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Saturday, November 17, 2007

New berth for Tuticorin port

Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways T.R. Baalu has approved the construction of a new berth at North breakwater at the Tuticorin port.

North Cargo Berth 1 will cost Rs.40 crore. It will add a capacity of 2.93 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to the port and help ease congestion in handling bulk/dusty cargoes in the existing berths.

Since it will enable the port to handle coal vessels of 65,000 to 75,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT) with a maximum draft of 12.8 metres,

Mr. Baalu has expressed the hope that the new berth will help meet the growing demand for handling bulk cargo in the coming years.

The Minister said the new birth will be especially useful for cargo meant for the proposed thermal power plant at Tuticorin to be set up by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board and M/s Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd.

Presently, the Tuticorin port boasts of seven cargo berths, one container terminal, one oil jetty, two coal jetties and two shallow draft berths.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Private firms urged to file employment returns

The Directorate of Employment and Training has urged the private establishments in the district to file the employment returns (ER) in the prescribed forms before November 30, if they had not furnished them so far.

K. Kalaiselvan, District Employment Officer, said that the forms are available at the office of District Employment Officer at Koramballam or the organisations could download them from the official web site of the directorate,

The filled-in forms should be submitted to the office of the District Employment Officer before the stipulated deadline to avoid any action under Compulsory Notification of Vacancies (CNV) Act, 1959.

“The filing was made mandatory since data submitted would play a vital role in the formulation of national policy on education, employment and training,” he said.

Mr. Kalaiselvan said that the data pertaining to number of persons employed at an establishment (both men and women separately) should be filed in the ER-I form, while the type of occupations and qualification of persons should be mentioned in the ER-II forms.

While ER-I should be filed during every quarter of a calendar year, ER-II should be filed once in two years.

The Employment Market Information (EMI) unit, a research and analysis wing, functioning at the office of District Employment Officer here, would compile and sent the entire data to the Planning Commission of India through the Directorate at the state level and Director General of Employment and Training at the national level.

Mr. Kalaiselvan said that the data submitted by the private firms would be used only for statistical purposes and hence the organisations need not have to be skeptical in filing the employment returns.

He said that the entire 381 government establishments (both departments and quasi government organisations) in the district filed the returns when a similar exercise was carried out during last calendar year to identify the status quo on employment in the government sector.

Source : The Hindu

Induction programme for students studying German

Indira Gandhi National Open University is organising an induction programme for the new students taking German language course.

The event will be held on Saturday at 9.30 a.m. at the IGNOU Regional Centre, CIT Campus, Taramani. Rudiger Punzet of Goethe Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan and Renu Bhardwaj, Director, School of Humanities, IGNOU, New Delhi, will participate in the programme. The students will be briefed on the structure of the programme and assignments. Course material will also be distributed.

Inductions for students in Tiruchi, Madurai, Coimbatore, Salem and Tuticorin will also be held at their respective study centres.

Tuticorin Port trust to conducts elocution contest

The Tuticorin Port Trust conducted an elocution competition on Thursday (November 15) for college students as part of the Vigilance Awareness Week celebrations organised at the port.

M Mathisekaran, chief vigilance officer, Tuticorin Port Trust, said that the competition was held on the topic ‘Role of youth towards elimination of corruption’. He said a ‘pattimantram’ was conducted on Tuesday evening to mark the Week celebrations. The Awareness Week which commenced on November 12 concluded on November 16.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

TN seeks to double exports to $30 bn by 2011

The Tamil Nadu Government on Monday announced a new industrial policy seeking to double exports from the state to 30 billion dollars by 2011 that would create 10 lakh additional jobs.

The Industrial Policy 2007, released by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi here, seeks to generate a total of 20 lakh jobs by 2011, raise manufacturing sector's contribution to state GDP from 21 per cent to 27 per cent, improve competitiveness and efficiency of SMEs and agriculture-based industries.

"As work on the Sethusamudram channel is in progress, the state government would take up with the Government of India upgradation of Tuticorin port into a modern deep water hub port," it said.

Also, the state would provide all facilitation and support for early implementation of modernisation and expansion plans for Chennai airport.

The state would also follow-up with the Centre the issue of upgradation of Madurai, Tiruchirapalli, Tuticorin and Coimbatore airports to handle wide-bodied aircraft.

A land bank of 10,000 acres for industrial parks would be developed across the state over the next five years with quality infrastructure facilities, including social infrastructure like skill development centres, housing, business centres, restaurants, financial services, schools and hospitals.

The land bank would be developed only in dry and barren areas and prime agricultural land would be avoided, the policy stated.

Source: Economic Times

Proposed Office for Sterlite Industries Tuticorin

The Proposed Office for Sterlite Industries Tuticorin

Recently Sterlite Industries changed their registered office from Maharashtra to Tuticorin.

Minister inspects the construction of fish market in Tuticorin

Minister for Animal Husbandry P. Geetha Jeevan conducted an inspection at the V.O.C. Market here on Monday to review the progress of renovation work taken up by municipal administration there on an outlay of Rs.18 lakh.

Of the total project cost, Rs.13 lakh was taken from the Tuticorin MLA’s Constituency Development Fund and the rest from the municipal exchequer.

Ms. Jeevan said that as part of the project, cement flooring would be made on the selling space and sheds provided to fish vendors.

Facilities to drain waste water and to remove garbage would be set up to maintain a hygienic environment on the market premises.

The approach roads to the market to a length of 450 metre would be upgraded into cement concrete road. Later she inspected the site near Washers’ Colony, where a lifting station was proposed as part of the underground sewerage scheme to be established by the municipality here.

Municipal Chairperson R. Kasturi Thangam, Municipal Commissioner R. Lakshmi and Municipal Engineer S.A. Rajagopal were present.

Official sources said that the municipal administration would give a fillip to e-governance at a cost of Rs.27.23 lakh during this fiscal. As part of the project, a laptop computer, 10 desktop computers, 10 printers and an equal number of UPS, would be procured.

The electronic data processing room at the municipal office would be refurbished.

Source: The Hindu

Tuticorin based Mercantile Bank opens two branches

The Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited has opened its 195th and 196th branches recently.

A release from TMBL head office here said that the Minister for Social Welfare, Poongothai, inaugurated the 195th branch at Sholinganallur in Kancheepuram district.

Meanwhile, B. Ramachandra Adityan, ex-director of TMBL, opened the 196th branch and 75th ATM at Shenkottai.

G. Narayanamoorthy, Chief Executive Officer, TMBL, said that the bank opened the branch at Shenkottai to give a fillip to timber exporters and to improve Forex revenue of the bank.

He said that the bank had become a member of National Financial Switch, which would enable the customer’s to withdraw money from ATMs of 25 other member banks of NFS.

He said that the bank would bear the cash withdrawing charges at NFS ATMs for its SB premium customers and the current account customers who had maintained an average balance of Rs.25,000 and above.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Research club opened in Tuticorin

A ‘Research Club’ established by Annammal College of Education for Women was inaugurated by D. Kumaran, Head, Department of Education, Madras University, here on Saturday.

He explained the concepts such as refining knowledge, discovering knowledge and solving problems in higher education, on which any research thrived.

A seminar was conducted on ‘Preparation and validation of research tools’ as part of the inaugural ceremony.

A. Fibyraj, principal of the college, said that the club would conduct an array of seminars during the current academic year to enthuse the school students to take up innovative research projects. M. Anisha Devi, E.P. Tessy and S. Guru, lecturers, were appointed coordinators of the club.

Upgrading of Tuticorin municipality proposed

The long awaited dream of residents here to have their town attaining the status of Corporation is likely to be materialised as the municipal administration has prepared a proposal for upgrading.

According to official sources, the document would be sent to the Government in a week.

The draft prepared by the administration has suggested merger of municipality with local bodies situated adjacent to the municipal limits.

The move has been necessitated, owing to the fact that municipality alone does not have adequate population or revenue to attain the Corporation status.

Sources said that to get the status of Corporation, the population should be more than five lakh and annual revenue from taxes like professional, property taxes, rentals and license fees, should exceed Rs.30 crore.

Presently, the population in the Tuticorin town (municipal limits) stands at 2,16,058 as per 2001 census and the income is just Rs.18 crore.

Accordingly, the proposal has suggested merger of a total of 28 village panchayats extending from Swaminatham situated North West, Tharuvaikulam situated North East, Mudivaithanenthal at South East to Pazhayakayal village panchayat situated south, all spreading over an area of 353.07 sq km.

The amalgamation will take the population to 4,36,094, close to the stipulated benchmark.

“This will not be a hindrance from getting the Corporation status considering that the figures were based on census taken about six years ago and the population will surely have crossed five lakh mark by now,” sources said.

Similarly, the proposed merger will peg the revenue at about Rs.26 crore. “It is okay since there is a considerable increment in the revenue of municipality and the village panchayats that are to be merged,” sources pointed out.

Sources said that once the municipality became a Corporation, there would be a greater inflow of grants under various schemes, which was essential to improve infrastructure to commensurate exponential growth expected in Tuticorin once the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project would be commissioned next year.

Source: The Hindu

Thursday, November 01, 2007

TN urged to share 50 pc of project cost for double laning from Villupuram to Tuticorin

The Tamil Nadu Government has been requested to share 50 per cent of the cost of the project for doubling and electrification of the railway line between Villupuram and Tuticorin, Union Minister of State for Railways R.Velu said here on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters after inaugurating the Divisional Train Enquiry and Passenger information system,he said the Planning commission had found the project unviable.But when the volume of passenger traffic in the section was mentioned, it agreed to sanction the project provided the state government agreed to bear 50 percent of the cost, he said.

Doubling and electrification had been completed upto Villupuram. Doubling and electrification had been completed in Kerala and Karnataka states,and only this portion was left out in Tamil Nadu.

He said the Dindigul-Madurai Doubling and BG-Conversion work would be completed before March 31 next. The critical portion of the work including Vaigai bridge construction would be completed by this year.

He said a new railway terminal would be coming up in north madurai at a cost of Rs.12 crore.Besides,platforms were being extended in Madurai junction to accommodate 24 bogies.The Tuticorin-Mysore train would get five additional bogies after 'pit-line' work, which was going on at Tuticorin, was completed for the maintenance of the train.The frequency of the Manmad-Tirupati express would be increased twice a week shortly.

Source: The Hindu

Need to establish more container freight stations in Tuticorin

More number of container freight stations (CFS) should be established to commensurate the exponential growth in containerised cargo movement taking place in the country over the last decade, according to K. Suresh, Chairman, Tuticorin Port Trust.

