(March 08, 2000)
'New look' IOC retail outlet opened in the city

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has opened its first new look state -of-the-art petrol/diesel retail outlet at Tallakulam - Alagarkoil Road (Thiagarajan Automobiles) here on Tuesday. Inaugurating the upgraded outlet, IOC Southern Region General Manager (Sales) K Ramachandran said under the "Indian Oil's Vision 2000 Plan" all the outlets in the southern region would have similar visual identity, with international standards. On an average, the IOC spends Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2.5 crore on each outlet. In this growing competitive world, there was need to serve customers in all possible ways and ensure them basic amenities. In the southern region alone, there were 1,600 retail outlets and 300 among them had been taken up for upgradation. This had helped in increased sales of petrol, diesel and lubricants, anywhere between eight and 22 per cent, Ramachandran added.

Handloom weavers want DA paid in tune with inflation

The handloom weavers have demanded the payment of dearness allowance in tune with inflation, along with other benefits such as gratuity, provident fund and ESI. In a resolution passed at a conference organised by the National Handloom Workers' Union, affiliated to the INTUC, here recently, the handloom workers expressed concern over the delay in ensuring the reservation of 22 items for the handloom sector and wanted the Government to implement the Supreme Court order in this regard.

(March 07, 2000)

The Madurai Braided Cords Manufacturer's and Merchants Associations has urged the Chief Minister, Mr.M.karunanidhi, to provide full tax relief for 'araigyan kayar/ thali kayar' products called as braided cord and braided tape. A statement issued here today by the Association said that since the products were made at home with involvement of family members, thousands faced the danger of losing employment due to the levy of 11 per cent tax for the products. The sales tax exemption in vogue for the past 40 years should continue, it said. Earlier, the members of the Association took out a procession from Munichalai to the District Collectorate and submitted a memorandum to the Collector.


The first 'Uzhavar Santhai' of the state located in Anna Nagar, Madurai,added one more facility to the consumers with the inauguration of a branch of the Madurai District Central Cooperative Bank. The branch, which will offer jewel loans besides operating savings bank accounts, will function on all days of the week between 8.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. Inaugurating the branch today, the collector, Mr. V. Thangavelu, said five more 'Uzhavar Santhais' would come up at Palanganatham, Chokkikulam (in the city), Melur, Tirumangalam and Usilampatti. While attributing the success of the farmers' market to the cooperation of the farmers and the consumers, he said in the 114 days of its existence, the Madurai market had sold vegetables worth Rs. 1.95 crores, benefitting 6.75 lakh consumers.

(March 03, 2000)
'Bio-rhythm changes cause for depression'

The impact of 'rhythms' on the human being's sleep-wake cycle, efficiency,mental condition and body temperature, was highlighted by Mr. Wolfgang Elgelmann of the Institute for Biology, University of Tuebingen,German,here today. Delivering his lecture on 'Bioclocks in Humans: Health Aspect,at a seminar organised by the PG Zoology Association of the American College, Mr.Wolfgang said the cycles,which governed human life, were seldom noticed. But occasionally somethings goes wrong with the rhythm when work shift changes, he said. The body and its built-in clock needed time to adjust to the new situation and tiredness, inattentiveness and sleep problems might occur. The same happens when one travels through various time zones, he pointed out. However, there were also problems with the human clocks which arise due to some unknown internal abnormalities of the oscillators, he said and cited the example of endogenous depression,a severe mental disease. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was a less severe but common disorder.

NGOs must organise Self-Help Groups at macro-level: CAPART

The NGOs in the country should organise self-help-groups(SHG) at a macro level and there was adequate funds to support the programme, council for Advancement of Peoples Action and Rural Technology, (CAPART) Deputy Director General Ashok Thakur said here on Thursday. Inaugurating a three-day national seminar on 'Micro Finance: developing a new programme for CAPART', he said the Union government had assured to earmark funds for improving the awareness level in constituting SHGs in the country. The lead NGOs should identify social workers in their States/districts and conduct 'training for trainers' and popularise the same.

(March 02, 2000)
Plans to upgrade Madurai railway station.

The Southern Railway has embarked on the process of improving the infrastructure for the benefit of passengers. A series of developmental programmes have been chalked out for implementation in the Madurai division. According to the Divisional Railway Manager, Madurai division Mr. K. Anantha narayanan, it has been planned to construct RCC concrete foot overbridge connecting all platforms in the Madurai railway station at an outlay of Rs. 70 lakh. The construction will commence shortly he said. Also on the anvil is to establish a 'Yatri Nivas' at Madurai at a cost of Rs. 1 crore soon. This rest house to be built by the Catering and Tourism Corporation will comprise of 50 rooms with some of them having air condition facility. Speaking to reporters at Kanyakumari on Tuesday, Mr. Ananthanarayanan said the work in establishing computerised reservation complex for Rs. 25 lakh in Madurai has commenced and it would be ready in about six months time from now.

Students blame defective pipes for contaminated water.

