Saturday, May 8, 2010

Actors agree to cut in fee

KOCHI: Malayalam film actors affiliated to the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) earning Rs.3 lakh and above for a movie will reduce their fee by 25 per cent from now. The association representatives, headed by its president Innocent, made this commitment during the talks held with representatives of the Film Producers Association here on Saturday.

Elaborating on the decisions taken at the meeting, Sabu Cherian, president of the producers association, said that shooting of movies would begin at 7 a.m.

�Producers will have the right not to cooperate with artistes who fail to turn up at locations at this time. We feel that the schedule of a movie can be reduced by five days if artistes stick to this time schedule, he said. Mr. Cherian said that producers would cut the expenses incurred by assistants of artistes from the latters fee.

Representatives of artistes and producers will sign an agreement to abide by these decisions. The agreement will be placed before the government-level talks scheduled on May 12.

Congress lashes out at Opposition

Kochi: Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi on Saturday criticised the BJP and the other Opposition parties for disrupting Parliament proceedings and causing loss of valuable time.

Talking to the media, he said Parliament, especially Lok Sabha, had lost lot of time due to the disruption and walkouts of the Opposition. He said the government was not running away from any issue. This was not the way Parliament should function.

The Opposition should do an introspection and make sure that however controversial the issue might be, Parliaments time was not lost.

Asked about the proposed amendment to the Right to Information Act, he said that it was only at the discussion stage. No concrete draft on the proposed amendment was ready.

College of Agriculture seeks Central aid

Thiruvananthapuram: The College of Agriculture at Vellayani, near here, is seeking financial assistance from the Central government for a package to upgrade infrastructure facilities on its campus.

K. Harikrishnan Nair, Dean, Kerala Agricultural University, said the proposal for a master plan to develop the 55-year-old college would be submitted to the Central government shortly.

The projects highlighted in the document include an agricultural history museum; international convention centre; renovation of the heritage building (palace) and mandapam; central instrumentation facility; ICT facilities and broadband connectivity.

Preservation and conservation of the Vellayani

4 Malayalis win U.K. council polls

London: Four Malayalis have won the council elections in the U.K., held along with the general elections held on May 6.

The winners are: Omana Gandharan and Jose Alexander from Newham Council and Nanoo Rajendran and Manju Shaul Hameed from Croydon

Meet the Manager\' at MBA Centre

NEELESWARAM: The cost advantage and high quality service of domestic companies are the positive factors for Indian companies to go international, according to Prasad G. Nair, General Manager of Neeleshwar Hermitage, a unit of New Delhi-based Chapri Group of Hotels.

He was innteracting with students at a �Meet the Manager series organised by the Kannur University Centre for MBA here. He urged them to focus on personalised service and quality delivery for success in business deals. Assistant Director of the centre V.P. Ramadasan presided.

The placement cell of the Centre for MBA is exploring possibilities to incorporate in �Meet the Manager series, said placement officer P. Vidhusekhar.

P. Sandeep, Indu Harish, Sharth Krishnan, Anju Jayan, K. Sreeyesh and Dijisha spoke

A most advanced super speciality hospital

SUT Royal Hospital is established with the aim of providing certain super speciality services which are not readily available in this part of the world. The hospital is constructed in a most aesthetic manner but giving special emphasis to hygiene and many other health considerations. Inpatient rooms and other areas where patients are cared for are provided with seamless flooring, with first class vinyl. The walls are painted with antibacterial and antifungal paints. The modular theatres and intensive care areas are done in international standards and are equipped with state of the art medical facilities. The hospital would initially provide the following facilities

Karim\'s stance criticised

Kozhikode: Responding to Industries Minister Elamaram Karims insinuations against the Solidarity Youth Movement at a press conference here, the outfits president P. Mujeebur Rahman said the organisation was proud to associate with a protest movement by people who were about to lose their homes and land.�The Ministers move to build a four-lane road by displacing hundreds of families for a mere footwear company is a big joke. Such unheard of development measures will be met by people with unheard of protest methods, said Mr. Rahman, referring to the use of cow dung water on policemen.

Seminar on precision farming held

Kozhikode: To familiarise farmers with �precision farming, which has yielded good results in the United States, Israel and in Tamil Nadu, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of the Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) in Kozhikode organised a one-day seminar at KVK in Peruvannamuzhi on Thursday.

The participants were told that the adoption of precision farming had yielded good results in developed countries in the last decade.

Tamil Nadu, with the help of its agriculture department and agriculture universities, was the first Indian State to adopt precision farming. The results were astonishing. The farmers were getting net returns of Rs.3 lakh to Rs.4 lakh from a single acre of land. Drip irrigation along with the application of soluble fertiliser is the new additive component of precision farming, Dr. Anu Varghese, Associate Professor, Kerala Agriculture University, said at the seminar.

The seminar was organised jointly by KVK, Viswamitra Club, NABARD and State Horticulture Mission

Sudheeran seeks judicial probe into Kinaloor incident

Kozhikode: Questioning the credibility of Industries Minister Elamaram Karim in �obstinately pushing the four-lane road to the Kerala State Industries Development Corporation Growth Centre at Kinaloor in the district, senior Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran, on Friday, demanded a judicial inquiry into the incidents that led to the �brutal violence� against the democratically protesting people at Kinaloor on Thursday.

Speaking to mediapersons at the District Congress Committee (DCC) office here after visiting Kinaloor, Mr. Sudheeran said the �insensitivity� shown by Mr. Karim to the genuine concerns of the people who voiced their protest against the road expansion project was a serious mistake and never acceptable in a democratic society. �I am totally convinced that some vested interest is involved in the whole deal,� Mr. Sudheeran said, asking �otherwise why is the Minister so obstinate and impatient in pushing for the road, completely overlooking the public protest.�

Friday, May 7, 2010

Attack on toddy shop agitators condemned

KANNUR: Prohibitionists and political and religious activists staged a protest near the controversial toddy shop at South Bazaar here on Friday to condemn the attack on the agitation by local residents demanding its closure.

The protest organised by the Janakeeya Samara Samithi was held amidst tension following the incidents on Thursday when toddy tappers loyal to both the Centre of Indian Trade Union and the Indian National Trade Union Congress vandalised the venue of the agitation and opened the toddy shop.

The attack on the agitators was widely condemned by various organisations, including political parties barring the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Large number of police personnel was posed in the vicinity in view of the tense situation in the aftermath of Thursdays incidents.

Admitted to hospital

KOCHI: P.S. Viju of CPI (M) and V.R. Sudheer of the Congress were admitted to hospitals after the altercation at the council meeting. The two sought admission in hospitals complaining of physical distress. Both of them have also filed police complaints against each other stating that they were attacked in the council hall.

Mr. Viju said that he suffered a minor bruise in his right hand in the attack by Mr. Sudheer. However, Mr. Sudheer, on his part said that he was kicked by Mr. Viju. The two were seen shouting and pushing each other as the council hall was immersed in the commotion. A few councillors from both fronts also came in support of the fighting councillors and joined the melee

Religious discrimination alleged

KOCHI: Kummanam Rajasekharan, general secretary of the Hindu Aikya Vedi, has accused the State government of discriminating against Hindus in terms of payment of compensation to the families of pilgrims killed in accidents.

Mr. Rajasekharan said while the government paid a solatium of Rs.1 lakh each to the families of Christian victims who were killed in an accident while on a pilgrimage to Velankanni, those who were killed while on pilgrimage to Sabarimala and other religious places had not been paid any relief money at all.

This was religious discrimination, he alleged.

About 50 Sabarimala pilgrims had died in the last season, he noted and urged the government to pay Rs. 1 lakh each to their families.

Lions Clubs\' convention to be held in Kochi

KOCHI:The annual convention of the International Association of Lions Clubs (Multiple district 324-E) would be held at the Le Meridien Convention Centre here on May 9.

Around 3,000 people from 450 Lions Clubs are expected to participate.

The chairperson of the organising committee Kurian John said that the organisation was able to extend help to deserving people to the tune of Rs 10 crore during the past year.

�We helped 250 heart patients needing surgery in the State, and also 18,000 people with eye surgery.

The organisation also did an eye check on 15 lakh students.

Spectacles were distributed to 10,000 people and teachers from 4,000 schools trained in childrens health. Around 8,500 dialysis too was arranged.

Rice worth Rs. 26 lakh was distributed to people affected by floods, he said.

Conference on respiratory diseases

KOCHI: The annual conference of the Academy of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (APCCM), Respicon 2010, would be held here in association with Cochin Thoracic Society on Saturday and Sunday.

About 300 delegates are expected to participate in the meeting where international experts in pulmonology and respiratory diseases would address various sessions.

The conference would be inaugurated at 7 p.m. at IMA Hall by K. Mohandas, Vice-Chancellor, Kerala Medical University.

The scientific programme of the conference would be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday

Kochi boys do well in Civil Services exam

KOCHI: The Civil Engineering graduate who made it to the final list in the Civil Services had set his heart to work to bring about a change. And Rahul P. R. from Thripunithura believes that a lot of things can be done if he worked with the Government.

A B.Tech graduate in 2008 from NSS Engineering College, Palakkad, Rahul has bagged 303rd rank in his first attempt at the Civil Services. It was during second and third year of his college that he first came to think about going for the Civil Services, said Mr. Rahul.

�I was involved with Chinmaya Yuva Kendras Wings project at Palakkad that helps provide for education of poor children, he said.

�Being part of the project, I had interacted with a lot of people from all sections of the society, especially in the lower strata. We had to find donors for children. I b

Congress councillor suspended

The suspension came after Mr. Jacob raised allegations against the husband of Kochi Mayor Mercy Williams in relation with the reported move to handover corporations land to some trusts for constructing memorials in the city. As the councillors engaged themselves in verbal duel, Ms. Williams declared the agenda passed and dissolved the meeting.

The ruling front councillors objected to Mr. Jacobs statement and demanded that the name of a person who was not a council member should not be dragged into the council. This led to heated exchange between the two fronts. A fuming Mayor at one stage asked Mr. Jacob �not to talk nonsense ordered him to sit down and suspended him from the meeting

14 companies to start operations from Koratty IT park this month

KOCHI: Fourteen companies will start full-scale operations at the Information Technology Park at Koratty, being developed by Infopark, this month.

With this the allocation of the entire built-up space of 42,000 sq ft in the first phase of the park will be completed. In fact, the Koratty Park has already started allocation of space for 10 companies for the second phase.