Inaugurating the Container Freight Station established by the Vilsons Group of Companies in Tuticorin on an outlay of Rs.2 crore at a function held on Monday, he said that the container movement in the State registered 33 per cent growth during the first quarter of this fiscal vis-À-vis the corresponding period last fiscal.

He urged the operators of CFS to modernise the yards with equipments such as fork lifts and gantry cranes to facilitate faster movement and efficient handling of containers, rather than considering the facility as a mere transit point in the freight movement chain.

In his address, A. Subbiah, Deputy Chairman, Tuticorin Port Trust, said that the port plans to establish an additional container terminal on built, operate, transfer (BoT) mode during this fiscal to catapult Tuticorin as a major cargo handling port on the eastern coast of the country.

He reiterated the need for infrastructure development in the hinterland of the port in proportion with the increasing trade volume.

Mr. Subbiah said that the port administration had submitted a report to the Central Government suggesting establishment of ‘backbone freight corridors’ connecting Erode with cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Nagpur during the first phase.

This would facilitate easier movement of goods by rail from central India to the port here.

The corridor would also help expand the hinterland of the port and the container traffic through the port would witness a boom.

Joe Villavarayar, chairman of Vilson CFS, said that the station was equipped with warehouse area of 20,000 sq.ft., fork lifts, escort crane, trailers and fool proof security system.

“We plan to handle 3,000 TEUs of containers a month and the capacity would be increased in phased manner,” he added.

Source: The Hindu

Tuticorin Port traffic volume up

The Tuticorin Port has seen a rise in traffic volume after it announced changes through “Trade Notice” to handle deep draught vessels at anchorage beyond the permissible draught of 10.7 metres.Mr A. Subbiah, Deputy Chairman, Tuticorin Port Trust, in a statement here said that enthused by the amendment, importers brought a coal and a coke vessel carrying 53,106 tonnes and 46,759 tonnes respectively with draught of 12.5 metres and 12 metres and handled part cargo at the anchorage using self-propelled barges till the vessel reached 10.7 metres and the balance cargo was handled at the berth directly.

He said for the first time a dunpeas vessel mv. ‘Bei Hai’ with a parcel size of 43,497 tonnes, drawing 11.45 m draught, was handled at the port anchorage on October 8.

The vessel discharged 4,500 tonnes at the anchorage to self-propelled barges to reach 10.7 m draught and the cargo was further unloaded at Zone ‘B’. This performance was achieved in spite of intermittent rain during the course of handling. The port had provided all necessary infrastructural support such as transit storage and warehousing. The cargo was imported from Australia.

Source: BusinessLine

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Talent search examination held in Tuticorin

A talent search examination jointly organised by State Bank of India and Sakthi Vinayakar Hindu Vidyalaya was held on the school premises in Tuticorin on 28th October.

The test was conducted to identify brilliant students and to extend educational loans to them for pursuing higher studies as per the norms set by SBI.

The knowledge of students in Science, History, Geography, Mathematics, Computer Science, General Aptitude, Literature and English was tested in the examination. The tests were conducted in two categories. The students studying in Standard VI to IX were pooled into Category ‘A’, while pupils in Standard X to XII were allocated into Category ‘B’.

A total of 1,200 students (836 in Category ‘A’ and 364 in ‘B’) from 13 schools in the district took part in the event. The results would be declared on a later date.

The winner and runner up in each of the section would get Rs.1,000 and Rs.750 respectively.

A rolling cup would be given to the winners in each of the groups provided they score more than 50 per cent. If the candidates scored more than 60 per cent, they would get a bonus cash award of Rs.500 along with the rolling cup.

Monday, October 29, 2007

‘Orissa Art and Craft Fair’ begins in Tuticorin

A 12-day ‘Orissa Art and Craft Fair’ organized by Utkal Hastasilpa Society, Bhubaneswar, got off to a colourful start at Ramaiah Mahal on 27th October.

An extensive gamut of handloom and handicraft products prepared by traditional artisans from different parts of the country, are on display at attractive prices.

Some of Orissa’s hand woven textiles like saris, which are unparalleled in range and style, are available in a wide range of prices catering to the needs of different sections of society.

Sambalpuri, Bichitrapuri, Bomkei, Pittol and Maniabandhi saris’, priced between Rs.300 and Rs.3,000, have a distinctive elegance about them with its unusual patterns and vibrant yet subtle blend of colours.

Attractive kurtas for men from Jaipur (Rs.180 to Rs.240) and churidars from Punjab made of handloom fabric with embellishments on it (Rs.360 to Rs.1,200), are available.

A good collection of curtains for doors and windows, stitched by artisans from Ludhiana on cotton fabrics, and bed sheets from Haryana and Rajasthan, is offered at tempting prices. Minister for Animal Husbandry P. Geetha Jeevan inaugurated the expo.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Heavy Rain Lashes Tuticorin

Heavy rain is continuing in various parts of Tuticorin.

A house collapsed and one goat was killed at Aadinathapuram village under Tiruchendur taluk in Tuticorin district on Friday. The goat was killed after a compound wall caved in. The district received a total rainfall of 408.4 mm in the last 24 hours ending at 8 a.m. on Friday.

Following is the rainfall recorded ( in mm) by various rain gauge stations during the period: Tiruchendur 3; Kayalpattinam 5; Kulasekarapattinam 2; Vilathikulam 24; Kadalkudi 24; Soorangudi 12; Kayathar 101; Kadambur 52; Kazhugumalai 17; Kovilpatti 4.2; Ottapidaram 11; Maniyachi 59; Keezha Arasadi 3; Vedanatham 2; Ettayapuram 24; Sattankulam 5; Srivaikundam 52 and Tuticorin Harbour 8.2.

Bank of Baroda's Exporters meet in Tuticorin

The Bank of Baroda organised an exporters’ meet in Tuticorin on 26th October evening to elucidate salient features of various export- friendly products promoted by the organisation and to answer queries of their clients pertaining to schemes.

Interacting with exporters, D. Sarkar, General Manager (Southern Zone), said that the exporters having confirmed export orders or having letter of credit from a recognised bank could avail export credit facilities offered by the bank.

“We are offering pre-shipment and post-shipment credits to exporters from the country through rupee-denominated loans as well as foreign currency loans,” he added.

To arrange tailor-made solutions for loan syndication, the bank has opened Regional Syndication Centres (RSCs) in Dubai, London and Singapore. He said that a new on-site ATM would be installed in Tuticorin shortly.

He called upon the exporters to make use of Core Banking Solution facilities offered by the bank in about 1,800 branches in the country and abroad.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tuticorin BSNL introduces a series of special offers

The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has introduced a series of special offers for its customers in Tuticorin, in connection with the Navarathri and Deepavali festivals.

Official sources said that individual customers could now get landline or WiLL (Wireless in Local Loop) connection on payment of just Rs.100.

Those who opt for the offer will be given a prepaid card or a post-paid connection without activation charges being levied for them.

As value addition, they will also be allocated an account to access internet free for 25 hours, a caller ID facility worth Rs.50 and an attractive tele-shoppe bag.

In the case of companies, security deposits will not be levied, if the firms apply for a minimum of five mobile, landline or WiLL connections.

The entire offer is valid till November 11.

To help the special offers ‘reach’ the customers, the BSNL conducted a ‘Navarathri telephone mela’ across the district starting at Chidambara Nagar and Mudivaithanendal scheduled on October 22.

The mela was held at at Krishnarajapuram, Kurumbur and Seidunganallur on October 24.

It will be followed by phone galas at Kayalpattinam, Sattankulam, Sonakkanvilai, Srivaikundam, Maniyandi and Kodiankulam on October 25 and at Tuticorin Harbour and Vallanadu on October 26.

The landline and prepaid mobile connections will be provided immediately, if the customers books connection through this melas.

The BSNL has released ‘Call Now’ STD and ISD cards in different denominations of Rs.100, Rs.300, Rs.500, Rs.1,000 and Rs.2,000.

The validity of ‘Call now’ cards in the denomination of Rs.100 will be one month. For other denominations validity has been set at three months.

Using these cards, customers can make local or STD calls to the BSNL network at the rate of Re.1 per minute. For calls made to landline or mobile phone functioning under other networks, Rs.1.50 to Rs.2 will be charged.

Tuticorin Chemists and druggists’ association plea to Government

Members of Tuticorin Chemists and Druggists Association observed a fast in Tuticorin on 23rd October, to press their charter of demands.

According to the agitators, the authorities concerned should not allow the entry of multi-national companies and foreign investment into the retail pharmaceutical sector.

They also wanted the Government to simplify the Value Added Tax (VAT) procedures in the sector immediately.

M. Murugesan, N. Iyankannu and S. Veerabadran, president, secretary and treasurer of the association, respectively, and senior office bearers, S. Karuppiah, E. Arumugam, R.S.P. Gopal and A. Alagarsamy, spoke.

Later the agitators submitted a memorandum to Collector R. Palaniyandi seeking expeditious implementation of their demands.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Green turtle washed ashore

The carcass of a turtle spotted by scientists of the Fisheries College and Research Institute at the Valinokkam coast near Tuticorin a few days ago, was identified as that of ‘Chelonia Mydas,’ a marine green turtle.

It was traced by the FCRI team. The turtle measured 1.2 m in length, 0.75 m in breadth and weighed 25 kg.

Friday, October 19, 2007

CII Workshop conducted in Tuticorin

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Madurai Zone, conducted a workshop on ‘Managing customer service and relations’ in Tuticorin City on 18th October, to enhance the skills and capacity of executives at various levels in industrial units.

Delivering the keynote address, M.M. Balasubrahmaniam, Director, Centre for Organisation and Professional Excellence (COPE), Chennai, said that industry people should give utmost care to improve relations with their customers, if they had to widen their business repertoire.

According to him, customer satisfaction and customer retention was important considering that supply of any particular consumer item was seven times the demand after liberalisation and globalisation set foot in the country.

Satisfied customers would become ‘unpaid salesmen’ of a product provided the customer care services were excellent, as they would propagate his good experience to larger sections of the society.

Conversations over telephone with the customers should be carried out carefully since a company executive was forced to rely on the voice alone without the ‘support’ of body language. Listening skills should be developed if any firm wanted to cater to the changing needs of its customers comprehensively.

Mr. Balasubrahmaniam asked the companies to ‘delight’ the customers by providing them with sundry services that gives value addition to the products and customer relations.

R. Ramasubramanian, chairman, CII (Tuticorin district) and R Edwin Samuel , convener (logistics panel), CII (Madurai zone), spoke.

