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Thursday, December 28, 2006


Sunday, December 24, 2006

New Villupuram Collector

VILLUPURAM: Prajendra Navneeth took charge as the Collector of Villupuram district from District Revenue Officer K. Chandrasekaran

Mr. Navneeth replaces Ashish Chatterji, who was transferred on November 9, 2006. For more than a month, Mr. Chandrasekaran was officiating as the District Collector.
Mr. Navneeth has a bachelors degree in electrical engineering from the Regional Engineering College, Jaipur (now renamed the National Institute of Technology )Soon after assuming office, Mr. Navneeth told presspersons that he would endeavour to study the reasons for the region's backwardness. Creating employment opportunities would be his prerogative, he said.

Second phase of `Two land scheme'

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi will inaugurate the second phase of 'land for landless poor' scheme in the state on December 17 at a function in Villupuram.
On that day, 25,806 acres of land would be distributed to 26,749 families, an official press release said.
In the first phase, 24,271 acres of land was distributed to 23,440 poor families.
The DMK, in its poll manifesto for the assembly election, had promised to distribute two acres of land to the poor, subject to the availability.
The first phase was inaugurated on September 17 last, the birth anniversary of social reformer Periyar E V Ramasamy.

Rlys set to earn Rs 2,000 cr this fiscal

Indian Railways is set to earn Rs 2,000 crore this fiscal, Union Minister of State for Railways R Velu said the Railways has targeted to carry 726 million tonnes of goods this fiscal.

Qualitative development would be effected at 334 railway stations in the country.
Four metros and 19 cities will have their railway stations improved to world class standards with underground supermarkets like those in Russia and England.

In Tamil Nadu, electrification, broad gauge conversion and doubling of tracks in the Villupuram - Tuticorin section would be done at a cost of Rs 2,700 crore.

Salem - Vriddhachalam broad gauge conversion work will be completed soon and trains will run from March 2007, he said.

Doubling of Chennai - Villupuram tracks and broad gauge conversion of Tindivanam - Tiruvannamalai and Tindivanam - Nagiri sections will be undertaken at a cost of Rs 827 crore this year.

Orders have been issued to set up a new Salem railway division, the Minister said

Roger Federer serves an ace at villupuram

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and the world's number one tennis player Roger Federer started his three-day visit to Tsunami-hit areas of Tamil Nadu on Friday. Federer, who is to take stock of the activities undertaken by the UNICEF, spent about two hours at a village in Cuddalore district. He went to an ICDS anganwadi centre and also visited a creche for Tsunami-hit children.The tennis player went to a school and saw how children were learning through interactive methods.

Federer also visited the Integrated Child Development Scheme Centre at Thazhanguda village and sat through a puppetry show by children on HIV awareness.
Federer's visit was, however, marked by drama outside the orphanage as UNICEF representatives were mobbed by reporters who were denied access to cover the champion's visit. Federer was whisked away by security personnel and left for Villupuram to know about the tsunami recovery programme there.
Federer was appointed UNICEF's goodwill ambassador in 2006 and has, since then, helped in several fund-raising initiatives.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Many Ministers, little development

Industrial development, amenities lacking in Villupuram district

VILLUPURAM: The strategically located Villupuram district has always played a major role in State politics. It has the distinction of having produced the first Chief Minister of Madras Presidency, Omandur P. Ramasamy Reddiyar, in the post-Independence era. But though it has turned out many Ministers, it has not made much progress on the socio-economic front.
The district cannot boast of an industrial estate or clusters of small-scale units, and hence unemployment remains a daunting issue. The adverse weather conditions force many farm hands to migrate to Andhra Pradesh and Pondicherry.

The tribal conclaves of the Kalryan Hills lack basic amenities. The tsunami-hit fishermen are still struggling to offset their losses. Though a major producer of tapioca and guava, the district does not have any food-processing industry or sago/starch unit. When Villupuram was carved out of the erstwhile South Arcot district in 1993 it took away 12 Assembly segments, leaving just nine to Cuddalore.

The major political parties such as the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam are in constant tussle. The Pattali Makkal Katchi and the Dalit Panthers of India are striving to nurture their own constituencies and expand their base.

The district has a total population of 29.44 lakh, consisting of Scheduled Castes (27.17 per cent), Scheduled Tribes (1.77 per cent), Backward Class (23 per cent), Most Backward Class (39.8 per cent), and others (8.26 per cent). The MBCs, mainly the Vanniyars, are dominant, followed by the Dalits, and hence, these two communities play a crucial role in deciding the winner.
Earlier, the Vanniyars and the Dalits were at loggerheads, but closed the ranks, coming under the common umbrella of Tamil protection.