The companies that will have set shop at the park by the end of this month includes Bluelabs Technology Solutions, Braddock Infotech, Cent Technologies, Infoprism Solutions, Sahradaya tech, Glitz IT Solutions, Sands Lab, Exar Software Research, Strands Energy Private Limited, Greened Multimedia, Storybox, Igooz Technologies Private Limited, Finelab Webservices Private Limited and Abyss Technologies. The park will employ almost 500 professionals by the time the first phase is fully operational.

Financial support for needy students\'

Thiruvananthapuram: Minister for Welfare of Scheduled and Backward Communities A.K. Balan said here on Friday that the government would ensure that students did not stop their education due to lack of financial support.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone for a womens hostel in the Karyavattom campus of the University of Kerala, he said the LDF government had accorded priority to the improvement of facilities for children from SC/ ST families.

�The food allowance for student hostel inmates up to metric level has been hiked from Rs.500 to Rs.1,300 while in post-metric hostels, it has gone up to Rs.1,500. SC/ ST students in self-financing colleges are entitled to the same financial assistance enjoyed by their counterparts in government colleges.

Crackdown on unlicensed hotels

Thiruvananthapuram: The City Corporation will step up raids to detect unlicensed hotels and eateries functioning in unhygienic conditions.

Chairman of the Health standing committee G.R. Anil told the Corporation Council here on Friday that the local body had received complaints about eateries and hotels discharging waste water and littering public places. He said special squads would carry out periodic raids to identify such institutions and take steps to close them down.

Mr. Anil said the squads had been directed to take video footage of the conditions in the hotels before initiating action to close them down. �The video tapes can be used as evidence. They will also be used to apprise the associations representing hotel and restaurant owners and seek their cooperation in enforcing regulations aimed at keeping the institutions clean and hygienic, he added.

The council approved the draft document of the projects to be taken up under the Peoples Plan Campaign during the 11 {+t} {+h} five year Plan. As many as 298 projects will be taken up during the Plan period utilising a development fund outlay of Rs.54.94 crore and maintenance grant of Rs.12.90 crore.

ICT training for educationists

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As part of its initiative in implementing Information and Communication Technology-enabled education and e-governance in the Education Department, the IT@School will provide ICT training to two lakh personnel in the State this year.

Seventeen types of training modules have been readied for teachers in primary schools, high schools and higher secondary schools, for Headmasters and Principals, Deputy Directors of Education, District Education Officers and Assistant Education Officers, students, ministerial staff of the Education Department and to teachers who are visually challenged.

Subject-specific training would also be provided to teachers.

Though each category would receive a different module, lessons on basic skills of ICT and on using the Internet would be common to all

Road development: Minister refutes charge

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs M. Vijayakumar on Friday refuted Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandys contention that the development of city roads in Thiruvananthapuram was dragging on under the Left Democratic Front (LDF) rule.

The Minister told a press conference that the city development project begun by the previous government could not go on because the contracts had been awarded without acquiring land for the work. The present government had completed land acquisition and the work was resumed on July 31, 2009. As per the revised contract, the work was to be completed by October this year. He had conducted a review of the progress of the work on Friday.

Starting life anew

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Handling traffic on the Medical College campus will now be the job of a group of enterprising youngsters, who are taking the first tentative steps towards a new life as responsible and law-abiding citizens.

In a major rehabilitation initiative taken up by the Juvenile Justice Board and the Department of Social Welfare, 21 inmates of various institutions under the Board, who have completed 18 years and are leaving the institutions, have been taken in as traffic warden trainees to regulate traffic on the MCH campus.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate, who is also the chairperson of the JJ Board, had issued an order in February asking the Social Welfare Department to formulate a scheme to rehabilitate the inmates leaving the Childrens homes, Special Homes and Observation Homes so that they can be set on the path of reformation. The idea was that these youngsters be given some career or employment opportunities

Joseph plea to disqualify Pillai

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Congress (J) faction led by P.J. Joseph has taken the battle in the party to the Assembly requesting Speaker K. Radhakrishnan to disqualify party legislator V. Surendran Pillai under the Anti-Defection Act.

Party Whip and former Minister Mons Joseph submitted a letter to the Speaker here on Friday contending that Mr. Pillai was liable to be disqualified as he had left the party and its legislature wing on his own. As the Speaker was not in office, the letter signed by party chairman P.J. Joseph, vice-chairman T.U. Kuruvilla and Mr. Mons Joseph was handed over to Legislature Secretary P.D. Rajan.

A KC(J) delegation would call on the Speaker on May 11, 12 or 13 to present the partys case against Mr. Pillai, Mr. Mons Joseph said later

Power crisis unlikely in next 10 years: Balan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State may not have to face power crisis for the next 10 years, Power Minister A.K. Balan has said.

Releasing the Sevotham Certification awarded by the Bureau of Indian Standards to the Kerala Electrical Inspectorate here on Friday, Mr. Balan said a conscious effort was being made to reduce transmission loss from 38 per cent to 18 per cent and now the aim was to further bring it down to 15 per cent. The energy saving measures like distribution of CFL bulbs and reducing transmission loss were as good as generating power. By reducing the carbon emission, the State would be eligible for carbon credit too, he said.

The Inspectorate had earned the distinction of becoming the first government department in the country to win the IS 15700:2005 service quality management systems certification licence. This was an approval for the efficient and quality service being rendered to the public by the department, he said.

Airport to be multi-modal hub

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Thiruvananthapuram international airport, which has got a Rs.300-crore world class terminal complex, is proposed to be developed as a multi-modal hub in the transport system.

The proposal has been mooted by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in view of the new terminals proximity to the Parvathi Puthanar. The new complex is located 500 metres from the Parvathi Puthanar and the government has constructed a six-lane bridge and approach road to provide connectivity to the terminal.

Airport director V.N. Chandran has written to the State government highlighting the need to explore the Parvathy Puthanar to promote intermodal travel in the contemporary airport management scenario. A collaborative process between the airport management and the State government has been suggested for implementing the project.

Special\' squads against crime disbanded

Thiruvananthapuram: The police on Friday disbanded the �self-styled crime squads that functioned under certain Assistant Commissioners and Circle Inspectors of police in the city in the wake of charges of corruption and criminal nexus.

Deputy Commissioner of Police C.H. Nagaraju is inquiring into the activities of the plainclothes squads created initially to track gangsters and collect information on underworld activities.

The charges against the squad members include socialising with gangsters, fanning underworld rivalries and supporting certain gangs against their rivals for monetary and personal gains. The squads have also been accused of illegally intervening in civil and monetary disputes and solving such matters extra judicially for financial gain.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

AIYF cultural fete begins

Thrissur: A week-long cultural festival, being conducted here in connection with the upcoming State conference of the All-India Youth Federation (AIYF), began here on Wednesday.

Camp hones children\'s artistic skills

Thrissur: A group of children are engaged in some random games. Some laugh, some sling mud at one another in mock anger. Joy is writ large on their faces.

Not a scene from a village playground. It is a theatre camp organised by Rangachethana at the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademis Natyagraham.

Come summer, the theatre landscape of the city comes alive with childrens camps and theatre workshops. Rangachethana has been conducting childrens theatre camps for the past 26 years.

�Children, now its time for your performances. You can select the theme for yourself. It can be any popular folk tale, announced K.V. Ganesh, trainer for the childrens theatre camp for the past 21 years

�Spark\' project launched

PATHANAMTHITTA: District Collector S.Lalithambika has sought wholehearted cooperation of the employees for the successful implementation of the e-governance programme aimed at making the administrative process transparent and fine-tuned.

The Collector was inaugurating a day-long workshop in connection with the implementation of the Spark Computer Programme here on Wednesday. Ms. Lalithambika said works at the establishment section could be completed in a time-bound manner. She said employees would also get enough time for effectively disposing complaints from the public. She said the programme has already been implemented at 444 government establishmentsin the district.

Amend education Act, say teachers

PATHANAMTHITTA: A confederation of 11 teachers associations has asked the Union government to permit the State to make necessary amendments to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act-2009 to bring it in conformity with the prevailing system in Kerala.

Addressing a pr�ss conference here on Wednesday, confederation leaders G. Mohanachandran (KSTA), Susheelkumar (AKSTU), R. Kailash (KPPHA) and Jose Mathew (KPSHA), said the public as well as the teaching community were apprehensive about the �problems in store for this highly literate States education sector if the Act was implemented in its present form.

They said the Central legislation making education a fundamental right of every child between the age of six and 14 years was indeed a progressive step. However, it should be noted that Kerala has already been providing education up to Class XII free for all since the past several years and the States education system was comparable to that in developed countries, they added.

Kunchan Nambiar remembered

PALAKKAD: District Collector K.V. Mohan Kumar has said that the Nila Heritage Tourism Project taken up by the district administration will help the development of institutions such as the Kunchan Nambiar Memorial in the district.

He was speaking after inaugurating the Kunchan Nambiar Day observance at Killikurishimangalam, near here, on Wednesday.

Award presented

The Collector presented the Kunchan award to Thullal exponent Kuttamath Janardhanan at the function.

The keynote address was delivered by K.G. Paulose, Vice-Chancellor of Kerala Kala Mandalam.

The meeting was addressed by writer Mundur Sethumadhavan, district panchayat Education standing committee chairman T.K. Narayanadas, among others.

New Commissioner of Police takes charge

Kozhikode: P. Vijayan, who assumed charge as new Commissioner of Police, Kozhikode city, on Wednesday, brings with him a wealth of experience in policing.

The outgoing Commissioner S. Sreejith, who has been promoted as Deputy Inspector General of Police, Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department, Thiruvananthapuram, handed over the charge to him.

Mr. Vijayan, who hails from the city, belongs to the 1999 IPS batch of the Kerala cadre. He began his IPS career as Kanhangad Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mattancherry Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kasaragod Superintendent of Police and Commandant of Kerala Armed Police (KAP) I and V battalions.

He also had a stint as Superintendent of Police, Thiruvananthapuram (Rural); Commissioner of Police, Kochi city from 2005 to 2007; Superintendent of Police, Malappuram; Superintendent of Police, Ernakulam (Rural). and later SP, Crime Branch CID, Ernakulam, his most recent posting.

Mr. Vijayan has been instrumental in nabbing the accused who looted cash and jewellery from the Chelembra branch of the South Malabar Gramin Bank on December 31, 2007.

His wife, M. Beena, is Ernakulam District Collector.

