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Roaring Chennai spinners wrap up Bangalore at 70

An exceptional bowling effort by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) saw Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) succumbing at a paltry total of 70 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019's opening game at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Saturday.
 
Such was the dominance of CSK bowlers that half of the Bangalore batsmen were back in the dressing room with just 45 runs on the board in 9.2 overs.
 
First of all, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (3/20) rattled the visiting top order before Imran Tahir (3/9) joined the party, rocking the middle order while Ravindra Jadeja (2/15) also jolted Bangalore on a couple of occasions.
 
Put in to bat, Bangalore openers Virat Kohli (6) and Parthiv Patel started cautiously but the visiting skipper, trying to pull a shorter delivery from Harbhajan, only handed an easy catch to Ravindra Jadeja at deep midwicket.
 
Harbhajan then struck twice to pack back incoming batsman Moeen Ali (9) and a dangerous AB de Villiers (9).
 
Soon, the visitors lost their fourth wicket as newcomer Shimron Hetmyer tried for a quick single. However, there was no response from his partner Parthiv and he was stranded in the middle. Suresh Raina, who was at cover, took no time in hurling the ball to M. S. Dhoni who got ample time to knocks off the bails.
 
Tahir was the next to strike as Shivam Dube's thick edge on his delivery landed safely in the hands of Shane Watson at slip to send Bangalore reeling at 45/5.
 
With just the addition of five runs, it was Jadeja's turn, who dismissed Colin de Grandhomme (4) before Tahir struck twice in quick succession to make Bangalore's scorecard read 59/8.
 
It was a cakewalk for the Chennai bowlers then as Jadeja accounted for the wicket of Umesh Yadav and Dwayne Bravo put the final nail in the coffin, sending back Parthiv to wrap up Bangalore innings.
 
Parthiv was the top scorer for Bangalore with 29 runs and nobody else was able to touch the double-digit score.
 
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 70 all out (Parthiv Patel 29, AB de Villiers 9; Imran Tahir 3/9, Harbhajan Singh 3/20) vs Chennai Super Kings
 
IANS

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Blockbuster on cards as RCB take on CSK in IPL opener

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is back and the 12th edition of the cash-rich league couldn't have hoped for a better start as defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are all set to take on the star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the opening game at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.
 
Cricket might be a team game, but come Saturday, it will be all about CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni versus Virat Kohli, captain of the RCB.
 
He might be the former skipper of the Indian team, but for his legion of fans, Dhoni is no less than god. Add to that the home factor, and there are no points for guessing that Chennai will be all yellow on the night of the opening game. 
 
Kohli, on the other hand, might be a demi-god himself for his fans, but when it comes to fighting it out against Dhoni, he might just come out second best.
 
For the record, RCB have lost six of the seven games they have played so far at the Chidambaram Stadium and the numbers are again pitted heavily in favour of CSK. Overall, in 22 meetings between CSK and RCB, the Bengaluru outfit have managed only seven victories.
 
In fact, the last time these two teams met -- in Pune last season -- Chennai were all over Bengaluru and it was a cakewalk for Dhoni's boys. But a lot has changed since then and the senior most team in the IPL -- CSK -- have grown a year older.
 
The positive for RCB is the fact that AB de Villiers is fit and raring to go after resting his back during the last stretch of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). They also have a young power hitter in Shimron Hetmyer of the West Indies to add to the arsenal. But CSK have the experience to tackle the swashbuckling batsmen in the RCB ranks.
 
If Harbhajan Singh was the stand-out bowler for CSK last season, Deepak Chahar too showed great maturity to earn an India cap on the basis of his IPL performance. Not to forget the tactical acumen of part-time spinner Suresh Raina and Kedar Jadhav.
 
In the batting department, too, if RCB have a run-machine in Kohli, Dhoni too is coming on the back of an outstanding previous season when he showed why he is still one of the best in the business. 
 
In fact, Dhoni has scored 710 runs against the RCB, the most by any batsman against the franchise.
 
The IPL might not have an opening ceremony this time around as the fund budgeted for the same is being handed over to the families of the Pulwama martyrs, but one couldn't have asked for a more blockbuster start to the 12th edition of one of the most followed domestic T20 leagues in the world.
 
IANS
 

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IPL captains reach Chennai to sign 'fair play' pledge

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to start on Saturday and the captains of the eight teams reached Chennai on Thursday for the captains' meet and signing of the pledge to play the game in fair spirit.
 
The eight teams competing in the IPL are Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Mumbai Indians (MI), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Delhi Capitals (DC).
 
Speaking to IANS, a senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said the pledge was being pre-recorded on the sidelines of the captains' meet so that all of them can go back to their respective franchises well in time for their opening games of the season.
 
"The captains are in Chennai today for the captains' meet as well as to sign the pledge so that all the leaders can go back to their respective teams before their opening games. They will head back to their respective franchises on Friday. 
 
"With the opening ceremony being cancelled this year and the funds budgeted for the same to be handed to the families of the Pulwama martyrs, there will be a small screening wherein the pre-recorded signing of the pledge by the captains will be shown," the official explained.
 
An official of one of the franchises applauded the move as it will give the teams playing on Sunday time to strategise with their captains.
 
"Had the signing of the pledge happened before the start of the IPL opener, all the captains would have flown back late on Saturday night or Sunday morning. This would have meant keeping the captains of KKR, SRH, MI and DC away from their teams on the eve of their opening match as all the four teams play on Sunday. Pre-recording the pledge on the sidelines of the captains' meet is a decision taken keeping everyone's interest in mind," the official told IANS.
 
The pledge taken by the captains of the eight teams will be shown in the Spirit of Cricket segment. It will be the only time when all the captains will share the stage in the tournament. 
 
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, captain of the defending champions CSK, is also expected to put the trophy back into play at that time.
 
IANS
 

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AIADMK MLA R Kanagaraj dies after suffering heart attack

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AIADMK legislator R. Kanagaraj, representing the Sulur constituency in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, died of heart attack on Thursday morning, said police.
 
