial taxes.Those who needed help in e-filing could approach the desk, he said.

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