Cyber Park foundation to be laid this month

Kozhikode: The Land Revenue Commissioner has approved the draft declaration for completing the land acquisition process for the proposed Cyber Park coming up at Nellikode. The foundation stone for the project will be laid this month.

�We expect to complete the acquisition of the balance land from the 43 acres notified for the park very soon, Binu Pazhoor, CEO, Cyber Park, said.

Architectural consulting firm N.M. Salim and Associates has been awarded the master planning and detailed architectural consulting for the first information technology (IT) building in the proposed IT park.

The 1.5-lakh sq ft of the building, with a total built-up area of 4 lakh sq ft, will be ready for commercial launch by early 2011.

Bid to take over KPMS alleged

KOTTAYAM: Punnala Sreekumar, general secretary of the Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha (KPMS) (who was ousted by the rival faction from the organisation last week) has alleged that the present controversies are the result of a �covert attempt to take over the organisation by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government..

Talking to mediapersons here on Wednesday, Mr. Sreekumar alleged that there were attempts to disrupt the ongoing district conferences with the help of the police and also destroy the organisational strength of the KPMS by appointing receivers. According to him, the meetings in Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram were disrupted by the police.

Activists pledge support to stir

KOLLAM: The indefinite relay satyagraha organised by the Sasthamcotta Lake Protection Action Council demanding measures by the government to conserve the fast shrinking Sasthamcotta Lake entered the 12th day on Wednesday.

Expressing solidarity with the action council, members of the Paristithi Samrakshana Ekopana Samthi joined the satyagraha on the banks of the lake on Wednesday.

Inaugurating a meeting in this connection, Narmada Bachao Andolan activist and convener of the CPI State-level sub-committee on environment P. Prasad called for the immediate ban of clay and sand mining in West Kallada, which borders the lake. He said environment protection should be included as a main agenda of all political parties.

Hailstorm: expert team visits Elamala

KATTAPPANA: The expert team which visited Elamala near Kumily in Idukki district on Wednesday said that the cause of the hailstorm was a fall in evaporation level while the heat temperature in the high range did not show any decline in trend. This was due to the high-level of summer rains received in the area, they said. It assessed that the fall of heavy hailstones which resulted in widespread destruction of standing crops were a rare phenomenon.

The team also said that the fall of heavy hailstones had resulted in crop destruction and casualties in Northeastern parts of the country in April.

Lifestyle changes causing infertility\'

KOCHI: How changes in eating habits can result in hormonal changes in girls and how it results in increased polycystic ovary condition is what gynaecologists are making a study about. With many girls coming in for treatment for irregular menstrual cycle, the Cochin Obstetric and Gynaecological Society has decided to bring in more awareness about why many adolescent girls are growing into adults with problems of infertility after marriage.

Panchayat employees\' meet at Aluva

KOCHI: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala will inaugurate the 28th State meet of the Kerala Panchayat Employees Organisation (KPEO) at Mahatma Town Hall at Aluva on Saturday at 10 a.m. Union Minister of State for Agriculture K.V. Thomas will deliver the keynote address. District Congress Committee president V.J. Paulose will preside. K.P. Dhanapalan, MP, MLAs K. Babu, Dominic Presentation, and V.K. Ibrahim Kunju, NSU (I) national president Hibi Eden, and KPCC general secretary Benny Behannan will be among those to offer felicitations. Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy will inaugurate a seminar on �Local Self-government Bodies and development dreams of Kerala, at the IMA Hall at Aluva on Sunday at 1.30 p.m.

MPs M.I. Shanavas, P.C. Chacko, and P.T. Thomas and Coir Board chairman V.S. Vijayaraghavan will be among those to speak.

Panel disproves Collector\'s stance

KOCHI: The Central team which investigated the alleged violations of the Forest Conservation Act in Munnar disproved the stand of the Idukki District Collector regarding the demarcation of some areas for notification as reserved forest. It also found that the allegations of Devikulam MLA S. Rajendran regarding the clearing of shola forests in Gudarale Estate by Kanan Devan Hill Plantation Company (KDHPC) were wrong.

The Forest Department had initiated steps for notifying 17,349 acres of forest as reserved forest in Munnar some time ago.

However, delay in notifying the area had invited severe criticism. The Central team has recommended that the area should be notified without waiting for detailed surveys, maps and computation of exact areas.

Foundation laid for new container freight station

KOCHI: The new container freight station at Eloor in the public sector marks a great beginning for Kochi, which must exploit the potential unleashed by the commissioning of the International Container Transhipment Terminal later this year, said the Minister for Industries Elamaram Kareem here on Wednesday.

He was speaking at the foundation laying ceremony for the facility. The Minister said that the transhipment terminal would require around 200 such freight stations in a radius of about 40 km. The Minister said that the new freight station would provide employment directly to 350 people and another 1,000 persons will gain indirect employment. The freight station is coming up on an 8.5-acre land leased by Kerala Industrial Enterprises for 30 years from Travancore Cochin Chemicals. The latter will get 10 per cent of the profit from the operation of the container freight station. Mr. Kareeem said that the government was also considering applications received from private companies for setting up similar facilities to utilise the potential of the container transhipment terminal. The Minister reiterated that the State had set an example in reviving PSUs and that the government would further strengthen the PSUs through fresh investments

A carnival of adventure for children

KOCHI: For children, who were impressed by Hrithik Roshan in the Bollywood flick �Lakshya, where the character played by him scaled the Himalayas to defeat the enemies, this is a chance to step into his shoes. The Rock Climbing is one of the nine new adventures that await them at the ongoing carnival, Kids Planet, at Marine Drive grounds.

Children are making the most out of their vacation, as they try out obstacle cycling, spider web, commando bridge, rope walking or earth walk. �We have brought these to the fair at ticket rates much lower than what is usual, as we wanted the kids to get a feel of the adventure sports, said Senthil Kumar of Kestrel Adventures, who is handling the adventure sports part of the event.

Adventure is not all that kids can look forward inside the fair. They can just keep hopping around on the Trampoline or try their skills at dart board or spice up their appearances with tattoos. Its a kids world out there, with a trade fair for parents.

Handicrafts from Gujarat on show

KOCHI: A wide variety of textile items, decorative material and curios from Gujarat are on display at the Gujarat handicrafts exhibition at the Womens Association hall in the city. It offers an opportunity to the avid shopping enthusiasts to have a close look at the alluring collection of handicrafts before making a selection.

The textile items have the stamp of skilled craftsmanship. They are marked by beautiful patterns, embroidery and the contrasting colour schemes. Table-cloth, bed-cover, curtains are among the material on show.

Bangles, necklaces and pendants in intricate designs are a treat for the eye.

There are conventional and modern designs that are available at an affordable price. Handbags in different sizes and shapes are available. Utensils, cutlery and toys are among the other items on show.

Explosives seized, two arrested

KOCHI: The Kuruppampady police arrested two persons and recovered explosives kept without proper authorisation.

Biju and Prasanth, employed as managers with Anna Granites at Vaykkara, were arrested after the police took 561 kg of ammonium nitrate, 75 kg of gelatine stick, 2000 metres of loose wire and nearly 2500 detonators stored in the office room, said Sam Jose, sub-inspector.

The police have initiated probe into the source from which they got the material and to whom were they delivering it, he said.

Aged elephants in State uncared for

KOCHI: Aged captive elephants are left to die in the State without proper rehabilitation centres.

The elephant orphanage at Kottur, near Agasthyavanam, in Thiruvananthapuram district has failed to develop as desired even three years after its establishment.

The orphanage was set up by the Forest Department with the support of Project Elephant of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to provide shelter for sick and old animals and wild calves that cannot be sent back to the forests.

The project has failed to obtain the approval of the Finance Department, which fears that it will become another white elephant. The department fears that the maintenance of elephants owned by private owners will be a drain on the exchequer. The objection of the Finance Department has also stalled the formation of a semi-autonomous society for running the orphanage.

Violence at Thycaud hospital

Thiruvananthapuram: In yet another incident, which evoked strong reactions from the medical fraternity as well as civic authorities, all services at the Women and Children Hospital, Thycaud, were disrupted for hours on Wednesday when a person who accompanied a patient to the out-patient clinic attacked the security personnel.

Two security personnel, who sustained injuries, were admitted to the General Hospital. One of them lost two of his teeth in the violence.

Hospital authorities said a patient, Usha, accompanied by her mother and a male companion, Manoj, had come to the OP clinic. As the clinic was crowded, the security personnel refused to allow the male companion inside. There were arguments between the security staff and the patient and her relatives, following which Mr. Manoj assaulted the three security staff on duty.

The hospital authorities had to call in the police to handle the scene

Power supply restrictions

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The power supply restrictions currently on in the northern districts of Kasragod, Kannur and Kozhikode are likely to continue to May 14.

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) said on Wednesday that the restrictions were necessitated by the toppling of a tower carrying the 220 kV line bringing electricity to Kerala from Karnataka a few days ago. The tower, located at Kadakola in Karnataka, was being set aright by the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation.

The KSEB said its installations in different parts of the State were damaged in thundershowers during April.

In a press release on Tuesday, the KSEB said power transmission sector alone suffered losses to the tune of Rs.3 crore. As many as 720 posts carrying 11 kV lines and 3,425 posts carrying distribution lines fell in the gale accompanying the thundershowers and 41 transformers were hit by lightning.

Migratory birds in focus

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The local chapter of WWF-India, in association with Warblers and Waders, a city-based environmental group, will organise an awareness programme here on May 8 in connection with World Migratory Bird Day. The venue is the Lenin Balavady at Vazhuthacaud. Topics to be discussed range from migratory birds and major bird-landing sites in Kerala to threats faced by the birds. On May 9, a team of birdwatchers will visit the Koonthakkulam bird sanctuary, near Tirunelveli, for field observation. The awareness programme on May 8 is open to all and the trip on the next day is limited to 15 bird enthusiasts. WWF-India said those interested may contact A.K. Sivakumar, Education Officer of WWF-India, on or before May 7 on phone 9447 386978.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Electrical Safety Week begins

Thrissur: Mayor R. Bindu has urged the public to get electrical work done only by qualified licensed workers.

She was speaking after inaugurating observance of the Electrical Safety Week here on Monday, which is being observed to create awareness among the public about the hazards involved in careless use of electrical equipment.

The programme was organised by the Kerala State Electrical Inspectorate department, Kerala State Electricity Board, Fire and Rescue Services and ANERT.

