Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Parks of discontent

When Chennai Mayor M Subramanian could order renovation of big parks like Tower Park at Anna Nagar and Thiru Vi Ka Park at Shenoy Nagar, why this step-motherly treatment meted out to smaller parks in the locality? This question haunts residents of L Block and Kambar Colony, which have a children's park and a playground respectively, but both in a shambles for over a year now.
After receiving complaints from residents in this connection, our reporter visited the places and spoke to a few residents.
Kumar, a fifth standard student of a local school, said, 'In school, everyone from the physical education teacher to the principal insist upon us to spend time in parks for fresh air. But the park which is close to my house at L Block is more or less in dilapidated condition and I risk getting infected with diseases if I visit or play there.'
'The park at L Block is in such a state that no one can go anywhere near it to have fun. It is sad,' another boy said.
'The equipment in the park are rusty and in a damaged condition that it can injure children if they use it,' said Ranjan, a local resident.
Kubendran, an elderly resident of L Block, said, 'The state of the children's parks, except a few, in the area is nothing very shocking. The park near 19th Street of L Block has been the same for days. We tried our best to bring it to life, but nothing materialised till now. And in the long run, these kinds of parks would virtually become a den for miscreants to do unlawful activities, and also a spot to dump waste'.
The children park in L Block is fully surrounded by residential apartments. But no one goes there. For the condition is such that they prefer Bougainvilla Park where they can refresh themselves.
Speaking to this reporter , Rajapallawi, president of Kambar Colony Residents Welfare Association, said, 'After persistent efforts by the residents for nearly four decades, Chennai Corporation had begun the facelift work. But, even after a year, the works have not been completed. As a result, a few play-equipment like seesaw are in a broken and rusty condition.'
'Around 300 families reside at Kambar Colony, and we have a good number of children there. They need proper space to play. Whenever we contact the higher officials about it, they say that the estimate for the renovation is being made. And I don't know when they will be through with it', lamented Rajapallawi.
'We would be very happy if the Mayor turns his attention to these kind of small parks and order renovation,' said another resident. Will the small parks and playgrounds in the locality ever see the light of the day, a question that begs for an answer.

Left in the drain

The tussle between TNHB office complex, Thirumangalam, and the residents of Asiad Colony, over illegal use (according to residents) of drainage service by the former, is reaching flash point as the residents plan to stage a protest pressing their demands.
The residents say that the board, for its commercial interests, is creating an adverse environment near the peaceful and well-maintained residential colony.
It may be noted that several weeklies carried a news item about the issue a year ago. The TNHB officials then held talks with the residents and promised to solve the problem as early as possible. Things were smooth for a few months. But the same problem of drainage overflow at the Asiad Colony has again started and strained the relationship between the two.
Speaking to this reporter Ratnasingam, president of Asiad Colony Flat Owners' Welfare Association, said, 'We want a permanent solution to this problem. Asiad Colony has 312 flats with a population of about 3000. The colony is a model colony in many respects as it was one of the oldest in the area. The problems are persisting for the past six to seven years. Adjacent to the compound wall of the colony, TNHB office is functioning in first floor and below that an office, a number of commercial establishments including a restaurant are functioning. For the commercial establishments, there is no proper drainage system is laid'.
'These establishments (illegally) use the drainage system, which pass through the colony. All the waste is let into the drainage system. It not only affects the free flow of drainage water but also often chokes and as an effect of it, houses in the colony gets inundated with the overflowing drainage water'.
In view of this problem, we held a general body meeting recently and at the meeting it was decided to hold a dharna infront of the TNHB office pressing for an early settlement of the persisting problem, Ratnasingam added.
A resident, who has his flat close to the compound wall and TNHB office, says, 'People coming to the TNHB complex for various purposes, are causing nuisance by using it (a small space kept vacant between the construction area and the compound wall) as a public convenience. The residents nearer to the compound wall are affected by bad odour emanating from that side'.
Another resident added that, their sleep has been disturbed in the last few months, after the opening of a fastfood stall very close to the compound. 'The customers make a nuisance of themselves till late in the night,' he said.
When this reporter tried to reach the executive engineer of TNHB for clarification, no one was available for comment. Will the concerned official take note of the problem?