A total of 48 executives representing 16 companies attended.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Applications invited for award for SHG

The Tuticorin district administration has invited applications from Self-Help Groups and Panchayat Level Federations in the district for Manimegalai Award instituted by the Department of Rural Development.

Official sources said that five best PLFs and 10 best SHGs at the state level would get cash awards of Rs.1 lakh and Rs.50,000 each, respectively. Likewise, one best PLF and three best SHGs at the district level would get Rs.50,000 and Rs.10,000 each, respectively.

As regards eligibility criteria, sources said that SHGs should have been in operation for at least four years, if they had to be considered for the award.

The groups should also have been graded by Mahilar Thittam twice based on the credit rating. Similarly, PLFs would be eligible to contest for the award only if it was functioning for a minimum of two years.

All the SHGs functioning in the respective panchayats should be the part of PLFs, if that particular PLF should qualify for the award.

Sources said that the applications should be forwarded at the earliest to the office of Project Officer of Mahilar Thittam functioning at the Collectorate.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Security beefed up in Tuticorin

The police beefed up security in Tuticorin City and other parts of the district, on 12th October following the bomb blast at the dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinudin Chishti at Ajmer in Rajasthan.

Superintendent of Police Deepak Motibhai Damor said security was beefed up near worship places.

TWAD Employees General body meeting held in Tuticorin

The State general body meeting of Central Organisation of Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board Employees was held here on 13th October.

The meeting resolved to carry out a signature campaign against the move to privatise water supply schemes. We would submit a memorandum signed by 10 lakh people to the government, V. Kumar, State Assistant General Secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said. The Government must fill about 7,000 vacancies in the TWAD Board. Services of 4,564 contract labourers deployed must be confirmed.

Bonus must be raised from 8.3 per cent last year to 25 per cent.

Faults at thermal plants affect power generation in TN

Power generation has come down by 1,000 MW in Tamil Nadu due to the technical faults at the thermal plants at Neyveli, Tuticorin and North Chennai, Tamil Nadu Electricity minister Arcot N Veerasamy has said.

Two units in Neyveli plant, one in Tuticorin and another in North Chennai were under repair, affecting power generation to the tune of 1,000 MW, he told reporters.

Round-the-clock repair works were going on and in another three days power distribution would be streamlined, he said.

'1977' Shooting begins in Tuticorin

The shooting for Sarath Kumar starrer '1977' commenced at Tuticorin. The movie stars Sarath and Namitha together again after films like 'Chanakya' and 'Aei'.

With his recent release 'Nam Nadu' doing an average business, Sarath Kumar is keen to making his forthcoming movies count at the box office. The actor will have his next 'Vaitheeswaran' release tentatively for Deepavali.

According to Sarath,’ '1977' is an action-packed movie with a strong message for the society. I was impressed when I heard the storyline and readily agreed to do the movie'.

Sarath Kumar, who floated his own political party, is also gearing up to hold the maiden State-level conference of his party, 'All India Makkal Samathuva Katchi', very soon.

Source: IndiaGlitz

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Forest Week celebrations concluded in Tuticorin

Forest Week celebrations, organised by the Department of Forests, concluded with a glittering closing ceremony here on 12th October.

Rampati Kushwaha, Conservator of Forests, Tirunelveli, distributed prizes to winners of cultural competitions conducted for students.

Forest rangers, forest watchers, administrative staff and forest guards, who had put in meritorious service during this year, were honoured on the occasion. L. Nadhan, District Forest Officer, was present.

TMB to become clearing banker for MCX

Tuticorin-based Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB) has entered into an agreement with Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) to become its clearing banker.

The tie-up paves the way for brokers to open accounts for settlement purpose. Through this alliance, the bank wants to increase its fee-based income and no-cost deposits, the bank said in a statement.

MCX is an independent and de-mutualised multi-commodity exchange which deals in products such as gold, oil, metals, fiber, pulses, spices, energy and plantations.

TMB has already become a clearing banker for NCDEX (National Commodities Derivative Exchange), thus becoming the only private sector bank in the country to act as clearing banker for both the exchanges.

The agreement was signed by TMB Managing Director and CEO G Narayanmoorthy and MCX deputy Managing Director Joseph Massey.

Source: EconomicTimes

Friday, October 12, 2007

Buckle Canal to be revived at a cost of Rs.25 crore in Tuticorin

The municipal administration here has come out with an ‘interim detailed project report’ to revive the glory of historic Buckle canal passing through the heart of the town, where free flow of water is blocked now.

The report, which was prepared with the technical assistance from Wilbur Smith Associates Private Limited, Chennai, envisage improvement of the 5.88 km long waterway starting from ‘Mundram Mile’ and ends at the ‘Gulf of Mannar’, on an estimated outlay of Rs.25 crore.

The canal which was constructed by the Britons to drain the rainwater into the sea to prevent flooding of the town, has been dying for the last few decades owing to indiscriminate dumping of solid wastes into it.

Official sources told The Hindu that the document was drafted after making scientific assessment of deficiencies of the existing features and alignment of the canal.

A manuscript suggests methodology to overcome the inadequacies pertaining to environment, topography, hydrology, traffic bottlenecks and social parameters.

The study has suggested a constant width of 12.9 metre all through the course of canal by carrying out deweeding, desilting and removal of encroachments.

According to the report, 224 permanent and 196 temporary encroached structures have come up along the canal over the last few years.

“Presently, the width of canal varies from 6 metre to 28.8 metre at different points,” sources said.

Sources said that new minor bridges and causeways would be constructed at 11 places as part of the scheme.

Landscaping will be established and roads will be constructed alongside the canal to beautify its surroundings.

Once the project has been completed, fencing will be provided to prevent solid waste being dumped into the canal and thereby help the canal to retain its aesthetic look. Municipal sources said the project would generate proper drainage facilities and would avoid hardships to the residents owing to inundation.

Source: The Hindu

Precision farming to be introduced at a cost of Rs.16.76 lakh in Tuticorin

Precision farming, a relatively new ‘agriculture management philosophy’, will be introduced in the Tuticorin district by the Department of Horticulture during the current fiscal on an outlay of Rs.16.76 lakh allocated by the Central Government.

The project is aimed at doubling the productivity of hybrid varities of vegetable crops like bhendi, tomato and brinjal.

Mr.S. Sundaram Pillai, Assistant Director of Horticulture, said that the concept would be implemented over 20 hectares of farm in a selected block covering about 30 to 35 farmers.

As part of the scheme, farm development and farm management activities would be taken up from agronomical, technical, environmental and economical perspectives.

Mr. Pillai said that hybrid seeds of bhendi, tomato and brinjal worth Rs 10,000 would be distributed free to beneficiaries for every hectare of land holding.

They would also be provided with water soluble fertilizers like NPK (Nitrogen Phosphorous and Potassium) costing Rs.30,000, and plant protection chemicals worth Rs.10,000, for each hectare.

Under the project, financial assistance at the rate of Rs 28,800 per hectare would be extended to farmers to establish drip irrigation system.

“The facility will optimize the yield with limited use of water and nutrients,” he added.

Owing to use of lesser quantity of water, fertilizers applied at the roots would not be washed away quickly.

A team of resource persons from Agricultural College and Research Institute (ACRI) at Killikulam near here, a constituent college of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, would give technical assistance to the farmers on precision farming methodology at each stage of crop raising.

The farmers would be taught on soil and weather conditions, forewarning of pest attacks and weather mapping.

BSNL Employees Stage Demonstration in Tuticorin

The telecom employees affiliated to Joint Forum of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited Unions/Associations staged a demonstration in front of their General Manager’s office in Tuticorin on 11th October, to pres their charter of demands.

J. Linga Bhaskar, president of the forum, said that the authorities concerned should take steps to procure gadgets to establish third generation Global System for Mobile communication lines at the earliest.

The BSNL should be granted ‘Navaratna’ status, as the organisation was graded ‘excellent’ for the past two years and ‘very good’ during this year.

The decision to increase the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in private telecom companies should be cancelled. The Access Digital Charges and Universal Service Obligation fund should not be phased out.

Mr. Bhaskar said that the stipulation which asks the BSNL to pay the balance sum to the Government if pension amount was computed more than 60 per cent of the total payment by the organisation towards dividend, license fee, corporate tax, excise duty and service tax, should be cancelled.

The forum wanted the Government to take quick action to ensure absorption of entire Group ‘A’ and Indian Telecom Service officers into the BSNL fold. “Presently, most of them are stuck with the Department of Telecommunications even seven years after BSNL was constituted in 2000 and are now working for BSNL on deputation basis, which was affecting the growth, development and expansion of the firm,” he said.

The Government should grant the merger of 50 per cent of DA with the basic pay with effect from January 1, 2004. About 150 employees took part in the agitation.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Risk management system for Tuticorin Customs

Pursuant to the decision of Central Board of Excise and Customs to introduce the ‘Risk Management System’ in major customs locations, where the ‘Indian Customs Electronic Data Interchange System (ICES)’ is operational, the Tuticorin Customs launched the RMS on 9th October.

According to the Commissioner of Customs, Tuticorin, D.P. Singh, the ever-increasing volumes of international trade pose formidable challenge to the Customs. Hence the traditional approach of scrutinizing every document and examining every consignment will only increase the workload. Moreover, there is always a need to reduce the ‘dwell time’ of cargo at the ports and also to reduce the transaction costs in order to enhance the competitiveness of the Indian businesses. At this juncture, advancements in the field of information technology have come to the rescue of the Customs in the form of RMS, “which is expected to strike a balance between facilitation and enforcement and to promote a culture of compliance”.

With the introduction of RMS, the present practice of routine assessment, concurrent audit and examination of all Bills of Entry will be discontinued and focus will be on the quality assessment, examination and Post Clearance Audit of Bills of Entry selected by RMS Bills of Entry and Import General Manifest filed electronically in ICES through the service centre or the Indian Customs and Central Excise Electronic Commerce/Electronic Data interchange (EC/EDI) Gateway will be transmitted to RMS.

It will process the data through a series of steps and produce an electronic output for the ICES. This output will determine whether the Bills of Entry will be taken up for action, appraisement or examination or both or be cleared after payment of duty and out of charge given directly without any assessment and examination. The short of levy, if any, detected during the Post Clearance Audit to be done within 48 hours of clearance of goods, will be recovered from the importers as per law, Mr. Singh said.

The Joint Commissioner, Tuticorin Customs will be the administrator of the RMS and he will be available at 0461 – 2352078 or

The Additional Director General (Systems), Mumbai, B. Bhattacharya, launched the system.