Thrissur district electrical inspector C. Roy Jose said that electrical accidents claimed 35 lives in the district during 2009-2010.

Extension of passenger trains

Palakkad: The Palakkad Railway Division has extended the following train services. Train No. 615/616 Thrissur � Shoranur � Kozhikode Passenger trains are extended up to Kannur. Train no. 624 Mangalore � Kannur passenger is extended to Kozhikode. The service of train no. 625 Kozhikode- Kannur passenger is extended for a period up to June 30. � Staff Reporter

Adivasis\' problems to be addressed with urgency

MALAPPURAM: Forest and Housing Minister Benoy Viswom said here on Tuesday that said Adivasis should not be forced to move out of their habitats or homes.

Chairing a meeting convened to find ways to address the woes of tribal people at the Collectorate conference hall here on Tuesday, Mr. Viswom said the problems faced by the Adivasis living in colonies inside the Nilambur forests would be addressed with the utmost urgency.

The Minister directed the government officials not to coerce the Adivasis to sign forms to include them in the forest rights laws.

He said Adivasis would be given quality timber for woodwork in their houses under construction. A committee comprising the secretaries of the respective grama panchayats and forest officials would make the allotment

Handicrafts show begins today

Kozhikode: An exhibition-cum-sale of handicrafts and artefacts by artists and craftsmen from different countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, organised by Fine Group, Kannur, will begin at the Tali auditorium here on Wednesday.

Crockery, lampshades, toys and furniture items completed in different mediums will be showcased. The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The five-day exhibition will end on May 9.

Chandy: take over Comtrust

Kozhikode: Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy has asked the State government to immediately take over the Comtrust factory and its land.

Mr. Chandy was inaugurating a one-day fast observed by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala in front of the factory on Tuesday.

He said the fast was a protest against the acts of various land mafias taking control over public property in many parts of the State.

The Leader of the Opposition dared the government to order a comprehensive investigation into the allegation that the Comtrust land was sold to a private society.

No formula on merger: Chennithala

Kozhikode: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala has said that the �formula for the merger of the Kerala Congress (M) and Kerala Congress (J) is a creation of the media.

He said here on Tuesday that a meeting among Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, Indian Union Muslim League State general secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty and himself had decided to stick to the earlier stand that the merger had to be discussed in the United Democratic Front.

He said Mr. Chandy had stated the position of the Congress on the merger and there was nothing more to add to it.

Regarding Kerala Congress(M) leader K.M. Mani excusing himself from a delegation to New Delhi, Mr. Chennithala said he was not going with the delegation either and knew nothing more about it.

IMA opposes State move

Kozhikode: The State committee of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has opposed the government move to include a clause for fixing the responsibility on doctors on receiving complaints from the relatives of patients about any negligence on the part of doctors in the proposed Kerala Medical Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions Bill.

In a statement here, State secretary Dr. J. Rajagopalan Nair and president Dr. Srikumar Vasudevan said that the Bill was not acceptable to the association. They said the focus of the Bill should have been restricted to taking �stringent action against those who attacked hospitals.

According to them, even the Law Reforms Commission headed by Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer was against the inclusion of the clause in the Bill that seeks to fix the onus on doctors.

Merger not to affect UDF unity: Chandy

Kozhikode: Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy has said the merger of the two factions of the Kerala Congress will not undermine the unity of the United Democratic Front (UDF) though the merger move had generated political anxiety in some constituents of the front.

Inaugurating a day-long fast by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala here on Tuesday, Mr. Chandy exuded confidence about the UDFs capacity to contain the impact of the merger.

Good SSLC result poses a problem

Kozhikode: Even while taking pride in achieving a significant pass per cent in the SSLC examination, the result of which was announced on Monday, it is not quite a happy prospect that awaits at least 7,500 students as regards their higher studies.

Chandanapally church festival from Friday

KOLLAM: The annual festival of the Chandanapally Saint Georges Orthodox Valyapally church will be held on May 7 and 8.

Festival committee general convener Fr. Idiculla Daniel said that a heavy flow of pilgrims to the church had begun already. The church was recently declared a global pilgrimage centre by Malankara Metropolitan Baselios Mar Thoma Didymos 1.

On May 7, the �swarnakurissu samarpanam (golden cross dedication) ritual will be held after the holy Eucharist. The Padayatris who arrive for the festival will be given the traditional reception at the Chandanapally junction in the evening. The rasa on that day will be held at 8.30 p.m. The �Chembeduppu ritual will be held at 5 p.m. on May 8.

Ombudsman directs replanting of saplings

KOLLAM: Ombudsman for Local Self-Government Institutions M.R. Hariharan Nair has directed the city Corporation secretary to ensure that 256 saplings are planted as per a Kerala High Court order along the Asramam-Kappalandimukku road by June 1.

One hundred and twenty-eight fully grown avenue trees on either side of the road were felled last year for developing the road into a four-lane stretch under a project of the city Corporation.

Environmental activists raised strong protests and the matter was taken by them to the High Court.

The court issued orders for planting 256 saplings to compensate for the felling of the trees and ensuring that the saplings grew into trees.

Elephant died of haemorrhage: vet

KATTAPPANA: Veterinary surgeon V. Sunilkumar, who conducted the post-mortem examination on the elephant which died at Mattupetty near Munnar on Monday, said that the death of the animal was due to internal haemorrhage and that the elephant was in musth when it damaged the vehicles parked at Echo Point.

He said no piece of plastic was found in the intestine of the animal, as was feared by some. The samples will be tested at the forest laboratory and at the sociological laboratory at Palode.

BJYM supports stir against toddy shop

KANNUR: Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) activists staged a march to the Collectorate in Kannur on Tuesday to express solidarity with the ongoing agitation against a toddy shop at South Bazar here.

They carried a thatched structure, symbolising the toddy shop, as a gesture of solidarity with women at South Bazar protesting against the toddy shop. BJYM district president Biju Elakkuzhi led the march.

There was some tension when workers belonging to toddy tappers unions tried to remove the symbolic toddy shop placed near the Collectorate. The workers too had been taking out a march demanding steps for opening of the toddy shop. Union leaders pacified the workers

Wild elephant dies at Kottamkara forest

KALPETTA:A wild elephant, which was under medical supervision for three days, died on Tuesday morning.

The animal, aged about 50, was found collapsed inside a forest at Kottamkara in the Sulthan Bathery forest range under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on Sunday noon.

Septicaemia (a condition caused by pus-forming micro organisms in blood) was the cause of death, forest veterinary surgeon Arun Zachariah, who performed the autopsy, said.

Muhamma to launch �totally clean village\' project

ALAPPUZHA: Muhamma grama panchayat is taking its healthcare activities a step ahead by launching �Our Village, Healthy Village project, which will aim at ensuring a totally clean, sanitised and healthy village. The project, a continuation of the various healthcare initiatives the panchayat has been implementing over the last decade, will be inaugurated by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan at 4 p.m. on May 23.

Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy will inaugurate a health exhibition on the occasion while Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac, Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran, Local Administration Minister Paloli Mohammedkutty and Coir Minister for Cooperation and Coir G. Sudhakaran are slated to attend the various functions being organised in connection with the project launch, panchayat president C.K. Bhaskaran told a press conference here.

Special tribunal holds sitting on SIMI ban

KOCHI: A special tribunal constituted to hear complaints against the ban of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) almost completed its sitting on the second day itself. The tribunal, headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna of the Delhi High Court, was to make a three-day sitting at the Government Guest House here.

T.K. Vinod Kumar, Deputy Inspector General of Police, who is the head of the special team of Kerala against terrorism, appeared before the tribunal on Tuesday and presented evidence on cases registered against SIMI.

The Kerala Police had registered cases against SIMI activities at Panayikulam, Wagamon and Edakkadu. All the cases were later handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Mr. Vinod Kumar said that evidence substantiating the cases had been transferred to the NIA for detailed probe.

Hridayathalam a big success

KOCHI: Malayalis across the world do listen to K.J. Yesudas, whether he is singing or speaking.

That perhaps explains the success of Hridayathalam, a charity initiative launched by the legendary singer for giving financial assistance to heart patients, especially for heart surgery on children.

Initially launched with the target of assisting 70 heart surgeries, the project had already benefited 51 patients and is set to exceed the target.

Addressing a press conference held here on Tuesday soon after the 51st cheque under the scheme was handed over, Mr. Yesudas, as always, attributed the success of the programme to the benevolence of God.

Thachankary case adjourned to May 17

Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday adjourned to May 17 the hearing on a writ petition filed by the State government challenging an order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Ernakulum Bench, staying the suspension of Inspector-General of Police Tomin J. Thachankary from service and directing the government to reinstate him in service forthwith.

Mental arithmetic contest

Thiruvananthapuram: A national-level mental arithmetic competition, organised by CMA Mental Arithmetic (India) Pvt. Ltd., will be held at the Suryaprabha Convention Centre at Mannanthala on May 8. The training programme developed by CMA, intended at developing the intelligence and imaginative skills of children, is popular in 14 countries, said G. Sunilkumar, the CEO of CMA India.

About 500 children are participating. Gouri Parvathi Bayi, a member of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore, will inaugurate the event

International film festival from May 7

Thiruvananthapuram: The 10 {+t} {+h} international film festival, organised by the Film Lovers Cultural Association (Filca) in association with the National Film Archive of India, Chalachitra Academy, the State department of Culture and the Federation of Film Societies, will be held in the capital from May 7 to 13.

Doctors in Malappuram to strike work today

Thiruvananthapuram: Doctors and hospital staff in all hospitals in Malappuram district will strike work on Wednesday in protest against the mob attack on Nadakkavu hospital at Valanchery following the death of a newborn in the hospital on Monday.

All hospital services, except emergency services, in the district will be disrupted from 6 a.m. till 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Indian Medical Association (IMA) leaders said in a statement here.

The newborn had been delivered through an emergency caesarean section on April 28. However, the baby died three days later. On Monday, the relatives of the patient and the local people unleashed large-scale violence in the hospital alleging that medical negligence led to the death of the baby. In a statement here, the IMA said that on Tuesday, a large number of people assembled on the hospital premises and forcibly vacated all in-patients and threatened to burn down the hospital.

Nod for vegetable farming plans

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State government has approved a Rs.300-lakh food security scheme and a Rs.297-lakh integrated vegetable development scheme, Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran said here on Tuesday.

