Heat wave conditions to continue


May 11 2002

The coastal areas of north Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Pondicherry continued to be in the grip of a severe heat wave for the second day today with the mercury shooting up to 43.8 degrees Celsius in some areas.

Parts of Chennai experienced rains accompanied by strong winds this afternoon, bringing some relief to the residents of this metropolis.

Weather office sources said heat wave conditions would continue to persist for “a couple of days”.

While suburban Meenambakkam recorded 43.8 degree Celsius, Pondicherry recorded 42.3 degrees Celsius.

However, parts of Tamil Nadu experienced some rains, with Attur in Salem district and Ulundurpet in Villupuram district recording 7 cm of rain up to 0830 hrs today, the sources said.

AIADMK criticises Pondicherry Government


May 9 2002

The AIADMK’s Pondicherry unit today criticised the Congress government for not holding civic polls.

Unit secretary K Natarajan told reporters here that the government had not tackled the problems of government staff like department drivers. On the other hand, cases had been “foisted” on government employees, he alleged.

He also came down heavily on the reported statement of PCC leader V Narayanasamy that there would soon be an “opposition-free” Assembly in the Union Territory.

Other opposition parties like the DMK, CPI and BJP had also criticised Narayanasamy’s statement.

Kamban Vizha in Pondy


May 10 2002

Pondicherry Lt Governor, Dr Rajani Rai, inaugurated the 37th Kamban Festival here today.

She described Hindu epics Mahabharatham and Ramayanam as repositories of messages relevant for all times to humanity.

Referring to poet Kamban’s work ‘Ramayanam’, Rajani Rai said he had highlighted the Tamil culture and its richness, besides high human values.

Madras High Court Chief Justice B Subashan Reddy, who presided, said he was impressed with the serene atmosphere in Pondicherry and the peace-loving nature of people of the Union Territory.

The spirit of secularism was permeating every nook and corner of Pondicherry as people of all religions and languages were residing here, he said.

Describing Tamil as the mother of all south Indian languages, Justice Reddy said the message of ‘Ramayanam’ was to do the right thing and destroy evil.

Chief Minister N Rangaswamy welcomed the gathering which included Assembly Speaker D Ramachandran, Deputy Speaker A V Subramanian and Ministers.

Release of a souvenir, distribution of prizes and awards to those proficient in literary activities marked the highlight of the three-day festival organised by Kamban Kazhagam.

Muslim fora support AIADMK


May 11 2002

Members of the Indian National League, Tamilnadu Islamiya Makkal Iyakkam and Abdul Latheef Peravai have met Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and expressed their support to the AIADMK candidates in Saidapet, Vaniyambadi and Acharapakkam constituencies.

Jayalalithaa thanked them and noted that she did not belong to any particular caste or creed and people belonging to all the communities were closer to her heart, an AIADMK press release here yesterday said.

Jayalalitha grants Rs 2 lakh to orphaned children


May 11 2002

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa of Tamilnadu has granted Rs one lakh each to the children of a worker belonging to Coimbatore, who committed suicide.

The amount had been deposited at the Tamilnadu Power Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited and Jayalalithaa distributed the deposit cerfificates.

The worker Rajendran consumed poison after administering the same to his children Manikandan (9) and Saranya (11). However, the children were saved while the worker died. As the parents had died and their grandmother was struggling to maintain the children for lack of income, a petition was submitted to the Chief Minister to help the children.

Jayalalithaa who sympathetically considered the request ordered an investment fixed deposit of Rs one lakh each to the children. The interest amount would be used for maintaining the children and their grandmother has been nominated as the guardian.

Searing summer in Pondicherry


May 11 2002

The Union Territory of Pondicherry, a coastal pocket, has been in the grip of severe summer heat for some days now.

At one stage, mercury soared to a record 42.3 degrees Celsius. When a sudden, hurricane-like wind swept across Pondicherry, temperature dipped considerably on Friday but the dark clouds that gathered prior to the wind did not turn into the expected rain.

The strong wind felled a number of banana plants in some areas.

Fire mishaps were also reported from some peripheral pockets with overhead live wire coming into contact with thatched roofs.

There had been no government functions for some days now and political leaders fearing the searing heat had dispensed with their usual press meets.

Cattle owners bore the brunt of the heat, finding it hard to maintain the animals.

At most centres, cool drink stalls were doing roaring business. Tender coconuts were much sought after by tourists.

The Bharathi Park, a pre-merger feature of Pondicherry with broad branched trees, has come to be a rendezvous for the locals and for those coming on excursion.

Whether it shines or rains, students preparing for the competitive examinations for admission to professional courses pedal their way to the coaching centres braving the scorching heat.