16
December


International cargo terminal takes off at Madurai airport


Source : THE HINDU

First consignment of 200 kg of ‘Madurai Malli’ exported to Singapore When 28 thermocol boxes containing various flowers, including ‘Madurai Malli’ (jasmine), passed through the scanner on Friday, it marked a major milestone in the history of Madurai airport.

The first consignment of 200 kg of flowers, marked for export to Singapore by a firm, S. Nagarathinam and Sons, through SpiceJet Airways signalled the active operational status of the airport’s international cargo terminal. Hitherto, agricultural produces from southern districts were exported from Tiruchi airport.

Principal Chief Commissioner, GST and Central Excise, C.P. Rao, formally inaugurated the operations at the terminal in the presence of Airport Director V.V. Rao and GST Commissioner R. Saravanakumar.

“It is a small step ... in the economic development of the region,” said Mr. C.P. Rao. He hoped that various limitations at the airport like shorter runway would be overcome in the years to come and the cargo terminal would become a hub for the southern region.

Mr. V.V Rao said the new facility would take the airport and the region a long way in terms of economic development. The Airports Authority of India was ready to provide all facilities related to cargo terminal including space for plant quarantine and cold storage.

Domestic cargo movement had increased 100% in the last one year. And the AAI was looking forward to receiving 615 acres of land from the State government for extension of runway and other airport development works, he added.

Mr. Saravanakumar said the airport at Madurai was the first in the nation to conduct international cargo operation with electronic data interchange facility. This would provide exporters hassle-free transaction of goods.

Besides Madurai Malli, vegetables from Oddanchathiram market in Dindigul district would also find export opportunity. An outreach programme would be conducted for stakeholders to get familiarised with export-import norms.

Senior president of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, S. Rethinavelu, wanted permanent posting of plant quarantine officials and expedite cold storage facility for perishable goods at the airport.

He also insisted that the airport should be brought under the bilateral air services agreement that would enable foreign airliners to operate out of Madurai.

Joint Commissioner, GST and CE, V. Pandiraja and N. Naresh were present on the occasion.

13
December


Not enough toilets in temple parking lot


Source : THE HINDU

There are not enough toilets for the hundreds of Sabarimala pilgrims who transit through Madurai for visiting Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple.

At the temple parking lot in Ellis Nagar, there are two mobile toilets in the rest area. At the bus stop, there is a toilet-cum-bathroom complex for men and women that needs cleaning.

There are also three mobile toilets. But cleaning is not done properly, according to hawkers.

The men relieve themselves in the open and sully the place.

“If the bus is parked far away from the toilets, they urinate wherever they wish. More toilets should be constructed here,” said S. Banupriya, one of the hawkers.

R. Amritham, another hawker, said the toilet was far from the parking lot and meant only for men. The workers who clean the toilets said they worked for 12 hours without break.

12
December


Not just another government school, but an orchard


Source : THE HINDU

Growing interest: The Government High School in Chinnappati village in Madurai district has become an orchard with more than 400 trees of different varieties.

Children studying Class 6 to 10 assigned four trees each for maintenance and they have taken ownership of trees with pride at school near Chathirapatti

Showing a picture taken in 2014 during the inauguration of the new campus of Government High School in Chinnapatti near Chathirapatti, P. Vasanthal, the Headmistress, points out how the 2.78-acre campus was a vacant piece of land devoid of any shade.

Four years later, the school, which has recently received Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar from the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, has become an orchard with a variety of fruit-bearing and flowering plants in different stages of growth. Mango, guava, gooseberry, jack fruit, vembu, pungai, vagai, pomegranate, gulmohar and a variety of other trees and plants dot the campus, located few hundred metres outside the village. The school also maintains a small herbal garden, with plants like tulsi and siriyanangai.

According to Ms. Vasanthal, who played an instrumental role in transforming the school into a green campus, the motivation came from the failure she faced while serving as Headmistress in a school near Parthibanur in Ramanathapuram district. “Multiple attempts to grow trees on the campus failed as the region is arid. When I was transferred here and saw the sprawling vacant space, I wanted to try growing trees, at least for giving some shade to students,” she said.

C. Jeyakumaran, teacher and coordinator of the school’s Eco Club operated through the National Green Corps initiative, said the 10 saplings planted initially grew well owing to soil fertility. “That encouraged us to plant more,” he said.

The school subsequently sought help from Madurai Division office of the Forest department, which gave around 450 saplings of different species free of cost and also guided the staff on the right way to plant, water and maintain them. “Initially, we had to engage labourers to plant all the saplings. Gradually, the maintenance was fully taken over by children with the support of teachers,” he said, adding that the staff and students had also learnt a bit of how to tackle plant diseases that occasionally affect the trees.

Today, each of the roughly 120 children studying in the school from Class 6 to 10 has been assigned four trees for maintenance. “The idea is to make children take ownership of the trees,” Ms. Vasanthal said.

S. Sujitha, a Class 10 student, who accompanied the Headmistress to Chennai to receive the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar for maintaining the campus clean and green, said a majority of the children had developed an emotional bonding with the trees they were maintaining.

“Many of us now like to sit under the tree and study or have lunch. The trees are like our friends now. There is also a healthy competition among students on whose tree is flowering better or growing fast,” she said.

V. Dinesh Kumar, a student of Class 9, said maintenance of these trees and saplings also gave them practical knowledge about different plant varieties, conservation and soil fertility. “The herbal garden is very useful. If any of us has cough, we munch few tulsi leaves, which helps most of the time,” he said. “I like the Eco Club activities so much that I want to grow trees near my house in Chinnapatti. Unfortunately, there is no space,” he added.