Take a breath

Most people after a bypass surgery or a serious illness are afraid to return to an active life, they say they are not able to keep up with others.
But that does not seem to be the case. Take 75 year-old J B Shah, he is a real turnaround. Shah, who had under gone a critical bypass surgery almost three years ago and advised to stay indoors has shown that one can bounce back to a new life. 'They only have to practise pranayam,' he said. Today not only is he back to his normal way of life, he also helps many shape their lives without problems.
It is a sort of 'giving back to society' says J B Shah. He was a busy man once, Shah could not able to sit idle at home after the surgery, found a new lease of life.
While convalescing, he came to know that pranayam, ( breath control) would help him a lot in recuperation and it would even make him fit to venture outside. So, he gathered all information about it through a popular television show, broadcast in the mornings. He did not stop there itself by practicing those exercises at home for his wellness alone. His zeal drove him to master the nuances of it from Hardwar-based organisation, and as a social responsibility, Shah now teaches it free at various centres located in and around the city.
He says he has fully recovered, and helps others get cured from heart related diseases and diabetes through these breath control exercises.
This reporter met Shah at his residence at Anna Nagar a few days ago and asked about the success story. 'It was a rebirth,' says Shah. 'Immediately after that critical surgery, I too thought, it was all over for me, as most of the heart patients are (advised to) spend time at home only. But my will and with the help of pranayam, I have made it'.
Now, I am happy, not just for that recovery I had, but for those all, to whom I have made a difference through the breathing exercises, Shah said.
According to him, the concept of pranayam in short is nothing but practising inhaling and exhaling systematically to attain perfection in keeping sound health. Good health can be achieved by practising pranayam regularly at least once a day for 30 minutes preferably in the morning on an empty stomach having only one glass of warm water. Pranayam can be practiced by all ages from five years onwards.
Shortly after completing formal training and insistence by his fellow friends, Shah started his first free pranayam and yoga classes at the Anna Nagar Tower Park in December, 2004 . Since then, the popularity of his classes has swelled up and now the number of centres in the city has risen to 21. Based on enquiries, Shah plans to open another 30 centres in the city very soon.
After successfully imparting pranayam to the residents of different areas, Shah has embarked to another mission: teaching it to school children. When asked why he is keen to teach pranayam to children, Shah says, 'It has a dual advantage. Children can grasp the concept very effectively and mastering breath control at a tender age does good for their future. By practicing it, they can develop an immunity towards hereditary diseases.'
Many individuals have benefited by pranayam. Diseases and ailments, which have been tough to cure, have been cured with pranayam. For further details about pranayam and for conducting free classes, contact J B Shah at 98404 80345 or D V S Gupta at 98840 48380 or Vijay Khumar at 94443 77014.
Photo available
Exercise and methods
It should be borne in mind that practice of pranayam or the exercise of breathing must be through the nose. That fills the lungs with pure air.
There are three mudras (postures) dhyan mudra, apanvayu mudra and vayumudra generally practised during pranayam. One can choose any one of these mudras. One must be relaxed and enjoy the process. It helps the body to get good oxygenated blood and improved blood circulation.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Easing out the strain

A traffic restriction, which came into force from the first week of this month on the movement of heavy vehicles on the National Highway-4, has (relatively) eased congestion on several roads including the busiest stretch in the locality, Koyambedu Roundtana to Padi junction.
After the introduction of the restriction, motorists are a lot happy. As
movement of heavy goods vehicles and container-laden trailers are prohibited both ways on National Highway 4 (Chennai to Bangalore) from the junction of Chennai Bypass (Maduravoyal junction) to the Madhavaram flyover junction (on NH 5) between 8 am and 9 pm.
Narendran, a resident of Korattur, said, 'After the introduction of this restriction, traffic on this stretch has become smooth. Earlier, it was so terrible that many motorists bound for Korattur and Ambattur areas started using the 'not-so good' Park Road, Anna Nagar West Extension, to reach TVS Lucas junction to avoid getting stuck at Padi Junction.'
'Now that (Park) Road is also relaid, and we have two good options to reach our homes without any hassle, he added.
Deepak, a student with Kandasamy Naidu College and a resident of Retteri, said, 'Earlier, to reach college on time, I used to start before an hour. But it has been reduced to just 20 minutes'. 'See, how a small restriction has made our lives easy,' he added.
But the same restriction, which was well received by the motorists, has turned out to be a big problem for heavy vehicle drivers. Mithu Singh, a resident of Kambar Colony and driver of a container lorry service, said, 'The new restriction has added pressure on our travelling schedule. If some delivery has to be made from Andhra Pradesh to Anna Nagar, and if the vehicle reaches Madavaram by 9 am, I've to wait till night time to get into the city. By wasting so much time, we tend to incur losses on our companies.'
Like every action has both positive and negative impact, the new rule too has both. What is good for motorists are bad for the container lorry drivers.
By and large, the traffic snarl, which has become a regular occurrence near Padi Junction, has now become a thing of past.
-G Saravanan

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hall soon for Anna Nagar

Here comes good news for Anna Nagar residents who have expressed

and persistently advocated for a multi-purpose hall at Anna

Nagar. On 2 August, Chennai Mayor M Subramanian along with a team

of officials visited Anna Nagar and identified a suitable

location for the hall and ordered the officials to speed up the

process to set it up.
Confirming the spot identified for this project, Assistant

Commissioner of Zone-V M Krishnamurthy told this reporter that

'a vacant plot of around 90 grounds in A Block, located near the

local MLA office and Crescent Park, has been identified as the

place for constructing the multipurpose hall'.
According to sources in the Corporation, the Mayor had ordered

his officials to complete the 'survey and layout' works within a

It may be noted that the need for such hall at Anna Nagar, the

one like P T Thiyagaraya Hall at T Nagar, has been felt for quite

sometime now.
A few months ago, for the first time the issue over the hall was

brought to the notice of the local MLA and State Electricity

Minister by a resident while the Minister was speaking at a

function in Valliammal College for Women. It was at that time,

the Minister had assured to the gathering that the issue would be

taken up with the Chief Minister soon.
Meanwhile, the same issue was again highlighted by the residents

during a face-to-face meeting organised by the Exnora Club of

Anna Nagar a month ago. During that meeting, the Mayor, in

another programme a week after Arcot N Veerasamy's, gave further

assurances to the residents on the hall.
So, going by indications, the dream of Anna Nagarites of having

an auditorium like P T Thiyagaraya Hall at Anna Nagar would no

longer be a dream, but a reality.
-G Saravanan

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Auditorium for Anna Nagar soon: Mayor