Kanagaraj, 64, was at his residence when he passed away. He is survived by his wife, a son and daughter. Sulur is part of Coimbatore district.
 
With Kanagaraj's death, the number of vacant Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu goes up to 22 and the number of AIADMK legislators in the assembly comes down to 114,  including the Speaker.
 
The Election Commission has announced bye-elections for 18 Assembly constituencies on April 18 along with the Lok Sabha polls.
 
IANS

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Tamil Nadu: Stalin son-in-law Sabareesan booked

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The city police on Thursday booked Sabareesan, son-in-law of DMK President M. K. Stalin, for allegedly spreading rumours about Deputy Speaker V. Jayaraman.
 
Jayaraman had lodged a complaint against Sabareesan for linking him and his family members to the Pollachi sexual absuse-cum-blackmail case.
 
Sabareesan has been charged for wantonly giving provocation for creation of riot, forgery for harming reputation, use of forged document as genuine one and for spreading rumours.
 
On his part, Stalin has sent a legal notice to Jayaraman demanding apology for making slanderous statement against him, the DMK said in a late night statement on Thursday.
 
Jayaraman has charged the DMK is defaming him and his family.
 
In the legal notice to Jayaraman, the DMK President said the former had made false allegations in the media that he, his family members and his party are behind the sexual abuse case and are attempting to protect some accused involved in the criminal act which are defamatory.
 
IANS
 

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UPA will reserve 33% government jobs for women: Rahul

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the UPA will reserve 33 per cent government jobs for women and pass the Women's Reservation Bill giving 33 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha if it wins the Lok Sabha battle.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi interacting with students of the Stella Maris College for Women in Chennai on March 13, 2019.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi interacting with students of the Stella Maris College for Women in Chennai on March 13, 2019.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the UPA will reserve 33 per cent government jobs for women and pass the Women's Reservation Bill giving 33 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha if it wins the Lok Sabha battle.
 
Interacting with students of Stella Maris College for Women here, Gandhi also said that the UPA government would simplify the procedures in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and have a low single tax rate.
 
Wearing a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, Gandhi faced a range of questions from the students about the Congress-led UPA's plans for economic growth, bringing peace in Jammu and Kashmir, on charges against his brother-in-law Robert Vadra, views about the Modi government and the reason for hugging Modi in Parliament.
 
To a question on the status of women in the country, he said the situation was better in south India than in north India. There was the cultural aspect, he said.
 
"There is still a lot needed to be done in Tamil Nadu," he quickly added.
 
He said that if the UPA formed a government, the Women's Reservation Bill would be passed and 33 per cent of jobs in central and state governments would be reserved for women.
 
The Congress leader said he had no hatred towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
"Love is the foundation of every religion whether it is Hinduism, Islam or Christianity. I was watching the Prime Minister speech in Parliament where he was criticizing my father, grandmother, great grandfather and the Congress," he said.
 
"Inside me, I was feeling affection for him. He was so angry that he was not able to see the beauty of the world."
 
Gandhi said he felt that Modi didn't have the love he wanted. "I wanted to show affection and hugged him."
 
He said the UPA defeat in 2014 taught him several lessons.
 
"I learn from Modi. I don't hate him. Do you hate the person who teaches you?" Gandhi asked to students and got a big "No" as the answer.
 
"The biggest teachers are the people who attack you. The more you are attacked, the more you give love and affection back."
 
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On bringing peace back in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the first step was to build the bridge to the people there. It was built between 2004 and 2014 during the UPA government.
 
As a result, terror attacks came down drastically and power was given to the people by holding elections.
 
Pakistan will carry out terror attacks, he said. "But we have to engage with the people of Jammu and Kashmir."
 
He criticized the central government for facilitating businessmen like Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and others to leave the country after defrauding the banks.
 
"The money deposited in the banks by people during demonetization was given to these businessmen," he said.
 
When a student queried why he did not mention the name of Robert Vadra along with these businessmen, Gandhi said: "The government has the right to investigate. The law must not be applied selectively. I am the first person to say investigate Mr. Vadra."
 
He asked the students how many times they had seen Modi taking any question. 
 
According to him, the current central government was North India-centric and he believed that all parts of India should have an equal say.
 
Gandhi said the world was moving from being US centric to US-China-Russia centric and India should not lean right or left but should stand straight.
 
The Congress President said that the biggest hindrance for economic growth was crony capitalism and corruption.
 
On the education system, Gandhi said there should be space for the government and everything cannot be left in the hands of the private sector.
 
There were lighter moments during the interaction with Gandhi asking the students to address him as Rahul and not as Sir -- which was applauded by the students.
 
Gandhi maintained that he was still a young politician.
 
IANS
 

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ED attaches properties worth Rs. 31 crore in bank fraud case related to Zylog Systems

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today said it had attached immovable and movable properties totaling Rs. 31 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 in a bank fraud case relating to Zylog Systems Limited in Chennai.
 
The properties consist of one building, five flats and a fixed deposit of Rs. 1 crore, a press release from the ED said.
 
The release said ED initiated investigation under the provisions of PMLA on the basis of a first information report (FIR) filed by CBI, CBI, BS & FC, Bangalore against Zylog Systems Ltd., Sudarshan Venkatraman, the then Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of the commpany, Ramanujam Sesharathnam, its then Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer and others.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR was based on a compliant received from Dena Bank, T. Nagar Branch, Chennai, complaining that these persons floated fictitious shell companies named Woodbridge Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Effica Systems Pvt. Ltd. and Aditicon Services (P) Ltd. etc., and that they made the employees of Zylog Systems as directors of the said companies; that fictitious invoices towards purchase of software/hardware were created in the name of these companies and were used to avail the loan of Rs.100 crore from Dena Bank and the same was defaulted in repayment.
 
According to the ED, investigations under the provisions of PMLA revealed that the said firms had also defaulted bank loans availed from Andhra Bank and Union Bank of India, Chennai collectively to the tune of Rs.110 crore.
 