Over 7000 works to be carried out at a cost of Rs.56.32 crore in Tuticorin

Collector R. Palaniyandi has said that the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) would execute 7,308 infrastructure development works on a total outlay of Rs.56.32 crore in the district during this financial year.

Speaking to reporters at the grievance day meeting in Tuticorin Collectorate on Monday, he said that of the total allocation, Rs.14.75 crore earmarked under Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana would be utilised to provide additional employment in rural areas as also food security, alongside creation of durable community, social and economic infrastructure.

Under the scheme, anganwadi buildings, bus shelters, causeways, cremation sheds, retaining walls, concrete roads, water bound macadam roads, drainage facilities, drinking water supply and buildings for Public Distribution System (PDS) outlets would be established.

A total of 2,376 houses would be constructed and 528 kuchha houses would be upgraded under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) at a total cost of Rs.9.45 crore for people from SC/ST community, freed bonded labourers and non SC/ST persons living below the poverty line. Of the total allocation under IAY for the fiscal, 40 per cent would be used towards construction of dwelling units for beneficiaries from non SC/ST category.

He said that sanitation facilities in mofussil areas would be enhanced at a cost of Rs.19.7 lakh under Restructured Central Rural Sanitation Programme. As part of the project, individual household latrines, school toilets, community sanitary complexes and anganwadi toilets would be set up at 55 places. The remaining amount (of the total outlay) would be used to establish biogas units, free houses for beedi workers, street lights and community centres.

Later, he gave away a solatium of Rs.1.45 lakh to the kin of K. Murugesh Kumar, who died in harness while employed as a supervisor at TASMC outlet situated at Seidunganallur near here recently. Likewise, the Collector distributed an accident relief of Rs.84,209 to another TASMAC employee, K. Balamurugan, who was injured in an accident recently.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sterlite bags ‘Qual Tech Prize-2007’

The Tuticorin Based Sterlite Industries Limited has bagged ‘Qual Tech Prize-2007’ instituted by Qimpro College Mumbai recently. The award was given for the company’s innovative project on ‘recovery of nickel from electrolyte stream’.

Vikram Patni, head of SIL production unit at Sylvasa, and his team, received the award from Alka Mitra, General Manager of Reliance Industries, at Mumbai, recently.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

FCRI to develop ‘cell line’ from clown fish

The Fisheries College and Research Institute (FCRI) in association with the National Centre for Cell Sciences, Pune, will carry out a three-year research project using a grant of Rs.42.73 lakh from the Centre, to develop ‘cell line’ from clown fish for first time. Dr.V.K. Venkataramani, Dean, FCRI, said that the development of cell lines from clown fish would help the scientific fraternity to monitor viral diseases in marine ornamental fishes in a systematic manner.

A research team comprising Rosalind George, Riji John (both associate professors at FCRI) and Ramesh R Bhonde, Milind Patole (both scientists at NCCS), will first develop primary cell cultures from brain, fin, caudal peduncle and kidney of juvenile clown fish collected from the Gulf of Mannar.

The primary cultures will then be subjected to various sub-culturing procedures in different types of cell culture media to develop permanent cell lines.

“During the third phase of the study, characterisation of the newly developed cell line in terms of growth, karyotyping and cryopreservation will be carried out using standard protocols,” the Dean said.

The susceptibility to different fish viruses and isolation of fish viruses using the developed cell lines will be examined.

Dr. Venkataramani said that new fish cell line would be of great importance for the development of diagnostics and vaccines for viral diseases which might emerge periodically in cultural systems.

Besides, cell line will be helpful to produce diagnostic reagents like monoclonal antibodies or nucleic acid probes and to conduct eco-toxicity screening.

It can also be applied in biomedical research for screening pharmacological and therapeutic substances.

The Dean said that development of more and more cell lines from different fish species looks to be the need of the hour to carry out in –depth toxicological studies, carcinogenesis, cellular physiology, gene transfer and genetic regulation.

Monday, October 08, 2007

SHG Women get training in Baking

A 13-day training programme organised to enhance the skill of women members of self-help groups under Micro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDP) of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) concluded in Tuticorin on 6th October.

Thirty women from six SHGs received hands-on training in the preparation of bakery products at the Food Processing Centre operated by the V.O. Chidambaram Educational Trust. They learnt making of different types of biscuits, jams, juices, puffs and cakes.

R. Bharat Kumar, Assistant General Manager of NABARD, said that the MEDP was aimed at augmenting the skills and entrepreneurial qualities of members of ‘matured SHGs’ (those groups which were in existence for more than three years) and thereby enhance their income generation capabilities.

“The objective was achieved through short duration, location- specific training and capacity building programmes,” he added.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tuticorin port to get Electronic Data Interface

An Electronic Data Interface (EDI) would become operational in the Tuticorin port soon, enabling speedy use of port services.

The EDI system, costing Rs 90 lakh, would be installed before December 21, Subbiah, Deputy Chairman Tuticorin Port Trust said addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of Tuticorin Custom House Agents Association (TCHAA).

The system envisages reducing the transaction time for port-users, he said.

On the port's future plans, he said it aims at handling 50 million tonnes by 2012 and 100 million tonnes by 2021.

The Joint Commissioner of the Port Trust, Jeganathan, laid the foundation stone for the Association's new building.

TCHAA's website was also launched at the function.

Hoardings Removed in Tuticorin City

The municipal administration conducted an eviction drive in various parts of the town for the second consecutive day on 5th october.

A total of 19 digital hoardings were removed from West Great Cotton Road and Beach Road.

The drive was conducted by a team led by Municipal Town Planning Officer, M. Rakkappan.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tuticorin Port sets new Record in handling cargo

The Tuticorin Port Trust has handled 10.032 million tonnes of cargo during the first half of the current financial year.

A. Subbiah, deputy chairman, TPT, said that the performance was 17.98 per cent higher vis-À-vis accomplishment during the corresponding period last fiscal.

He attributed the achievement to handling of more thermal coal, containerised cargo, fertilizers like urea, fertilizer raw materials like rock phosphate, timber and copper concentrate than the pervious fiscal.

According to him, the TPT has taken proactive measures to achieve the annual cargo handling target of 20.3 million tonnes set by the Ministry of Shipping for the port.

“A trade promotion meeting was organised in Chennai recently and issued notices for handling cargo at anchorage,” he said.

The TPT now plans to hold a series of trade promotion meetings and road shows in the coming months to attract more cargo through the port.

Mr. Subbiah said that mechanised handling of timber logs was introduced to improve productivity.

Evening courts opened in Tuticorin

An evening court was introduced in the Thoothukudi district on 3rd October. The court will function at the District Court Complex in Tuticorin city.

Delivering the inaugural address, Principal District Judge B. Gokul Doss said that the introduction of evening court would be of immense help to reduce the case backlog. The court would deal with cases pertaining to minor offences.

The court sources said that two magistrates, S. Sasirekha and T.V. Hemanantha Kumar, were allotted to the evening court on a rotation basis.

Sources added that of the 5,544 cases filed before the judicial magistrates at the district headquarters, 5,422 were disposed during last year.

Likewise, 4,828 cases were disposed of the total 5,095 cases filed before the same magistrates during this year till September-end.

Superintendent of Police Deepak Motibhai Damor said that the evening courts, which were introduced for the first time in Gujarat, were a step towards ensuring speedy justice to common man.

He reiterated the need to popularize innovative methods like video conferencing in the trial process.

Collector R. Palaniyandi was present.

Skill development training for coastal youth in Tuticorin

A skill development training on different trades organised by the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust and Government Polytechnic College, Tuticorin, for youth living in the coastal areas, commenced in Tuticorin on 3rd October.

Official sources said that the training was aimed at enhancing the employment potential of the youth thereby reducing their dependency on marine resources for livelihood.

The training was imparted in computer, welding, auto CAD ( Computer Aided Desgining) in civil engineering and mechanical engineering applications, computerized numerical control lathe works and earth mover operation. All the training programmes expect that of computer course would be completed in three months.

The computer training, which covers usage of MS Word, Excel, Power Point, Tally and Internet, would be given over six months.

A total of 162 youth from 67 coastal villages attended the training.

V.K. Malkani, chief conservator of forests, inaugurated the programme. V.K. Venkataramani, dean, Fisheries College and Research Institute, M. Madasamy, project officer of Mahilar Thittam, and A. Nagarajan, Principal, Government Polytechnic College, were present.

Sun TV to launch FM stations at Tuticorin

Sun TV Network Ltd has announced the launch of FM radio stations at Madurai and Tuticorin under the Suryan FM brand from October 5 through its subsidiary, Kal Radio Ltd.

These stations can be heard at 93.5 MHz frequency in Madurai and Tuticorin.

The total number of operational FM Stations of the Sun TV group now goes up to 11; it already operates FM stations at Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Visakhapatnam, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar and Tirupati.

Sun TV holds licences for 45 FM radio stations across India and will be one of the largest radio broadcasters in India when all remaining 34 stations becomes operational.

Source: Business Line

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Khadi discount sale begins in Tuticorin

Collector R. Palaniyandi inaugurated the Deepavali discount sale of khadi products sold by Tamil Nadu Khadi and Village Industries Board (TNKVIB) at a function held in Tuticorin on 2nd October.

Official sources said that the board had planned to achieve a target of Rs.90 lakh during this Deepavali season through discount sale of shirts, saris, soaps, dhotis, towels and bedspread through its five ‘khadi kraft’ outlets at Kovilpatti, Tuticorin, Tiruchendur, Nazareth and Nagalapuram.

A 30 per cent discount was being offered on khadi cotton and khadi polyester cloth materials, while 20 per cent discount was given on khadi silk saris.

The discount sales will end on November 7. During the last Deepavali , products worth Rs.86.33 lakh were sold in the district against a target of Rs.91.68 lakh, sources said. Dr. Palaniyandi said that yarn worth Rs. 2.72 lakh was produced by the TNKVIB in the district during the last fiscal through its centres at Mudalur, Ottapidaram, Mookkuperi and Pandarachettivilai.

Similarly, 2,237 metre of khadi fabrics was weaved at the units in Tuticorin and Kulasekarapattinam last fiscal.

District Revenue Officer P. Anbarasu, Municipal Chairperson R. Kasturi Thangam, Assistant Khadi Officer S. Muthusamy and Special Officer of Palmgur Federation K. Rathnakumar were present.

Modern slaughterhouse coming up in Tuticorin

The Tuticorin city is set to have its first modern slaughterhouse soon. The facility being built by the municipal administration here on an outlay of Rs. 20 lakh is expected to be commissioned during the third quarter of this fiscal.