Environment-conscious students belonging to a city school have disproved the permise that scientific research activities are specific to the educational system at the College and university levels. A project on 'water analysis' taken up by a group of students belonging to the OCPM Girls Higher Secondary School, involved the testing of tap water, borewell water, boiled water and corporation water supplied by lorries, with the help of non-hazardous tablets supplied by the Global River Environment Education Network(GREEN).

(March 01, 2000)
Rs.5.31-Crore Deficit Budget for Madurai

The budget of the Madurai Corporation for the Year 2000-01 was passed amidst high drama at a special meeting convened today, even as the entire Opposition with the exception of the lone MGR-ADMK member,walking out. The DMK members passed the budget that estimated a deficit of Rs. 5.31 crores, without discussion. The Opposition stormed into the well of the house and attempted to disrupt the proceedings, demanding the withdrawal of the corporation's decisions on tender-cum-auction of cycle stands on certain roads in the city and reduction of D & O licence fees for the year 2000-01. The Mayor directed the security personnel to evict the agitating members; however , the TMC, AIADMK, CPI, CPI(M) and Congress(I) Councillors staged a walkout. The Mayor, Mr. P. Kulandaivelu, invoked section 187 of the Madurai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1971, and passed the budget with 33 DMK Councillors and the lone MGR-ADMK Councillor approving the budget. The entire proceedings lasted 20 minutes.


The trade and industry has expressed disappointment over the Union budget tabled by the Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, in the Lok Sabha today. The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has described the exercise as "rollback budget", lacking in innovation and the Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants Association termed it as an exercise "not as expected by the common man". The Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA) has expressed reservations. The president, Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. S. Rethinavelu, said the budget had belied all expectations. The economic survey had focussed extensively on the country's situation and clearly indicated the path to be followed. But most of the suggestions in the survey did not find places in the budget. When everyone expected a reduction in the income tax rates and an enhancement of exemption limit, the Minister had five percent for incomes over Rs.1.5 lakh. Even the justified demand for increasing the standard deduction had not been conceded. While hailing the increase in income tax rebate for senior citizen and woman assessees, the chamber strongly condemned the increase in rate of dividend tax payable by the companies.

(February 29, 2000)
Four-Lane between Madurai-Tiruchi survey complete.

Preliminary survey work on the proposed four-lane track between Madurai and Tiruchi Highway has been completed and a detailed project report will be presented to the World Bank for funds, Tamil Nadu Highways and Minor Ports Minister T.Kiruttinan said here on Monday. Talking to reporters, he said as part of expanding roads and upgradation of Highways, the State Government is according top priority. The Madurai-Tiruchi sector will be expanded into four lanes and narrow roads would be straightened after necessary acquisition was effected. The World Bank funded ring road will be ready for public soon as work at a rail-overbridge had to be completed. The road which starts near the Meenakshi Mission Hospital on the Melur Road, connecting Sivaganga Road and still further towards Rameswaram Highway is ready. Soon after the work at the rail bridge was over, it will be open to traffic.

Biotechnology, focus of Science Day.

Exhibitions, lectures and felicitations of school and college in recognition of their scientific acumen, marked the National Science Day celebrations in the city today. A week-long programme organised for the school students by the School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU), came to an end today at the St. Mary's Boys' Higher Secondary School. The programme, sponsored by the Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi, comprised lecture sessions by experts on Molecular Biology, Basic Sciences, Cloning, Application of Biotechnology in Agriculture and the Use of Bio-pesticides.

(February 28, 2000)

The latest techniques for enhancement productivity of crops in rain-fred areas should be made familiar among the farming community and agriculture-allied activities should be introduced to improve, their standard of living, the Vice Chancellor,Tamilnadu Agriculture University(TNAU),Dr.s.Kannaiyan,has said. At the 'Farmers'Day' celebration organised by the Agricultural College and Research Institute (ACRI),here today, Dr. Kannaiyan said farmers in dry areas should be encouraged to take up activities like livestock rearing, poultry development,mushroom cultivation, etc., besides vegetable and fruit farming, to raise their standard of living. Cultivation in dry lands should be the focus of the 'second Green Revolution', be opined and added that equal importance should be accorded to post-harvest technology.


The new two-tier Kalpalam overbridge was opened to traffic on Sunday.The bridge was inaugurated by Chief Minister M. Karunandhi on Feb 23. One traffic would be allowed(from simakkal to selur) on th bridge Only heavy vehicles would be permitted on the overbridge while two and three wheelers would have totake the lower road, according to police sources.

(February 25, 2000)
Madurai division excise collection to exceed target.

Office of the Commissioner of Central Excise, Madurai, is all set to surpass the revenue collection target of Rs. 595 crores for the period 1999-2000 as it has already realised a sum of Rs. 538 crores as on Feb. 15, 2000," said Mr. V.V.Hariharan, Joint Commissioner of Central Excise, Madurai. Talking to the reporters here today, the Joint Commissioner said Madurai Commissionerate was hopeful of crossing the ambitious mark of Rs. 600 crores by the end of this financial year, which, he also added, would be a lankmark achievement for Madurai.

Heavy rain.