"Investigations under PMLA so far have resulted into identification of one building, 5 flats and fixed deposit of Rs. 1 crore involved in money laundering. The said immovable and movable properties valued at around Rs. 31 crore have been attached attached under PMLA.
 
"Further investigations to identify the proceeds of crime are in progress," the release added.
 
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176 cars burnt in massive fire in parking lot in Chennai

As many as 176 cars were burnt in a massive fire in a parking lot at Porur near here on Sunday afternoon, official sources said, a day after more than 300 cars were damaged in a similar blaze in a parking area outside the venue of the Aero India 2019 air show in Bengaluru on Saturday.
 
Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Service officials told NetIndian that no one was injured in the fire that was put out within an hour. They said fire brigade personnel were able to save 32 hours from the flames.
 
The fire broke out around 2 pm in a yard, located near the Sri Ramachandra Medical College, that was being used by a defunct radio taxi company, sources said.
 
The cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained, but the dry grass in the yard and winds helped the flames to spread quickly, they said. Plumes of smoke billowing from the fire could be seen from long distances in different parts of the city.
 
The officials said two fire tenders were sent from nearby fire stations immediately after the report of the fire was received and reinforcements reached the scene soon after.
 
The cars were lying unused in the parking lot for more than six months, people in the area told officials.
 
Today's appeared to eerily similar to yesterday's blaze in Bengaluru, which took place in a parking lot across the road from the Yelahanka Air Base, the main venue of the air show.
 
As many as 15 fire tenders fought the flames and brought them under control in about two hours.
 
The fire brigade personnel prevented the spread of the fire by moving adjacent cars away from the flames. No one was reported injured in that incident, too. Officials said it was likely a dry grass fire that was aided by strong winds.
 
The Indian Air Force has ordered a Court of Inquiry to investigate the cause of fire.
 
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the site of the fire in Bengaluru today and was briefed by officials.
 
She enquired about the steps being taken to facilitate the insurance claims by the owners of the vehicles. She directed officials to ensure that RTO helpdesk has representatives from Insurance companies to facilitate the insurance claims by people. 
 
Later, Sitharaman was due to meet Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and senior officials.
 
At the time of the incident, more than 3000 vehicles were parked in the parking area. Vehicles in the line of fire were removed from the area by breaking the glass windows and releasing the parking brakes as drivers were not present and these cars were pushed to safety. This action also created a gap between the parked vehicles and stopped further spread of the fire. 
 
In total 278 cars were fully damaged in the Bengaluru incident and 73 cars partially damaged (16 due to fire and 57 due to breaking of glass). 
 
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Kovind unveils Mahatma Gandhi statue at Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Chennai

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President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha here today.
 
Delivering a speech in three languages -- Tamil, English and Hindi -- on the occasion, Kovind said it was a matter of immense happiness that the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, founded by Mahatma Gandhi, has completed 100 years. 
 
It has worked for the promotion of Hindi in our southern states. By putting up a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the Sabha has paid respects to the Father of the Nation in his 150th year.
 
The President said learning the language of another region or another state can be very educative. It can open a window to a culture that is at once familiar and new. In Delhi, he had observed cases of north Indian school-children learning Tamil. 
 
Twinning programmes between different states are popularising the language of one region in another. Such steps reinforce national harmony, he added.
 
Kovind said during the freedom movement, the poetry of Subramania Bharati inspired not just people in Tamil Nadu but all over the country. In the same manner, the liberating ideas of Periyar– one of our foremost advocates of human dignity – were not limited by language or geography. 
 
Two of his predecessors in Rashtrapati Bhavan, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, the last Governor-General and President R Venkataraman, were multilingual intellectuals from Tamil Nadu whose contributions and ideas went beyond any one language or region.
 
“We live in an age when a growing Indian economy is leading to significant internal migration. Young men and women from one part of the country are studying or working and adding value to another part of the country. In such cases, knowing the language of the state or region one is located in can only be an asset. It adds value to an individual’s CV – and it adds value to India,” he added.
 
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TN seeks withdrawal of permission given to Karnataka for Mekedatu project DPR

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswamy has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately direct the Ministry of Water Resources to instruct the Central Water Commission to withdraw the permission given to the Government of Karnataka for preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Mekedatu project and also outrightly reject and return the DPR for this project.
 
In a memorandum presented to Mr. Modi during his visit to Tamil Nadu yesterday, Mr. Palaniswamy also requested him to direct the Government of Karnataka not to take up any construction activities in the Cauvery basin of Karnataka without the prior consent of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
 
The Chief Minister recalled that the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal dated 5.2.2007 was published in the Gazette of India on 19.2.2013. The Supreme Court on 16.2.2018 delivered the judgment on the Civil Appeals filed by the Party States upholding the decisions of the Tribunal with slight modifications.
 
The memorandum said that, as per the orders of the Supreme Court dated May 18, 2018, the Government of India had notified the Cauvery Management Scheme, 2018 in the Gazette of India on 1.6.2018 to give effect to the decision of the Tribunal as modified by the Supreme Court.
 
It said the Supreme Court, in its judgement, had affirmed that the “upper riparian State shall not take any action so as to affect the scheduled deliveries of water to the lower riparian States.”
 
"However, the Government of Karnataka, much to the consternation of the people of Tamil Nadu has planned to construct a reservoir, with a capacity of 67.16 TMC ft. at Mekedatu across Cauvery River and approached the Central Water Commission for preparation of a Detailed Project Report for the Mekedatu project. I am constrained to point out that the Central Water Commission has given permission to the Government of Karnataka to go ahead with the preparation of a Detailed Project Report in blatant violation of the judgment of the Hon?ble Supreme Court.
 
"I have already detailed these facts in my letter dated 27.11.2018 to you and requested you to instruct the Central Water Commission to forthwith withdraw the permission given by it to Karnataka.
 