The State-level inauguration of the schemes will be held at Kadakkal in Kollam on May 27. The food security scheme involves growing vegetables as �third crop on 750 hectares of paddy fields. As much as Rs.15,000 per hectare will be given as assistance

Media awards announced

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sub-editor Jimmy Philip has won the State media award, 2009, for general reporting for his reports on concerns about the dying Earth published in Deepika from November 24 to 30.

Chief reporter R. Samban bagged the award for development reporting for his coverage of indebtedness among farmers for Deshabhimani (September 22-15).

The award for news photography went to senior photographer Manoj Chemancherry for his picture �Irumbaliyumo Eekanneeril published in Malayala Manorama on October 1.

Cartoonist T.K. Sujith of Kerala Kaumudi won the award for the best cartoon for the third year in succession. The qualifying entry was �Navarasangal 2009 published on December 29.

Asianets R. Ajaya Ghosh got the award for the best television news report. His report highlighted unethical methods followed by medical college doctors to earn money (September 14).

Television cameraman T.R. Rathesh of Indiavision won award for his camera work portraying the dangers of urbanisation (October 29). G. Vijayadas ( Indiavision) got the award for editing (of news story �Theyyam broadcast on November 7).

The works of V.V. Vinod of Asianet Cable Vision and Nanda Kumar of Manorama News earned special mention and praise from the jury.

Press Academy chairman S.R. Sakthidaran, secretary (Information and Public Relations) T.K. Manojkumar and Director of Information and Public Relations M. Nandakumar announced the awards in the capital on Tuesday.

GTECH outlines roadmap for IT growth

Thiruvananthapuram: The Group of Technology Companies (GTECH), a body representing the software industry in the State, has announced a slew of initiatives aimed at the accelerated growth of the IT sector. Outlining a roadmap for the revamped GTECH, president-elect V.K. Mathews said the fraternity would work closely with the government to promote Kerala as an IT destination.

The industry is eminently suitable for a State like Kerala where the availability of land is at a premium and the density of population the highest. The IT industry has one of the lowest land-to-employee ratio. It is neither polluting nor power intensive and offers huge employment opportunities, he said.

Drive to ensure safety of pedestrians begins

Thiruvananthapuram: The police have started a traffic enforcement drive to reduce pedestrian casualties in the city.

From Wednesday, those who have appropriated footpath space will be evicted, the police said. Motorists who do not respect zebra lines will be fined. Speeding will be checked. Pedestrians who walk on road medians or crossroads at points where there are no zebra lines will be fined. Haphazard parking of vehicles will be discouraged.

Fifty pedestrians were killed in road accidents in the city last year. The toll till April this year is 11. Recent victims include veteran politician Varkala Radhakrishnan, who was fatally injured in an accident involving a milk van while out on an early morning walk. The deaths have raised public concern about the traffic safety of pedestrians. Deputy Commissioner of Police C. H. Nagaraju said pedestrian deaths often occurred during hours of darkness, and the casualties were mostly those who walked on the left side of the road.

Call to protect traditional rights of inland fishermen

Thiruvananthapuram: Participants in a discussion organised by the Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation here on Tuesday called for provisions in the Kerala Inland Fishery Bill 2010 to protect the traditional rights and livelihood security of inland fishermen.

Speakers said the Bill had ignored inland fishermen and people engaged in allied activities. Most of its provisions were either inadequate or unacceptable.

They called for steps to identify and register inland fishermen. The current provisions to register these fish workers under the Kerala Fishermen Welfare Societies Act (1980) were confusing.

They said that area-wise and population-wise, Ernakulam and Alappuzha were the prime inland fisheries districts of the State. But they had been excluded from the list of public hearing centres of the legislative subject committee. The meeting called for rescheduling the subject committee meetings to hold public hearings in the two districts.

The speakers demanded that the Bill be called the Kerala Inland Fisheries (Management and Regulation) Bill. The word �fishery was a restrictive term and hence should be deleted.

They said the inland fishermen of the State were vested with some traditional rights for their fishing activities in filtration fields, pokkali areas and paddy-cum-fishing fields. The Bill should specifically acknowledge the traditional rights.

Narrow NHs may choke growth

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As an all-party delegation led by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan is set to take up with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday the issue of scaling down the width of National Highways 47 and 17, the move is feared to stymie the development prospects of the State.

The demand is being raised anticipating the problems in land acquisition. Originally the highways were proposed to be developed with a width of 60 metres with service roads and shoulders in line with the National Highway standards. Subsequently, it was reduced to 45 metres citing the problems in land acquisition. Now, it has been proposed to be further reduced to 30 metres without any service roads. It has been decided to halt land acquisition till the Centre took a final decision on the issue. The State is also opposed to the development of roads on a build-operate-transfer basis.

Though the votaries of development cannot overlook the scarcity and the increasing pressure on land resources, lack of infrastructure facilities, mainly connectivity, has been cited as one of the main impediments in developing the State as a potential investment destination. Even campaigns launched by the State government in other States about the drastic change in the industrial milieu had not helped to woo entrepreneurs, sources said.

Apollo to hike tyre prices on rising input costs

NEW DELHI (Commodity Online): Indias leading tyre maker, Apollo Tyres Ltd (BOM:500877) is mulling to raise its product prices by 3.5% in June to meet rising input costs, which is fueled by shooting natural rubber prices.

According to senior company officials the price hike was imminent as the rubber prices have risen significantly in the past. The natural rubber prices have soared so high that price hikes adopted recently had not been sufficient.

The plan to raise prices in June comes after a 5.5% price hike the company adopted in April-May 2010. Additionally, production at the tire makers Perambra plant in the southern Indian state of Kerala has been impacted due to an ongoing labor stir.

Will not use the Mahatma\'s picture commercially: Montblanc

ew Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The Supreme Court Minday disposed of a petition against international luxury giant Montblanc Monday after the firm assured that it would not use the picture and name of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi for commercial purposes.

Montblanc had come under fire for marketing its luxury brand of pens titled Mahatma Gandhi Limited Edition containing an engraved image of Gandhi. One such series had 150 pens each costing Rs.12 lakh, and another series had pens costing Rs.1.5 lakh each. The company termed these as a tribute and homage to the Mahatma.

\'I have only one business\'- Akshay Kumar

MUMBAI: Bollywood breathes a sigh of relief as box office reports of Akshay Kumars new film �Housefull� begin to arrive. The film has broken the dry spell at the cash registers, earning Rs.64 Crore in the opening weekend worldwide.

In his almost two decade long career, Akshay Kumar has worked in more than 90 films. In the beginning, he concentrated on action movies like �Khiladi�, �Elaan�, �Mohra� and �Main Khiladi Tu Anari�. He also did romantic films like �Yeh Dillagi�, �Dhadkan� and �Dil Toh Paagal Hai�.

It was with Malayalam director Priyadarshans 2000 hit film �Hera Pheri� that Akshay Kumar began experimenting with comedies. He followed it up with blockbusters like �Mujhse Shaadi Karogi�, �Garam Masala�, �Phir Hera Pheri�, �Namastey London�, �Bhagam Bhaag� and the adorable �Singh Is Kinng�.

The star says that he is a natural at comedy scenes because his inspiration comes people whom he sees around him.

UDF, LDF should keep away KC factions�

KOTTAYAM: A few former Kerala Congress stalwarts, including former chairmen K V Kurien and George J Mathew, both former MLAs, took up cudgels for the Congress on Monday, and denounced the practice of the leadership of the former to drag the names of Church leaders now and then for political mileage and to protect their vested interests.

�To create room for clean politics in Kerala, both the LDF and the UDF should avoid the splinter groups of the Kerala Congress from their fold, they said.

Kurien and Mathew, who hold the membership of the Kottayam DCC and the KPCC, respectively, as well as Congress colleagues and former KC(M) MLAs M V Mani (Angamali), P M Mathew (Kaduthuruthy) and V J Joseph (Poonjar), told reporters here on Monday that the leadership of the Catholic Church had never indulged in any bargaining for a representative of a political party, took sides with a faction, or become its spokesman. �As true Catholics and as those who had been peoples representatives, we know the truth,� they said. �The Church leadership stands by the secular character of the nation with all respect to various communities in the state,� they said.

The rank and file of the Kerala Congress, who are misled by the leadership of the party so far, should realise their folly and join the mainstream Congress, they said.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Youth end life

TPURAM: In a suspected case of suicide a 21-year old youth was found dead after he was run over by a train. The deceased has been identified as Vinod son of the late Wilson.

Pirated CDs seized one held

TPURAM: The Poonthura police yesterday busted a pirated CD racket which has been operating from a rented house at Azad Nagar Poonthura. The police seized thousands of pirated CDs of latest Malayalam and Tamil movies from the house. The police have also arrested one person. Aniruddhan hailing from Kollam from the house. According to the police Aniruddhan who was residing at the house under a bogus address , was involved in mass production of pirated CDs using computers and CD writers. A probe is one to find out if more people are involved in the racket

Ten cops suspended

TPURAM: The police constables have been placed under suspension in connection with the unruly scenes at a meeting of the Kerala Police Association�s city unit here on Friday.Those suspended are Ajith Kumar , Edwin , Shabeer , Aji , Kiran , Ajayan , Vinod , Prakashan , Shaji and Jayakumar . Those belonging to both pro-cpm and pro-congress factions are among those who were placed under suspension.The clashes between the two sections occurred allegedly due to the denial of a section from taking part in the discussions at the meeting.

BJP activist hacked to death

WADANAPALLY: A BJP activist was hacked to death in the political clash that broke out between the BJP and CPM activists at the Wadanappaly beach last night. The dead has been identified as Vinil (24) of Chavakkad.

CPM branch secretary identified as Sudarshanan seriously injured in the clash has been admitted at a private hospital in Thrissur.

A hartal is being observed in the coastal area by the BJP in protest against the incident. A large contingent of police is deployed in the area to avoid any untoward incident.

Youth hacked to death

TPURAM: A youth was hacked to death near the Ookkod Vevila Temple. The dead has been identified as Sunil Kumar of Ookkod.

Four killed in separate accidents in state

THODUPUZHA: Four persons were killed in three separate accidents in the state.

In the first incident, a 24-year-old woman was killed when her shawl got stuck at the back wheel of the bike which her father-in-law was riding. She has been identified as Tisha James, wife of Joseph of Thodupuzha. She was an engineer of Technopark in the capital city. The incident happened early this morning while she was on her way to Thodupuzha bus stand to catch a bus to the capital city. Though she was taken to the hospital, her life could not be saved. Her husband Joseph is in Australia.