Accepting one of the main demands of the residents of Anna Nagar, Chennai Corporation Mayor M Subramanian has ordered speeding up the process of identifying a location for a multipurpose auditorium at Anna Nagar.
He was speaking at a face-to-face meet with the residents of Anna Nagar, organised by the Exnora Club of Anna Nagar

last week at Jaigopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyalaya.
More than 150 representatives of block associations and residents welfare associations attended the meet. It may be

noted that the area did not have such a hall: the CMDA had not provided for it when it planned this part of the city four

decades ago.
The Mayor said, 'Most of the representatives have asked for an auditorium. And we also feel that an auditorium is very

much needed here to conduct various public programmes, as Anna Nagar holds numerous programmes either by the

residents associations or clubs throughout a month'.
A few residents have suggested places for the proposed hall; One was a place near L Block which houses a public library

would be a right choice, while another proposed a spot at W Block. The Mayor has consented both of them and said

suitable place would be selected.
Exnora Cub secretary I V Sashikumar, said around 55 petitions have been collected from the residents and handed over

to the Mayor for future course of action.
Outlining some of the complaints to the Mayor, Sashikumar said most of the residents have highlighted three major

problems in the area: An auditorium for public programmes, public convenience on Second Avenue (shopping nerve

centre), as the whole stretch of nearly two kilometres does not have even a single public convenience, and the third one is

about the arrest of mosquito menace in the area by timely desliting Cooum river and Otteri Nullah'.
Besides residents' complaints, the Club wanted revival of the bi-monthly meeting with Corporation officials, which was

abruptly stopped, and trimming of avenue trees at Anna Nagar, as it blocked beams of street lights. The Mayor assured

them that decision would be taken after consulting with officials on these issues soon.
Councillors P K Sekar, Ward 64, Pushpalatha Jayashankar, Ward 66, R Elumalai, Ward 67 and Vasantha Paramasivam, Ward 68, and Exnora International founder M B Nirmal, attended the meet.
Purpose behind more visits
During the meet, the Mayor jokingly said, 'Many in the city are wondering why the Mayor accepts more and more appointments per day even after knowing that he cannot make it to all programmes on time. My answer for those critics is, whenever I make a visit ( though very late) to a part of the city, the area and its adjacent streets would be spruced. On a single day, I attend morethan five programmes and more that 50 streets get a facelift.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Port Blair, July, 2

IN an incident that took place on Saturday at Port Blair, an woman of Great Andamnese tribal community was set ablaze after pouring petrol by a local man named Dayanand, S/O. Bharat, who is a group "C" employee in APWD. This incident took place at the "Basera" Nivas , which is the stay home for Great Andamanese tribal people here.
The woman named Nu, W/o. Pege has sustained 60% burn all over the body and is admitted in the G.B. Pant Hospital;.
The police has arrested the culprit behind the incident.
A vigilant citizen, who saw the tribal lady at the hospital, as questioned whether the Administration is really serious in extending security & care t the aboriginal tribal people here. The said incident has exposed the level of care , the Administration is giving towards the poor aboriginal tribal people, particularly women of the community.
This incident and the past incidents involving tribal people have defeated the tall claim of Admnistration that tribal are in the safe hands of AAJVS. If the factor safety was something really existing, how, could a person enter into the "Basera" home and pour petrol and set ablaze the poor women.
It is a matter of shame that the facilities and monetary assistance which are sanctioned by GOI and which are supposed to be distributed among these tribal people are being looted away by the Administration authorities. And these poor tribe people are not even provide even the basic need of security and care.

Samir Acharya adds,

The tragic incident that took place in Adi Basera on Saturday last once again calls our attention to the following:
a) That the Administration is not too concerned about visits of non-tribals to the members of PTGs, unless the visitor happens to be a journalist.
b) Adi Basera was a Guest House for PTGs since long. It was declared a protected tribal reserve only after a lady correspondent of NDTV interviewed Lichu and Nu at Adi Basera and NDTVs broadcast of the damaging interview.
C) Adi Basera is guarded throughout the day but not at night, presumably because the journalists do not normally try to interact with PTGs at night.
d) There was no guard at Adi Basera that night, although Nu's son was sleeping in another room. The main building was under repair and as such other tribals were not present. Reportedly the miscreant regularly visited Nu in Adi Basera at night.

Even for the Jarawas the Administration's Efforts stop with religiously publishing to cease and desist from taking tourists into the tribal reserves and allowing interactions

Society for Andaman & Nicobar Ecology
P.B.No. 63
Middle Point
Port Blair-744101
A & N Islands

Ph: (03192) 232929, 234624
Fax:(03192) 236014

Friday, June 1, 2007

Faulty entry in NSS

The question of who is to be blamed for errors and miscalculations of interests and subsequent faulty closing balances on National Savings Scheme (NSS) deposits haunts M S Ramachari, an elderly resident of J Block, Anna Nagar.Ramachari, who retired from a reputed private firm, had opened two NSS accounts, ANE-20453 and ANE-20454 when the scheme was first introduced, at Anna Nagar East post office. One account was in his wife's name and the other in his name. These accounts were maintained and controlled by Park Town HPO. But, his NSS passbook, which was supposed to be neat (without additions and deletions) in terms of interest entries, looks like a revalued mathematics answer- sheet. The 'revaluation' had begun in 2001, well after computerisation in Postal Departments, and still continues on his passbook. For the last seven years, since the problem began, he had paid many visits to Park Town HPO near Ripon Buildings to get the figures corrected. During his visit every year, he got an assurance from the officials concerned that things would be sorted out this year and from next year onwards, there would not be any problem with the calculations. But it still continues.Upset over the Postal Department's callous attitude, Ramachari spoke to News Today a few days ago.'Just tell me what is computerisation? Was it for miscalculation and revaluation?', he asks angrily. His point of contention was right. When the officials said that all the interest calculations were computerised, how could the difference in interest calculation arise? Valid question indeed. Ramachari says, 'I was surprised that the Postal Department cannot calculate simple interest accurately and maintain an NSS account properly'. 'Regarding the issue, every year since 2001, I spoke to the person in-charge at Park Town HPO, but nothing was done. Normally, interest for the amount deposited in National Savings Scheme is credited annually on 1 April. Whenever I seek credit-entry at Anna Nagar East post office, they ask me to submit the passbook. Once the statement of interests reached them from Park Town HPO, they enter the figures and return the passbook to me'. The problem starts here. 'When I verified the figures, I found it inaccurate. So, I approached the Anna Nagar East post office. They advised me to go to Park Town directly, so that things could be sorted out at once, as the accounts were maintained by them. It is painful for a person like me, being a heart patient to climb three floors. Initially, the officer incharge would argue with me citing those interest calculations are computerised, so there was less chances of an error. After my detailed explanation, he got convinced and asked me to come after 10 days. I have to visit once again to get the correct figures entered.'When contacted, a Postal Department official attached to the Anna Nagar post office said, 'It is the problem with the official concerned. Every interest calculation is made only on the figures provided to them, and any sort of manipulation is very difficult at their level.' When asked about whether they get such type of complaints from depositors, he said, 'we get very few complaints, but this case is seems to be very peculiar'.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

