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Tamil Nadu

Minor quake recorded in border region of Dharampuri, Salem districts in Tamil Nadu

An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the border region between the districts of Dharampuri and Salem in Tamil Nadu early today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 11.9 degrees North and longitude 77.9 degrees East, occurred at 0349 hours today at a focal depth of 15 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Jayalalithaa writes to PM on environmental clearance for North Chennai power project

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to direct the Ministry of Environment and Forests to issue the environmental clearance for the enhanced capacity of North Chennai Thermal Power Project-Stage II without insisting on a fresh application.

Ms Jayalalithaa said this was necessary so that the project could be commissioned and help contain the severe power deficit faced by her state.
 
She said the inordinate delay and the non-issue of environmental clearance had resulted in the cancellation of the letter of assurance given by Mahanadhi Coal Fields for supply of coal for the project.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa said Tamil Nadu had been facing a severe power deficit and her government had been making earnest efforts to augment the capacity addition to meet the shortage, which is of the order of 4000 MW, by early commissioning of ongoing power generation projects in the state. 
 
"One such ongoing project which is in an advanced stage of commissioning is  the  2x600 megawatt North Chennai Thermal Power Project Stage-II at an estimated cost of Rs.5813 crores. The two units of this project have been programmed to be synchronized in December, 2012, and February, 2013, and are likely to be put in continuous operation in April – May, 2013," she said.
 
"I am constrained to bring to your notice that, after delaying the issue of environmental clearance for the above project for the past six years, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has now advised the State Government to ask Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited, a fully owned power utility of the Government of Tamil Nadu to apply afresh for environmental clearance for the above project in accordance with the provisions under the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2006," the letter dated November 23 said.
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Ms Jayalalithaa said that, originally, this project was proposed by Videocon Power Limited which had obtained Environmental Clearance for the establishment of 2x525 Megawatt North Chennai Thermal Power Project Stage-II with validity up to 10.5.2006. However, due to various circumstances, the project could not be developed by Videocon,
 
The Government of Tamil Nadu decided to take up this project under the State sector through the erstwhile Tamil Nadu Electricity Board presently known as Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) within the validity period. Accordingly, on 9.10.2006, based on the site inspection report, the Ministry of Environment and Forests conveyed its decision to transfer the environmental clearance earlier granted to Videocon to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. In the meanwhile, the proposed capacity of the project was enhanced to 2x600 Megawatts based on the guidelines of the Ministry of Power, Government of India, she said.
 
She said the Expert Appraisal Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests also recommended the proposal to the Ministry in the meeting held on 3.5.2011 for issue of environmental clearance for the enhanced capacity. 
 
"An important aspect in this issue is that this project is already cleared under the environmental angle for M/s. Videocon Power Limited as well as while enhancing the capacity to 2x600 MW in the meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee held on 3.5.2011. If the Ministry of Environment and Forests was not satisfied then with the validity of the Environmental Clearance, the proposal would not have been referred to the Expert Appraisal Committee by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the recommendations of the Expert Appraisal Committee would not have been posted in the website of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
 
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"Now, after six years of follow up, the Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, in his letter dated 16.11.2012 addressed to the Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, has asked TANGEDCO to apply afresh for Environmental Clearance for the North Chennai Thermal Power Project Stage-II," she said.
 
According to her, the main contention of the Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, is that as per the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2006, the Environmental Clearance issued to Videocon Power Limited cannot be extended beyond ten years. He has further informed that the transfer of Environmental Clearance can be considered only when there is a written no objection certificate by the transferor and for the same validity period. He has also added that in this case there is no valid Environmental Clearance which could be considered for transfer.
 
"In this context, I would like to inform you that the Environmental Clearance granted to M/s. Videocon was based on the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 1994. As per clause 2 (iii) (c) of the above notification, the clearance granted shall be valid for a period of 5 years for commencement of construction or operation of the project. As per this Notification, the commencement of construction has to be within the validity period and once the work has commenced, the question of further validity does not arise. In this case, in order to verify the commencement of project activities, the Ministry of Environment and Forests sent the Chief Conservator of Forests, Regional Office, Southern Zone, Bangalore, to inspect the site and based on his report and only after satisfying themselves that the project works have commenced, the Ministry of Environment and Forests transferred the Environment Clearance to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board for 2x525 MW on 9.10.2006," she said.
 
The Chief Minister said that, regarding the issue of obtaining a written No Objection Certificate from the transferor, there is no provision in the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 1994 on this issue. Since the Ministry of Environment and Forests has already transferred the Environmental Clearance on 9.10.2006, the issue of obtaining No Objection Certificate from the transferor does not arise now, she said.
 