In the second incident, a woman and her grand daughter were killed and 11 injured when their vehicle collided with a parcel lorry in front of A J College on the national highway in Thonnakkal. The dead have been identified as Ramla and Shafy. The incident happened while they were going back to Kollam after picking Ramlas son from the airport.

A 64-year-old driver identified as J Sathyaseelan alias Maniyan (64) was killed when his lorry overturned at a quarry near Venjaramoodu. He leaves behind his wife Sumathy and children Ambady and Ambili

CPI(M) asks Church to come clean on pressurising faction

TPURAM: CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has dared the Catholic Church in Kerala to come clean on the reports that there had been intense pressure from some senior Bishops for the merger of Kerala Congress factions led By P J Joseph and K M Mani and the former to quit the LDF ministry.

The Catholic Church should come out with a clarification on this issue since it is not proper for the Church to interfere in politics, Vijayan said at a party meeting in Kannur district last evening.

The bishops can air their views on religious matter. But it is not proper for them to interfere in political matters.

If a section of the clergy has done such an immature thing, they should correct themselves, Vijayan said

Traya Retrospective Film Festival from May 17

KOCHI: Traya, a non-profit organisation, will organise a five-day Traya Retrospective Film Festival, from May 17 in which eight selected films of Malayalam actor Gopi will be creened.

Speaking to reporters here on Monday, Malayalm film director Lal Jose, Chairman, Traya, said besides screening films of Gopi, there would be seminars, debate, photo exhibitions, music and plays during the festival. There would be open forums involving artists who have worked with Gopi, he said.

Reputed Directors Adoor Gopalakrishnan, K G George and actos Om Puri, Mammootty, Mohanlal, Thilakan, Nedumudi Venu and Sreenivasan are expected to participate, he said.

The films to be screened includes Yavanika, Kodiyettam, Kattathe Kilikkoodu, Palangal, Sandhyamayangum Neram, Kallan Pavithran, Chidambaram and Panchavadippalam, he said.

The festival would conducted in May every year, he said.

Federal Bank appoints new Executive Director

KOCHI: P C John has been appointed as Executive Director of the Kerala based Federal Bank with effect from May one.

Before his elevation to the new post, John was the Chief General Manager and Chief Financial Officer of the bank, a Federal bank press release said here on Monday.

He was a member of the committee constituted by Kerala government for revival of public sector undertakings.

John succeeds K S Harshan, it said.

Foundation stone for Bollard Pull laid

TPURAM: The foundation stone for the 500 T SWL Bollard Pull Testing facility, claimed to be the first such in the country, to determine the maximum load that a ship can pull was laid at Vizhinjam near here on Monday.

The Rs two crore Cochin Shipyard Ltd project is being carried out in collaboration with Kerala Port Department.

State Law and Ports Minister M Vijayakumar laid the foundation stone.

Cochin Shipyard is presently constructing 16 Offshore Support Vessels for reputed international clients as well as for Shipping Corporation of India, a release said.

Bollard pull trials are conducted for determining the maximum load that a ship can pull. The ship is tied to a fixed Bollard (a vertical post/structure) at shore.

The pull of the vessel under maximum operating condition is measured by means of a load cell.Newly constructed tugs and special offshore vessels need to carry out this test in presence of ship owners and classification society prior to delivery. Vizhinjam was selected by the shipyard due to its inherent advantage of higher water depth close to the shore.

KSIDC forays into new sectors for funding

TPURAM: Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, the premier industrial promotional agency in the state, has identified five more potential sectors for financial assistance.

After a thorough study of the potential and growth, KSIDC has selected logistics, infrastructure, media and entertainment, knowledge centres and retailing as additional sectors for extending financial assistance, Corporation Managing Director Alkesh Sharma said in a release here on Monday.

KSIDCs emphasis on the new sectors was in tune with the industrial policy of the state government that aimed to accelerate growth by attracting a steady stream of investments to the state, he said

Fleeing criminals held after hot chase

KASARAGOD : Two criminals, who managed to flee after being produced before a court here on Monday, were nabbed with the help of local people.

Rafeeq (37) and Riyas (26) managed to give the slip to police just outside the Judicial Magistrate Court in Vidyanagar, police said.

The two, brought here from the Kannur Central Prison, were caught as the locals came to the rescue of the policemen in giving chase, police said.

They are said to be involved in several cases, including murder and burglaries, in north Kerala

Sanctioning of PWD works: Probe against Joseph begins



KOLLAM: Kerala government has begun an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the sanctioning of PWD works by former minister P J Joseph during his last month in office, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan said on Monday.

The Finance department had already started an inquiry into the issue and Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac would reveal more details on the matter, the Chief Minister told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Earlier, when the question was raised by journalists at the post-cabinet briefing, Achuthanandan said the complaint against Joseph had been raised by the Finance Minister and hence it could not be without basis.

Joseph was removed from the cabinet by the Chief Minister last week after his party KC-J decided to quit the LDF and merge with UDF constituent KC-M.

SSLC results announced, 90.72 pass percentage

TPURAM: State Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examination results for this year recorded a 90.72 pass percentage with 4,08,226 candidates becoming eligible for higher studies.

Announcing the results, Education Minister M A Baby told reporters here on Monday that a total of 4.50 lakh students appeared for the examination held at 2729 centres between March 15 to March 27.

While 5182 candidates got A plus grade for all subjects and 17,515 got A grade or above for all subjects.

This years pass percentage was marginally less than last year�s 91.92 per cent. Highest pass percentage was registered in Pala education district with 97.79 per cent while Palakkad district has the lowest pass percentage with 81.08 per cent

Baby said supplementary examination would be held this month itself. This would enable candidates who failed to become eligible for higher studies to improve their marks, he said.

Moratorium on fishermen\'s loan repayment extended

TPURAM: The state cabinet on Monday decided to extend by three months the moratorium on repayment of loans taken by fishermen from various co-operatives, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan said.

The moratorium on loans announced earlier expired on May 2, VS told reporters after a cabinet meeting here.

The cabinet decided to approve in full the report of Justice Padmanabhan Committee appointed to revise the salary, pension and other benefits of judicial officers, subject to the endorsement of Supreme Court, he said.

Additional Chief Secretary Mohanty has been appointed as chairman of an expert committee to study the possibility of fixing milk price in accordance with production cost, he said.

The committee has been asked to submit the report within one month, he said.

Govt challenges CAT order on Thachankary

KOCHI: The state government on Monday filed an appeal in the High Court challenging a Central Administrative Tribunal order, staying the suspension of senior IPS officer Tomin J Thachankary who had been suspended from service after he undertook a foreign trip without informing the government.

In the appeal, the government submitted that the CAT order of April 23 should be quashed as it was arbitrary and illegal and would also set a bad precedent and send a wrong message to erring officials.

Thachankary, former IG (Kannur), had a controversial career record. There had been a series of allegations, vigilance investigation, vigilance inquiry, criminal cases and disciplinary actions against him, the government submitted.

Decision on new minister after LDF meet, says VS

TPURAM: Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Monday hinted that a decision on inducting Kerala Congress (J) rebel camper V Surendran Pillai into the cabinet in place of PJ Joseph, who was ousted from cabinet last week, would be taken only after detailed discussions by the liaison committee of the LDF.

The LDF did not discuss the issue, was Achuthanandan curt reply when reporters sought to know the chances of Pillai being taken into the cabinet. The issue would be coming up in the next meeting of the LDF state committee this week end.

Joseph was sacked from the cabinet by Achuthanandan on Saturday shortly after he announced his decision to resign as minister and quit the LDF for merger with opposition UDF ally Kerala Congress (M).

When brought to notice about the allegations levelled against P J Joseph before resignation, he said it would be true.

The cabinet today decided to appoint an expert panel with P K Mohanty, IAS, as the chairman, to study on milk price

State�s all-party team to meet PM this week

TPURAM: An all-party delegation from the state will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday to take up certain specific demands of the state concerning National Highway development, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan said here on Monday.

One of the main demands was that the width of the NH in the state should be limited to 30 feet, considering acute pressure on land, Achuthanandan told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

The state was also against the BOT route in highway development arguing it would amount to taxing the people for long. Instead, the LDF Government had been pressing the Centre to shell out its own funds for road development.

Chief Minister had last month convened an all-party meet here to discuss these issues, where the decision to send a delegation was taken.

Since the density of population is high in Kerala, complaints have poured in from every part of the state about the acquisition of land for the highways. In many cities and towns, traders forums have also come out raising objections on the alignment of highways in their respective areas.

ദേശീയപാത വികസനം:സര്‍വകക്ഷി സംഘം ബുധനാഴ്ച്ച ഡല്‍ഹിയിലേക്ക്

ദേശീയപാത വികസനം അടക്കമുള്ള വിഷയങ്ങള്‍ ചര്‍ച്ച ചെയ്യാനായി സര്‍വകക്ഷിസംഘം ബുധനാഴ്ച്ച പ്രധാനമന്ത്രിയെ കാണുമെന്ന് മുഖ്യമന്ത്രി വി.എസ്. അച്യുതാനന്ദന്‍ .തിരുവന്തപുരത്ത് തിങ്കളാഴ്ച നടന്ന വാര്‍ത്ത സമ്മേളനത്തില്‍ വെച്ചാണ് മുഖ്യമന്ത്രി ഈക്കാര്യം പറഞ്ഞത് .ദേശീയപാത വികസനം 30 മീറ്റര്‍ ആയി പരിമിതപ്പെടുത്തുക, ബിഒടി ഒഴിവാക്കുക, ആവശ്യമായ പണം കേന്ദ്രം അനുവദിക്കുക എന്നിവ ഉന്നയിച്ച് പ്രധാനമന്ത്രിക്ക് നിവേദനം സമര്‍പ്പിക്കുമെന്നും അദ്ദേഹം വ്യക്തമാക്കി. മുന്‍ പൊതുമരാമത്ത് വകുപ്പുമന്ത്രി പി. ജെ. ജോസഫിനെതിരായ അഴിമതി ആരോപണം ശരിയാണോ എന്ന ചോദ്യത്തിന് ശരിയല്ലാതെ മന്ത്രിമാര്‍ പറയുമോ എന്നായിരുന്നു മുഖ്യമന്ത്രിയുടെ മറുപടി ‍. ജോസഫിനുപകരം ആരെ എടുക്കുമെന്ന ചോദ്യത്തിന് അക്കാര്യം മുന്നണി ചര്‍ച്ച ചെയ്തില്ലെന്നും അദ്ദേഹം പറഞ്ഞു.