"The action of Karnataka in proposing a reservoir and that of Central Water Commission in giving permission for preparation of a Detailed Project Report have caused deep anguish and apprehension in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu will be denied its due share of water, which has been given to us by the Supreme Court after a protracted legal battle.
 
"Therefore, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly has resolved on 6.12.2018 condemning and opposing the action of the Government of Karnataka, and the Central Water Commission for having given permission to Karnataka on 22.11.2018 to prepare a Detailed Project Report for construction of a reservoir at Mekedatu. Further, the Legislative Assembly has urged that the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India should immediately order the Central Water Commission to withdraw the permission given to Karnataka for preparing the Detailed Project Report," he said.
 
"In addition, the Legislative Assembly has also requested the Government of India to direct the Government of Karnataka  or its Agencies not to take up any construction work at Mekedatu or at any other place in the Cauvery basin of Karnataka State, without the consent of the State of Tamil Nadu, in violation of the Final Order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the judgment of the Supreme Court. The resolution of the Legislative Assembly was sent to you by me on 6.12.2018 for immediate action.
 
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"The Government of Karnataka on 21.1.2019 has informed the Supreme Court that it has sent the Detailed Project Report for the Mekedatu Project to the Central Water Commission for according further clearances.
 
"This unilateral action of Karnataka is highly objectionable and is a gross violation of the Final Order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the judgement of the Supreme Court.  I have written to you on 25.1.2019 requesting to reject and return the Detailed Project Report of Karnataka for the Mekedatu Project," the memorandum added.
 
Mr. Palaniswami also urged the Centre to withdraw the permission granted to Kerala for conducting study for construction of a new Mullai Periyar Dam.
 
He recalled that the Supreme Court in its decree dated 7.5.2014 in O.S.No.3 of 2006 had held that the Mullai Periyar Dam is structurally, hydrologically and seismically safe. The Court has also held that, for the construction of a new dam, there has to to be agreement of both the States.
 
"The Government of Kerala in violation of the decreed order of the Supreme Court, unilaterally approached the Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects for baseline data collection for preparation of EIA/EMP Report and the Committee gave its recommendations to the Government of Kerala for the grant of Terms of Reference for conducting a study.
 
"I brought the above fact to your notice on 24.10.2018 and sought your intervention and requested you to direct the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to forthwith withdraw the recommendations to grant ToR for Environmental Impact Assessment Study for the construction of New Dam by Kerala at Mullai Periyar. I further requested you to advise the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and its Agencies to desist from entertaining and considering any proposal of the Government of Kerala on New Mullai Periyar Dam in future and also to negate the proposals which are in violation of the orders of the Supreme Court.
 
"However, the Government of India, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in November, 2018 has accorded Terms of Reference for pre-construction activities for preparation of EIA/EMP Report to Kerala in violation of the decree of the Supreme Court dated 7.5.2014.
 
"I request you to instruct the concerned authorities to forthwith withdraw the Terms of Reference granted to the Government of Kerala for undertaking preconstruction activities for preparation of EIA/EMP Report for construction of a New Mullai Periyar Dam," he said.
 
The memorandum also urged Mr. Modi to instruct the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to advise Kerala not to deny the required clearances and direct it to accord the clearances to enable the Government of Tamil Nadu to carry out various works and to restore the water level in the dam to FRL 152 ft.
 
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Govt. to launch centres on Solar Energy & Water Treatment at IIT Madras in Chennai

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Union Minister for Science & Technology Harsh Vardhan will launch three centres set up by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras here tomorrow.
 
These include the DST –IITM Solar Energy Harnessing Centre which will focus on a wide range of research and technology development activities such as silicon solar cells that promise high efficiency and are suited for Indian conditions. 
 
The network of researchers engaged in the centre comprise scientists from IIT Madras, IIT Guwahati, Anna University, ICT-Mumbai, BHEL and KGDS, which will be further expanded. 
 
The objective is to create a platform that can be extended readily to strengthen the knowledge eco-system, an official press release said.
 
"The centre is likely to be true change agent in the energy landscape of India. The consortium will be duly poised to address the sustainability requirements in the spirit of ‘Make in India’," it said.
 
The second is the DST-IITM Water –IC for SUTRAM of EASY WATER (DST- IITM Water Innovation Centre for Sustainable Treatment, Reuse and Management for Efficient, Affordable and Synergistic Solutions) which has been established with an aim to undertake synchronized research and training programs on various issues related to wastewater management, water treatment, sensor development, storm water management and distribution and collection systems. 
 
This multi-institutional Virtual Centre will be looking into a sustainable approach for water resources protection and augmentation through wastewater treatment and reuse and storm water management. 
 
"The Centre will provide a unique opportunity for the various groups in different premier organizations working in the area of wastewater management, water treatment, sensor development and storm water management to collaborate and work in synergized manner to ensure adequate, safe, reliable and sustainable sources of drinking water for rural and urban India and process water for highly polluting and water intensive industries, through research, technology development and capacity building," the release said.
 
The third centre would be the test bed on Solar thermal desalination solutions which is being established by IIT Madras and Empereal KGDS as solution provider in Naripaaiyur, Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu with the aim to deliver customized technological solutions to address prevalent water challenges in the arid coastal village located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. 
 
The development would provide customized technological water solution to provide potable water to coastal areas using solar energy, the release added.
 
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EC rescinds Thiruvarur bye-election

 
The Election Commission (EC) has rescinded its January 3 notification announcing the bye-election in Tamil Nadu's Thiruvarur Assembly constituency.
 
In a communication to the Chief Electoral Officer, Tamil Nadu, the EC on Sunday said the notification calling upon Thiruvarur to elect a member of the legislative assembly shall stand rescinded forthwith.
 
The EC had earlier announced that the bye-election would be held on January 28.
 
The seat fell vacant following the death of DMK President M.Karunanidhi last August.
 
According to the poll body, all actions taken by the Returning Officer and others of Thiruvarur Assembly constituency have been declared as null and void.
 
All the major political parties in the state had demanded postponement of the bye-election as it would impact the Gaja cyclone relief work in the constituency.
 
