Pondy to check sandalwood smuggling


April 25 2002

Check-posts would be set up to prevent sandalwood smuggling into Pondicherry, Agriculture Minister A Namasivayam said today.

Replying to views expressed by members in the Territorial Assembly, he said transportation of timber without proper permits would also be banned.

He said an animal welfare board would be started in the Union Territory. Incentives to cattle owners would be raised adequately, he added.

Sale of `pan parag' to be banned in Pondy


April 25 2002

Health Minister, E. Valsaraj, told the Assembly today that sale of pan parag would be banned in Pondicherry and a notification would be issued soon.

Replying to the debate, Mr. Valsaraj said the decision was taken keeping in mind the health of the people.

Highlighting health care achievements, he said hospitals and health centres were catering for 57 lakh patients annually. Over 92,000 operations were performed and 26,700 deliveries had been registered in maternity hospitals.

Eye doctors, deputed by the Dept of Health, had examined 2.01 lakh students of govt and private schools. Free spectacles were distributed to 3461 students of poor families.

The TB control programme had been completed effectively and the coverage of patients had also increased by 71 per cent (from 24,801 to 42,428 patients). There was also fall in malaria cases from 168 in 1999 to 100 in 2001, he added.

The ESI hospital at Gorimedu would be made a model hospital. A separate eye block at a cost of Rs 3 crores would be set up in the General Hospital at Karaikal. A drug de-addiction centre at a cost of Rs. 8 lakhs would be opened in the GH in this financial year.

Trauma care centres would be opened in Karaikal and Mahe hospitals .

Wildcat strike by doctors in pondy


April 25 2002

Medical officers in the Health Dept here today went on a strike to demonstrate their `discontent` over the embarassment caused to a medical officer of Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu.The Health Minister, E. Valsaraj, accompanied by the Director of Health and Family Welfare Services, D.Thmma Rao, addressed the striking doctors in the hospitaland assured them to redress their grievances.

The day the Mother arrived in Pondy


April 24 2002

April 24 has a special place in the heart of every devotee of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. For, it was on this day in 1920 that the Mother (originally known as Mirra Alfassa) arrived in Pondicherry to spend the rest of her life here.

The Mother had come to meet Sri Aurobindo in 1914. But, after staying here for 11 months, she had to return to France due to the First World War. She lived in France and Japan for about five years and returned to Pondicherry.

In commemoration of this `final arrival', inmates of the Ashram and students of the Ashram School conducted a march past and meditated at the Mother's Samadhi. Dressed in white shirts and coloured shorts, both girls and boys participated in the march past. There was pin drop silence as the students silently marched inside the Ashram.

The march past along with regular exercises for both students and Ashram inmates was started by the Mother who was very particular about everyone maintaining good health for achieving anything in life.

When the Mother was alive, she used to give darshan in the mornings from her balcony, which faced the Rue Saint Gilles situated in the Ashram building, and in the evening she used to be present to receive students' salute at the march past.

DMK for no-trust move against Speaker


April 25 2002

The DMK, the opposition party in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, is planning to move a no-confidence motion against Speaker K Kalimuthu for what it called his "partisan attitude” towards the DMK.

"We have no other go except to move a no-confidence motion against the Speaker,” DMK president and former C.M. M Karunanidhi told mediapersons here tonight.

Referring to the charge made by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the Assembly today, describing a city-based industrialist N Srinivasan as the "benami” of Union Commerce Minister Murasoli Maran, the DMK chief said the Speaker had allowed the Chief Minister to have her say.

"He has been supporting the govt for nearly the past year and, therefore, we have no other go except to move a no-confidence motion against him,” he said, and asked whether the Speaker would permit if any of the DMK leaders spoke in the House "without evidence”.