Thursday, June 2, 2011

T. Thiyagaran sworn in pro-tem Speaker of Puducherry

T. Thiagarajan, Member of Legislative Assembly from the Bahour constituency, was sworn in pro tem Speaker of the Puducherry Legislative Assembly at the Raj Nivas here on Wednesday. Lieutenant Governor Iqbal Singh administered the oath of affirmation.

Mr. Thiagarajan, who belonged to the All India N.R Congress, defeated former Speaker R. Radhakrishnan in the recent Assembly elections.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Chief Minister N. Rangasamy and newly-elected MLAs belonging to the AINRC.

None of the MLAs belonging to the other parties, including the Congress, the AIADMK and the DMK, attended the ceremony, though Raj Nivas sources said that invitation was sent to all of them.

While a release from the Assembly Secretary on Tuesday said that a session of the Legislative Assembly would be convened on Friday, when the newly-elected members would take oath, there was no indication from the ruling AINRC about expansion of the Cabinet.

This was despite the fact that over 15 days have passed on Wednesday since Mr. Rangasamy took charge as Chief Minister.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pondicherry: 300 hospitalised after chlorine gas leak

At least 300 people living near Chemfab Alkalis Limited's plant in Pondicherry were hospitalised on Wednesday after a chlorine gas leak from the factory affected them, an official said.

"None of the people admitted is in a serious condition. Till afternoon, only around 70 people were admitted. But after 12.30 pm, the number of people being admitted has increased. Now, there are around 300 people. We will review their condition and discharge around 250 of them later today," medical superintendent of Indira Gandhi Government Hospital said.

The Union Territory's administration has ordered immediate closure of the factory.

"Around 7.30 am, workers in the factory were filling chlorine gas in 900-kg cylinders. One of the cylinders leaked and the wind carried the gas to the nearby village, where the people complained of nausea and discomfort," Pondicherry district collector Rakesh Chandra said.

According to him, none of the 300 workers in the Chemfab factory was affected as the wind blew the leaked gas away.

The Rs. 87.29 crore turnover Chemfab Alkali makes caustic soda lyke, liquid chlorine, hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen gas and barium sulphate.

The Pondicherry administration put the number of people admitted to the hospital at 30, of whom three have been discharged.

According to officials in the Kalapet police station, around 70 people have been admitted to the hospital.

According to Chandra, an ex-gratia amount may be announced by the administration Thursday.

"The relief for the suffering has to be claimed as per the procedure laid in the Industries Act," he added.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Homage paid to tsunami victims

Hundreds of fishermen thronged the beaches in Puducherry to offer prayers in memory of those killed in the tsunami that struck the coast in December 2004.

Fishermen living in the coastal villages of Puducherry, particularly residents of Chinnakalapet, Periyakalapet, Ganapathichettikulam, Murthikuppam and Pillaichavady, where the maximum number of deaths occurred, paid homage to the victims.

The Joint Action Committee of Puducherry State Fishermen Organisations organised a function on Beach Road near the Gandhi Statue on Sunday to mark the sixth anniversary of the tsunami.

A placard carrying pictures of those killed in the tragedy was kept on Beach Road. Union Minister of State for Planning, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture V. Narayanasamy, Social Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy, Member of the Legislative Assembly A. Anand, president of Puducherry Pradesh Congress committee A.V. Subramanian, secretary of the Joint Action Committee M. Elango and large number of people offered floral tributes.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Puducherry CM V Vaithilingam declares assets

Puducherry Chief Minister V Vaithilingam today declared his assets in response to guidelines received from the Centre.

Vaithilingam released the details of his assets and that of his wife V Sasikala at a press meet here, saying "this is in keeping with the circular received from the Centre."

As per the statement of assets, Vaithilingam has deposits to the tune of Rs 11.85 lakh, mutual funds for Rs 18 lakh, LIC policy for Rs 12.25 lakh and 50 gm of gold. He has got 4,077 shares.

Besides having a plot at Boominapet measuring 322 sq m, he also owns a building measuring 21,600 sq ft at Moolakulam, two houses at 1,800 sq ft each at Brindavanam and a house at Madukarai, near Puducherry. In addition, he owns 11.52 hectares of agricultural land while his wife 3.8 hectares.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hidesign unveils flagship store in Pondicherry

Global brand Hidesign has opened a flagship store in Pondicherry. Located at Jawaharlal Nehru Street, the store covers an area of 4,000 sq.ft, making it one of India’s largest concept stores to be set up by a luxury brand.

The company said the new store “aims to curate some of the most significant milestones from Hidesign’s past through museum pieces strewn across the store”. These museum pieces include the first handbag ever designed by Hidesign.

The flagship store reveals the brand’s history through a timeline displayed in the travel section on Level 3 of the store and a collage of its advertisement campaigns showcased on Level 2. Also, aptly displayed on the pillars across the four levels of the store are pictures of the ‘People of Hidesign’ – individuals who have helped build the brand – and the ‘Stores of Hidesign’ across the world.

The store will soon have an in-house café, which will offer wine and cheese platters with local flavours, among other things, the company said.

Founded by Dilip Kapur in 1978, Hidesign is a lifestyle group. Recently, the group extended its concept of lifestyle by opening two luxury boutique hotels – Le Dupleix and Promenade – in Pondicherry.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Auroville an embodiment of spirit of unity: Sibal

Lauding the concept of Auroville, Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal said “it is larger than life and it is much more than India is.”

“We all live in an imperfect world and perfection is one we strive to achieve,” he said adding Auroville has shown the world the importance of spirit of unity and humanness. “It symbolises what we ought to have done across the world,” he said addressing the Aurovillians after launching Passage, an educational magazine.

Touching upon educational scenario in the country, Mr Sibal said “education as we understand over the years was a formal structure for a child to start his career. It has never taught to understand the self.” However, taking into account the present “imperfect world” dominated by market economy, the country cannot afford to do away with formal education.

The option before the government was to allow the child to choose what he or she could find joy in learning, Mr Sibal said.

Later in an informal talk with journalists at Auroville, the Union Minister said talks are on with insurance companies to provide health insurance coverage to teachers and group housing coverage. The aim was to attract more number of people to teaching profession, he added.

Union Minister of State for Planning, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture V. Narayanasamy also attended the function.