Welcoming the EC's action, BJP's Tamil Nadu President Tamilisai Soundararajan in a statement said the need of the hour in Thiruvarur is relief and not election.
 
Taking a dig at the DMK, AMMK and others who had announced their candidates for the by-election, Soundararajan said the parties that did not show alacrity in carrying out the relief work showed alacrity in announcing their candidates.
 
Soundararajan criticised the CPI for filing a petition with the EC against holding of the by-election in the Supreme Court while extending its support to the DMK candidate at the local level.
 
IANS
 

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10 lakh bankers to strike work on Dec 26 against mergers

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With the failure of conciliation talks, about 10 lakh bankers in private and government banks will go on strike on December 26 protesting against the merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank, the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) said on Thursday.
 
"During the conciliation meeting held in Delhi today (Thursday), the Additional Chief Labour Commissioner advised the three banks and IBA (Indian Banks Association) to hold negotiations with the unions and convey the Union's concerns to the government," AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS.
 
"No assurance came from either IBA or the government. Hence the conciliation talks failed and the December 26 strike stands," Venkatachalam added.
 
The AIBEA is part of the nine unions in the banking sector under the umbrella body of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).
 
According to Venkatachalam, the strike was only against the bank mergers and there was no deadlock on the wage revision talks with IBA.
 
India is largely unbanked or underbanked with low density of banks. Mergers will kill bank branches while the focus should be on recovering the huge outstanding loans, the AIBEA said.
 
With Christmas on December 25, banks would effectively be closed for two days, affecting the banking public.
 
Though the bankers had wanted the strike on December 24, a Monday, for a bigger impact as the banks would then be closed for four consecutive days (December 22-25), the unions decided to strike on December 26 to lessen the impact on public.
 
IANS
 

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SpiceJet announces six new daily flights from Chennai

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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has announced the launch of six new direct flights connecting Chennai with key pilgrim centres like Varanasi and Shirdi besides tourist spots like Port Blair and Bagdogra. 
 
All the flights are scheduled to commence from January 10, 2019  except the one on Chennai-Bagdogra route which will start operations from February 11, 2019, a press release from the airline said last week.
 
The daily direct flights introduced by the airline will operate on the Chennai-Varanasi, Chennai-Shirdi and Chennai-Bagdogra routes.
 
To cater to the surge in seasonal demand, the airline has also introduced an additional frequency on the Chennai-Port Blair (2nd frequency) route which will be operational from January 10 to February 10, 2019.
 
The airline will deploy its Boeing 737 – 800 aircraft on all these routes, the release said.
 
Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales & Revenue Officer, SpiceJet, said, “We are happy to announce our new flights from Chennai to key religious and tourists destinations like Varanasi, Shirdi, Bagdogra and Port Blair. With these new flights we aim to enhance customer convenience and thereby give a boost to both leisure and business travel prospects from Chennai.”
 
With the new flights, passengers from Varanasi, Shirdi, Bagdogra and Port Blair can now easily travel to a host of other cities both on SpiceJet’s domestic as well as international network via multiple onward connections from Chennai.
 
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Stalin proposes Rahul as PM candidate to defeat 'fascist' Modi

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Putting an end to lingering speculation, DMK President M. K. Stalin on Sunday proposed the name of Congress President Rahul Gandhi for the post of Prime Minister and said he had the strength to defeat the "fascist" Narendra Modi.
 
He made the announcement at a public rally here in the presence of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Chief Ministers N. Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh), Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala) and V. Narayanasamy (Puducherry) and leaders of several other parties.
 
"I propose, we will install a new Prime Minister in Delhi. I propose the candidature of Rahul Gandhi from Tamil Nadu," Stalin said.
 
He said Rahul Gandhi had the capability to defeat the "fascist" Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "We will strengthen Rahul Gandhi's hands."
 
The public meeting was held after Sonia Gandhi unveiled former Chief Minister and DMK President M. Karunanidhi's bronze statute installed at the DMK headquarters Anna Arivalayam in Chennai.
 
Stalin said it was Karunanidhi who first welcomed late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to provide a stable government and then urged Sonia Gandhi to lead the nation in 2004 and added that he was following his leader's steps in proposing Rahul Gandhi to lead the nation.
 
"Twenty-one political parties have come together against Modi and more parties will join," Stalin said.
 
Coming down heavily on Modi, the DMK leader said: "Modi is a sadist Prime Minister. He is implementing all the schemes opposed by Tamil Nadu."
 
Stalin said when the Gaja cyclone killed about 65 persons and left a trail of destruction in Tamil Nadu, Modi remained silent.
 
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On the other hand, Modi tweeted if there was a forest fire in the US and a terror attack somewhere else, he said.
 
According to Stalin, under the Modi government, India's economy, social justice, federal structure and various institutions have been destroyed.
 
"India has gone back by 15 years during the first five years of Modi rule. The country will go back by 50 years if he gets another term," Stalin said.
 
Modi considered himself as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Income Tax Department (IT) and even the Supreme Court.
 
Addressing the rally, Rahul Gandhi showered praise on Karunanidhi and said: "Karunanidhi was not an ordinary politician. He was the voice of Tamil people. Whether it was people's pain or their joy, Karunanidhi treated both as his own.
 
"While Karunandihi defended the voice of people and the institutions, the central government attacks the voice of Tamil Nadu and the institutions," he said.
 
Gandhi said the Modi government believed that only one idea should run India.
 
"We are not going to allow the destruction of the idea of India. We are not going to allow the destruction of institutions like the Supreme Court, Election Commission, Reserve Bank of India and others. And we are going to do this together."
 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Naidu accused the central government of misusing various institutions said the next danger the country faced was the tampering of electronic voting machines (EVM).
 
Naidu said the BJP government had belied the people's faith when they voted for it in 2014.
 
Sonia Gandhi described Karunanidhi as a social reformer and said he relentlessly fought for federalism.
 