The Municipal Commissioner, R. Lakshmi, said that the modern abattoir was planned to supply meat of goats and sheep produced as per the food production standards prescribed by the Government to customers.

“Modernisation of meat establishments has become mandatory to prevent hazards to health of humans. It will help to slaughter the animals in a humane manner and handle the meat hygienically,” she added.

The slaughterhouse will have an entrance and an exit to facilitate the entry of animals at one end and the removal of dressed carcasses and offal through the other end.

The other features of the edifice include a ‘holding pen’ to keep awaiting animals, non-slippery floor, hide store to preserve the skin of animals till they were despatched to tanneries, offal room, storeroom, slaughter hall, hanging hall and delivery hall.

A floor space of at least three square feet will be provided to each of the animals brought to the slaughterhouse.

Ms. Lakshmi said that a ‘condemned meat room’ would be set up inside the building to keep the organ, meat or whole carcass, which were found to be unfit for human consumption during the inspection of dead animals conducted immediately after the slaughtering.

According to her, special care would be taken to ensure that no animal which was pregnant or having an offspring of less than three months old would be slaughtered. The goats and sheep below three months of age too would be spared from slaughtering.

Steps would be made in such a manner to ensure that no animal would be slaughtered in sight of another animal.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bankers’ performance evaluated

The 55th district-level review meeting for bankers convened by the Lead Bank (State Bank of India) here on Wednesday evening, evaluated the performance of banks during the first quarter vis-À-vis annual credit plan targets set for the district.

The Collector, R. Palaniyandi, who chaired the meeting, said that the overall achievement of banks for the first quarter of this fiscal against the proportional ACP targets for the corresponding period was not satisfactory.

Though the service sector achieved 152.22 per cent of the target, agriculture and industry sectors attained only 70.34 and 17.93 per cent of the targets.

He said that the credit to deposit (CD) ratio stood at 84.06 at the end of first quarter, which was more than the Reserve Bank of India norms of 60.

“The high ratio was an indicator of healthy ground level disbursement and also reflective of growth in credit flow to small and medium enterprises as well as service sectors,” he added.

Similarly, priority sector advances to total advances ratio and agricultural advances to total advances ratio stood at 60.64 and 26.45 per cent, more than the RBI norms of 40 and 18 respectively.

However, weaker sector advances to priority sector advances ratio was below the RBI norms of 25.

R. Bharat Kumar, Assistant General Manager of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, and senior managers of various banks were present.

Public hearing on Rs.4,000-cr. Power Plant held in Tuticorin

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, on 29th September, conducted a public hearing on the two 500 MW power plants to be established by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) here on an outlay of Rs. 4,000 crore.

The meeting chaired by the Collector, R. Palaniyandi, elicited the views of local people on the proposed project. Explaining the salient features of the project and its benefits to the public, R. Ganapathy Sankaran, Superintending Engineer (Project and Environment), TNEB, said that the plants would help bridge the gap between the demand and supply of power in the State.

The plants would come up on 130 hectares of land near the existing 2 X 1,050 MW Tuticorin Thermal Power Station.

Of the total area, 80 hectares would be utilised for the establishment of main plants, cool water pipe line, conveyor belt for carrying coal and housing colony for employees. The remaining area would be used to set up an ash dyke for the disposal of wet slurry.

The coal requirement for the project was computed as 5.6 million tonne per annum, considering 6,000 hours of operation.

Answering the environmental concerns raised during the hearing, N. Sasikumar, Executive Director (Projects), TNEB, said that of the total project cost, about Rs. 400 crore was earmarked for pollution control.

He assured that fly ash generated would not be disposed into the sea; rather the eject (fly ash) would be supplied to construction industry.

He said that high efficiency precipitators would be used to reduce the emission of suspended particulate matter (SPM). To bring down air pollution arising from sulphur dioxide, coal with low sulphur content (0.4 percent) would be used. The generators and turbines used inside the plant would be fitted with silencers to reduce noise pollution.

Mr Sasikumar said that employment opportunities for local people, and health and educational facilities in the area would be improved by the commissioning of the project.

Minister for Animal Husbandry P. Geetha Jeevan and District Environment Engineer of TNPCB S. Shanmugasundaram were present.

Demonstration against Shifting of EB bill Counter in Tuticorin

The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) cadres staged a demonstration in Tuticorin on 24th september, to protest the recent shifting of electricity bill counter for Tuticorin Urban (West) consumers to a new location.

P. Puviraj, district secretary, DYFI, said that shifting of the counter from Chidamabra Nagar to Caldwell Colony was an “incorrect” decision taken by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board since the customers covered under Urban (West) are located at Kurinji Nagar, Viswapuram, Jebanagar, Yogeeswarar Colony, and Netaji Nagar, which were far away from Caldwell Colony.

The agitators demanded that the counter should be shifted to a location adjacent to the New Bus stand on Tuticorin-Ettayapuram road.

Chennai – Tuticorin special train

Southern Railway will operate special trains between Chennai Egmore and Tuticorin during October to clear the extra rush of passengers for Ramzan/Pooja festivals:

Chennai Egmore – Tuticorin – Chennai Egmore (weekly) Specials:

T.No.0633 Chennai Egmore – Tuticorin Special will leave Chennai Egmore at 22.45 hrs. on Saturdays from October 6 to 27 and arrive Tuticorin at 12.15 hrs. the next day.

T.No.0634 Tuticorin – Chennai Egmore Special will leave Tuticorin at 21.15 hrs. on Sundays from October 7 to 28 and arrive Chennai Egmore at 10.00 hrs. the next day.

The composition of the trains will be 1 AC 2-tier, 1 AC 3-tier, 10 Sleeper Class, 4 General Second Class and 2 luggage-cum-brake van coaches.

The trains will stop at Tambaram, Chengalpattu, Tindivanam, Villupuram, Vriddhachalam, Tiruchchirappalli, Dindigul, Madurai, Virudhunagar, Sattur, Kovilpatti and Vanchi Maniyachchi. T.No. 0634 will stop at Mambalam also.

Advance reservation for the above trains has commenced on September 29, according to a Southern Railway press release.

Friday, September 28, 2007

SC/ST hostel students go on an indefinite fast

Inmates at the student’s hostel established by the Adi Dravidar Welfare Department near New Bus Stand on Tuticorin-Ettayapuram highway for SC/STs started an indefinite fast in Tuticorin on 27th September.

They were protesting the “infrastructural weaknesses” on the premises.

The students said that despite repeated representations made to the officials concerned, hygiene and sanitation needs were not taken care of properly.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Technology developed by Tuticorin Directorate of Fisheries Extension

A technology developed by the Directorate of Fisheries Extension, Tuticorin for mass production of artemia, a live food for ornamental fish, is rendering value-addition to salt pan owners.

The new procedure was recently tested successfully at the salt pan of Ayya Prince, owner of Sri Sankara Salt Farm, at Puthalam in Kanyakumari district.

The Directorate, coming under the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, gave away indigenous strains of artemia to the entrepreneur after he was imparted training in outdoor culture of the organism.

J. Daniel Jameson, Director of the Directorate, told The Hindu here that Mr. Prince was advised to limit the stocking density of artemia to 2 lakh for every 1,000-square metre plot.

The salinity variation of the water was initially kept between 70 and 80 parts per thousand (ppt). The artemia was then fed with Dunaniella, a green algae, found in the salt pans. “As the salinity rises to 130 ppt once the pan was exposed to radiation from the sunlight, the artemia start laying eggs,” Dr. Jameson said.

Mr. Prince harvested 3.5 kg of artemia cyst (containing seven crore cysts), which fetched him Rs. 3,500. Artemia contains 53 per cent of protein and 15 per cent of fat.

The culture of artemia would purify the brine media in the pans as the organism fed on suspended matters, waste and live planktons of 50 micron in size, helping the entrepreneurs produce salt free of impurities.

Contests on tourism held in Tuticorin

The Department of Tourism in association with the V.O. Chidambaram College, Tuticorin, conducted inter-collegiate cultural competitions in Tuticorin on 25th September, as part of World Tourism Day celebrations. Essay, quiz and elocution contests were held on the theme of ‘Tourism opens door for women’.

About 50 students from Annammal College of Education for Women, Tuticorin, K.R. College of Arts and Science, Kovilpatti, A.P.C. Mahalaxmi College for Women, Tuticorin, S.S. Duraiswamy Nadar Mariammal College, Kovilpatti, Sri Kumara Gurupara Swamigal Arts College, Srivaikundam, Govindammal Aditanar College, Tuticorin, and V.O.C. College, Tuticorin, took part in the event. T. Chellappa, District Tourism Officer, said that prizes to the winners will be distributed today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

‘CEO summit’ held in Tuticorin

A three-day training programme on ‘CEO summit’ organised by Pearl City Academy for Leadership and Management Skills, concluded in Tuticorin on 22nd September.

The programme was aimed at enhancing skills of chief executive officers of industrial units.

Ramesh Batavia, trainer and motivator from Bangalore, delivered lectures on ‘leadership styles’, ‘productive teams’, ‘working environment’, ‘delegation vs abdication’ , ‘powerful leadership’, ‘achievement is everything’ and ‘making happiness a habit’.

CEOs from Chennai, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, Kovilpatti, Rajapalayam, Dindigul, Virudhunagar and Rajapalayam attended.

Earlier, K. Subburaj, chairman, Cethar Vessels, inaugurated the event.

Three infiltration wells commissioned in Tuticorin

Minister for Animal Husbandry P. Geetha Jeevan on Saturday commissioned three infiltration wells and a submersible pump established by the Tuticorin municipal administration along the Tamiraparani basin.

Official sources said the wells, each having a diameter of 4.5 metres and a depth of 6 metres and the pump with a capacity of 7.5 Horse Power, were set up on a total outlay of Rs.40 lakh allocated from the municipal exchequer.

With this, an additional 4.74 million litres of water a day would be supplied to the town.

Presently, the municipality supplies 21 million litres a day drawn from the six infiltration wells situated adjacent to the Tamiraparani.

A 40 HP motor would be established at Rajaji Park here to enhance supply of water to the overhead tank situated near the New Bus Stand on Tuticorin-Ettayapuram road, the sources said.

Likewise, plans are in the offing to rejuvenate the water scheme established in the town during 1932, which has been remaining defunct for sometime.

A 175 HP motor would be established to revive the project, so as to supply another 6 million litres of water a day to the town, the sources said.

Municipal Chairperson R. Kasturi Thangam, Commissioner R. Lakshmi, Junior Engineer M. Saravannan and Senior Town Planning Officer M. Rakkappan were present.