Kerala scribe gets award in Australia

Thiruvananthapuram, May 3 (IANS) Thiruvallam Bhasi, a Kerala journalist who edits two magazines in Melbourne, has won a certificate of appreciation from the Victorian Police in Australia.

The award is in recognition of the support given by his magazines to the �Crime Stoppers section of the police.

Bhasi launched an exclusive magazine for students, �Indian Student, and a Malayalee magazine, �Indian Malayalee�, both from Melbourne.

�The award was handed over by Victorian Chief Police Commissioner Simon Overland,� Bhasi told IANS over phone from Melbourne.

RCom launches Mobile Jockey portal

Reliance Communications (RCom) announced the launch of what it claims to be Indias first Mobile Jockey portal as part of its VAS offerings. The services are available to the operator�s GSM as well as CDMA subscribers.

As part of the initial launch phase, the services will be available in Hindi, Telugu, and Malayalam.

�This new VAS service will allow music lovers to reap benefit in a multi-language music gold mine. This is in keeping with RCom�s continued endeavour to array a slew of value-added services to our world of customers, said Mr. Anil Pande, Head � VAS, Reliance Communications.

�As Reliance Communications has crossed well over the milestone of 100 Million customers in the country, at every turn we�re on the lookout for adding value to our customers. Mobile Jockey Portal service is our latest leap forward to offering great mobile entertainment to them,� he further added.

The price of this service would be Rs. 6 per minute.

Dhanalakshmi hikes term deposit rates

Mumbai: The Kerala-based Dhanalakshmi Bank announced a 25 basis points increase on its domestic term deposit rates across all maturities effective Monday. The new rates are applicable for all domestic term deposits below and including Rs. 1 crore across all tenures.

Deposit of up to Rs. 1 crore will be offered 6.5 percent for one-year maturity. For deposits from ranging from 366 days to two years, 7.25 percent, above two years up to five year maturities, the bank will offer 7.50 percent and above five years up to 10 years, 7.75 percent.

The bank will offer a special rate of 7.75 percent for 400 days term for deposits up to Rs. 50 lakh. It has also waived off pre-payment penalty in respect of all deposit schemes that offer the sweep in sweep out facility as a product feature. It has also announced increase in the period of term under its short term, high value deposit schemes from 15 days and 30 days to 46 days and 91 days respectively.

I�m bored of being different: Padmapriya

Still basking in the glory of her character, Neeli, in the period film Pazhassiraja, actress Padmapriya is all set to entertain the audience with another unique role in the much-awaited cowboy film.

Irumbukottai Murattu Singam (IKMS). Revealing that shes playing an officer�s daughter in the film, she says, �I play a village belle set in a �westernised� village. I have never done this kind of a role earlier and I�m super excited about it. However, she�s relieved that she didn�t need to speak Tamil in a particular dialect like her co-stars in the film. Though not a big fan of cowboy films, she says that she was bowled over by Clint Eastwood films. �I�ve watched his cowboy films at least half a dozen times,� she says. Padmapriya�s penchant for action came to the fore in Pazhassiraja. So, does she have action sequences in IKMS? �No,� she says, �However, Sandhya (her costar in the film) has some action scenes. She even rides a horse in the film! To an extent, I regret not getting such a chance.� The actress doesn�t shy away from acting in multi-heroine films and has proved on several earlier occasions that she�s quite at home with such films. Ask her about her unique choice of films and she says, �I�m happy that I�m always associated with such films. However, I�m also a big fan of masala commercial flicks.�

Wataniya Airways planning services to India; 1time gains; Royal Jordanian falls

Bloomberg UTV speculated that the move may be in response to Saudi Arabian LCC, nasairs plans to launch India operations. nasair plans to launch three times weekly Riyadh-Kochi service from 01-Jun-2010, four times weekly Riyadh-Kozhikode service from 01-Jul-2010 and three times weekly Riyadh-Delhi service from 01-Aug-2010. The carrier launched four times weekly Riyadh-Mumbai service in Apr-2010.

Wataniya Airways also launched three times weekly Kuwait-Istanbul service on 02-May-2010. Istanbul is Wataniya Airways ninth destination and its first European destination city since the launch of operations in Jan-2009.

Schemes in Panchayats

Union Minister of Panchayati Raj Dr. C.P. Joshi today informed the Lok Sabha under a Central Sector Scheme viz. Panchayat Mahila Evam Yuva Shakti Abhiyan (PMEYSA) which is being implemented by this Ministry in different States / UTs including Kerala. The Scheme is demand driven in nature. PYSA is one of the components of this Scheme.

Dr. Joshi said as per the guidelines of PMEYSA, one Coordinator � Youth is to be associated with the State Support Centre established in concerned States for PMEYSA. The main function of such centre is to keep updated information related to the participation of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) and Elected Youth Representatives (EYRs) in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) for entire State. The Scheme of PMEYSA has also a provision for organising sensitization programmes for enhancing the capacity of PRIs representatives in batches. Each batch comprises of 25 EWRs and 10 EYRs.

Replying to a written question in this regard the Minister said Minister further stated that there is no pension scheme for Panchayat representatives and there is no proposal to set up rural trade centre/Gram Gyan Kendra in each Gram Panchayat in the country.

*****

Calicut University Hall Tickets, Exam Timetable declared

Calicut University Hall Tickets, Exam Timetable declared

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Calicut University Exam Timetable 2010 for the 1st Year B.Pharm Degree Supplementary Exaination May 2010 and B.Sc. Hotel Management and Catering Science (Reg/Supp) Exaination May 2010 has been declared on http://www.universityofcalicut.info/

Appointment of Judges of Kerala High Court

In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 217 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint (1) Smt.Justice Mavulli Cholakkode Hari Rani, and (2) Shri Justice Thomas Puthenpura Joseph, Additional Judges of the Kerala High Court, to be Judges of that High Court, in that order of seniority, with effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Missing Kerala woman activist found dead

Kannur, May 2 (PTI) A woman activist fighting against alleged illegal quarrying was today found dead in an abandoned well near here, two months after she had gone missing, police said.

The decomposed body of K Kamalakshi (45) was recovered by a special investigating team constituted to inquire into her mysterious disappearance after she left home to attend a womans gathering on February 28, they said.

Following a complaint to Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan that inquiry into the womans disappearance was not progressing, state police chief had constituted the SIT.

The womans relatives expressed apprehension that she might have been murdered as Kamalakshi was in the forefront against alleged illegal quarrying.

The body has been shifted to Pariyaram Medical College hospital for post mortem, they said

Kerala hosts mango, banana festival

Over 150 varieties of mangoes and bananas have been put on display during a mango show and banana festival being held here.

Organised by the Ernakulam District Agri-Horticultural Society in Kochi, the two-day festival, which will last till Sunday.

Mangoes of different shapes, sizes, and colours are on displayed, while many species of bananas, including red and Poovan bananas have been showcased at the festival.

Most of the fruits on display are carbide-free and brought from various parts of the country like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Kerala SSLC Exam Results 2010

Kerala SSLC Exam Results 2010 will be publish on dt. 03.05.2010, Monday. Candidates can get SSLC Results 2010 online on official website. in SSLC Exam Kerala, there are more than 4,54,000 students appeared for the examination.

Online PR News � 02-May-2010 � Kerala SSLC Exam Results 2010 will be publish on dt. 03.05.2010, Monday. Candidates can get SSLC Results 2010 online on official website. in SSLC Exam Kerala, there are more than 4,54,000 students appeared for the examination. According to official sources, the tabulation of the papers is already over and the results will be declared by the education minister Mr. M.A Baby on Monday.

Kerala ministers swing into action as crisis deepens in Malayalam film industry

HIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A meeting of the feuding groups of Malayalam film industry convened by the state government Sunday failed to resolve the crisis erupted after a ban on stars appearing on television shows and suspension of new projects.

We have agreed to constitute a high-level panel to look into the problem and suggest remedies. Well be meeting again on May 12 and we hope to bring the house in order by the end of this month, Culture Minister MA Baby told reporters after the meeting in Kottayam.

Representatives of Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), the apex body of producers, distributors and exhibitors, and Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA), representing those behind the camera, attended the meeting besides Industry Minister Elamaram Kareem.

KPCC will have the last word: Antony

KOZHIKODE: Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony has declined to comment on the issues thrown up by the proposed merger of the Kerala Congress(J) and Kerala Congress(M).Responding to journalists questions here yesterday, Antony said the issues could be settled at the State level itself. The leadership of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) was capable of handling the situation; the KPCC would have the last word on the issues, he said.Antony said he would give his opinion if it was asked for, but he would do so confidentially, not in public. He would not say whether a replacement for Shashi Tharoor would be made in the Union Council of Ministers

Fined for dumping chicken waste

KOZHIKODE: The city Corporation has imposed a fine of Rs.5,000 on the driver of a three-wheeled goods carrier on the charge of dumping waste from chicken stalls in a grama panchayat on the city outskirts. A team of health inspectors comprising N. Ganeshan and V. Vijayakumar, on Friday, nabbed Panikkarkandiparamba A. Haris of Mathottam in Beypore grama panchayat while he was trying to dump the waste. The vehicle was taken into custody. The accused was charged under various sections of the Kerala Municipality Act of 1994. Health officer Sabarinath Ramamoorthy and Health Supervisor P. Subramanian said the corporation had earlier received complaints that utility vehicles transported waste from other grama panchayats and dumped it in isolated areas in the city limits. There were also complaints that workers of the civic body and a section of Kudumbasree volunteers were in collusion with those dumping waste in public places.

Development rally by NCP

KOCHI: State president of the Nationalist Congress Party will inaugurate a four-day �development message rally in the district at the High Court junction on May 4.The rally is led by NCP district president C.M. Devassy. Thomas Chandy, MLA, will deliver the keynote address on the occasion. The rally is being held to highlight the absence of coordination between agencies involved and both Union and State governments, resulting in a stalemate in development projects in the district. A development document will be formed at the end of the rally and presented to the Chief Minister by the end of July, Devassy said.