N Korean Refugees See North Thailand as Entry Point

Repro (Article)By Sai SilpMay 28, 2007
Researchers say there may be as many as 200,000 North Korean refugees living illegally in China, Laos and Burma, and many of them are waiting for an opportunity to enter Thailand to seek political asylum.
Tomoharu Ebihara, a Japanese lecturer at Payap University in Chiang Mai who is a volunteer with a Tokyo-based aid group, Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, says there is no way to know for certain how many refugees have fled North Korea, but Thailand is a destination of choice, because of its humane treatment of all political refugees.
He said that a typical North Korean refugee will live in China for three or four years in order to earn enough money to make the crossing into Thailand.
In 2006, about 900 North Koreans were arrested for illegal entry into Thailand and are now in custody. Most entered through Chiang Rai Province or the northeast. Almost all will be sent to South Korea.
Thailand is a favorite destination because of its commitment to Article 31 of the 1951 Geneva Convention, which prohibits punishment of political refugees who enter a country illegally and also by virtue of Thailand's status as a member state of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Those commitments have led to a flood of refugees from neighboring countries, not only North Korea, but also from Burma, Laos, Cambodia and China. The sharp increase in political refugees has lately led to national security concerns on the part of Thai officials.
For North Koreans, a favorite entry point is a 100-mile strip of land bordering the Mekong River in northern Thailand and Laos. Residents of Chiang Saen District in Chiang Rai Province say North Korean refugees are easy to spot once in the Kingdom and quickly do everything they can to identify themselves to local police or immigration officials.
“They even run up to whoever dresses like an official and expect to be arrested,” says Wichai Srimuang, a resident of the area.
After arrest, they are sent to a local immigration detention center and later transferred to Bangkok, where the resettlement process is carried out through the joint efforts of the Thai government and the South Korean Embassy. The Thai government has no special policy toward illegal North Korean refugees, a foreign ministry official told The Irrawaddy. However, Thailand has increased efforts along the Mekong River border to prevent all illegal entries.“We don’t want to be the transit point for illegal entry from other countries,” he said. Prevention is difficult, however, because the border between Thailand, Burma and Laos on the Mekong River is more than 100 kilometers long and very isolated terrain.Resettlement to South Korea is a slow process, involving about 40 people each month. About 400 North Koreans are waiting processing now at the Bangkok Immigration Detention Center. In early May, Life Funds for North Korean Refugees submitted a letter to interim Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont urging the government to expedite the deportation process and to improve the living conditions in the center, following a hunger strike by detainees. Since the hunger strike, the Immigration Office has provided less information about North Koreans at the detention centers.
Researcher Ebihara said he is now unable to meet with detainees in the northern detention center and must wait to meet with them in Bangkok, where the process is more complicated.
Ebihara says the political refugee issue is sensitive, because the Thai government doesn't want to be in the position of Vietnam in 2004, when the North Korean government protested its aid to asylum seekers.
Ebihara said refugees prefer to cross into Thailand from Laos rather than Burma because they are unsure about Burmese policies, particularly since North Korean and Burma now have official diplomatic relations and a much closer relationship.
However, some North Koreans still try to cross through Shan State in areas controlled by ethnic armies and far from Burmese government control.
Officials are aware of several South Korean aids groups operating in Chiang Rai and restaurants that serve as gathering points for North Koreans.
Ebihara noted that if China recognized North Koreans as political refugees and helped them resettle to third countries, it would reduce illegal entries through Southeast Asia. However, that is unlikely to happened, he said.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Pirates and prices, a pressing problem

World Book and Copyright Day is being celebrated on 23 April to give due importance to books. It is United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation's (UNESCO) aim to promote reading and copyright laws. But in the Indian context, it seems withering, with the 'pirates' unscrupulously invading the industry by 'dumping' pirated books and siphoning off revenues meant for the original publishers.
In connection with the World Book Day, News Today spoke to Gandhi Kannadasan, president of the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI), on various issues related to books and importance of copyright for writers and publishers.
Kannadasan said, 'First of all, for bookworms and any serious readers, every day is Book Day. Books are as good as our father's and mother's, who nurture good values in us with their guidance so also, books which nourish us with good thoughts'.
Seeking celebrations for the day, Kannadasan says, 'For many readers, the day is meant for gifting books to their friends and relatives. The day also helps them to instil the habit of book reading'. On pirated books, he said, 'To my knowledge, publishers' mentality is contributing to it. For example, if you take any English books, its prices range anywhere between Rs 400 and Rs 500. For a bookworm, it's a huge amount.
And, that price range is out of range for many serious readers, apart from higher middle class. So, 'thirsty readers' never feel guilty in buying the same (pirated) book available on pavements and with other book stalls, as they are priced well below than the original cost'.
So, what is the solution for piracy? A bookseller at Anna Salai said, 'It can be tackled by reducing hefty price tag into a reach of a common reader. By doing this, many, who are not habitual readers, can become serious readers'.
'We do not have any pirated books in Tamil or any other regional languages, because, its prices are market driven and well in the reach of its readers,' said another bookseller at Triplicane.
Falling back wholly on writers of yore April 23 is a symbolic date for world literature for on this date in 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Joseph Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity. By celebrating this day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright.