She said Karunanidhi brought in laws that enabled non-Brahmins to become temple priests in the state and reserved jobs for women.
 
"A secularist and rationalist, Karunanidhi respected other religions," she said.
 
She said the Congress would always remember Karunanidhi's support to Indira Gandhi in the abolition of privy purse and nationalisation of banks.
 
"He was a great support and strength for the UPA government in 2004-14."
 
Sonia Gandhi said the mutual support between the DMK and Congress that existed when Karunanidhi was alive would continue "to protect the India that we have known".
 
The Chief Ministers of Kerala and Puducherry praised Karunanidhi on the occasion.
 
IANS
 

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Sonia Gandhi unveils Karunanidhi's statue at DMK party office

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The Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and former President of the Congress party Sonia Gandhi on Sunday unveiled the bronze statue of late DMK President M. Karunanidhi in Tamil Nadu.
 
Sonia Gandhi was received by DMK President M. K. Stalin at the party headquarters.
 
She unveiled former Chief Minister Karunanidhi's statute installed at the DMK headquarters Anna Arivalayam here in the presence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, leaders of DMK and several other parties, movie actors and industrialists.
 
Actor-turned-politician Rajnikanth also participated in the function.
 
Later in the evening Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Stalin, Chief Ministers Naidu, Vijayan, Narayanasamy and others will be addressing a public rally here.
 
IANS
 

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Nissan India announces start of production of new Kicks

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Automobiles manufacturers Nissan India has announced the start of production of its new Kicks sports utility vehicle (SUV) with the rolling out of the first vehicle from its Chennai plant.
 
"With this, the company is gearing up for the launch of India’s most awaited and Intelligent SUV in January 2019," a press release from Nissan India said.
 
Thomas Kuehl, President, Nissan India Operations said, “We are excited to announce the start-of-production of New Nissan Kicks at our plant in Chennai. We had recently showcased the New Nissan Kicks which has created a lot of buzz and excitement amongst SUV enthusiasts across the country. Designed to appeal to the new-age urban adventure seeker, the Kicks is a testimony to our commitment to the Indian consumers and also reflects the SUV heritage of Nissan.”
 
The release said the new Kicks is "powered by progressive SUV design and advanced technology for the new age urban adventure seeker". 
 
"The newest offering from the Nissan fleet in India has a unique wider and robust style underlined by a Dynamic Sonic Plus line, Wheel-oriented stance and a distinctive 3-dimensional presence. The body of the New Nissan Kicks is built with a Graphene (Gravity-philic Energy Absorption) body structure, enabling it to absorb impact energy, making it safer for agile movement on Indian roads," the release added.
 
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Rajinikanth's '2.0' set for major China release

A still from the movie
A still from the movie "2.0". (Photo: IANS)
Superstar Rajinikanth's "2.0", which has set the cost registers ringing all over, is gearing up for a major China release across 56,000 screens, according to its makers.
 
In a statement, Lyca Productions confirmed the news of the Shankar-directed sci-fi movie's release in association with HY Media in China with at least 47,000 of the total screens playing it in 3D format.
 
"2.0" will release in China in May 2019 and it will be the widest 3D release for any foreign language film in history, the statement said.
 
A sequel to Shankar's 2010 blockbuster "Enthiran", "2.0" has been produced by Lyca Productions and was released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi on November 29.
 
The film, which features Rajinikanth in three different 'avatars', also stars Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson, Adil Hussain and Sudhanshu Pandey.
 
Akshay Kumar, making his southern debut, plays the antagonist. The film has been made on a budget of Rs 600 crore.
 
Rajinikanth plays a scientist and a robot. He also appears as a microbot, dubbed 3.0, which was one of the major surprise elements.
 
Earlier this week, Lyca Productions revealed that the film grossed a whopping Rs 400 crore in its opening weekend worldwide.
 
Shankar has also confirmed he is ready to commence shooting for Kamal Haasan's "Indian 2", which marks his reunion with the latter after two decades.
 
"We recently did a make-up test with Kamal sir and I was really excited to see him in the get-up of Senapathy. We are all set to begin shoot very soon," Shankar told the media.
 
Shooting of "Indian 2" may start from December 14. Kajal Aggarwal has been roped in to play the leading lady. Anirudh Ravichander will compose the music. Lyca Productions will also be bankrolling "Indian 2".
 
IANS
 

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Train 18 breaches 180 kmph speed during trials

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Train 18, India's first locomotive-less train, on Sunday breached the 180 kmph speed limit during a test run, a top official said here.
 
In the process, the Rs 100 crore indigenously designed train has become the country's fastest train.
 
"Train 18 breached the 180 kmph speed limit in the Kota-Sawai Madhopur section. The major trials are now over with just some more remaining. Based on the reports fine tuning would be done if needed. As of now no major technical problem has cropped up," S. Mani, General Manager of Integral Coach Factory (ICF) that has manufactured the train, told IANS on Sunday.
 
"We expect Train 18 to commence its commercial run from January 2019. Normally the trials take three months. But now it is happening faster than expected," Mani added.
 
If all things go well, Train 18 will replace the current Shatabdi Express -- a day train.
 
Train 18 is capable of touching 200 kmph provided that the rest of Indian Railways' system such as tracks and signals permit, Mani had earlier told IANS.
 
Queried about rolling out a sleeper version of Train 18, he said: "We can roll out sleeper coaches as well. No major modifications to the train would be needed for that."
 
The ICF will roll out one more Train 18 this fiscal and four by the next fiscal.
 
On the export potential, he said, first the domestic demand will be met and then the overseas market would be looked at.
 
"The overseas demand depends on the kind of rail tracks they have. Medium income countries can certainly buy this train," Mani said.
 
On October 29, the high-tech, energy-efficient, self-propelled or engine-less train was flagged off here by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani.
 
With 16 coaches, the train will have the same passenger carrying capacity as that of the Shatabdi Express. It is about 15-20 per cent energy efficient and leaves less carbon footprint.
 
Officials said the train was conceived, designed and developed in about 18 months' time as against the industry norm of about four years.
 