"As such, applying the stipulations of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2006, for the project governed by the earlier Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 1994, at this point of time when the project is ready for commissioning is not acceptable," she added.
 
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Depression over westcentral Bay of Bengal weakens

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The depression over westcentral Bay of Bengal had weakened and moved southwestwards and lay centred at 0830 hours today at about 700 km east-northeast of Chennai and 450 km southeast of Visakhapatnam.

A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the depression was centred near latitude 15.0 degrees North and longitude 86.5 degrees East.
 
"The system would move west-southwestwards towards south Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu coasts and weaken further during next 24 hours," it said.
 
Under the influence of this system, moderate rainfall would occur at many places over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, north coastal Tamilnadu and Puducherry tomorrow and on Wednesay, it said.
 
The bulletin said sea conditions along and off Andhra Pradesh  coast  will be rough during the  next  24 hours. Fishermen along Andhra  Pradesh, north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts are advised to be cautious while venturing into sea during the next 24 hours, the bulletin added.
 
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Deep depression forms over east central Bay of Bengal: IMD

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A deep depression over east central Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify and move slowly towards the south Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu coasts, but no adverse weather is likely along and off the east coast of India during the next 48 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.

An IMD bulletin issued at 0830 hours today said the depression had moved westward and lay centred at 0530 hours today over eastcentral Bay of Bengal near latitude 16.0 degrees North and longitude 88.5 degrees East, about 950 km east-northeast of Chennai, 600 km east-southeast of Visakhapatnam and 520 km southeast of Paradip.
 
"The system would intensify further into a cyclonic storm and move slowly west-northwestwards during next 6 hours and west/westsouthwestwards towards south Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu coasts during subsequent 72 hours," it said.
 
"Under the influence of this system, no adverse weather is likely along and off east coast of India during next 48 hours. 
 
"However, fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts are advised to be cautious while venturing into sea during this period," the bulletin added.
 
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Judges appointed to Madras, Punjab & Haryana High Courts

The President has appointed Ms Justice R. Mala, Ms Justice Aruna Jagadeesan and Mr  Justice G.M. Akbar Ali, Additional Judges of Madras High Court, as Judges of that High Court.

An official press release said that the appointments, in that order of seniority, would be with effect from the date they assume charge of their office. 
 
The President has also appointed Mr Justice Vijender Singh Malik, Additional Judge of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, as Judge of that High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office, the release added.
 
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Cyclone Nilam to cross north TN, south AP coast Wednesday evening

The cyclonic storm Nilam over the southwest Bay of Bengal is expected to move north-northwestards and cross the north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Cuddalore and Nellore, near Chennai, by this evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The cyclone had moved northwestwards and lay centred at 0530 hours ISTtoday near latitude 10.5 degrees North and longitude 81.5 degrees East, about 320 km south-southeast of Chennai and 220 km north of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka). 
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall would occur at most places in the region, with scattered heavy to very heavy falls and isolated extremely heavy falls (25 cm or more), during the next 24 hours, an IMD bulletin issued at 0730 hours today said.
 
Rainfall at most places, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls, would also occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and north Interior Tamil Nadu during the next 48 hours, it said.
 
Squally winds speed reaching 55-65 kmph, gusting to 75 kmph, would prevail along and off north
Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during next six hours. The wind speed
would gradually increase thereafter as the system comes closer to coast, becoming 80-90 kmph at the time of landfall, it said.
 
The bulletin said sea conditions would be high along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 36 hours. 
 
A storm surge of about 1 -1.5 metre over the astronomical tide is likely to inundate the low lying
areas of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur of Tamil Nadu and Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, it said.
 
As the cyclone approaches the coast, it is expected to cause damage to thatched huts, uproot small trees and break tree branches and cause minor damage to power and communication lines.
 
The storm is also expected to damage crops like standing rice, groundnut and maize in coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and rice and groundnut in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
 
Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts have been advised not to venture into the sea during the next 48 hours.
 
"The system is under constant surveillance and the concerned state Governments are being warned," it added.
 
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Cyclone Nilam likely to cross north TN, south AP coast by Wednesday evening

Satellite image of cyclone Nilam taken at 1130 hours on October 30, 2012
Satellite image of cyclone Nilam taken at 1130 hours on October 30, 2012

The cyclonic storm Nilam is expcted to cross north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Cuddalore and Nellore near Chennai by tomorrow evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The storm remained practically stationary and lay centred at 1430 hours today near latitude 9.5 degrees North and longitude 82 degrees East and would move north-northwestwards, a bulletin from the IMD, issued at 1730 hours, said.
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall, would occur over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 12 hours, it said.
 
The intensity of rainfall would increase thereafter, with scattered heavy to very heavy rainfall and isolated extremely heavy rainfall (25 cm or more) for the subsequent 24 hours, the bulletin said.
 