Agricultural Video conferencing introduced in Tuticorin

The Department of Agriculture has introduced video conferencing in the district linking the office of the Joint Director in Tuticorin with the head office in Chennai.

It will facilitate online review of the performance pertaining to productivity targets.

In a first video conferencing meeting held this week, Joint Director of Agriculture M. Mohandas briefed the Agriculture Production Commissioner on paddy that was raised on 4,085 ha, millet on 22 ha, pulses on 1,448 ha, cotton on 614 ha and oil seeds on 741 ha during the current fiscal till August 31.

He said 7,925 tonnes of paddy, 554 tonne of millets, 250 tonne of oilseeds and 415 tonne of cotton were produced during the first five months of this fiscal.

Mr. Mohandas said that to augment productivity, 21 tonnes of paddy seeds, 11.3 tonnes of pulse seeds and three tonnes of millet seeds had been distributed to farmers at subsidized rate between April 1 and August 31.

Similarly, 1,512 tonnes of nitrogen, 902 tonnes of phosphorous, 1,034 tonnes of potash (all fertilizers) and 10,000 liters of plant protection chemicals were given away to farmers during the same period at subsidized rate.

Deputy Director of Agriculture Gandhirajan Agriculture Officer I. Joseph and members of Tamil Nadu Farm women in Agri Business and Extension groups were present.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Latest technology in farm sector disseminated

A mega ‘Kissan mela’ organised by Agricultural Technology Management Agency was held in Tuticorin on 22nd Saturday.

Official sources said that the fair was arranged to disseminate technological advances in the agricultural sector to the farmers and to make them aware of the role of high quality inputs in enhancing productivity of crops.

In all, 17 stalls were established by various departments, research institutes and private firms to showcase certified seeds, agricultural implements, fertilizers and government schemes.

V. Subramanian, chief scientist, Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti, explained features of KC-3 variety of cotton developed by the station recently to visitors and how it was suited for rainfed conditions.

He said that use of the type would yield a lint length of 26.4 mm and a ginning percentage of 37.

The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University deciphered the importance of pre-monsoon sowing for raising cotton, sorghum, pulses, maize and sunflower.

The expo also gave an insight into the agronomy practices such as furrow system to conserve soil moisture.

The stall set up by the Department of Sericulture explained the process involved in manufacturing ‘twisted silk.’

The veterinarians from Department of Animal Husbandry explained the steps to combat diseases among the cattle.

The Pepsico India Holdings Private Limited elucidated the methodology to extract sap from seaweeds, which could be used to enhance plant growth.

Earlier, Minister for Animal Husbandry P. Geetha Jeevan inaugurated the mela and distributed certified seed, hand sprayers and coconut seedlings to farmers under various government-sponsored schemes.

Collector R. Palaniyandi, Joint Director of Agriculture M. Mohanados, Superintendent of Police Deepak Motibhai Damor and officials participated.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Minister inaugurates additional bus services

Minister for Animal Husbandry P. Geetha Jeevan flagged off additional bus services in different stretches across the district here on 22nd September.

The additional shuttle services would ply on Vilathikulam-Tiruchendur, Koramballam- Siluvaipatti, Tuticorin-Mappilayoorani, Muthiapuram-Collectorate, Thermal Power Station-Tuticorin town, Tuticorin-Vagaikulam (via Mudivaithanenthal) and Tuticorin-Nazareth (via Malavaraianatham, Chenkulam and Vellamadom) sectors.

Ms. Jeevan said that a water cooler and a separate office for the time-keeper would be established at the Old Bus stand here, as part of augmenting the amenities.

Similarly, a bus shelter exclusively for minibuses would be built at the new bus stand on Tuticorin-Ettayapuram highway.

“The capital required for these development works would be taken from the Tuticorin MLA’s constituency development fund,” the Minister said.

G. Paulraj, General Manager (Tirunelveli region), Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, said that the average fuel efficiency of buses in the region (i.e.) Tirunelveli region presently was standing at 5.20 km. Likewise, operational efficiency of the region had touched 102 per cent during the current financial year. He said that plans were in the offing to introduce two ultra deluxe buses in Tiruchendur-Chennai sector before the end of the third quarter of this fiscal. D.J. Selvakumar, Divisional Manager (Tuticorin), TNSTC, was present.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Two flyovers to be constructed in Tuticorin

The Collector, R. Palaniyandi, held talks with a team of top railway officials from the Madurai Division of Southern Railways in Tuticorin on 18th, as part of efforts to ease traffic congestion at the railway level-crossings across the district.

Regarding the traffic congestion in Tuticorin City owing to closure of three railway gates, Mr. Hemant Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager, Southern Railways (Madurai Division), said that the Railways had decided to build flyovers at Railway Gates No: 1 and 2 on a cost sharing basis with the State Government.

“The construction of the road overbridge (ROB) at Railway Gate No: 3 have been fast nearing completion,” he said. Mr. Kumar added that the newly constructed railway gate (Gate No: 4) would be commissioned shortly, as soon as the necessary sanction was accorded by the office of Commissioner of Railway Safety (Bangalore circle). Once the Gate No: 4 was opened for the traffic, the Gate No: 3 would be closed to facilitate the completion of ROB project there.

Mr. Kumar said that as part of beautification of Tuticorin railway station, greenery would be established on the premises and entrance to the station would be widened.

He said that the division had finally forwarded the proposal to the authorities concerned to establish ‘cement concrete aprons’ beneath the sleepers at tracks laid at the platforms in the Tuticorin station.

Rs.6-crore slum works planned in Tuticorin City

Municipal Chairperson R. Kasturi Thangam has said that the administration will take up works on an outlay of Rs.6 crore during the current financial year under the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme in the Tuticorin city.

Speaking at a municipal council meeting on Friday, she said the project was aimed at ameliorating the living standards of urban slum dwellers at select localities by providing adequate shelter and basic infrastructure to them at Sundervelpuram, Polpettai, Kandasamypuram, Cruzpuram, Threspuram, Krishnarajapuram and K.V.K. Nagar.

Ms. Thangam said that repair works would be carried out and stormwater drains built along five road stretches on a total outlay of Rs.31.25 lakh before the end of the current fiscal.

Commissioner R. Lakshmi and Engineer S.A. Rajagopal were present.

Freedom Fighter Memorial Innagurated in Tuticorin

Speaker R. Avudaiappan inaugurated new memorials for freedom fighters Vellaiya Thevan and Veeran Sundaralinga Devendran at Vallanad and Governagiri near Tuticorin City, respectively, on 20th and 21st of September.

Each of the memorials was constructed by the Public Works Department at a cost of Rs 25 lakh.

Official sources said that the edifices would be maintained by the Department of Information and Public Relations.

The memorial for Vellaiya Thevan having a plinth area of 231.2 square metre was built on a 41 cent plot. Neatly trimmed lawns were established on the premises to add beauty to the tourism spot.

Likewise, the cenotaph of Veeran Sundaralinga Devendran, a warrior and deputy army chief for Veerapandia Kattabomman, was constructed on a 49 cent tract.

Minister for Information Parithi Ellamvazhuthi said that the Government would consider the public requests to set up libraries at the memorials of freedom fighters.

Mr. Avudaiappan disbursed welfare assistance worth Rs.12.5 lakh allocated under various government-sponsored schemes to 383 beneficiaries.

Minister for Animal Husbandry P. Geetha Jeevan, Director of Public Relations A. Chittaranjan Mohandoss, Collector R. Palaniyandi, Secretary of Tamil Development, Religious Endowments and Information Department D. Rajendran and District Public Relations Officer S.R. Sarathy participated .

Perfomance of Tuticorin Courts Reviewed

P. Jyothimani, the Judge of the Madras High Court, conducted an inspection at the Tuticorin District court complex on 21st September.

He reviewed the performance of various courts functioning at the complex pertaining to parameters such as pending and disposed cases.

The judge also studied the infrastructure available in the court for both the judges and the lawyers. The Principal District Judge, Gokul Das, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mary Anzalam, the Judicial Magistrates, Sasirekha and Hemant Kumar, the Fast Track Court Judges, Ramachandran and Krishnan, were present. Later, he was felicitated by the Tuticorin Bar Association at a function held at Thanpadu Uppu Sangam auditorium here.

Industrial Exhibition in Tuticorin City

Minister for Animal Husbandry P. Geetha Jeevan inaugurated a three-day mega industrial exhibition jointly organised by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute, Government of India, and Thoothukudi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association here on Friday.

K. Nehruprakash, general secretary of the association, said that the main objective of the expo was to bring small and medium enterprises, government organisations, public sector units and industrial units on a common platform for business promotion and to identify competitive vendors.

A total of 120 exhibitors from Korea, Belgium, Germany, Singapore and India are taking part in the event.

Tourism Promotion Activities for Rs.1.06 crore in Tuticorin

Tuticorin district is home to several historically important places. Among them, the heritage towns of Kulasekarapattinam and Ettayapuram will get a facelift before the end of this financial year, as Department of Tourism is set to take up tourism promotion activities at these places on a total outlay of Rs.1.06 crore.

Official sources said that as part of the project, a park would be established at the historic Kulasekarapattinam town at Rs.44 lakh, to augment recreational activities along the beach. The town once boasted a minor port having commerce with Sri Lanka. The port lost its importance with the development of a major port in Tuticorin. The borough is also known for the popular ‘Dasara festival.’ Of the total cost allocated for setting up the park, Rs.11.55 lakh will be earmarked to establish ornamental structures like statues and artificial mountains in the park. Garden and elegantly trimmed lawn will be built at Rs.6.30 lakh. A amount of Rs.2 lakh from the allocation would be utilised to establish play materials like swings and slides for children and Rs.4.05 lakh to provide drinking water as well as toilet facilities to the visitors. A compound wall for the park will be constructed at Rs.5.10 lakh and illuminations will be installed at the recreation area at a cost of Rs.7.05 lakh. The remaining amount will be used for the establishment of a black top road (approach road) to connect the park to the nearest arterial road, to a length of about one kilometre.

The tourism potential of Ettayapuram, the town which houses the memorial and ‘illam’ (home) of the great poet Subramaniya Bharatiar, will be augmented at a cost of Rs.62 lakh. The project works to be taken up under the package include establishment of a rest shed, drainage facilities and improvement of water supply as well as roads in the town.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Advani gets warm welcome in Tuticorin

The former Deputy Prime Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Lal Krishna Advani, was accorded a warm reception by the party cadres at the Tuticorin airport at Vagaikulam on 18th September.