It has an aerodynamically designed driver cabins at both ends for quicker turn-around at destinations.
 
According to the ICF, every alternative coach is motorised, to ensure even distribution of power and faster acceleration or deceleration.
 
The train sports an advanced regenerative braking system which saves power.
 
Mani also said the fully air-conditioned train offers better passenger comfort and safety, as all equipment are fixed under the carriage/coach, so that more space is available on board.
 
Among the features that enhance passenger comfort are inter-connected fully sealed gangways, automatic doors with retractable footsteps, onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment, GPS-based passenger information system, modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems, rotational seats which can be aligned in the direction of travel (available only in the executive class), roller blinds and diffused LED lighting, and disabled-friendly toilets.
 
There are also emergency talk-back units, through which passengers can talk to crew in case of emergency, while CCTVs are provided in all coaches for safe and secure travel.
 
IANS
 

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Congress MP from Kerala M. I. Shanavas passes away

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M. I. Shanavas, Congress Lok Sabha member from Wayanad in Kerala and the Working President of the party's state unit, passed away at a private hospital in Chennai on Wednesday, a party leader said.
 
He was 67. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
 
"The party has lost a stalwart. I have lost a dear brother," Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala said.
 
Shanavas, a two-time Member of Parliament (MP) , was ailing for sometime and was admitted at a hospital in the Tamil Nadu capital. 
 
"His body will be brought to Kochi today. It will lie in state for the public to pay their last respects and the final rites will take place tomorrow," said Chennithala.
 
A long-time close aide of former Kerala Chief Minister K. Karunakaran, Shahnavas along with Chennithala and former Kerala Speaker late G. Karthikeyan in the 1980s parted ways with Karunakaran and formed their own faction, 'the reformist'.
 
Shanavas won the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad, which he retained in 2014.
 
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet colleagues condoled the passing away of Shanavas.
 
IANS

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TN cyclone toll rises to 45, opposition alleges poor relief work

 
Residents bear brunt of cyclone Gaja in Nagapattinam
The death toll due to the severe cyclone Gaja that devastated several districts in Tamil Nadu two days ago has risen to 45 and damaged 117,624 houses, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said on Sunday.
 
Opposition leaders have criticized what they say was the government's apathy in reaching out relief materials like food, drinking water and other material to the cyclone affected areas.
 
In Pudukottai district, people complained about not getting relief materials and protested on the roads. They also set fire to five government vehicles.
 
Speaking to reporters at Salem, about 350 km from here, Palaniswami said 45 persons have died in the cyclone and the loss of livestock was put at 735.
 
He added that 88,102 hectare of crop and 39,938 electricity poles were damaged in the cyclone.
 
The central government has been asked to depute a team from the National Disaster Management to assess the destruction.
 
To a query about dropping relief materials by helicopters, Palaniswami said removal of trees from the roads would be completed fully on Sunday.
 
Palaniswami said he would visit the affected areas on Tuesday.
 
DMK President M. K. Stalin in a letter to the party cadres wondered whether Palaniswami's heart was made of iron as he appeared to be more interested with inaugurating projects rather than visiting the cyclone battered areas.
 
Stalin, who toured the areas, accused the government of failing to provide sufficient food, clothing and drinking water for the people at the relief centres.
 
He said had only the government carried out the dredging of canals and other water bodies, much of the damage could have been averted and several trees could have been saved.
 
Stalin said coconut trees in about 7,000 hectares in several districts have been damaged.
 
PMK founder S. Ramadoss said it was a shame that the AIADMK government was not providing even food for the cyclone affected people.
 
He said that various districts in the Cauvery delta region like Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Thiruvarur had been severely affected.
 
IANS

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Gaja cyclone hits Tamil Nadu, leaves 11 dead

A severe cyclonic storm, Gaja, battered the Tamil Nadu coast on Friday, leaving at least 11 people dead and causing widespread destruction.
 
Cyclone Gaja wreaks havoc in TN’s Nagapattinam
A severe cyclonic storm, Gaja, battered the Tamil Nadu coast on Friday, leaving at least 11 people dead and causing widespread destruction.
 
Authorities said the cyclone crossed the coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam districts between 12.30 a.m. and 2.30 a.m. with wind speeds of about 110-120 kmph.
 
So powerful were the gales that the roof sheets of the Nagapattinam railway station were damaged.
 
Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said in Salem, some 350 km from here, that 11 persons had lost their lives due to the cyclone.
 
He said a sum of Rs 10 lakh would be paid to the next-of-kin of the dead. For those severely injured, a sum of Rs 100,000 would be paid and those who suffered minor injuries would get Rs 25,000.
 
About 82,000 people living in low-lying areas were sent to 471 relief centres, the Chief Minister said, adding that the preventive measures helped keep the death toll low.
 
Relief centres were set up in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Thiruvarur on Thursday itself.
 
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast rains till Friday evening.
 
R.B. Udhyakumar, Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, said all the trees felled by the cyclone were being removed.
 
Road traffic was hit in Nagapattinam due to the fallen trees.
 
The government snapped power supply on Thursday night as precaution. The cyclone damaged some 12,000 power poles.
 
Several universities in Tamil Nadu have postponed their exams slated for Friday.
 
Similarly, schools will remain closed on Friday in Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Thiruvarur and several other districts in Tamil Nadu and in Puducherry including Karaikal.
 
Isolated rains are likely over north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, north Kerala and interiors of south Karnataka.
 
Gale wind speed reaching 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph very likely in central parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts during next six hours.
 
Powerful winds are also likely in the remaining parts of Tamil Nadu and the Palk Strait, which divides Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
 
According to the Chief Minister, the Fisheries Department will estimate the damage to the fishing boats before paying compensation to the fishermen.
 
IANS

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Cyclone Gaja crosses Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam

Severe cyclonic storm Gaja crossed the Tamil Nadu coast on Friday, felling several trees, damaging thatched huts and hoardings, according to the India Meteorological Department.
 