However, now they stand divided on the political front, as the two main forces representing them — the PMK and the DPI — are in opposite camps. At present two leaders, K. Ponmudi of the DMK and Education Minister C.Ve. Shanmugham are considered to be the power centres, and both are in the fray at Villupuram and Tindivanam respectively.
They are straining to gain the upper hand in the region, and in this endeavour the DMK is facing an uphill task.

The AIADMK has established its supremacy till now in Tindivanam, Vanur, Melmalaiyanur, Thirunavalur, Ulundurpet, Mugaiyur, Chinna Salem, Kandamangalam and Ginjee constituencies, and in the remaining three — Villupuram, Sankarapuram and Rishivandhiyam — the DPA partners are ruling the roost.

The foremost duty of the DMK would be to wrest as many seats as possible from the AIADMK. The DMK State conference held in Villupuram was a pointer to that effort.
However, dissension and dissatisfaction are stalking both the camps: former DMK MLA A.G. Sampath has chosen to contest as an independent for the Mugaiyur seat, and the choice of AIADMK candidate Tamizhmozhi Rajadathan for Melmalaiyanur has caused displeasure among partymen.

DMDK potential Besides addressing the sensitive issue of dissension, both the camps ought to keep an eye on the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam that has the potential to wreck the chances of one of the major alliances.

It remains to be seen whose vote actor Vijayakanth's party will cut into. On that may depend who triumphs in this sensitive district.


Rajya Sabha

With a view to provide upgraded passenger amenities, Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore stations have been taken up for development as model stations. The following works have been sanctioned and are in progress at these stations:-

· Chennai Central – Works totaling Rs. 4.07 crore which are already in progress and targeted for completion by December 2007.

· Chennai Egmore – Works costing Rs. 6 crore which are targeted for completion by October 2007 for which plans and estimates are under preparation.

Chennai Central station is also proposed to be developed into a world class station for which it is proposed to engaged qualified consultants. However, no target is laid down for this purpose. Apart from the above, Kumbakonam, Vridhachalam and Tambaram in Tamil Nadu have also been taken up for modernization which is targeted for completion by March, 2007.
In addition, the following stations have also been identified for development as Model stations in the State of Tamil Nadu:
Arakkonam Jn., Chengalpattu, Chennai Beach, Coimbatore, Erode Jn., Kanniyakumari, katapadi, Madurai, Mambalam, Rameswaram, Salem Jn., Tiruchchirappalli, Tirunelveli, Tiruttani, Tuticorin, Jolarpettai, Dindigul, Tiruppur, Thanjavur, Nagercoil, Ambur, Kovilpatti, Virudhunagar, Villupuram Jn. and Hosur.
This information was given by Shri R.Velu, Minister of State for Railways in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

Villupuram Technical Institutes come under Anna University

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Two more technical universities will be established at Tiruchi and Coimbatore. The Assembly passed the Bills on Thursday.The new universities will be named Anna University, Tiruchirapalli, and Anna University, Coimbatore. The existing Anna University will be known as Anna University, Chennai.Replying to the debate, Minister for Higher Education K. Ponmudi said managing the affairs of more than 240 affiliated engineering colleges in the State had become a near impossibility. To ensure better and effective monitoring of the colleges the new universities were being set up.

About 150 engineering colleges in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Vellore, Thiruvannamalai and Villupuram districts will come under the purview of Anna University, Chennai. The Tiruchi university will have control over 75 engineering colleges in Tiruchi, Cuddalore, Kanyakumari, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Virudhunagar, Nagapatinam, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai, Thanjavur, Perambalur, and Thiruvarur districts.A total of 53 engineering colleges in Coimbatore, Dindigul, Erode, Karur, the Nilgiris, Theni, Dharamapuri, Krishnagiri, Namakkal and Salem districts will be affiliated to Anna University, Coimbatore. The new entities will be independent and have separate vice-chancellors and registrars.

Ganesha idol damaged

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Villupuram (TN), Dec 8: A day after a statue of social reformer E V Ramasamy was vandalised in Srirangam in Triruchirappalli, causing tension in various parts of the state, an idol of Lord Ganesha was found damaged inside a small temple at Sanakarapuram, about 80-kms from here today.
The damage to the two feet high idol was noticed this morning by the temple authorities who said the door of the temple was also found forced open, police said.
Police suspected the incident could have occurred late last night or in the wee hours today.
Meanwhile, angered over the incident, local people held a road-roko demanding authorities take immediate steps to nab the culprits.
Senior police officials are camping in the area, police said. (Agencies)
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