Pointing out that all the children hailed from socio-economically poor families in Chinnapatti and nearby villages, Ms. Vasanthal highlighted that the school had been performing well academically and also in extra-curricular activities. “For instance, while the pass percentage in Class 10 was marginally low earlier, we have now recorded centum pass for the past three years,” she said.

Compound wall

The pressing demand for the school is a compound wall. “The absence of it a compound wall makes it difficult for the maintenance of trees and plants, apart from being a general safety issue for children,” said Ms. Vasanthal, adding that an appeal had already been made to Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao and Madurai East MLA P. Moorthy for allocation of funds to construct the wall.

The school was also thinking of generating a modest and sustainable income for maintenance of the orchard through sale of fruits and other produce once the trees attained full growth, she said.

11
December


Water vending machines near temple soon


Source : THE HINDU

Cheap yet hygienic: A water vending machine on South Chithirai Street in Madurai.

By inserting a ₹2-coin into the slot, devotees and visitors could fill water in a one-litre bottle, and Re 1 coin to fill a half-litre bottle. This worked out cheaper than bottled water.

The reverse osmosis-treated units will be stationed on the four Chithirai streets, near parking lot and in an adjacent park.

“Earlier, drinking water was stored in PVC tanks with taps. The ‘water ATM’ is hygienic and environment-friendly, as the need for buying bottles is obviated,” a corporation official said.

A trial run was conducted at a machine installed on the park 10 days ago. M. Kalaiarasi, a regular visitor to the temple, said that though it was a good idea to install these machines, it must be ensured that they were handled properly and water was not wasted.

09
December


Garbage collection, a nagging problem


Source : THE HINDU

Health hazard: Waste lying scattered on 80 Feet Road at Anna Nagar in Madurai.

Madurai Corporation gears up to tackle Swachh Survekshan-2018, a campaign launched by the Centre as part of Swachh Bharat Mission to assess sanitation in all 4,041 cities and towns of the country.

As part of the initiative, Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar, in a press statement, provided a list of guidelines to keep the city clean. He said that people must not urinate in public places but use rest rooms at petrol pumps instead. Waste should be dumped only into dust bins placed along the streets. However, the ground realities are different. In many parts of the city, dustbins are not cleared regularly. Only non-biodegradable waste is supposed to be be collected on Wednesdays. However, separate lorries do not collect garbage in Ellis Nagar and places like Vilangudi which were annexed to the civic body a few years back.

Anna Nagar also faces such a problem. Recently, plastic waste and cow dung were spread over a 10-metre stretch on Lake View Road. M. Ajmal, a vendor, said he could not bear the stench.

The Commissioner has urged people to send civic complaints with pictures through the Swachhata App.

07
December


Flow in Vaigai delights residents


Source : THE HINDU

The Vaigai was found glistening in Madurai on Wednesday.

Residents were delighted to see water gushing in the Vaigai under the AV Bridge in the late hours of Wednesday. Several of them took pictures of the rare spectacle. S. Antony, who was returning from his job, said that he was elated to see the river in flow. “I immediately pulled over when I saw water. It is a great sight as there has been an acute water shortage over the last two years,” he said.

While some residents near Yanaikkal bridge dipped their feet in the water, those in Alwarpuram burst crackers. Since the PWD stepped up water release from 760 to 4,860 cusecs from the Vaigai dam at 7:30 a.m.,water is available in Madurai for drinking and irrigation.

05
December


Forum for differently abled alleges lacunae in rehabilitation measures


Source : THE HINDU

Seeks details on how Madurai was chosen as best district in this category

Alleging lacunae in implementing rehabilitation measures for differently abled people in Madurai district, the Crawling Differently abled People Federation has sought details of how Madurai was chosen as the best district in the country in implementing ‘Disability Rehabilitation Services.’

In an interaction with the media after staging a protest here on Monday, the association members alleged that many eligible people found it difficult to get approval for the ₹ 1,500 monthly allowance given by the District Differently abled Welfare Office (DDWO). The issues raised by their representatives in the six monthly meetings conducted by this office remained unresolved.

“If the Collector chairs all meetings, other officials will show seriousness about the issues discussed. However, he could not attend the last two meetings,” S. Raja, general secretary of the federation, said. He alleged that though approval was provided to few beneficiaries for running petty shops with financial assistance from the government, the district administration was yet to identify and allocate places for setting up the shops. “Importantly, the DDWO office located on the District Rural Development Agency premises near the Collectorate lacked proper toilet facilities for differently abled people,” he said.

The petitioners also claimed that the district administration failed to take stringent action against some officials in DDWO despite an enquiry by the Revenue Divisional Officer and the Deputy Registrar of Cooperatives indicating irregularities in utilisation of funds allotted for distributing equipment to the disserently abled.

“Under these circumstances, it is surprising how the district received a national award. Hence, it is only fair that the DDWO make all the information public on rehabilitation measures taken,” Mr. Raja said.

An official, however, denied the allegations and said steps were being taken to resolve issues such as lack of toilet facilities. “The award is based on the quantum of welfare measures distributed to differently abled people,” the official said.

04
December


Search on in full swing for 97 missing fishermen: Minister


Source : THE HINDU

Eight ships, Air Force plane to be pressed into service to locate them, says Jayakumar; village-level committees formed

Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam inspected the Cyclone Ockhi-hit Kanniyakumari district on Sunday and claimed that the destruction was minimal, thanks to adequate precautionary measures taken by the State government.

