December, 2011

DMK bigwigs come under scanner

The district administration seems to be determined to take action as per law against people who had allegedly encroached on govt. land assigned for specific purposes. According to reliable sources, following complaints that the Union Minister M.K. Alagiri, the D.M.K. Madurai urban district secretary G. Thalapathi and CSI Bishop Christopher Asir, among others, had either encroached upon govt. land or sold the assigned land for monetary gains, the district administration had summoned them through a notice to appear in person or through representatives on Jan. 4 at 11.00 a.m. The Union Minister’s family has also promoted an Information Technology (IT) Park near Maatuthavani integrated bus stand, wherein too, there were allegations that a portion of land had been encroached upon. Mr. Thalapathi family members have built a Kalyana Mandapam on a land on the GST Road, which too, according to the revenue authorities, was acquired in as early as 1952 for a public park.

Rs. 98 crore for renovation of buses

Chief Minister has sanctioned around 98 crore for the renovation of 1,432 buses of the govt. owned transport corporations in the initial phase, the bodies of those vehicles, whose engines were in good condition, would be replaced with new ones. The Chief Minister has also ordered the release of about  75.4 crore for the purchase of 520 buses for the State Transport Corporation.

Delhi Metro Chief asks State to pursue Chennai Metro Phase-II

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation M.D. E. Sreedharan has urged the State govt. to pursue the Phase-II expansion of the Chennai Metro Rail network. Opening that there has been a “violent shift” a policy ever since the new government came to power in the state, he said the plan to cover the entire city with a monorail system is misguided: DMRC has also submitted a DPR for extending corridor-I from Washermenpet to Wimco Nagar, a distance of nine km, at an estimated cost of  2,240 crore on Dec. 20, 2010. It is understood that for want of directive from the state, CMRL has not processed this extension, through badly needed, to the Govt of India for inclusion in Phase-I”, he said.

TVS Motor develops technology to usher in common engine for two-wheelers

Two-wheeler maker TVS Motor Company has developed a new technology, automatic transmission, to deliver a compact engine layout that could be commonly used across product forms such as motorcycles, scooters and step-through bikes. Claimed to be a break-through initiative achieved through five-to-six years of intense research and collaboration with leading institutions within and outside the country, the new technology is expected to drive fuel efficiency by as much as 20 per cent when compared to the conventional technology in place today.

RBI cautions banks on NRE deposit rates

Following the deregulation of interest rates on non-resident (external) rupee (NRE) deposits by the Reserve Bank of India, many banks have queued up to increase the interest rates on NRE and NRO (ordinary non resident) deposits. Some of the banks have gone on to increase the rates of three-fold. This has, predictably  forced the Reserve Bank to advice banks to exercise caution. In a circular, the apex bank has made it clear that the interest rates offered by banks on NRE and NRO deposits cannot be higher than those offered by them on comparable domestic rupee deposits.

R Power Rosa phase II unit goes commercial

Reliance Power Commenced generation from the first 300 MW unit of phase II of its Rosa Project in Uttar Pradesh three months ahead of schedule. The phase II comprises two units of 300 MW each that were scheduled to become operational from March and July 2012, respectively. According to company Chief Executive Officer J.P. Chalasani, “we built the first phase of the Rosa project in 30 months and have beaten our own record by completing the second phase in just 26 months. This 1,200 MW Rosa Project will also add to the Central Govt’s XI plan target for capacity addition and set the foundation for the next phase of growth for the company.” This Rosa project, with total capacity of 1200 MW will meet 15 per cent of U.P’s power requirement and will light up as many as 30 lakh households in the power starved state.

Leader’s request deepens Obama’s Yemen dilamma

Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s request to visit the United States presents President Barack Obama with a new dilamma born in the snake pit of fast – shifting Arab politics. U.S. officials say the only reason Mr. Saleh will be admitted, is for “legitimate” medical treatment for wounds sustained in an attack on the presidential compound in Sana’a in June. But such a trip would open the US to charges of harbouring a brutal ruler responsible for the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators, and seem to present a direct contradiction of its push for human rights.

Parliament passes bill to protect co-operatives

Parliament passed the crucial constitution (111th Amendment) Bill to insulate about six lakh co-operative societies from political and govt. interference and to strengthen the co-operative movement. The amendment will grant citizens a fundamental right to form co-operative socieities and allow for voluntary formation autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of cooperative societies. The Bill moved by Agriculture and cooperation Minister Sharad Pawar, was passed in the Rajya Sabha with 154 members voting in favour and 43 opposing it. The Bill has already been approved by the Lok Sabha.

Lokpal law vulnerable to repeat says experts

With the proposed Lokpal law failing to get constitutional status, there is a danger of its being repealed in one stroke by an ordinance if the institution proves inconvenient to any government in future, feel former chief justices of India and other eminent constitutional experts. If the Lokpal law were given constitutional status, it could not be repeated as easily as any other piece of legislation.

Chinese media see “containment strategy”

The Chinese govt. played down a series of commentaries appearing in State-run media which suggested that Japanese Prime Minister Nodo’s on going visit to India was part of a “Containment strategy” aimed at China, saying it was ready to work with both Japan and India to develop ties.