According to it, squally winds, with speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph, would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 12 hours. 
 
The wind speed would gradually increase thereafter as the system comes closer to the coast, it said.
 
The bulletin said the sea conditions would be very rough to high along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 48 hours. 
 
Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts have advised not to venture into the sea.
 
A storm surge of about 1 to 1.5 metres over the astronomical tide is likely to inundate the low-lying areas of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur of Tamil Nadu and Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
As the cyclone approaches the coast, it is expected to cause damage thatched huts and uproot small trees and break tree branches, causing minor damage to power and communication lines at the time of landfall.
 
"The system is under constant surveillance and the concerned state Governments are being warned," the bulletin added.
 
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Cyclone Nilam likely to cross north TN, south AP coast on Wednesday evening

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A deep depression over southwest Bay of Bengal has intensified into cyclonic storm Nilam and is expected to cross north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Nagapattinam and Nellore by tomorrow afternoon or evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.

The storm lay centred at 0830 hours today near latitude 9 degrees North and longitude 82 degrees East, about 500 km south-southeast of Chennai and 100 km east-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka). The system would move northwestwards, an IMD bulletin said.
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall, would occur over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 12 hours, it said.
 
The intensity of rainfall would increase thereafter, with scattered heavy to very heavy rainfall and isolated extremely heavy rainfall (25 cm or more) for the subsequent 36 hours, the bulletin said.
 
Isolated heavy rains would also occur over south Andhra Pradesh during the next 48 hours, it said.
 
According to it, squally winds, with speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph, would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 12 hours. 
 
The wind speed would gradually increase thereafter as the system comes closer to the coast, it said.
 
The IMD said sea conditions would be very rough to high along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 48 hours. 
 
Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts are
advised not to venture into the sea.
 
The cyclone is expected to cause damage to thatched huts as it approaches the coast. Breaking of tree branches, causing minor damage to power and communication lines, was also likely, it said.
 
"The system is under constant surveillance and the concerned state Governments have been warned," the bulletin added.
 
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Jayalalithaa writes to PM, seeking additional 1000 MW of power for TN

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking his intervention to ensure that her state got an additional 1000 MW of power to tide over an acute power crisis.

In her letter, dated October 23, Ms Jayalalithaa drew Dr Singh's attention to her earlier letters in which she had sought an additional 1000 MW to partly mitigate this crisis.
 
"However, a meagre quantum of 100 MW alone was allocated to Tamil Nadu. Even out of this quantum, only about 78 MW is being made available to the state," she said.
 
The Chief Minister said there was a severe shortage of power in Tamil Nadu due to the failure of the south-west monsoon and the constraints we face in buying power from sources outside the southern region due to corridor congestion. 
 
"Due to the demand - supply gap of about 4000 MW which is the highest in the southern
region, widespread load shedding is being resorted to, causing severe hardship to the consumers. The agriculture sector has also been amongst the worst hit due to the failure of the monsoon and inadequate power supply, thereby affecting food production," she said.
 
"I have already pointed out that the deficit situation in Tamil Nadu has been aggravated due to corridor congestion and have repeatedly requested your urgent intervention to ensure that the required quantum of 1000 MW of power transmission capacity is made available to enable Tamil Nadu to receive the power contracted by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO)," she said.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa said the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has proposed to
surrender power from various Central Generating Stations for the period from 1.11.2012 to 31.3.2013 for a quantum of 230 MW round the clock (00.00 to 24.00 hrs) and 1491 MW during 00.00 to 6.00 hrs. 
 
"The Chairman-cum-Managing Director, TANGEDCO, has requested the Ministry of Power, Government of India, New Delhi, to reallocate the entire quantum of surrendered power to Tamil Nadu and to arrange to provide the necessary corridor on priority basis for availing of the above power. I request your kind intervention to tide over this acute power crisis in Tamil Nadu," she added.
 
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379 officers, including 71 women, pass out of OTA Chennai

As many as 379 officers, including 288 gentlemen and 71 ladies, passed out of the Army's Officers' Training Academy (OTA) in a glittering ceremony marked by military splendour at Chennai today.

This was one of the largest batches ever to pass out of OTA, which is celebrating its golden jubilee this year.
 
The batch also included 20 cadets from Afghanistan who are slated to join the Afghan National Army, an official press release said.
 
The parade was reviewed by Lt Gen A K Singh, General-Officer-Commanding- in – Chief Southern Command . 
 
Speaking on the occasion, the General complimented the young officers for choosing the profession of arms and spoke of the uniqueness of military leadership.
 