Separately, three senior Ministers told a press conference here that the State government had constituted committees in 44 villages inhabited by fisherfolk to conduct a survey about the fishermen who had ventured into the sea before the onset of Ockhi in Kanniyakumari district.

At a joint press meet with his cabinet colleagues P. Thangamani (Electricity Minister) and R.B. Udhaya Kumar (Revenue Minister), Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said the district administration had intensified efforts to locate 97 fishermen who have not returned home.

Asked about some bodies of fishermen being washed ashore in neighbouring Kerala, Mr. Jayakumar said it was difficult to identify the bodies since they were decomposed.

The Ministers said they had sought help from the Union Home Minister after explaining the situation to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. A total of eight ships and an Air Force plane would be pressed into action, they said.

There were as many as 5,759 traditional boats in the district and 5,720 were found to be safe. The government was trying to locate the missing boats, and five boats had already reached the shore. The committee members would find out the registration numbers and names of the boats and the owners respectively.

A Disaster Management control room had been established at Kirathoor. Six boats have been retrieved thus far during search and rescue operations, the Minister said.

02
December


NCSC team members visit murdered woman’s family


Source : THE HINDU

Family members say city police yet to arrest the accused

A team from National Commission for Scheduled Castes, on Friday, visited the family of P. Kachammal (55), a Dalit woman who was murdered allegedly by a caste Hindu last week.

Two investigation officers enquired about the circumstances that led to the murder and checked whether the family received government assistance. S. Lister and A. Inian, the senior investigation officers, visited the rented house of the family in Vettukaliamman Koil Street in Anna Nagar.

The murder took place last Saturday when the accused Irulandi, who was also a tenant in the same building, picked up a quarrel with Kachammal, a conservancy worker in a private hospital, and her husband K. Pandi (65). Irulandi reportedly attacked them with an iron hook used to lift gunny bags and a log. The couple were admitted to Government Rajaji Hospital where Kachammal died the following day.

K. Selvi, the couple’s daughter, alleged that Irulandi, a daily wager, did not like the family belonging to Arunthathiyar community residing in the same building. “Ever since my parents moved to this house, he picked up quarrels unnecessarily and hurled casteist abuses,” she said.

Officials from Department of Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfarehanded rice and other provisions to meet temporary needs of the family as stipulated by the Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. While the officials informed the NCSC team that steps were being taken to provide pension to Kachammal’s husband K. Pandi (65), the family confirmed that they did receive the cheque for initial instalment of compensation as per the SC ST (PoA) Act.The family, however, expressed their concern that the city police were yet to arrest Irulandi. The police officials informed the NCSC team that the accused was a proclaimed offender due to his involvement in few other cases and assured that he will be arrested soon.

The team later visited GRH where Pandi is recuperating. B. Pandiaraja, Member, Madurai district Vigilance and Monitoring Committee for SC ST (PoA) Act, was present.

29
November


Study to know causeof death of dolphins


Source : THE HINDU

Experts and fishermen offer different reasons

A veterinary team of Forest department on Tuesday conducted post mortem of four dolphins that were washed ashore in Punnaikayal shore on Monday.

Around 30 spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuate), which were stranded, were rescued by fishermen and pushed into the sea. Ten dolphins were dead. Of them, four were washed ashore. The post mortem was done by a team led by R. Sridhar, Professor, Department of Pathology, Veterinary College and Research Institute, Tirunelveli.

A. Sugumar, veterinary surgeon, said that three among the dead were female and each was about 6.9 feet in length and weighed about 150 kg to 200 kg. The male dolphin was about 9.5 feet in length and weighed about 225 kg.

The exact cause of death was not known. However, during the post mortem, samples were collected for tests. Carcasses were buried in the shore.

According to P.P. Manojkumar, scientist (in-charge), Thoothukudi Research Centre of Central Marine Fisheries and Research Institute, two of the dead dolphins were lactating.

These dolphins could have been disoriented due to rough weather or stranded while in search of prey. As the dolphins moved into shallow waters of Punnaikayal, the situation could have caused lack of oxygen and led to their death. Such species, which feed on small fishes, could be spotted in the Bay of Bengal.

Thennavan, a resident of Punnaikayal, blamed it on discharge of untreated industrial effluents into the sea. He urged the government to provide two rescue boats to the village committee to render assistance to fishermen.

K. Diraviyaraj, Assistant Professor, Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute, said similar dolphins called ‘Spinner Dolphin’ (Stenella longirostris) had been reported in the Gulf of Mannar. As many as 37 dolphins were stranded at Vellapatti near Thoothukudi on June 26, 1999. R. Amal Xavier, Joint Director of Fisheries, said that six dolphins were washed ashore at Siluvaipatti in 2000.

28
November


Goes to work in snack unit, returns with mental illness


Source : THE HINDU

“He developed illness, probably due to torture or harassment at workplace”

A 20-year-old youth, who was sent to work in a snack unit in Haryana few months back in an alleged case of bonded labour, has returned home after he developed mental illness, probably due to torture or harassment at workplace.

K. Rajamani, the boy’s father from Vilampatti near Usilampatti, said his son, who had passed Class 9, was working as a mechanic before he was sent to work at the snack unit.

“I worked as a driver for a person who runs snack unit and eatery selling idlis and dosas in Karnal in Haryana, close to Delhi. I had borrowed some money from him,” he said. He added that the person made an offer that he could repay the money by sending his son to work with him. “He also promised to pay my son a salary of around ₹ 4,000, which he never paid,” he said.