He was at the airport on a transit enroute to Tirunelveli. The senior leaders of the party’s State unit, Pon. Radhakrishnan (State vice-president), M. R. Kanagaraj (State observer), V. Rengarajan (District president) and S. Thirunavukarasar (ex-MP) garlanded Mr. Advani and honoured him with a shawl. The entire reception was held amidst tight police security owing to threat perceptions.

The Inspector General of Police, Sanjiv Kumar, Deputy Inspector Generals of Police, P. Kannapan and K.C. Mahali, and the Superintendent of Police, Deepak Motibhai Damor, supervised the security. Mr. Advani proceeded to Tirunelveli by car for attending a rally.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Audit on Tuticorin-Maniyachi railway section

A high-level team of Railway officials, led by the Chief Safety Officer of Southern Railway, M.C. Murali, conducted an audit on Tuticorin-Maniyachi section on 18th Sept., to ascertain that safety norms were followed according to the stipulated guidelines.

Interacting with the officials, Mr. Murali reiterated the need to phase out the unmanned railway level-crossings to reduce accidents.

“We have set plans to remove about 100 of the total 1,200 unmanned crossings situated under the jurisdiction of Southern Railway by either constructing road over-bridges or limited use subways (meant for light motor vehicles and two-wheelers) at those spots, during this fiscal,” he said.

According to him, a total of 51 ‘limited use subways’ would be established by the Southern Railway during the current financial year. He said that the railway administration has been operating a state-of-the-art ‘accident relief machinery’.

“We are periodically conducting mock drills to check the efficiency of the machinery,” he added.

He said that once the gauge conversions were over, more trains are bound to come to Tuticorin.

D.K. Nayak, Additional Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM), Southern Railway (Madurai), said that the division was exploring the possibility of setting up a ‘24-bogey’ pit lane in Tuticorin.

The capacity of the present pit lane here having a capacity to hold 18 bogies, is now being upgraded to hold 21 bogies.

The Chief Track Engineer, P.K. Mishra, the Chief Signal and Telecommunications Engineer, T. Yadaiah, the Chief Electrical Service Engineer, R.P. Udayakumar, the Divisional Engineer, Robert Rajasekaran, and the Chief Rolling Stock Engineer, Kabir Ahmed, all of Southern Railways, were present during the inspection.

Final photo electoral rolls released in Tuticorin

The Collector, R Palaniyandi, released the ‘final photo electoral rolls-2007’ for six of the seven Assembly constituencies in the Tuticorin district, at a function held at the office of Revenue Divisional Officer in Tuticorin on 18th September.

The rolls were published after making inclusions in the draft photo electoral rolls published in the district on May 25.

Speaking to reporters, Dr. Palaniyandi said that the photo electoral rolls for Kovilpatti constituency would be published on September 20, after verification of a few more data. He said that according to final photo electoral rolls, there were 1,24,804 electors in Vilathikulam, 1,11,656 in Ottapidaram, 1,16,205 in Sattankulam, 1,36,913 in Tiruchendur, 1,12,300 in Srivaikundam, and 1,96,859 in Tuticorin Assembly segments.

“The final rolls showed an increase in the number of electors in all the six constituencies vis-À-vis the voters figured in the draft photo electoral rolls,” he said.

Assembly segment-wise, number of electors increased by 2.05 percent in Vilathikulam, 1.9 percent in Ottapidaram, one percent in Sattankulam, 1.8 percent in Tiruchendur, 1.58 percent in Srivaikundam and 3.05 percent in Tuticorin.

Dr. Palaniyandi said that the final photo rolls would be available at Collectorate, offices of Revenue Divisional Officers, municipal offices, taluk offices and polling stations for verification of electors.

The District Revenue Officer, P Anbarasu, the RDO (Tuticorin sub-division), P Kalaimani, the Tahsildar (Tuticorin taluk), K. Velusamy and the Tahsildar (elections), N B Nagarajan, were present.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tuticorin Port plans Rs 5,310 crore expansion

Tuticorin Port plans a major expansion involving investments of around Rs 5,310 crore to create additional capacity and infrastructure on the back of growing industrial activity and meeting capacity demands from the trade.

The port is planning to augment its capacity from the existing 20.55 million tonnes to 40.60 million tonnes through an Inner Harbour Development Programme.

This envisages construction of a coal berth, development of a container terminal, construction of new berths and development activities like dock basin dredging to cater to 12.8-metre draft vessels at a cost of Rs 961.75 crore, according to A Subbiah, deputy chairman, Tuticorin Port.

The port, through a futuristic Outer Harbour Development Programme, is also planning to create additional capacity of 37.5 million tonnes by 2012-end and would aim for 43.7 million tonnes by 2017. The plan is estimated at an outlay of Rs 4,350 crore, Subbiah added.

Garments and textile exporters and importers of machinery in Tirupur, Karur and Salem regions are using Tuticorin Port for their import and export activities since the port has direct connectivity to American and European ports, besides ports in East Asia and South-east Asia.

Tuticorin Port handled 18.70 million tonnes of cargo during 2006-07, registering 9 per cent growth over previous year’s figures of 17.14 million tonnes. Container traffic stood at 377,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) as compared to 321,000 TEUs in the previous fiscal, registering growth of 17 per cent.

For the current fiscal, the port has set a target of 20.05 million tonnes of cargo traffic and 400,000 TEUs.

The operating income of the port was Rs 183.05 crore for 2006-07 as compared to Rs 159.04 crore the previous year. Profit after tax (PAT) was Rs 88.76 crore, up 39 per cent over Rs 63.76 crore in the previous fiscal.

With the expected completion of the Sethusamudram project in 2008, ports on the east coast and west coast of the country are expected to use Tuticorin Port as a transhipment hub, resulting in its emergence as a hub container port in near future, a Tuticorin Port statement said.

Considering the business potential and increasing industrial activity in the region, CII has opened its district office in Tuticorin, inaugurated on Saturday by MS Srinivasan, secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

At the launch of CII office, Srinivasan hinted that Tuticorin, being a major port on the east cost of the country, would gain in a big way with the Centre’s increasing attention on East Asian economies.

Source: Business Standard

Expansion Planned at Tuticorin Port

Tuticorin Port in India is reportedly planning a major expansion to create significant additional capacity and infrastructure on the back of growing demand.

According to reports in the Indian media, the port is planning to augment capacity from 20.55 million tonnes per annum to 40.60 million tonnes through the so-called Inner Harbour Development Programme.

This envisages construction of a coal berth, development of a container terminal, construction of new berths and dock basin dredging to cater to 12.8m draft vessels.

In the longer term, the port is also planning an Outer Harbour Development Programme, which would create further additional capacity of 37.5 million tonnes by 2012.

Source: Dredging News

Tuticorin set for economic growth, feel experts

The port town of Tuticorin, located in one of the less-developed regions of Tamil Nadu, is set to see significant economic growth on the back of changing focus of India’s engagement with the world, improving infrastructure and increasing entrepreneurial activity in the region, according to panelists at a recent seminar.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas secretary MS Srinivasan said the underdevelopment of Tuticorin Port’s hinterland and the union government’s ‘Look West’ policy till recently had kept the port and the region from achieving its full potential. “Now, the centre of gravity has shifted from west to east, and this augurs well for Tuticorin,” he said. He was speaking at the Explore Export 2007 Conference, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Tuticorin on Saturday.

He said, in the past, the lack of development in the hinterland slowed down growth of the port, which otherwise had a lot of advantages. “Ideally, the hinterland should feed into port and the port in turn would feed into the hinterland,” he added. This in turn was because of lack of infrastructure — especially, good roads, which had a direct impact on development of the areas around.

Containerisation of cargo could also help in faster development, Mr Srinivasan said. India took time to containerise. Even now, while 70% of goods movement is containerised globally, it’s 30-35% in India.

Mr A Subbiah, deputy chairman, Tuticorin Port Trust said, in order to meet the growing needs of users, the port is planning to augment its capacity from the existing 20.55 million tonnes to 40.60 million tonnes through an Inner Harbour Development Programme. This would envisage construction of a coal berth, development of a container terminal, construction of new berths and development activities such as dredging of dock basin to cater to 12.8-metre draught vessels at a cost of Rs 961.75 crores.

The port is planning to create additional capacity of 37.5 million tonnes by end 2012 and would aim for 43.7 million tones by 2017 through the Outer Harbour Development Programme to be implemented at an outlay of Rs 4,350 crore, he said.

Manikam Ramaswami, vice-chairman, CII — Tamil Nadu State Council and CMD, Loyal Textile Mills said infrastructure was key to support growth . This is in the context of the growing demands from global retailers and narrowing lead times for delivery. Power is another constraint. Cost of power in Tamil Nadu is two times than that of other Asian countries.

According to a survey by CII, there were 300-500 trippings a year in the state outside Chennai, he said.
Dr R Palaniyandi, district collector of Tuticorin said there was immense potential for agro processing, wind mill generation, biomass gasifiers and tourism in the Tuticorin district.

Source: Economic Times

Two 1000MW Powerplants at Tuticorin

The Tamil Nadu Government has approved the setting up of four merchant power plants with a total generating capacity of 6,000 MW. These plants are to come up along the coast – one each at Cuddalore and Nagapattinam, and two near Tuticorin, according to official sources.

According to the sources, the projects that have been approved are – UDI Infrastructure (2,000 MW at Cuddalore), Tridem (2,000 MW, Nagapattinam), Coastal Gen (1,000 MW, Tuticorin) and Free City (1,000 MW, Manappadu near Tuticorin).

Merchant power plants, unlike other power plants that sign power purchase agreements with utilities, compete for customers and absorb the full market risk. Typically, according to the Power Ministry, the risk of a merchant power plant is carried on the balance sheet of the promoter.

CCC has Tuticorin SEZ approval, waiting for notification

Consolidated Construction Consortium plans to raise Rs 188 crore in their IPO with a price band offer of Rs 460-510. S Sivaramakrishnan, MD, Consolidated Construction Consortium said that the company is already geographically spread across six regions with offices in Pune, Kolkatta and Delhi to cover the North, West and East region. He added that though presently, South India is leading the order book, they hope to balance it out over the years.

Talking about their proposed food processing SEZ near Tuticorin port, he said that they are working on the master plan. He added that the approval has been obtained and they are waiting for the notification.

Excerpts of CNBC-TV18’s exclusive interview with S Sivaramakrishnan:

Q1: Your order book as on July 31 2007 which is stated at 2050 is about 2.5 times your FY07 sales. What sort of an order book position do you see at the end of FY08 vis-a-vis the kind of revenues you will do for the same?
A: I am constrained to speak on the future. Otherwise we hope to get the same kind of growth, upto 40-50% growth.