Amar Singh finds a new role for himself

KOCHI: Former general secretary of the Samajwadi Party Amar Singh, who was expelled from the party after he fell out with party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, will star in a Malayalam movie �Bombay Mittai, with actor Dimple Kapadia donning the role as his wife.Neelambari Perumal, daughter of the exiled Sri Lankan Tamil leader Varadaraja Perumal too is starring in the movie.. Singh portrays a musician, with many comedy actors and others from Mollywood as co-actors. �But this is not a comical movie, since I am murdered in it, he said, while addressing a media conference here yesterday. Singh would not charge any fee for acting in the movie.�During my youth, I would not miss out on any movie in which Dimple starred, so much so that more than attend law lectures, I used to go and see her movies, especially the blockbuster �Bobby.�

LIC employees to resist privatisation

KOCHI: the LIC Employees �Union is hopeful that the provisions contained in the LIC amendment Bill, which are harmful to the interests of the employees, will be removed. The union had represented the matter before the parliamentary standing committee, which had recommended the withdrawal of the relevant clauses, said K. Venugopal, general secretary of All India Insurance Employees Association. He was inaugurating the silver jubilee convention of the Ernakulam division of LIC Employees Union here yesterday. He alleged that the Union government had introduced the amendment bill as part of its privatisation agenda. One of the provisions was to withdraw the government guarantee to the public sector insurance policies. The withdrawal of the guarantee would affect LICs prospects

Tiruvarur accident victims laid to rest

KOCHI: The bodies of those who were killed in the accident at Tiruvarur in Tamil Nadu on Thursday were buried at two churches in the city yesterday. Nine persons of a family were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in to Velankanni hit a lorry parked on the Nagapattinam-Velankanni route in the early hours of Thursday. Four persons were injured in the accident. The bodies were brought to the city early yesterday and kept at the General Hospital mortuary. The bodies of Shyni, 29, wife of Joseph of Dazed Road, Kaloor; their children Shan Joseph, 12, and Sona Joseph, 10; Kurian, 70, Josephs uncle; Thankamma, 58; Leela, 48, Kurians sister-in-law; and her son Renjith, 28, were kept for the public to pay last respects at St. Francis Xavier Church, Kaloor.

Rallies mark May Day

KOCHI: Members of trade unions got together to organise rallies and meetings to mark May Day at different parts of the district. The rally in the city started from the High Court Junction and ended at Boat Jetty Junction. P.S. Mohanan, district secretary, CITU, inaugurated the public meeting that followed. K. Vijayan Pillai, district secretary, AITUC, presided.P.H.M. Ismail, NGO Union; Motilal, Joint Council Union; Charles George, TUCI; K.V. Manoj and K. Ali Akbar, CITU; spoke at the meeting. Earlier, the rally was led by C.K. Manisankar, Deputy Mayor, Kochi Corporation; S. Krishnamoorthy, A.P. Lovely, P.N. Seenulal, K.A. Joy and P.N. Radhakrishnan. Former M.P., K. Chandran Pillai inaugurated the public meeting at Thripunithura, which was convened after the May Day rally.

Complaint against P.C. George

TPURAM: Advocate D.B. Binu of the Human Rights Defence Forum, Kochi, has written to Speaker K. Radhakrishnan and chairman of the House Committee on Privileges and Ethics V.J. Thankappan urging them that action be taken against the committee member P.C. George for making premature announcements about the committees decision on the charge of breach of privilege against Chief Information Commissioner Palat Mohandas. The advocate said George had said in a television interview that the committee would punish the commissioner when understandably there was no decision either by the committee or by the legislature regarding the guilt of the commissioner.

Public health experts renew H1N1 alert

TPURAM: Public health experts have cautioned the public against a possible flare-up of Influenza A (H1N1) or swine flu in the community in the aftermath of the rains. Senior health officials said district health teams had been asked to be on renewed alert against swine flu as the threat perception about the infection seems to have vanished. Seasonal influenza virus is being slowly replaced by H1N1 virus in the community and it is possible that the virus is quietly in circulation but that its infection potential has been low because of the rise in temperature. We have adequate stocks of the medicine and are checking the district stores to ensure that there is enough medicine to manage any situation,� a senior Health official said.

Mani flays Left leaders

TPURAM: Kerala Congress (M) leader K.M. Mani, on Saturday, trained his guns on the leaders of the Left Democratic Front by questioning their moral right to criticize the proposed merger between his party and the Kerala Congress(J). Mani fell back on contemporary Kerala political history to pillory the Left leaders who termed Josephs shift as �cheating and depicted him as a villain.Manis contention was that the Kerala Congress(J) had not done anything different from what the Communist Party of India did in 1979, when the then Chief Minister P.K. Vasudevan Nair suddenly resigned and announced his partys decision to quit the then Democratic Front and join the coalition led by the CPI(M) as part of the moves to foster Left unity. Joseph�s decision to merge his party with the Kerala Congress(M) is in the interests of the unity of Kerala Congress factions. If what the CPI did in 1979 was right, how can what Joseph did now be wrong?� Mani asked.

New Pension System can be accessed through post offices

TPURAM: The New Pension System (NPS) can now be accessed in Kerala through identified post offices. The scheme was introduced by the Union government initially for its new recruits except Defence forces from January 1, 2004, and was subsequently extended to all citizens of India from age 18 to 55 years from May 1, 2009.The scheme is operational through organisations that are designated as Points of Presence (POP).The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has appointed the Department of Posts as one of the POPs to operate the scheme through identified post offices (POP-SP).

CM is the patron of Kerala Kaumudi�s centenary celebrations� executive committee

TPURAM: The central organizing executive committee of the centenary celebrations of Kerala Kaumudi has been formed.

The chief patron of the committee will be Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan. the other patrons are Defence Minister A K Antony and Union Cabinet Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi.

The co-patrons are Ministers of State Mullappally Ramachandran, E Ahamed and K V Thomas, Ministers C Divakaran, N K Premachandran, Jose Thettayil and Ramachandran Kadannappally, and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy, SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappally Nadesan and Kerala Kaumudi Editorial Advisor N Ramachandran are also co-patrons.

The chairman of the executive committee is M S Mani, the Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of Kerala Kaumudi. The Joint Managing Director M S Sreenivasan and Director M S Ravi are the vice-chairmen. Kerala Kaumudi Managing Editor Deepu Ravi is the president of the committee. Director (Marketing) Darshan Ravi is the vice-president. Kerala Kaumudi Executive Editor B C Jojo is the general secretary of the committee and the general convenor of all the ad hoc committees that would be formed in connection with the celebrations.

The on-year long centenary celebrations will commence on February 1, 2011.

SSLC Results 2010 will be declared today

TPURAM: SSLC results 2010 will be declared by Education Minister M A Baby at 11.30 am Monday at the PR Chamber in Secretariat.

The students can check their results at these websites: www.sslcexamkerala.gov.in, http://keralaresults.nic.in, http://results.kerala.nic.in, http://results.gov.in, www.examresults.kerala.gov.in, www.kerala.gov.in, www.prd.kerala.in, www.result.cdit.org

Results can also be checked through Kerala Kaumudi. Candidates can either call to phone number 0471~3078816 or visit website www.keralakaumudi.com

Rebel KC(J) faction likely to get ministerial berth

TPURAM: A faction of Kerala Congress (J) which did not agree with the merger plan of the party with a constituent of opposition UDF, is likely to get a ministerial berth in the LDF ministry in Kerala.

The faction, led by former Union Minister P C Thomas, has staked claim for the ministerial berth that fell vacant with the removal of KC(J) leader and PWD Minister P J Joseph by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan from the Cabinet shortly after Joseph announced his partys decision to quit ruling LDF and merge with Congress-led UDF partner KC(M).

According to P C Thomas, his faction would get all the positions enjoyed by KC(J) before the exit of Joseph, including the ministerial berth, which would go to lone KC(J) MLA V Surendran Pillai, who stood against the merger move.

Tharoor in Parliamentary panel on External Affairs

NEW DELHI: Shashi Tharoor lost his job as junior minister in External Affairs over the IPL Kochi row but his links with the key ministry will not be snapped.

The ebullient Lok Sabha MP has been nominated by Speaker Meira Kumar to be a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs.

Tharoor, a former UN Under-Secretary General, had to resign in the wake of the controversy in connection with the IPL Kochi franchisee.

A first-time MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor was no stranger to controversies during his 11-month stint as Minister of State for External Affairs.



UDF not to take over responsibility of merger, says Chandy

KOTTAYAM: Talking to reporters in the district, opposition leader Oommen Chandy Sunday said the UDF will not take over the responsibility of the merger of KC (J) with the Mani group. They will have to bear the advantages and disadvantages following the merger.

Merger problems to be solved soon, says Kunhalikutty

MALAPPURAM: The problems which erupted in the UDF after the merger of Kerala Congress (J) with Kerala Congress (M) will be solved soon, said Muslim League general secretary P K Kunhalikutty. But the league will not mediate in the issue, he added.

He said, �There is no meaning in saying that the merger is an internal affair of both the Kerala Congress. As they are an ally of the UDF, it should have been discussed with them.

Three-member panel to solve film crisis

KOTTAYAM: Cultural Affairs Minister M A Baby who took the initiative to solve the crisis in the film industry following the halting of production and fresh releases of Malayalam films by producers and distributors associations, ended in a stalemate Sunday.

The meet chaired by the minister constituted a three-member panel with T Balakrishnan, IAS as the chairman and K R Mohanan, film academy chairman, as the convenor.

The panel will hold talks with the organizations on May 12 and they have been directed to submit in writing all the problems. The release and shooting of films were halted from April 15.

Ready for talks to end controversy, says Mani

KOTTAYAM: Kerala Congress (M) leader K M Mani Sunday said they are ready to hold talks with the UDF to end the controversy regarding the merger with the Kerala Congress (Joseph).

He said this while responding to Oommen Chandys statement that the UDF will not take over the responsibility following the merger.

Merger is the internal affair of the Kerala Congress and we don�t need the permission of the UDF for the merger. Mani said that he has invited Chandy for talks to end the controversy in connection with the merger.

Nothing will happen if the Joseph group merges with KC (M), he said.

Malayali found dead in Duronto Express

NEW DELHI: A Malayali was found dead in Duronto Express. The deceased is identified as U. K. Kumaran of Thrissur district. His death took place at Baroda while on his journey from New Delhi to Kerala.

There were only two girls with the person. Co-passengers said he was on his way to Kerala for medical treatment. The train was stopped at Navi Mumbai when Malayali passengers protested against not providing freezer to preserve Kumarans body. Later the railway instructed to embalm the body and take to his homeland.

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