Around three weeks back, Rajamani was reportedly informed by the owner that his son had become mentally unwell and therefore he was sending him back. Rajamani said that his elder brother K. Thavamani travelled to Delhi and brought him back. “He was not conscious about his surroundings and a bit violent. He is not able to explain what happened to him although he tells occasionally that he was beaten up in the head,” Thavamani said.

Ironically, Thavamani said that his son who was sent to work in a snack company in Gujarat around eight years ago faced a similar fate. “He went insane. He has not recovered even now,” he said.

The youth has been admitted at Government Rajaji Hospital for treatment.

The family said they were planning to petition the Collector seeking action against the snack unit owner along with compensation and medical assistance for the youth.

A. Kathir, Executive Director of non-governmental organisation Evidence, which is assisting the family, said the police should register a case under Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act and adequate compensation be given to the family.

27
November


Look ahead to real HD TV viewing in your living room


Source : THE HINDU

With cable TV operators switching over to digital mode in a big way and huge competition in the making, customers will be spoilt for choice

Cable television will be a completely new experience for subscribers soon, thanks to the industry switching over to digital operation from analogue mode.

This will roll out umpteen number of channels of different genres and languages, and to top them all, with crystal clarity of picture. The digital mode facilitates provision of hundreds of channels while it is restricted to around 80 in analogue mode. “The biggest advantage is that HD channels can be seen on high-definition LED TVs the way they should be seen,” says A. Pandi, secretary of Madurai Cable TV Operators’ Guild.

While it is good news for subscribers, cable TV operators will have a stiff competition as Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has allowed more players in the industry. Eight players have licence to operate as multi-system operator (MSO) in Madurai.

Cable TV service was introduced in the late 1980s. Unemployed youths grabbed the chance to become entrepreneurs, laying cables to a cluster of houses in the neighbourhood, beaming two films a day with video players. The scene changed drastically when the MSO concept was shoved down the operators’ throat as the poor operators could not afford to invest in huge infrastructure for ever-increasing number of channels, according to C.V. Satheesh, a cable TV operator.

The SCV monopoly

After Sumangali Cable Vision gained monopoly during the DMK regime with its political clout, the split between its promoters and the powers-that-be led to the launch of Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable Television Corporation (TACTV) by the same regime. However, it was the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who used this concept to take on her political rivals in a big way.

Cable TV subscription that was around ₹130 to ₹200 a month came down to around ₹130 after she announced that the subscription under the TACTV would be only ₹70 a month. Just as things looked like stabilising, digitalisation of cable TV was mandated by the TRAI. Now, the TACTV has seven competitors who are fighting for their share of the business.

Though TACTV has embraced digital operation after much dithering, its rollout has been a disappointment for cable operators. “Its pricing is high compared to private MSOs. Besides, the basic standard definition (SD) package of 200 channels priced at ₹150 a month does not have some of the popular channels,” says S. Kumaresan, a cable TV operator who also manages another MSO – Tamizhaga Cable TV Corporation Limited (TCCL).

People will have to opt for the second package of ₹210 a month to watch their favourite channels, but not many can afford it, says T.D. Krishnakumar, an operator.

Mr. Pandi says the very announcement of free set-top boxes by the TACTV is misleading. “While the operators are allowed to charge only ₹200 as activation fee, the TACTV has made the cable operators responsible for distributing set-top boxes to subscribers. How will a subscriber hand over a free STBs back to the operator when he shifts his house out of his jurisdiction,” he says. The operator will lose ₹2,000 for every missing STB.

However, the cable TV operators have decided to collect ₹300 as security deposit from the subscribers which will be refunded while handing over the STB.

Like the TCCL run by a consortium of cable operators, Madurai Cable Operators’ Guild has floated another MSO – Guild Digital Network Limited.

These MSOs offer STB for a nominal deposit of ₹500 to ₹600 with additional channels, including pay channels, at a lower subscription fee of ₹150 to ₹210.

However, cable operators under both the MSOs have taken a cautious move by giving their subscribers a choice of Arasu Cable connection too. “It is the subscribers’ choice. We are not forcing them to have our connection. But, with a better range of channels at a cheaper fee, they will embrace us,” says Mr. Pandi.

For example, Arasu Cable gives 200 (42 pay channels) and 300 channels (142 pay channels) for ₹150 and ₹210 a month respectively . However, the GDN offers 400 channels for ₹150, and the TCCL offers 310 channels (including 150 pay channels and 76 HD channels) for ₹210.

“Whatever profit we make will go only to cable operators who are the partners. We charge them ₹60 per connection and it is up to them to fix subscription fee,” says Mr. Kumaresan.

The operators tend to fix fee based on to the economic background of their loyal subscribers.

Replacement

With no clear picture on how long it would take for Arasu Cable to replace a STB when it conks out, the private operators promise replacement within a day.

The operators complain that Arasu Cable does not offer HD channels. Besides, the ₹60 per connection it collects from the operator for pay channel is not transparent. “While the pay channel charge was only ₹20 a connection under analogue mode, it has gone up to ₹60 under digital with almost same number of pay channels,” Mr. Kumaresan says.

The operators with the TACTV have to take their signal from Arasu Cable control room at Ellis Nagar to their area, while private MSOs are giving their signal at the doorstep of the operators.

“Charging the same fee for all operators – those in the city and those who have to put up cables for several km in distant Vadipatti and Peraiyur – by the TACTV is not justified,” he adds.

The MSOs are hopeful of bringing down subscription fee in the long run as they would also get paid by the satellite and other local channels for carrying their channels in prime slots. “When we share profits, the operators will automatically reduce the fee to retain subscribers,” Mr. Kumaresan says.