Monday, April 16, 2007

How about a return of historical artefact?

Though the Tamilnadu government had announced year-long celebration of the 2550th maha parinirvanam of Lord Buddha in February this year, it would be more apt and befitting if the government could bring back the copper plate inscribed with details of Chudamani Viharai (Buddha temple) built in Nagapattinam in 1008 AD by the then Chola king Rajendra -I but are now in Leiden city in Holland, where it is kept in a museum.
In this regard, News Today spoke to V Nagasundaram, secretary of Anna Nagar Tamil Peravai and Anna Nagar Tamil Sangam, who has an indepth knowledge about the issue.
He says, 'If steps were taken in the right direction to bring back the inscription record (copper plates) and place it back after renovating Chudamani Viharai, importance of Nagapattinam would increase, and in other words, it would bring a good number of tourists there'.
According to South Asian history between 985 AD and 1014 AD, when the great emperor Raja Raja Chola was ruling Chola kingdom, emperor Mara Vijayotunga Varman of Srivijayam Empire has requested permission to construct a viharai (Buddhist temple) in Nagapattinam in memory of his father-emperor Chudamani Varman as he has named the viharai which he has constructed as Chudamani Viharai.
It was also called Raja Raja Viharai. He also constructed another viharai and named it as 'Rajendra Chola Perum Palli'. The king (Raja Raja Chola) not only gave permission for the construction of viharai, though, not only himself but all other Chola kings were 'saivaites'; but also donated a few nearby villages for the proper upkeep of the viharai. King Rajendra Chola-I, who succeeded him, inscribed all the details of the viharai in copper plates and placed them on its premises.
Nagasundaram says, 'According to details available today, that copper plates are now at the Leiden Museum, and they are called as 'Leiden Grants'.
He further says, 'Even now, we can see the remains of old viharais and Lord Buddha's statues in Nagapattinam district. Some of the bronze Buddha statues excavated in this area by the Archaeological Department are now at Chennai Museum. Among them, a few has inscribed words on their pedestal confirming the location of the Chudamani Viharai and Rajendra Chola Perum Palli'.
Advocating strongly for the 'return' of those copper plates, Nagasundaram says, 'If possible, through our External Affairs Ministry, the Tamilnadu government should try to obtain 'Leiden Grants'. If our attempt fails, a replica of the same should be made in copper plates and placed in the renovated viharai as a tribute to our great kings'.
He further says a great memorial can be constructed at Nagapattinam on any one of the models at Sanchi, Gaya, Saranath etc., and declared as a research centre on Buddhism in South-East Asia.
Will the Tamil scholars look into this and make this sweet and great dream reality? Only time has the answer.
- G Saravanan

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Dhanraj hits out

'I am still fit enough to play for India'

Indian hockey has plumbed to new depths. The team's performances in recent times has been abysmal, to say the least. Controversy over various matters, including team selection has cropped up now and then.
Veteran star Dhanraj Pillay, who has figured in three Olympic Games and has represented the country in over 400 matches, today took a dig at the
Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) top brass saying 'the IHF president K P S Gill and secretary K Jothikumaran ruined my career and that he was still fit enough to play for India.
Speaking to the media after presenting awards to meritorious students of Velammal School (West), who brought laurels to their school by participating in national and international-level competitions, he said, 'the duo (Gill and Jothikumaran) had been instrumental in bringing down the standard of Indian hockey to new levels, as a result of which the team needs to go through qualifying tournaments to get a berth in the Olympics to be held in China next year.'
On the issue of appointing a foreign coach, Pillay said, 'We have several Indians who can do the job. It is wrong to assume that the Indian team will shine only if it has a foreign coach.'
To a question on the present coach's (V Baskaran) performance, the veteran player said, 'He (Baskaran) is a failed coach. When he took over, he had then said I got a good team to put up a good performance in the World Cup and Asian Games. The results are there for you to see. India finished well below expectations, failing to even qualify for the semifinals in the Asian Games.'
Speaking about the ongoing Premier Hockey League in Chennai, Pillay said, 'It was conceived to develop the sport and to groom players for the national side. But the very objective is lost.'
On not playing in the PHL, Dhanraj said, 'I was ready for the tournament. In the earlier editions, I had played for Maratha Warriors. But this year, due to some internal politics, I could not make it'.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Reproduction of The Daly Telegram

Public audience by LG

Port Blair, Jan 16

The Lt. Governor will be holding public audience on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 3.30 to 4.30 pm whenever he is available in station, a communication from the Secretary to Lt. Governor said here today.

Baby show at ITF

Port Blair, Jan 16

As part of the ongoing activities during Island Tourism Festival a ‘healthy baby show’ for 6 months to 5 years age group of children will be held at 2.00 pm in the Island Tourism Festival (ITF) ground organized by the Directorate of Health Services, tomorrow (Jan 17).

Interested parents/ guardians have been asked to bring their children alongwith birth certificate & immunization cards for participation in the show at the venue, a communication said here today.

Rs. 10/- Fee under RTI Act

Port Blair, Jan 16

The fee to be deposited alongwith application for obtaining information under the Right to Information Act, 2005 will now be Rs. 10/- instead of Rs. 25/- earlier . Such fee is to be paid by way of cash against proper receipt or by demand draft or bankers cheque payable to the Accounts Officer of the Public Authority as per an amendment to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands Right to Information (Regulation of fee and cost) (amendment) Rules, 2007.