"On joining the Army, you virtually sign an unlimited liability contract to serve the nation, through thick and thin, and do as the organization ordains. But, in return the nation and the organization also assures you of a lifelong bond of looking after you and yours," he said.
 
He called it a unique relationship based on trust and commitment. The Army Commander further said, “As military leaders, you will deal with not issues of profit and loss but issues of life and death."
 
The growing popularity of the profession of arms among the youth was shown by the sizable strength of erstwhile corporate professionals who changed their tracks to be part of the Indian Army’s officer cadre.
 
"There is a long  and grueling  training which precedes this festivity, encompassing  physical training, educational competencies, weapon training, drill and social etiquette in addition to experiential conditioning in the skills and the attitudes needed for military success - in a short span of  49 weeks,” said Lt Gen SS Jog,  the Commandant.
 
“When we celebrate our  golden jubilee, next year, the OTA shall have moved way closer to a truly world class academy in terms of latest training facilities and infrastructure," he added.
 
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President to visit Tamil Nadu, AP on September 8-9

President Pranab Mukherjee will leave here tomorrow on a two-day tour to Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh in what will be his first visit to a State outside Delhi since assuming office on July 25.

In Chennai, Mr Mukherjee will attend the valedictory function of the sesquicentennial celebrations of Madras High Court tomorrow. He will also deliver an address at a felicitation function organized by the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
 
In Tirupati, the President will inaugurate the Nandakam Complex of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams on September 9. He will also visit the S V Vedapatasala, Dharmagiri.
 
The President will return to New Delhi on the same day, an official press release added.
 
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Sharma orders inquiry into Sivakasi fire mishap

 
36 killed, 50 injured in explosion at firecrackers unit near Sivakasi

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma today ordered an inquiry into the explosion and fire at a fireworks factory, Om Sakthi Fireworks, near Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu yesterday, which left at least 38 people dead and 50 injured.

An official press release said the inquiry had been ordered under section 9 (a) of the Explosives Act 1884, in view of the seriousness of the incident, and would be conducted by Mr Chaitanya Prasad, an IAS officer.
 
About 15 of those who suffered injuries in the incident are in a serious condition.
 
The release said three officers of the Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives, Sivakasi field office have been at the accident spot from yesterday.
 
The Chief Controller of Explosives and the Joint Controller of Explosives have reached the accident site today and will prepare a detailed report of the accident, it added.
 
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Jayalalithaa urges PM to get new user charges by JIPMER withdrawn

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, requesting him to instruct the Jawaharlal Insitute of Post-Graduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry to revisit its decision to introduce new user charges for various medical investigations and procedures.

In her letter, Ms Jayalalithaa said the decision would badly affect poor patients not only from Puducherry but also from the neighbouring districts in Tamil Nadu such as Cuddalore, Villupuram and Tiruvannamalai.
 
She recalled that her party, the AIADMK, had vehemently opposed the Bill to convert JIPMER into an autonomous institution in Parliament, even at the introduction stage in 2008. 
 
"Overruling our strident objections, the Bill had been passed with an assurance that the existing free services to the public would be continued without any change. Introduction of user charges for routine investigations and medical procedure amounts to reneging on the solemn assurance given in Parliament," she said.
 
"So as to ensure that the people of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are not adversely affected, I request you to instruct JIPMER to revisit the decision to introduce the new user charges and revert to the earlier practice of offering free services to the public as assured in 2008," the letter added.
 
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Jayalalithaa urges PM to convene meeting of Cauvery River Authority

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has once again written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to urgently convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority and to advise the Karnataka governmet to release water for raising the Samba crop in the basin of the river in her state.

In her letter of today, Ms Jayalalithaa recalled that she had written to him on May 18 saying that there was an urgent need for convening a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority to decide certain specific issues.
 
"My request is yet to be acceded to," she said.
 
She said the Interlocutory Application (IA) filed by the Government of Tamil Nadu before the
Supreme Court in July 2012, came up for hearing on August 13. The Government of
Tamil Nadu had sought a direction to the Union of India to convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority. The Supreme Court had sought the views of the Government of India on this, she said.
 
"You are aware that, according to the Rules and Regulations for the conduct of the business of the Cauvery River Authority, the quorum for the meeting shall be 3 members in addition to the Chairperson and further, the decision shall ordinarily be by consensus and that, in case no consensus is reached, the decision may be left to the Chairperson.
 
"You may recall that the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its order dated 6.2.2003 in an I.A. filed by the State of Tamil Nadu (I.A. No. 3/2003 in O.S. No.3/2002), inter-alia, had directed that in the absence of unanimity or consensus, the decision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister who is the Chairperson of the Cauvery River Authority shall be decisive. Therefore, without prejudice to the pending proceedings in the Supreme Court, the Hon’ble Prime Minister as the Chairperson may convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority and the Distress Sharing Formula can be adopted as a situation of distress has arisen now," she said.
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Ms Jayalalithaa said the Karnataka government had not released any water from its reservoirs during the irrigation year of 2012-2013, while it has opened the reservoir for its irrigation. 
 