The new MSOs say that under TRAI no channel can indulge in arm-twisting by denying operators their popular channels. TRAI’s policy also does not allow any player to have more than 49% of operations which will keep competition alive.

The private operators are excited to give more channels of choice to customers and GDN plans to provide Internet connection too through its cable network, says Mr. Pandi. “At that stage, customers will be charged only for the Internet and channels will be free,” he says.

“Under the new regime, the customer will be the king and operators will pamper him,” says Mr. Kumaresan.

25
November


தபால் நிலையங்களில் பாஸ்போர்ட் சேவை அடுத்த ஆண்டு தொடங்கப்படும் மதுரை மண்டல அதிகாரி தகவல்


Source : DAILY THANTHI

மதுரை,

மதுரை மண்டல பாஸ்போர்ட் அதிகாரியாக இருந்தவர் மணீஸ்வரராஜா. இவர் தற்போது பதவி உயர்வு பெற்று குஜராத் மாநிலத்தில் இயக்குனர் தரத்திலான அதிகாரியாக மாற்றப்பட்டுள்ளார். இந்தநிலையில் மதுரை மண்டல பாஸ்போர்ட் அதிகாரியாக அருண்பிரசாத் நியமிக்கப்பட்டார். அவர் நேற்று பதவி ஏற்றுக்கொண்டார்.

இதைதொடர்ந்து மணீஸ்வரராஜா, அருண்பிரசாத் ஆகியோர் நிருபர்களுக்கு பேட்டி அளித்தனர். அப்போது அவர்கள் கூறியதாவது:–

மதுரை மண்டல பாஸ்போர்ட் அலுவலகம் 9 மாவட்டங்களை உள்ளடக்கியது. நான் பதவி வகித்த 5 ஆண்டுகளில் இதுவரை 12 லட்சத்து 13 ஆயிரத்து 610 பாஸ்போர்ட்டுகள் வழங்கப்பட்டுள்ளன. இந்த ஆண்டு இதுவரை 2 லட்சத்து 48 ஆயிரத்து 326 பாஸ்போர்ட்டுகள் வழங்கப்பட்டுள்ளன.

மதுரை பாஸ்போர்ட் அலுவலகம் பி வகுப்பில் இருந்து ஏ வகுப்பிற்கு தரம் உயர உள்ளது. இந்தியாவில் முதல்முறையாக பாஸ்போர்ட் சம்பந்தமான குறைகளை பற்றி பொதுமக்கள் தெரிந்து கொள்ள மதுரை பாஸ்போர்ட் அலுவலகத்தில் வாட்ஸ்–அப் அறிமுகப்படுத்தப்பட்டது. அதுதவிர பாஸ்போர்ட் சார்ந்த சந்தேகங்கள், குறைகள் மற்றும் விண்ணப்பத்தின் நிலையை அறிய சுலபமான தொழில்நுட்பம் என வரப்பட்டது. இதன் மூலம் பாஸ்போர்ட் பெறுவோரின் எண்ணிக்கை அதிகரிக்க தொடங்கியது.

முன்பு பாஸ்போர்ட் விண்ணப்பம் செய்வதற்கு மிகவும் சிரமப்பட வேண்டி இருந்தது. இதற்காக அவர்கள் இடைத்தரகர்களை அணுகி பல்வேறு இன்னல்களை பெற்றனர். தற்போது அரசு நிர்ணயித்த கட்டணத்தில் ஆன்லைனில் விண்ணப்பித்து பாஸ்போர்ட் பெறுவதை எளிமையாகி உள்ளோம்.

இதற்கு முன்பு போலீசார் விசாரணை அறிக்கை கிடைத்து சுமார் 100 நாட்கள் கழித்துதான் பாஸ்போர்ட் பெற முடியும். தற்போது போலீஸ் விசாரணையை துரிதப்படுத்தி 21 நாட்களில் பாஸ்போர்ட்டை வழங்கி வருகிறோம். இந்த நாட்களையும் குறைக்க உள்ளோம். மேலும் முதன்முறையாக ஸ்கைப் மூலம் பொதுமக்கள் பாஸ்போர்ட் சம்பந்தமான குறைகளை பற்றி தெரிந்து கொள்ளும் முறையை உருவாக்கி உள்ளோம். அதன்படி நெல்லை, தூத்துக்குடி, கன்னியாகுமரி மாவட்ட பொதுமக்கள் நெல்லை மாவட்ட பாஸ்போர்ட் சேவை மையத்தில் இருந்து ஒவ்வொரு புதன்கிழமையும் ஸ்கைப் மூலம் தங்களின் குறைகளை அதிகாரிகளிடம் தெரிவிக்கலாம்.

விளையாட்டு வீரர்கள், மாணவர்களுக்கு உடனுக்குடன் பாஸ்போர்ட்டுகளை வழங்கி வருகிறோம். குறிப்பாக சர்வதேச அளவில் விளையாட்டிற்கு செல்லும் மாணவ–மாணவிகளுக்கு ஒரே நாளில் பாஸ்போர்ட் வழங்கி உள்ளோம். பாஸ்போர்ட் விண்ணப்பிப்பவர்களுக்கு ஆரம்பத்தில் பிறப்புச்சான்றிதழ் தேவை என்று இருந்தது. தற்போது அது தேவையில்லை. போலி பாஸ்போர்ட் என்பது தற்போது கிடையாது. ஆனால் போலி ஆவணங்கள் மூலம் பாஸ்போர்ட் பெறுவதை கண்டுபிடித்து நடவடிக்கை எடுத்து வருகிறோம். ராமநாதபுரம், திண்டுக்கல், விருதுநகர், காரைக்குடி, நாகர்கோவில் ஆகிய பகுதி மக்கள் வசதிக்காக அங்குள்ள தபால் நிலையங்களில் பாஸ்போர்ட் சேவை அடுத்த ஆண்டு முதல் தொடங்க உள்ளோம்.