ACP for teachers urged

Port Blair, Jan 16

In a letter to the Chief Secretary, a copy of which was sent to the press, the President of ANTCC, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma urged his intervention to speed up the process of awarding ACP to the teachers who have become eligible for it. He said, there is wide spread resentment among the teachers for delay in awarding ACP, which needs to be expedited.

Abolition of ACR sought

Port Blair, Jan 16

The Non-Gazetted Government Association, A&N Islands has submitted a memorandum to the Sixth Central Pay Commission seeking abolition of ACR, restoration of Andaman Special Allowance and compensatory allowance, grant of island special duty allowance, HRA at par with B-1 city through out the islands, hard area allowance and the upward revision of scale of pay of LGCs and HGCs among other matters, a communication said here.

Star singer Udit Narayan performs much to the delight of a huge crowd

Port Blair, Jan 16

It was a real treat for the music lovers who gathered in huge numbers to listen to the melodious voice of the noted Bollywood playback singer Udit Narayan rendering his hit numbers at Netaji Stadium this evening. People swayed to the tune of hits like ‘papa kehte hain bada naam karega’, ‘Mujhe neend na aaye’, ‘aye mere humsafar’ and many more chartbusters. The songs from the Oscar nominated film ‘Lagaan’ appeared to have created a tempo in the programme and brought the best out of the performer on the occasion. Much to the delight of the audience Udit Narayan also presented songs in multiulanguage which drew loud applause. He was assisted by Gautam & Mayuri, promising artistes duo In his brief address, Udit Narayan wished to open a music academy and settle in these islands. he also thanked the organisers for having invited him to these islands.

The mimicry by Madhav Mogile, which served as a break in the programme for the star singer, kept the audience absorbed after leading the assemblage burst into peels of laughter for about an hour or so. Ms Deepa Narayan, a well-known producer of Bhojpuri film and a singer, also rendered some songs on the occasion.

TFC meeting at DC’s chamber

Port Blair, Jan 16

The first meeting of newly constituted Task Force Committee under Prime Minister Rozgar Yojana will be held in the chamber of the Deputy Commissioner (South Andaman), District Office, Port Blair at 3.00 p.m on Jan 19, 2007. The educated unemployed youths who are interested to opt for self-employment have been asked to contact the District Industries Centre, Udyog Parisar for obtaining all information and guidance. The unemployed youths, who have already applied for financial assistance under the scheme from Port Blair Municipal limits, South Andaman Area including Neil, Havelock and Little Andaman need to be present before the Committee on the said date, time and venue alongwith all original testimonials, a communication from the Gen. Manager, DIC, said here today.

2 villages get solar power

Port Blair, Jan 16

Two unelectrified villages at Middle Andaman i.e Pawajig & Papita Dera have been electrified through solar home systems & SPV street lights by the NRSE division of the Electricity Department. Three solar home systems & one SPV street light were also installed at Pawajig, forest camp recently besides one solar home system & one SPV street light were installed at Papita Dera, forest camp on the same day. By doing so, these two unelectrified villages have become 100% electrified through non conventional energy systems.

The NRSE division of the Electricity Department is implementing new & renewable sources of energy schemes in these islands as a nodal agency of the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, New Delhi. Remote village electrification through solar home systems & solar street lights is one of the programmes under the scheme, a communication from the EE, NRSE said here today.

Cultural Progammes during Island Tourism Festival-2007

17th January 2007

ITF Ground 5.30 p.m

1. Dances by Sky Youth Club, Port Blair

2. Dances by B.Bala Karthika & group, Port Blair

3. Variety prog. by Rajya Kalakaar Mahasangh, Port Blair

4. Dances by Rahul & group, Port Blair

5. Ranchi Dances by Birsa Munda Youth Club, Port Blair

6. Variety programme by Jhilmil Tarange dance group, Port Blair

7. Kathak performance by Sadanad Biswas, Kathak exponent

Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Auditorium -6.00p.m

1. Folk dances of Karnataka -SZCC

2. Ranappa, Folk dances of Orissa-Song & Drama Division

3. Badai Nritya of Madhya Pradesh-SZCC

4. Dances by Amrapali Cultural Dev. Organization, Port Blair

5. Awareness programme by Aditya Naya Academy, Port Blair

6. Dance & Music, Ankur Social & Cultural Society, Port Blair

Amphitheatre, Anarkali 5.30 p.m

1. Martial arts & Folk dances of Manipur-SZCC

2. Gidda Folk dances of Punjab-EZCC

3. Classical Dances by Gauri Shankar Classical Dance Academy, Port Blair

4. Bhangra- Folk dances of Punjab-EZCC

5. Baul, Folk dances of West Bengal-EZCC

6. Diwali Dance of Uttar Pradesh -SZCC

7. Garba, Folk dances of Gujarat -EZCC

8. Bordoishikha, Folk dances of Assam-EZCC

9. Kavadi/ karagam /Folk Songs of Tamilnadu-SZCC

Bhatubasti School Ground 5.30 p.m

1. Folk dance of Goa SZCC

2. Gotipua, Folk dances of Orissa-EZCC

3. Bharatnatyam, Tamil Nadu-SZCC

4. Purulia Chhow, Folk dances of West Bengal-S & D Division

5. Nepali programme by Balakrishna & group, Port Blair

6. Phaag dances of Haryana (NZCC)-SZCC

7. Folk dances of Rajasthan SZCC

8. Folk dances of Andhra Pradesh-SZCC

Union Minister of State Kum. Selja arriving today

Port Blair, Jan 16

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charges) for Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, GoI, Kumari Selja, will be on a day’s tour to this islands tomorrow (Jan 17).