"However, the Mettur Dam could not be opened till date due to the reluctance of the Government of Karnataka even to share minimum flows. 
 
"According to the Interim Order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal which is in
force, as on 23.8.2012 Mettur Dam should have realised 95.480 TMC ft. against which
only a meagre quantity of 9.187 TMC ft. has been realised. Further, according to the
Distress Sharing Formula evolved by the Central Water Commission, Mettur Dam should
have realised about 43.837 TMC ft. as on 23.8.2012. The farmers in the Cauvery Delta,
having lost the Kuruvai crop, are hoping at least to raise one single Samba crop for their
livelihood. It is, therefore, imperative that the Government of Karnataka is advised to
release water to make good the shortfall quantity as per the Distress Sharing Formula
and also to share the flows in this distress situation," she added.
 
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Tamil Nadu batsman Badrinath to replace Laxman for NZ Test series

Subramaniam Badrinath
Subramaniam Badrinath

Veteran Tamil Nadu batsman Subramaniam Badrinath, one of the most prolific scorers in domestic cricket, has been recalled into the Indian squad for the Test series against New Zealand in place of V V S Laxman, who announced yesterday that he had decided to hang up his boots after a 16-year illustrious career.

A statement from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said the All-India Senior Selection Committee had made the decision. The series against New Zealand will commence at Hyderabad on August 23.
 
Badrinath, a right hand middle-order batsman and an off break bowler, who will turn 32 on August 30, will join the squad at the earliest, the BCCI statement added.
 
He has played two Tests for India and scored 63 runs at an average of 21, with a hghest score of 56. He has also layed seven one-day internationals and scored 79 runs a an average of 15.80, wth a highest score of 27 not out.
 
While he has been the mainstay of the Tamil Nadu batting for more than a decade and has also captained the side, Badrinath has not been lucky in the matter of playing for India. He caught the selectors' eye when he scored 636 runs from seven matches in the 2005-06 domestic season and followed it up ith 436 in the next year. He played for India A on the tours to Zimbabwe and Kenya and in the home series against South Africa A.
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He was included in the Indian ODI team for the last three matches against Australia, but did not get a look-in. He was not chosen for the Pakistan series that followed.
 
He continued to perform well in domestic cricket and finally got his break in the ODIs against Sri Lanka. He was chosen for the Test squad for Australia's tour of India in 2008-09 but again did not get to play. His Test debut finaly came in Nagpur, a year later against South Africa, when he was 29.
 
Badrinath found himself ignored after a couple of tests, but his performances in the Ranji Trophy and for the Chennai Super Kings in the India Premier League got him a place in the Indian ODI squad in the series against the West Indies in 2011.
 
He has scored 7836 runs at an average of 60.74 in domestic cricket, with 28 centuries.
 
(Photo: Courtesy Chennai Super Kings website)
 
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Jayalalithaa urges PM to allocate entire power from Kudankulam-I to TN

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, once again requesting him to allocate the entire power to be generated from the first 1000 MW unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to her state.

Ms Jayalalithaa mentioned that she had written to him on this subject earlier, too, on March 31 and April 25 this year.
 
"To my dismay, no response has so far been received from you. I am given to understand that nuclear fuel loading in the first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is to happen within the next few days.
 
"May I take this opportunity to remind you of my earlier request and expect a quick response? I am sure you will appreciate my State’s justified demand in this matter and convey a positive response soon," she added.
 
In her letter of March 31, Ms Jayalalithaa had said that Tamil Nadu was facing a severe power shortage and it would therefore be proper and justifiable that the entire power to be generated from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is made available to Tamil Nadu.
 
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Vasan dedicates Automatic Identification System for vessels to nation

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Union Minister of Shipping G.K. Vasan today dedicated to the nation the Automatic Identification System (AIS) Network in Chennai that will help to track vessels upto a distance of 50 km from the coast.

The system, set up at an estimated cost of Rs 132 crore, connects 74 AIS sensors installed on lighthouses along the entire coastline.
 
According to an official press release, the system is intended to help different users like Directorate General Shipping, Ports, Navy, and Coast Guard in tracking, surveillance, search and rescue, and management of aids to navigation. 
 
The network also has a provision to track small fishing vessels with customised transponders which will be helpful in search and rescue and also in extending help in case of any eventuality. 