இவ்வாறு அவர்கள் தெரிவித்தனர்.

24
November


‘Revise pay scale of Panchayat Secretaries’


Source : THE HINDU

The federation of 11 associations of employees in the Rural Development department staged a sit-in protest in all the 13 panchayat union offices here on Thursday to highlight their demands to the government, particularly in making the post of Panchayat Secretaries equivalent to the rank of Junior Assistants in pay scale.

A. Balaji, secretary of Madurai district unit of Tamil Nadu Rural Department Officers’ Association, said that the long-pending demand had not been fulfilled despite assurance from late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the Assembly. “Top officials from the department said that a recommendation had been made to the State’s Pay Commission for revising the pay scale of Panchayat Secretaries, noon-meal scheme workers and few other categories. However, replies obtained through Right to Information Act revealed that no such recommendation has been made,” he alleged.

Stating that Panchayat Secretaries, who played a key role in carrying out Rural Development department’s work at the village-level, were drawing around ₹ 11,000, Mr. Balaji said that they would get around ₹ 18,000 if the pay scale was revised.

M. Subramanian, State president of TNRDOA, said that the federation was planning to stage a protest in Chennai in December. “If our demands are not fulfilled, we are planning to go on an indefinite strike after January 15,” he said.

23
November


An apology for a road


Source : THE HINDU

The incomplete road work haunts residents at Bastin Nagar in Madurai.

INTUC Colony residents struggle with gravel stretch

Residents of INTUC Colony in Bethaniapuram say that walking on their streets has been difficult in the past two months.

In September, the Corporation decided to lay tar roads after protests against poor quality passages along Bastin Nagar 5th and 6th streets. Minister for Cooperation Sellur K. Raju visited the ward twice and inspected it. He instructed the Corporation officials to lay roads immediately.

Work began and gravel and concrete were spread across the 50-metre stretch on Bastin Nagar 5th street. However, the road was not laid. A. Rajan, a resident, said that he had repeatedly complained to the Corporation Assistant Engineer and his pleas had not elicited any response. “It is really difficult to ride through the stretch. Bikes often skid and we are not safe on the road,” he said.

S. Sahayaraj, who has been living in Bastin Nagar 4th street for 20 years, said he was suffering from severe dust allergy. He found it tough to walk on these roads but there was no alternative as it was the shortest route. Though he complained to Corporation officials, there was no remedy.

An official from the Engineering Department of the Madurai Corporation said that they would take up the work within a week. He said that it was difficult to lay roads during the monsoon. “The surface comes off easily,” he said.

22
November


Madurai airport may get new terminal building


Source : THE HINDU

It registers a 35% growth in passenger movement in one year

Airports Authority of India (AAI) is considering to provide a new terminal building for Madurai airport in view of increased passenger traffic.

AAI Regional Executive Director S. Sreekumar said performance of the airport on all fronts was good, especially the 35% growth in passenger movement reported in the last one year.

The integrated terminal building should be expanded temporarily to accommodate more passengers. Or else, a new terminal should be built to separate domestic and international operations.

“The feasibility of expanding the terminal building is being studied. If that is not possible, we will go for a new building, which is already in the airport master plan,” he said.

The number of international passengers handled at the airport would decide on having a separate international terminal or an integrated terminal. At present, the airport could handle 250 passengers each at arrival and departure halls, he said.

Mr. Sreekumar said the AAI had also proposed to have a new technical building with a control tower. It had also planned to construct seven new aprons at Madurai airport.

“Once the apron works are completed, the third aerobridge could be made operational at the airport,” he said.

On runway extension, he said the AAI was in touch with the State government. “The Secretary for Civil Aviation and AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra have met Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in connection with acquisition of land for various airports. It has been decided to have periodical meetings to review the progress,” he said.

Besides Madurai, land acquisition is required for development works at Chennai, Coimbatore, Vellore, Salem and Thoothukudi airports.

International cargo facility to be launched on Nov. 28

The long wait for international cargo facility at Madurai airport will be over on November 28 with its commissioning. The facility would boost exports from southern districts and help fill the belly of international flights, bringing in additional revenue.

The facility would be commissioned by Chairman of Airports Authority of India Guruprasad Mohapatra, AAI Regional Executive Director S. Sreekumar told The Hindu on Tuesday.

All formalities, including those of Customs Department, for opening the facility, had been completed. “Customs officials would issue a notification in a couple of days,” Airport Director V.V. Rao said.

On the need for cold storage facility at the airport to store perishable goods like vegetables, fruits and jasmine, Mr. Sreekumar said efforts would be taken to set up the facility.

At present four international flights – two to Colombo, and one each to Dubai and Singapore – are being operated from Madurai airport.

21
November


Farmers block road seeking water for irrigation


Source : THE HINDU

For Periyar single crop area in Melur region

A flash road blockade by hundreds of farmers of Periyar single crop area in Melur seeking water for irrigating 85,000 acres of single crop area disrupted vehicular traffic on Madurai-Tiruchi highway for more than five hours on Monday.

Over 5,000 farmers and members of public participated in the road roko on the Madurai-Tiruchi highway at Melur protesting against the Public Works Department and the district administration for not heeding to their demand for release of water.