The Minister will inaugurate a regional work-shop on building byelaws for safety against natural hazards and project development under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) at 10 am in the conference hall of Megapode Nest tomorrow. The Lt. Governor, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Bhopinder Singh, the Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation GoI Shri. Ranjit Issar will also grace the occasion. The Chief Secretary, Shri. Shumsher K Sheriff will also be present on the occasion.

The two day workshop is being organized jointly by Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, GoI, New Delhi and the A&N Administration. The workshop aims at disseminating the efforts of the central govt in establishing a proper techno- legal regime for safety against natural hazards and, secondary, at creating awareness about the opportunities available for strengthening the infrastructure base through JNNURM an official communication said here today.

Cricket tourney by Prayas

Port Blair, Jan 16

Prayas is organizing a knockout cricket tournament (Prayas champions trophy) in Little Andaman for the youth. In this tournament 16 teams from Little Andaman are participating. These teams include Govt. Departments and registered youth clubs. The first match was played on the Jan 15, 2007 between Panchayat Samity XI and Yuva Club (RK Pur) and the chief guest for the day was Shri R K Sharma, Station House Officer, Little Andaman. The final of this tournament will be played on the Jan 26, 2007, a communication said.

Johny Lever visits permanent shelters for tsunami victims at B/flat

Port Blair, Jan 16

Johny Lever – the Bollywood comedian today visited Bambooflat Permanent Shelter Site and saw for himself the ongoing project of various organizations. He was particular about the permanent shelters being constructed by Hindustan Covenant Church for the tsunami affected families in coordination with A&N Administration.

Explaining about the construction the project in detail to Mr Johny, the HCC Project Director said presently 152 permanent shelters are being constructed by the HCC and the completed structure will be handed over to the Administration by mid March. Though logistic constraints are there for construction due to non-availability of materials locally they will be able to complete the work by mid March. Jute and bamboo composite door and windows are being provided in this structure, which itself cost around 1.5 lakhs. The Project Director further said that each permanent shelter will cost around 6.2 lakhs. He stated that infrastructures like roads and other amenities will be provided by the Administration.

In his brief chat with the press persons at the site, the renowned bollywood star appreciated the works being undertaken by various organizations and also expressed the hope that the project will be completed soon. He also said, the film industry has done a lot of work for the tsunami victims.

Talking about the glamour world, Mr Lever said, few new films of his is going to released this year. He has so far acted in more than 300 films, apart from performing in television, stage shows etc. On being asked about the National Anthem issue which surfaced after a show, which was performed in Dubai, he said he always respected the country’s National Anthem and he never meant to hurt the sentiments of the people. When he in a jovial way, said, when a persons time is bad even if he sits in camel he will be bitten (samay kharab ho to Unth par baithe wale ko bhi kutta kaat leta hai).

Mr. Johny also visited the community hall, Bambooflat, which was constructed by World Vision.

Around 373 permanent shelters will be constructed by the Administration, out of which 152 will constructed by Hindustan Covenant Church, 100 by Mata Amritanandamayi Math, 62 by APWD and 59 by CARE India.

Power suspension

Port Blair, Jan 16

The Electricity Department will be carrying out emergent nature of High Tension lines maintenance work, consequent to which power supply will remain suspended at some areas from 0700 hrs to 1300 hrs on January 18, 2007. The areas to be affected are, Mohanpura, Dry Dock, Marine Complex, Marine Hill, Dignabad, GB Pant Hospital, Atlanta Point, Cellular Jail, Aberdeen Jetty, Aberdeen Bazar, Aberdeen village, Gurudwara Line, Supply Line, ANIIDCO, Old Telephone Exchange, Fire Brigade, Annapurna, RGT road and Machi Line, an Electricity Department communiqué said here today.

Crowd throngs ITF venues

Port Blair, Jan 16

As the Island Tourism Festival is at its peak, the town is buzzing with activities. Apart from the main venue of the ITF, all the other venues viz the Netaji Stadium, Ambedkar auditorium, amphi theatre, Anarkali, Bhatubasti school ground etc are being thronged by huge crowd every evening.

Meanwhile, not only the cultural activities and performance by famous artist are pulling the crowd, the restaurants and hotels are also seen to be jam packed till late night. Many restaurants are offering special cuisenes considering the tourists that have pour in from mainland and abroad. One such attraction was the ‘Thai food festival’, organized by the Light House Residency here that saw overwhelming response from the foodies. As many as 1500 people were said to have visited the restaurant on each day of the three day long festival, good crow waiting for a table till late night. Besides, almost all the eating joints of the town were full. Not only the tourists, the hoteliers and other business communities are also having a brisk time these days.

Annual Day celebration by CGEWCC

Port Blair, Jan 16

As part of celebration of annual day of the Central Government Employees Welfare Co-ordination Committee here, indoor games will be held from Jan 18 to 20, 2007 beginning from 9.30 am at Multi-purpose hall of Netaji Stadium and Andaman Club. The athletic events will beheld on the final day, i.e. on Jan 21, 2007 beginning from 9.30 am at the playground of Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1 here. All Central Governmental staff and their family members have been asked to participate in all the events, a communication from the Chairman, CGEWCC said here today.

TOLIC to meet on Jan 25

Port Blair, Jan 16

The half yearly meeting of Town Official Language Implementation Committee will be held on Jan 25, 2007 at 3.30 pm in the conference hall of A&NI Forest and Plantation Development Corporation Limited, Vanvikas Bhavan, Haddo. The Jt. Director (Impl), Ministry of Home Affairs, Deptt. of Official Language, Kolkata will be attending the meeting as an observer. During his visit to Port Blair the Jt. Director (Impl.) will be inspecting the offices of A&NIFPDCL, United India Insurance Company, Indian Over Seas Bank, Provident Fund Office, Census Operation, Vijaya Bank, Nehru Yuva Kendra, Syndicate Bank, Central Pubic Work Department, Botanical Survey of India, Central School, Indian Bank etc. All HoDs of the Central Governmental establishments have been requested to attend the meeting, a communication received here said.