Periyar Catchement Area experienced the highest rainfall of 56 mm during the last 24 hours ending 8-30 a.m. today. Rainfall in the other places were (in mm); Gulalur - 25, Thekkadi - 15, Edayapatti - 10, Melur - 8, Uttamapalayam - 6.6, Thaniamangalam - 6, Viraganur - 5, Manjalar Dam - 3, Vaigai Dam - 2 and Madurai and Veerapandi experienced 1 mm each, according to PWD officials. Water level in Periyar Dam was 112.20 feet. in the vaigai Dam, the level was 42.40 feet with an inflow of 247 cusecs and discharge of 30 cusecs, officials added

Students asked to start self-employment ventures

The need for more employment oppurtunities was stressed in the seminar on 'Entrepreneurship Development' held at the K.L.Nagaswamy Memorial polytechnic in association with Khadi and Village Industries Commission, (KVIC), here today. Participating in the seminar Dr. R. Jeyaraman, Member Secretary, Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) said at the end of ninth five year plan, nearly 10 crore people in the country would be unemployed. Hence he asked the students to start small industries after the completion of their studies.

(February 24, 2000)
CM waives tax on grazing

The chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, has announced immediate waiver of tax on grazing in the state for the benefit of poor shepherds and cattle breeders. Declaring open a bridge across the Vaigai river constructed at a cost of Rs. eight crores and a Rs. 1.5 crore auditorium of the Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA) in the city today, the Chief Minister, responding to the request made by the Assembly Speaker, Mr. P.T.R. Palanivel Rajan, said the present Government was pro-poor and that his announcement on tax waiver would benefit the Yadav community which had been demanding it for long

Periodic orientation programmes for entrepreneurs needed.

The competitiveness of entrepreneurs should be enhanced through periodic orientation programmes, insisted Mr. G. Ramdoss, Deputy Director General(Quality Assurance), Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS and D). Presiding over the buyer-seller meet organised by the small Industries Service Institute (SISI), Chennai, in association with the Centre for Entrepreneur Development (CED), Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA) and the District Industries Centre (DIC) here recently, Mr. Ramdoss said the entrepreneurs, should be equipped to meet the challenges of globalisation.

(February 23, 2000)
Seminar on IT to be held on Feb.25

The Indian Institute of Engineers (India), Madurai local centre and Thiagarajar College of Engineering would jointly organise a national seminar on 'Recent Advances in Information Technology here on Feb25. Talking to reporters here, Institution of Engineers (India) Chairman A. Durairaj said the theme of the seminar would be based on technical and social aspects of IT. The objective would be to establish an earth station in Madurai with a hi-tech server.

Power shutdown

There will be no power supply in the following areas from 9a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb.26 due to maintenance works at the Tiruppalai sub-station: Tiruppalai, Narayanapuram, Athikulam, Valluvar Nagar, Viswanathapuram, Mahatma Gandhi Nagar, Anaiyur, Mudakkathan, Kulamangalam, Krishnapuram Colony, Bibikulam, Maruthapandian Nagar, Meenakshipuram, Singarayar Colony, Thataneri, Palam Station Road, Sellur, Omachikulam, Kanjirampettai, Chatirapatti, Alagarkoil, Kallandhiri, Alanganallur, National Sugar Mill, Valayapatti, Senthamangalam, Uthangudi, Meenakshi Mission Hospital, Aruna Steel Rolling Mill, Munmalaimedu and Pudur area.

(February 22, 2000)
Women stage dharna

Members of various women and social organisations staged a dharna in front of Tallakulam Post Office, here today, to protest against the attack on the film crew of 'Water.'

Bank staff take out rally

Members of Tamil Nadu Primary Co-operative Bank Employees Association took out a procession in the city today, to highlight a charter of demands including pay revision. Mr. Ramachandran, District President presided.

(February 21, 2000)
Coop audit assn demands govt to fill up vacant posts

The Tamil Nadu government Cooperative Audit Department Employees Association has demanded the State government to immediately fill up all the vacant posts in the Cooperative Audit department. A resolution to this effect was passed at the 32ne central executive committee meeting of the association held here on Sunday,presided over by its state president D Mariappan.

Mill's Outlet draws good response

The nine-day retail sale-cum-exihibition of suiting, shirting, furnishings and bedsheets manufactured by the Moraji Goculdas, Spining & Weaving Company Limited, Mumbai, is drawing good response in Madurai city.

Police outpost inaugurated.

A police outpost was inaugurated at Pandhadi Mahal street in the city today by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. A.Subramanian. According to police sources, the newly-constructed outpost would be functional round-the-clock in the area, identified as crime-prone.

Jeeyar visits temple.

His Holiness Srimad Andavan Sri Rengaramanuja Mahadesikan of Periyandavar Ashramam, Sri Rangam, visited Madurai, this evening. His holiness, who was welcomed with 'Poorna Kumba' upon arrival at Bangur Dharmalsala, later conducted the 'managalasasanam' at the Madurai Koodal Azhagar Perumal Temple and the Kalamega Perumal Temple at Thirumohur.

(Courtesy: The Hindu & The Indian Express, Madurai)