“Ours is the oldest ayacut of the Periyar dam water. But, this year the PWD officials convinced us that water would be released only for double crop area due to poor storage in the Periyar and Vaigai dams. But, now that the PWD had announced release of water for the extension areas in Theni district, we feel cheated,” M. Murugan, president of Periyar Single Crop Area Farmers’ Association.

He said that the district administration and the PWD officials had not taken action on the farmers’ repeated petitions seeking water for single crop.

Mr. Murugan said that the right over Periyar water for irrigation starts with Cumbum Valley, double crop and single crop. Only after these areas are irrigated, the surplus water can be given to the extension areas like Tirumangalam Main Canal, Periyar Main Canal Extension area, PTR and Thanthai Periyar canals.

“We know that there is shortage of water. But, we are more concerned about losing our rights to extension areas. If we allow it now, it can become a precedence,” Mr. Murugan said.

After the road traffic was brought to a halt for hours, the Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced that water would be released for the single crop area to meet the drinking water requirements of Melur area.

“We are not satisfied with the announcement. But, we gave up our protest considering that the passengers were affected and our right had been upheld,” he added.

20
November


‘Withdraw decision to allow other State candidates in TNPSC recruitment’


Source : THE HINDU

Alleging that the decision of Tamil Nadu government to allow candidates from other States to take part in Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) recruitments as a move towards erosion of State’s autonomy, Thirumurugan Gandhi, founder of May 17 Movement, demanded the State government to immediately repeal the decision.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the organisation’s public meeting here on Sunday, he said that candidates from Tamil Nadu already lacked opportunities in Central government jobs and TNPSC recruitments were one of the few remaining avenues for aspirants from the State to get government jobs.

Blaming the Tamil Nadu government for succumbing to the coercion of the BJP-led government at the Centre, he said instances such as the unprecedented review of State government’s work by Tamil Nadu Governor and attack on fishermen near Rameswaram by Indian Coast Guard were all moves of the Union government to suppress the rights of Tamils.

He added that BJP would never be allowed to come to power in Tamil Nadu despite various attempts being made by the party.

Stating that his organisation would continue to fight against the issues created by the State and Central governments, he, however, said that it did not plan to contest in elections or support any party during the elections.

18
November


Unsafe buildings razed


Source : THE HINDU

Complying with the government order to demolish unsafe and structurally weak buildings, Collector A. Sivagnanam has ordered officials to identify old and unusable public buildings in the district.

A committee comprising officials from the Revenue, PWD and Rural Development Department were entrusted with the task of identifying such buildings across the district.

So far, 52 structures/buildings were spotted in different panchayat unions. Unsafe anganwadi centre, Arivoli Iyakkam building, schools in panchayat, toilets, bus stop shelters and over head tanks were identified and demolished.

All the field staffs have been given equipment like bulldozers, tractors and other vehicles.

As and when the structure was pulled down, the debris were removed to safe place for disposal, the Collector said and added that the officials have been told to carry on with the exercise in other towns.

On Friday, a anganwadi centre in Narikudi panchayat union was demolished. Likewise, the anganwadi centre in Pullalakottai was also brought down after it was certified by the engineers as unsafe, a press release said.

17
November


One more library for students preparing for competitive exams


Source : THE HINDU

Students can refer books in a huge hall on RPO premises

MADURAI

Regional Passport Office here has opened a library for students preparing for civil services and other competitive examinations on its premises on Bharati Ula Street.

Commissioner of Police Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal inaugurated the library, in the presence of Regional Passport Officer S. Maniswara Raja and Joint Commissioner of Income Tax Rengarajan, on Thursday.

The RPO has established the library in a huge hall, where passports applications used to be dumped. “Since we have adopted digital mode of processing and return applications after scanning them, applications are not dumped here any more. So we decided to make the space useful for students,” Mr. Raja said.

Mr. Aggarwal said it was appreciable that the officials of the passport office had done something good for “outsiders”.

Mr. Raja said one Dr. Viji in the USA and TVS and Sons had donated books on varied subjects and disciplines that would help students prepare well for civil services and other competitive examinations.

The Librarian of The American College and students of Lady Doak College helped in systemically arranging over 3,000 books. The details of the books had been stored in a computer that would help visitors search for the right books.

Besides, books on general knowledge and those meant for the UPSC, SSC, RRB and TNPSC exams, and those for GATE and NEET were available, he said.

Any student carrying an identity card would be allowed to refer books here between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on all working days.

15
November


1.30 kg smuggled gold seized at Madurai airport


Source : THE HINDU

Two Chennai-based passengers carry it from Singapore, Sri Lanka

Customs officials on Tuesday seized around 1.30 kg of gold worth ₹38.19 lakh from two passengers who arrived at Madurai airport from Singapore and Colombo.

Acting on specific intelligence about gold smuggling, a team of officials, led by Assistant Commissioner (Customs) V. Jaya Bharathi, checked the baggage of one Gowth Mohideen from Chennai, who arrived from Singapore by Air India Express.

“Our officials found that he had concealed gold biscuits weighing 1,184 grams in the coil portion of an old amplifier,” Joint Commissioner of Customs V. Pandiaraja said.

The officials also checked the baggage of another passenger, Ziauddin of Chennai, who arrived here from Colombo by Sri Lankan Airlines. The officials found that he had carried with him 108 grams of gold, concealed in a bread toaster.

Mr. Pandiaraja said only authorised persons were permitted to import pure gold into India on payment of required duty. These carriers helped smugglers by stealthily bringing the gold, thereby evading import duty.