Q2: Your fixed price contracts, can you tell us how much that gives you as a percentage of your order book and how much does it give you as a percentage of your overall revenues?
A: Our fixed price contract is hardly about 10% of our overall order. For all the rest, we have the escalation past through, it’s there available.

Q3: Also your exposure to South India, at this point in time what percentage of your total order book position comes in from South India and how are you looking to diversify?
A: Right now we have already geographically spread across six regions. We already have offices in Pune, Kolkatta and Delhi, to cover the North, West and the East. Right now our Delhi regions are already picking up large orders.

In that surrounding Delhi region about six states we have already working Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, UP we are already working apart from Delhi itself. The Kolkata region is already started picking up order from Bhubaneshwar and Kolkata.

So geographically, yes presently South India is leading the order book. But we hope to balance out over the years.

Q: Specific word on your SEZ and plans you are looking to setup a food processing SEZ. Could you tell us what area of land and what are the plans in terms of investments for the same?
A: Basically it’s that we have already acquired 358 acres near Tuticorin port. It’s exclusively for food processing. We are just working on the master plan. We are yet to get the notification, the approval has come and the notification is likely to come later. So we are discussing with our master plan consultants.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuticorin announces expansion

The Indian port of Tuticorin has announced a $1.3 billion building project to help it meet an expected growth in traffic.

Tuticorin Port Trust (TPT) officials say the plans include the construction of a new coal berth and the development of a new container terminal from an existing berth.

The project is scheduled to boost cargo handling capacity from 20.55 million metric tonnes (mt) per year to 40.60 million mt through an Inner Harbour Development Programme.

According to TPT deputy chairman A Subbiah, a future Outer Harbour Development Programme is also being planned to create additional cargo handling capacity of 37.5 million mt by 2012 and 43.7 million mt by 2017.

Key sectors using Tuticorin port are garment and textile exporters and importers of machinery in the Tirupur, Karur and Salem regions.

Tuticorin gives them direct links to the United States and to European and Asian ports.

According to the TPT, the Sethusamudram shipping canal project is expected to be completed next year and ports on both the east and west coast are expected to use Tuticorin port as a transshipment hub.

The Sethusamudram shipping canal project plans to provide a continuous navigable sea route around the Indian peninsula.

The project is expected to boost economic development of the coastal state of Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, 2006-07 figures show that Tuticorin port handled 18.70 million tonnes of cargo, a 9% growth year-on-year.

Container throughput for the same period grew 17% to 377,000 twenty-foot equivalent units.

Source: PortWorld

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuticorin Malayalis come together for ‘Onam’ celebrations

Traditional dance performances and folk arts of Kerala, comedy skits, a sumptuous ‘Onasadhya’ (feast), dazzles of ‘kasavu mundu’ and ‘kasavu saris’ and cultural programmes encapsulated Onam celebrations of the Malayali fraternity in the city on 9th September.

The Kerala Samajam, which organised the 32nd edition of Onam festival at Roopavathi Palace Thirumana Mandapam, ensured that the celebrations had a stamp of zeal and fervour to make the Malayalis here touch the home base. Comedy numbers and film songs presented by a group of television and cine artistes from Thiruvananthapuram formed the part of the celebrations.

A group of students from Annammal College of Education for Women, Tuticorin, who hail from Kerala, took the audience down the memory lane to their childhood days in the neighbouring State with the presentation of ‘Thiruvathirakali’ and ‘Onam songs.’

The ‘Onasadhya’ offered on the occasion captivated the foodies. Rice was the main course, supplemented by dishes such as curries, ‘upperies’ (fried food), pickles, ‘pappadams’ and ‘payasams.’ The feast was prepared by cooks brought from Paravoor in Kerala.

“The annual Onam celebration gives an opportunity for Malayalis staying in various places across the town to congregate at one place,” tells P. George Thomas, secretary of Kerala Samajam.

Anti-Tobacco Rally in Tuticorin

National Cadet Corps officers and cadets took out a rally in the city on 9th September, to create awareness among the public on the ill effects of using tobacco for smoking and chewing.

M. Kasturi Thangam, chairperson, Tuticorin municipality, flagged off the rally in front of the Tamil Nadu Maritime Academy on Beach Road.

F. Benny Morais, troop commander, NCC (Naval unit), and senior NCC officers, Lieutenant Kumaraswamy, Sub-Lieutenant Jessie, Second Officer Nirmala and Third Officer, Santinal, were present.

The NCC cadets of V.O. Chidambaram College, St. Mary’s College for Women, St. Lasalle Boys Higher Secondary School, Holy Cross Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, and St.Joseph’s Girls Higher Secondary School, constituted the rally.

4 Sri Lankan fishermen arrested

The Coast Guard on 8th Sept. arrested four Sri Lankans who were fishing in the Indian waters without proper documents.

The Coast Guard sources said Jute Limus Appuwami (45), Antony Sunil Appuwami (41), Francis Nimal Apwani (33), and P.Selvin (35) were arrested about 45 nautical miles southeast off Manapadu, near Tuticorin. The mechanised boat was also seized.

A workshop on ecological sanitation conducted in Tuticorin

A workshop on ‘ecological sanitation for Tuticorin’ organised by Eco Solutions, a non-governmental organisation based at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala was held in the City on 8th September.

The programme was aimed at sensitising the different stakeholders including various government departments involved in sanitation projects on the importance of sanitation as an eco-solution.

Paul Calvert, Director, Eco Solutions, explained the functioning of dry compost urine-diverting toilet systems developed by the group, which were installed across the country under Ecosan project. “We have established 550 such toilet systems in Tuticorin district so far.”

According to him, the eco-toilets would destroy pathogens by keeping them contained until they were destroyed.

Besides, the system would help recycle human urine and faeces as fertilizers. He said that eco-toilets would minimise the usage of water since ash, soil, lime or biomass residues were used to cover fresh faeces and leave them odourless, thus enhancing water security in the country. The covering layer would aid decomposition or dehydration and kill the germs in the faeces.

Joint Director of Health S. Subbulakshmi, the Personal Assistant (Agriculture) to Collector Chandrasekaran and senior officials from health and allied departments attended the programme.

The participants were taken out on a field visit to villages in the district where eco-toilets had been established to demonstrate their functioning.

Monday, September 10, 2007

‘Explore Export-2007’ conference held in Tuticorin

Inaugurating ‘Explore Export-2007,’ a conference organised in Tuticorin, by the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Madurai Zone to promote Tuticorin as an export hub, Mr. M. S. Srinivasan, Secretary, Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, said that the country should enhance the containerised movement of cargo/goods to reduce the cost and time of transport.

He said the country needed to create exclusive cargo corridors for easier movement of goods from and to the ports. “We are lagging the rest of the globe in evolving cargo corridors by at least 10-12 years.”
Manickam Ramaswami, vice-chairman, CII, Tamil Nadu, said though the State was attracting a lot of investment recently, the industrial competitiveness was substantially affected by the poor quality and quantity of power. Furthermore, the cost of power was high. The increasing labour cost also affected the State’s industrial competitiveness. “The time has come to make a comprehensive study to analyse the components of labour cost.” V. Dharmarajan, deputy general manager, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation, explained the risk factors involved in export transactions.

CII Office opened in Tuticorin

On 8th September, Mr. M. S. Srinivasan, Secretary, Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, inaugurated the Tuticorin office of the CII at Millerpuram. Mr. V. Ramasubramanian, is chairman of the Tuticorin branch.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Minister inspects site for boat club in Tuticorin

Minister for Animal Husbandry P. Geetha Jeevan on Saturday inspected the site proposed for the establishment of a boat club by the municipal administration at Roche Park on Beach Road in tuticorin City.

Ms. Jeevan said that the establishment of the boat club and development of the park would be carried out on a total estimated outlay of Rs.95 lakh.

“The municipal administration and the Department of Tourism will bear the project cost equally,” she added.

The proposed boat club will have four boats to take the tourists for pleasure rides along a two km stretch of inshore waters.

As regards the development of the park, sources said that good quality grass would be grown to beautify the landscape.

Later, Ms. Jeevan also visited site identified for the establishment of a road at Kurinji Nagar on an outlay of Rs.15 lakh.

Municipal Commissioner R. Lakhsmi, Municipal Chairperson R. Kasturi Thangam, and Municipal Engineer S.A. Rajagopal were present during the inspection.

Erode-Nagpur rail freight corridor to help Tuticorin Port Services

Authorities of the Tuticorin Port Trust have suggested that the railways create a ‘backbone freight corridor’ connecting Erode with Nagpur, to facilitate goods movement from central India to the port.

The proposal is made in a ‘business plan’ prepared by the TPT for the overall development of trade volumes through the port.

A. Subbiah, Deputy Chairman, Tuticorin Port Trust, said that such a corridor would help expand the hinterland of the port beyond Bangalore. The dedicated rail corridor would reduce the time delays in transportation of goods to and from the port, which was essential to attract more users here.

Mr. Subbiah said a corridor between Erode and Nagpur would help the Chennai and Kochi ports too in terms of augmenting their export-import trade.

At the Tuticorin port, he said that inner harbour development works, including the creation of a coal berth, the conversion of Berth 8 into a container terminal, the construction of Berth 9, the structural upgrading of the coal jetty and the dredging of the basin to cater to 12.8 m draught vessels would be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs. 961.75 crore.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Security Management System for Tuticorin Port

A. Subbiah, Deputy Chairman of Tuticorin Port Trust, said that installation of an Integrated Security Management System (ISMS) proposed at the Tuticorin port on an outlay of Rs. 1.3 crore was expected to commence before the end of the this year.

Tuticorin port poised for handling more logs

Two sets of hydraulic grabs and specially-designed loaders have been commissioned at the Tuticorin port to handle logs, for the first time.

A. Subbiah, Deputy Chairman of Tuticorin Port Trust, said that the equipment were procured by St John’s Freight Systems, Tuticorin, in line with the decision taken at the port safety committee meeting recently.

According to him, these machines would bring about a sea change in the handling of logs by ensuring safety of dock workers, besides improving the productivity by leaps and bounds. The mechanised handling system would facilitate quick turnaround time of ships and attract more volume of logs and timber through the port, he said.

T. Johnson, Managing Director, St John’s Freight Systems, said that the equipment were imported at a cost of Rs. 3 crore. While the hydraulic grabs were acquired from Germany, the loaders were purchased from Sweden.

“We plan to handle about 4,000 tonnes of logs on an average a day, registering 125 percent increase over the manual handling techniques,” Mr Johnson said.