Hand in Hand India wins UNEP prize

The "rangoli" carpet created by Hand in Hand India volunteers in Chennai, which is among the five winners of the World Environment Day Challenge 2012. Photo: Courtesy UNEP Read story.

The 'rangoli' carpet created by Hand in Hand India volunteers in Chennai, which is among the five winners of the World Environment Day Challenge 2012. Photo: Courtesy UNEP
Read story.The 'rangoli' carpet created by Hand in Hand India volunteers in Chennai, which is among the five winners of the World Environment Day Challenge 2012. Photo: Courtesy UNEP

Initiatives from India, 4 other countries receive UNEP prize for inspiring environmental action

The 'rangoli' carpet created by Hand in Hand India volunteers in Chennai, which is among the five winners of the World Environment Day Challenge 2012. Photo: Courtesy UNEP
The 'rangoli' carpet created by Hand in Hand India volunteers in Chennai, which is among the five winners of the World Environment Day Challenge 2012. Photo: Courtesy UNEP

Projects from India and four other countries -- Australia, Bangladesh, Colombia and Kenya -- that inspired and galvanized environmental action are the winners of this year's World Environment Day Challenge, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced.

The winner from India is Hand in Hand India, a non-governmental organization based in Tamil Nadu, which brought together over 500 volunteers to create a colourful 10,000 square feet "rangoli: carpet, depicting 10 different environmental themes. Rangoli is a hand-drawn Indian art which adorns the  courtyards of many houses.
 
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) challenged people across  the world to pledge an environmental activity for the chance to win a Kia  Motors fuel-efficient car in connection with this year’s World Environment Day,  which was observed on June 5.
 
“Today we celebrate five inspiring projects, submitted for  the World Environment Day 2012 challenge, that illuminate the pathway to a  transition to a green economy,” said UNEP’s Executive Director, Achim Steiner.
 
“The most environmentally friendly travel is by train, bus,  carpooling, cycle or on foot, but in some countries making an eco-friendly  project happen may need a private vehicle. If so, it should be fuel-efficient,”  he added. “This is why we are awarding such vehicles to these projects, most of  which are run in developing nations with underdeveloped public transport  networks.”
 
Among the winners is Fundacion Ecoprogreso, a group in Colombia that works to protect a mangrove lagoon  surrounding the city of Cartagena,  organized activities for the Day to raise awareness of the importance of the  mangrove ecosystem for the local green economy, especially for ecotourism and  sustainable fishing.
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Maji Mazuri Centre International, located in Nairobi, runs an initiative  called Green Heroes, in which youth focus on organizing and improving waste  management in the Kenyan capital’s informal Mathare settlement. Among its  events for World Environment Day were a communal clean-up day and a football  match that galvanized over 2,000 people.
 
On Australia’s  Sunshine Coast, the World Environment Day  Festival is held annually to raise awareness of environmental issues and the  unique flora and fauna of the region, as well as promote the adoption of  sustainable lifestyles and technologies. It is organized by the Sunshine Coast  Environment Council, another winner of this year’s challenge.
 
A Bangladeshi non-profit organization, Shidhulai Swanirvar  Sangstha, celebrated the Day through a solar-powered boat rally, a drawing  competition on floating schools, an essay-writing competition on floating  libraries, an exhibition on a two-tier boat and evening shows of training boats  under the theme – ‘The Green Economy in a Changing Climate – Hope Floats.’
 
Observance of World Environment Day began in 1972 as a way  to raise awareness of the environment and encourage political attention and  action. This year’s theme for the Day – Green  Economy: Does it include you? – sought to underscore the need for everyone  to play a part in keeping humankind’s ecological footprints within planetary  boundaries.
 
Hand in Hand India, which has been in operation since 1988 in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, works to alleviate poverty through enterprise creation and an integrated community development approach. Some of its environmental interventions include solid waste management, natural resource management and environmental advocacy. 
 
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Railways cancel some trains after Tamil Nadu Express fire

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The South-Central Railways today said several trains had been cancelled or partially cancelled following the fire in a coach of the Tamil Nadu Express, in which at least 32 people ere killed.
 