Counseling course in ANC inaugurated

Port Blair, Jan 16

Air Marshal PP Rajkumar Commander-in-Chief, Andaman and Nicobar Command inaugurated a Counseling Course for stress related illnesses, at Station Health Organization (SHO) Port Blair today. The course is primarily for the junior leaders of ANC. CINCAN, while addressing the gathering emphasized on the importance of such courses for Armed forces personnel especially those who are posted in such far flung islands. He stated that stress has now become an integral part of our daily life and can let to multiple stress related illnesses. He expressed his confidence that the course will generate more awareness among the junior leaders to address issues which lead to stress.

A specialist in terms of psychiatrist has been invited from INHS Asvini, Mumbai to conduct the courses at ANC. The courses are scheduled to be conducted for a period of two weeks.

Facility for IUI at Dhanvantari

Port Blair, Jan 16

Smt. Indira Rajkumar, President Defence Wives Welfare Association (DWWA), Port Blair inaugurated the facility for Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) at Telemedicine Centre, INHS Dhanvantari. She expressed her satisfaction and congratulated INHS Dhanvantari for facilitating use of modern technologies at the Naval Hospital. The inaugural function was followed by a multi media presentation by the Gynaecologist giving specific details and the utility value of the new facility.

Chief Secretary visits Dr. B R Ambedkar Govt. Polytechnic

Staff Reporter,

Port Blair, Jan 16

The Chief Secretary of A&N Administration, Shri Shumsher K Sheriff today visited Dr. BR Ambedkar Govt. Polytechnic, an ISO 9001 certified premier technical education and training Institution of these Islands. The Chief Secretary who visited every sections in the Institute by which students are being trained in different trades, was satisfied with the functioning of the Polytechnic towards catering the technical education needs of the students of these Islands. Shri Shumsher K Sheriff first visited the Basic Electronics Lab and TV& Communication Lab where he interacted with trainees and tried to get feedback about how effective is the training being imparted to them. The students who were happy to see the Chief Secretary amidst them, during course of interaction informed that they want to join private firm on completion of the education.

Thereafter, the Chief Secretary visited Electronics Workshop where interacted with students. ”We want to take up higher studies, said the students when the Chief Secretary asked them whether they prefer to go for a job after completion of the course. The other sections visited by the Chief Secretary included Digital Electronics Lab, PLC Lab, Electrical Workshop, Library, CMTC Lab, Chemistry Lab SM&FE Lab, Hotel Management Training Lab, Machine Shop, Welding Sheet Metal Fitting Shop, Multipurpose hall and the PDM E Hostel where he saw for himself the facilities being provided to the hostellers. The faculties briefed the Chief Secretary about the technical education of their respective field.

The Principal of the Institute, Shri Utpal Sharma welcomed the dignitary and through a multi media presentation he threw light on the functioning and the courses offered to the students by the Institute.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Dev in action

It was a joyous day last week, when 23 meritorious sports persons of Velammal School, who represented Tamilnadu and India in various disciplines and sports. The chief guest was none other than Kapil Dev, who brought laurels to our country by winning the Cricket World Cup in the 80s.
As expected, the 'Haryana Hurricane' won the hearts of the students. And when the moment came to award scholarships to the students (to the tune of Rs 15 lakh), Dev started with a catchy phrase, 'I love you all and I love Chennai.' He was right, as students bestowed him with such a warm welcome.
In his motivational speech, Dev advised the students to be honest and perfect, 'that is the straight route to success.' To a question raised by a student about how to orient them to a single sport, he said, 'Every student should try all kinds of sports, as no one knows what he or she has in store. After identifying the sport which the student likes most, start proper training till you achieve your goal.'
Later he interacted with students, and clarified their doubts on cricket and other related sports. He also practised on the net.

An eyesore

Raising a stink

'The administration will never let anything good to continue.' That was what every other family in Anna Nagar said and Talk and spoke to all of them over the past two weeks.
They were justifiably angry. For, after four years garbage clearance, which was privatised in about 25 wards out of 52 in Ambattur Municipality is facing rough weather due to lack of dumping place at Athipet. The scheme kicked off in 2002 with great enthusiasm
Since then houses and apartments in Ambattur Municipal area have grown multifold. Figures show that 150-200 tonnes of
garbage is generated every day. Private operators clear 90-100 tonnes. Taking into account the enormous volume, the Ambattur Municipality bought 18 acres at Kalli Kuppam and the Avadi municipality 10.45 acres. Both municipalities were using this place, but now the local residents objected to Ambattur garbage being brought to Avadi. The officials were in a fix, so they identified another 22 acres at Pammathi Kulam, and have sought the Pollution Control Board's clearance. And, that is yet to come.
Meanwhile who suffers? The people, who else. Any time, any day, lorries overflowing with litter can be seen parked near the Ambattur Municipality office and on MTH road. All efforts by the private operators to clean the backlog failed and over the past few days, garbage is piled up in almost all the houses in TVS Colony, Officers’ Colony and the surrounding areas and the bins kept at various transit points are full and overflowing. Unable to keep
garbage in the houses for more days, the residents have started throwing the carry bags with garbage in the street corners posing an ugly sight. To add more precisely on its implications, as a final step, the garbage collectors started burning it at one of the collection points at TVS Colony.
'It is already smelling very bad in the area. Now, they are also polluting the air,' lamented a local resident.
If this situation continues for a few more days, outbreak of an epidemic is certain, the residents feel.
A simple question these residents ask. Will the Municipal administration department of which Minister Stalin is in charge do something about this?