Cyclone Gaja makes landfall in Tamil Nadu
Severe cyclonic storm Gaja crossed the Tamil Nadu coast on Friday, felling several trees, damaging thatched huts and hoardings, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
 
In its weather bulletin, the IMD said Gaja crossed the coast between 12.30 a.m. and 2.30 a.m. between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam with a wind speed of about 110 kmph gusting up to 120 kmph.
 
The high speed wind has damaged the roof sheets of Nagapattinam railway station.
 
Speaking to the media, R. B. Udhyakumar, Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, said the extent of damages will be known once the wind speed gets reduced.
 
He said after the rains preventive measures against breakout of disease will be taken.
 
The fallen trees are being removed at the earliest, Udhayakumar added.
 
Road traffic in the cyclone-hit Nagapattinam was affected due to fallen trees.
 
The government had disconnected power supply on Thursday night as a precautionary measure. Owing to the cyclone, several electricity poles have been damaged.
 
Several universities in Tamil Nadu have postponed their examinations slated for Friday.
 
Similarly, schools will remain closed on Friday in Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Thiruvarur and several other districts in Tamil Nadu and in Puducherry including Karaikal.
 
More than 63,000 people have been evacuated from low lying areas and housed in 289 relief centres in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Thiruvarur on Thursday itself.
 
According to the IMD, scattered heavy rains is likely to occur over south Tamil Nadu and south Kerala. 
 
Isolated rain is likely to occur over north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, north Kerala and interiors of south Karnataka.
 
Gale wind speed reaching 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph was very likely in central parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts during next six hours.
 
Similarly, gale wind speed reaching 60-80 kmph was likely in the remaining parts of Tamil Nadu and Palk Strait during next six hours while strong winds with a speed of 30-40 kmph gusting at 50 kmph are very likely over interior Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gulf of Mannar, Comorian area and Kerala coast, the IMD said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Cyclone Gaja crosses TN coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam

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Severe cyclonic storm Gaja crossed the Tamil Nadu coast on Friday between 12.30 a.m. and 2.30 a.m. between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam, said Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
 
The cyclone Gaja crossed the coast with a wind speed of about 110kmph gusting up to 120 kmph.
 
The Tamil Nadu government said fallen trees are being removed at the earliest.
 
According to IMD, scattered heavy rains is likely to occur over south Tamil Nadu and south Kerala. Isolated rain is likely to occur over north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, north Kerala and and interiors of south Karnataka.
 
IANS
 
 
 

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Cyclone Gaja likely to cross Tamil Nadu coast on Thursday

Image: IMD
Image: IMD
The cyclonic storm Gaja over west-central and adjoining east-central and south Bay  of Bengal is likely to cross the Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore during the forenoon of Thursday, November 15.
 
A bulletin issued by  the India Meteorological Department (IMD) this morning said the cyclone had moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 7 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 0230 hrs IST of today over west-central and adjoining east-central and south Bay of Bengal near latitude 13.2°N and longitude 87.3°E, about 760 km east of Chennai and 850 km east-northeast of Nagappattinam (Tamil Nadu).
 
"It is very likely to intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 24 hours and maintain the intensity during subsequent 24 hours. It is very likely to move west-southwestwards. While moving west-southwestwards, it is likely to weaken gradually on 15th November and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore as a Cyclonic Storm during 15th November forenoon," the bulletin said.
 
"The cyclonic storm is meandering over the region, as it lies between two anti-cyclonic circulations located to its east and west in the deep layer mean atmosphere. It is expected to move slowly for next 12 hours and complete the loop. Thereafter, its speed of movement will increase gradually and move west-southwestwards as it will be guided by the anticyclone to the west of the centre," it said.
 
The bulletin said that rainfall was very likely to commence over north coastal Tamil Nadu and adjoining districts of south Tamil Nadu from November 14 evening, with heavy falls at isolated places. 
 
It said heavy rainfall was very likely over north Tamil Nadu and adjoining districts of south coastal Tamil Nadu, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy falls (20 cm or more) at isolated places on November 15. Rainfall is also likely at most places over remaining parts of south Tamil Nadu, with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places.
 
Rainfall was also likely at most places over interior Tamil Nadu, with heavy  falls at a few places and very heavy falls at isolated places, on November 16, the bulletin said.
 
The bulletin also forecast rainfall in south coastal Andhra Pradesh on these days, in Rayalaseema region on November 15 and in Kerala on November 15 and 16.
 
The bulletin said gale winds with speed reaching 70-80 kmph and gusting to 85 kmph, prevailed over southeast and adjoining central and southwest Bay of Bengal. "It is very likely to increase gradually becoming 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph over southwest & adjoining westcentral and southeast Bay of Bengal from evening of 13th November 2018," it said.
 
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"Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph likely to commence along & off north Tamil Nadu & Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts from 14th November morning. It is very likely to increase gradually becoming gale wind speed 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph along & off north Tamil Nadu & Puducherry coasts from 14th November night onwards," it said.
 
The bulletin said sea condition was high over southeast and adjoining central and southwest Bay of Bengal. It will become "very high" over southwest and adjoining westcentral and southeast Bay of Bengal from 13th evening to 14th night and high over the southwest Bay of Bengal on 15th. The sea condition is very likely to be rough to very rough along and off Tamil Nadu-south Andhra Pradesh coasts from 14th November morning and high from 14th November night.
 
Storm surge of height of about 1.0 meter above astronomical tide is very likely to inundate low lying areas of Nagappattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal district of Puducherry at the time of landfall.
 
The bulletin called for total suspension of fishing operations along and off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts during 13-15th November.
 
Fishermen were advised not to venture into central parts of south and central Bay of Bengal on 13th and into southwest and adjoining westcentral Bay of Bengal during 13-15th November.
 
Fishermen who were in deep sea were advised to return to the coast. 
 
Coastal hutment dwellers have been advised to move to safer places. Other people in the affected areas were advised to remain indoors.
 
NNN

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