1)TRAINS CANCELLED:
 
1.T.No 66031 SULLURUPETA - NELLORE passenger scheduled to leave SULLURUPETA at 15.45 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 
2.T.No.66032 NELLORE - SULLURUPETA passenger scheduled to leave NELLORE at 17.50 hrs o­n 30.07.2012
3.T.No. 57240 BITRAGUNTA - CHENNAI CENTRAL passenger scheduled to leave BITRAGUNTA at 05.20 hrs o­n 03.07.2012 
4.T.No.57277 GUDUR - VIJAYAWADA passenger scheduled to leave GUDUR at 06.10 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 
5.T.No. 57239 CHENNAI CENTRAL – GUDUR passenger scheduled to leave CHENNAI CENTRAL at 16.00 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 
6.T.No. 57242 VIJAYAWADA- BITRAGUNTA passenger scheduled to leave VIJAYAWADA at 15.15 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 
 
2)TRAINS PARTIALLY CANCELLED:
 
1.T.No. 66035 CHENNAI CENTRAL -NELLORE passenger which left CHENNAI CENTRAL at 07.45 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 is partially cancelled between VEDAYAPALEM and NELLORE. The train will run back as T.No. 66034 Passenger from VEDAYAPALEM to TIRUPATI
2.T.No.66034 NELLORE - TIRUPATI passenger scheduled to leave NELLORE at 12.30 hrs on 30.07.2012 is partially cancelled between NELLORE and VEDAYAPALEM.
3.T.No.66033 TIRUPATI - NELLORE passenger which left TIRUPATI at 11.25 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 is partially cancelled between GUDUR and NELLORE. The train will run back as T.No.66036 from GUDUR to CHENNAI CENTRAL
4.T.No.66036 NELLORE - CHENNAI CENTRAL passenger scheduled to leave NELLORE at 16.00 hrs o­n 30.07.2012 is partially cancelled between NELLORE and GUDUR.
 
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Jayalalithaa writes to PM, seeks hike in Haj quota for Tamil Nadu

File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking an enhancement in the state's quota of seats for the 2012 Haj pilgrimage.

She said that, while the Tamil Nadu State Haj Committee had received more than 12,100 applications for Haj 2012, the Haj Committee of India had allotted a quota of 2863 seats for the state.
 
"Needless to say, this is woefully inadequate," she said. According to her, as per the guidelines for Haj 2012, out of the quota of 2863 seats, 1146 seats will be apportioned for reserved  categories and about 1717 seats will be dispensed for selection under the general category. 
 
"The number of disappointed applicants will be around 9243," she said.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa said that, during Haj 2011, the Haj Committee of India had initially allotted a 
quota of 3049 seats against the receipt of more than 10,000 applications from Tamil Nadu. After the release of additional quota and Government discretionary quota, a total of 4084 pilgrims from the state were able to perform the Haj pilgrimage last year.
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She said the quota for this year was an all-time low. "I, therefore, request your kind intervention to enhance the quota taking into account the sizable Muslim population and the large number of applications received from Tamil Nadu for 2012," she said.
 
"The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, may be requested to release a suitable additional number, so that a greater number of pilgrims from Tamil Nadu would be benefited and enabled to perform the Haj pilgrimage in 2012," she added.
 
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Tube Investments to acquire 44.1 stake in Shanthi Gears

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Tube Investments of India Ltd., (TII), the flagship of the Murugappa Group, today said it would acquire the promoter shareholding of 44.1 per cent in Shanthi Gears Limited, a Coimbatore-based manufacturer of industrial power transmission products.

Consequently, TII will be making an open offer to the extent of 26%, a press release from the company said here today.
 
The total cost of the acquisition, including the public offer is expected to be Rs. 464 crore, assuming full response to the proposed open offer pursuant to Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulation, it said.
 
The Murugappa Group has multiple businesses ranging from diversified auto-ancillary products, bicycle retailing to financial services and insurance.
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CCEA clears proposal for Petroleum, Chemicals & Petrochemicals Investment Region in TN

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approval a proposal of the Tamil Nadu government to set up a Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) in the Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts of the state. 

This is the first PCPIR to be approved after PCPIRs in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal and Orissa. 
 
An official press release said a total investment of about Rs.92,160 crore is expected in the TNPCPIR, which includes committed investment of Rs.22,160 crore. 
 
It envisages development of physical infrastructure such as roads, rail, air links, ports, water supply, power, desalination plant, CETP and so on at a total cost of Rs.13,354 crore. 
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NCERT panel to look into cartoon on anti-Hindi agitation also

File photo of Kapil Sibal
File photo of Kapil Sibal

The Government today said the five-member committee set up to examine the cartoons in political science and social science textbooks of Classes IX-XII brought out by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) would also look into the cartoons related to the 1965 anti-Hindi movement in Tamil Nadu that came under sharp criticism from political leaders in the state recently.

A statement by Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said this issue was also being examined by the committee as a part of the exercise undertaken by it.
 
The committee, headed by Prof S K Thorat, Chairman, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), is likely to submit its report shortly.
 
The committee was set up by the NCERT on May 14 after the controversy over a sixty-year-old cartoon by renowned cartoonist Shankar featuring then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr B R Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution.
 
The committee has been asked to review the Classes IX-XII social science and political science textbooks of NCERT from the point of view of identifying educationally inappropriate material in them and to provide suggestions for alternatives to be placed in the textbooks. 
 
On Saturday, DMK president and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had asked the Centre to remove the cartoon from the textbook because it hurt the sentiments of the people of the state.
 
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Tamil Nadu's annual plan fixed at Rs 28,000 crore, Jayalalithaa takes dig at plan panel

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Tamil Nadu's annual plan for 2012-13 as finalised at Rs 28,000 crore at a meeting here today between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and state Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa here today.

However, Ms Jayalalithaa was plainly unhappy with the discussions, telling journalists afterwards that the exercise amounted to her state being told how to spend its own money.
 
Iked over not being able to get the nod for Central assistance and additional assistance for some projects, Ms Jayalalithaa said that, out of the total outlay of Rs 28,000 crore, which was 19 per cent higher than the figure for last year, the Centre's contribution was only Rs 3000 crore.
 
"We have asked for Central assistance, additional assistance under various heads but that was not forthcoming. So, what this entire exercise amounts to is that we have come all the way to Delhi to have discussion and a meeting with the Union Planning Commission so that they can tell us how to spend our own money," she said.
 
During the discussions at the meeting, Mr Ahluwalia said Tamil Nadu had an impressive record of improvement in human development indices and growth in services sector.
 
He said per capita income levels had gone up in the state since Independence as a consequence of sustained GSDP growth. In most of the cases, Tamil Nadu has better social indicators than the national average. 
 
He appreciated the Tamil Nadu Government’s efforts to make growth truly inclusive. He said leading states like Tamil Nadu should attract knowledge-based investment and focus on improving the quality of education. He said the 12th Plan would give priority to education, health and infrastructure.
 
The Commission noted the decadal growth rate of population in Tamil Nadu had increased from 11.72% in 1991-2001 to 15.60% in 2001-2011. On the contrary, the decadal growth rate of population in the country has fallen from 21.54% in 1991-2001 to 17.64% in 2001-2011. During 1991-2001, Tamil Nadu contributed 3.59% of the total population growth in India, whereas in the next decade i.e. 2001-2011, Tamil Nadu contributed 5.36% of the total population growth in India. 
 
It was also noted that Tamil Nadu had shown improvement in both overall sex ratio (from 987 to 995) and child sex ratio (from 942 to 946) during 2001-2011. Tamil Nadu is at 5th place among major States in the country in terms of child sex ratio. 
 
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The services sector accounts for 65.8% of the GSDP at 2004-05 prices which is followed by the Industry sector (26.5%) and the Agriculture sector (7.7%) during 2011-12. The share of the Agriculture & Industry sectors in Tamil Nadu’s GSDP has been gradually falling over the years, whereas the share of services sector has been rising. 
 
In 2011-12, the real per capita income of Tamil Nadu is higher than the real per capita income of the country as a whole. The real per capita income of Tamil Nadu has increased at CAGR of 9.54% during 2004-05 to 2010-11 while the all-India per capita income has increased at CAGR of 6.84% during the same period. 
 
Ms Jayalalithaa stresed the need for a pro-active approach and substantial increase in Government spending to tide over the economic slowdown.
 
She said her government's prudent fiscal management strategies had reversed the dismal outlook on the economic front in the state.
 
"The State has returned to a situation of revenue surplus in 2011-2012 and the fiscal
deficit as a percentage of GSDP has been contained at 2.85%. The latest estimates of the Central Statistical Organization (CSO) place the economic growth rate of Tamil Nadu for 2011-2012 at 9.39%, much above the national average of 6.5%," he said.
 
"While we are remedying the State’s fiscal situation, substantial financial support is required from the Government of India for the raised investment needs of the State’s 12th Five Year Plan. Unfortunately, the 11th Plan has shown disappointing trends. The untied funds available to the States for financing their Plans through Normal Central Assistance (NCA) have not increased proportionately and today, these funds constitute a very minor component of the Plan resources of State Governments," she said.
 
She also urged that the proliferation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes should be checked for several reasons. "Not only are States deprived of untied funds that were available previously, but these Centrally Sponsored Schemes are designed without reference to specific ground realities and the needs of the population within the States that may face relative deprivation. The resulting rigid “one size fits all” guidelines deny a fair share to a progressive State like Tamil Nadu," she said.
 
She listed the steps taken by her government to improve the state's economy on the agriculture and other fronts. She also listed the schemes for which the state needed financial support.
 
Regarding the economic and social indicators, she said she was seriously concerned about inter-district and inter-regional growth disparities within the State. In order to correct these regional disparities in sectors like health, education, poverty and unemployment through targeted programmes, the state government has created the State Balanced Growth Fund with an initial outlay of Rs 100 crore this year which will be increased in coming years, she said.
 
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