“This is not the only loss to the government. The smuggled gold is used to make jewellery for which no account is maintained. The jewellery is also sold without levying any Goods and Service Tax,” he added.

14
November


City police hand over 85stolen vehicles to owners


Source : THE HINDU

“Look for lost two-wheeler among those parked at Armed Reserve Police Ground”

The city police handed over 85 two-wheelers that were stolen and found as part of its efforts to trace owners of over 1,500 two-wheelers they found abandoned in the city.

Commissioner of Police Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal handed over the vehicles to the owners at Armed Reserve Police Ground on Monday.

He had ordered that all the motorcycles that had been collecting dust and rusting at 21 police stations at one place. Since August, there had been a rise in recovery of stolen vehicles which were gathering dust on the police station premises. The police also conducted searches in various parking lots and found several abandoned vehicles, probably stolen ones.

"A special team headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police U. Murugesh was formed to trace the owners. Using Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS), the police traced around 125 owners. The police identified them by matching the details of motorcycles available with the website of Department of Transport,” he said.

The police have appealed to those who lost their vehicles, to look for their two-wheelers among those parked at the Armed Reserve Police Ground.

Mobile phone robbery

Stating that the city police had stepped up action against mobile phone snatchers, Mr. Aggarwal said that using technology, 34 persons were arrested and 64 mobile phones recovered from them. Four of them were college students, he said.

He cautioned people against buying costly phones at a cheaper rate from any person. “As per law, not only mobile phone snatchers but receivers of stolen goods will also be arrested,” he said. Shopkeepers had been warned against buying mobile phones from strangers. They had been told to maintain records of the identity of the seller, including their phone numbers, to prevent stolen/robbed phone from being sold," he said.

On crime prevention, Mr. Aggarwal said the city police had opened history sheet against 81 habitual offenders and they would be under constant vigil.

Residents’ associations had been encouraged to put up closed circuit television cameras to prevent crime. People who go out of station could inform their police station about it so that the police could give special attention and keep vigil of locked houses to prevent burglary. The police had recommended suspension of driving licences of 5,465 persons for violation of traffic rules. The Transport Department had so far suspended licences of 2,579 persons, he said.

13
November


Women have unshackled themselves with the knowledge of laws, involvement in SHG movement


Source : THE HINDU

The decision of P. Esakkimuthu to kill himself after torching his wife and two young children on October 23 at Tirunelveli Collectorate will sound foolish if one hears the tales of deliverance from usury in a city once set afire by an angry Kannagi. Women of grit and determination have made the brave choice between life and death.

People in Thideer Nagar know R. Santhi only as ‘Thanni Adikkira Santhi Akka’. Till a few years back, she has been pumping water from Madurai Corporation taps for water vendors and got paid at the rate of ₹5 for filling up 16 plastic pots. Pumping water from early morning was one of the ways she could earn money to repay a loan taken at exorbitant interest. Her fall into the clutches of usury was not entirely her own.

“My parents pledged the only piece of land they owned with a usurer to buy a goods vehicle. When they met with an accident they could not repay the loan. As I am the only child of the family, the usurer harassed me for repayment. This forced my family to migrate to Andhra Pradesh from Avaniapuram to work in sweet meat shops in 2000,” recalls Ms. Santhi.

After working in several places, the family returned to Madurai to settle in Thideer Nagar in 2002. In 2005, she became a member of a self-help group and her first loan of ₹2,750 was meant to buy school uniform for her children. When the moneylender pestered her to pay ₹1.5 lakh, which included interest for a principal amount of ₹60,000, Ms. Shanthi lodged a complaint with the police. In 2011, the usurer agreed to accept the payment of principal.

Six years later, Ms. Shanthi’s two sons are employed. One of them lives in Singapore from where he sends ₹30,000 a month to his mother. Her daughter is married. Ms. Shanthi lives in a house with her husband with all essential needs without being haunted by the usury ghost. “When I got married to my uncle, my parents could not offer me even a gram of gold. When I got my daughter married, I gave her 16 sovereigns of jewels,” she says.

P. Janaki of Aruldosspuram is an entrepreneur, who owns Sri Parameswari Health Products, which is involved in production and distribution of native food items made of minor millets and catering. Her family got into the usury net when her husband A. Pandi borrowed small amounts at high interest rates from friends for construction of a small house and the education of their three children.

“I used to pay the instalments from my monthly salary. At one point of time, I had to pay the entire salary as loan dues,” says the former employee of Madura Coats. “I tried to supplement the family income by setting up a tea stall, idly shop and selling milk. But that was not adequate. Hence, the voluntary retirement scheme was a godsend for my husband,” she says.

At this juncture, they had to decide whether to sell their house to repay the loans or retire from service. “She was the one who took the decision and asked me to leave my job. I paid the entire retirement benefits to moneylenders and came home empty-handed. But I don’t regret the decision,” he says.

The couple prepare 15 food items at home with quality ingredients and Mr. Pandi distributes them at shops in Sellur area. The profit margin for them is negligible but the satisfaction they get from selling quality products to ordinary people is huge.

B. Leela Devi of Gandhipuram had no other alternative but to get loans from usurers for the treatment of her mother, a diabetic. She sold all her jewels only to repay the interest. After joining an SHG, she managed to repay the principal amount.

After two decades, she has got two of the sisters of her husband married and renovated their house. More than anything, the family is out of usury. Ms. Leela Devi is now involved in getting women like her out of the clutches of usury. She is a good negotiator with usurers and has forced many to waive the interest on loans.

What facilitated the turnaround in their lives? Knowledge of laws against usury and involvement in SHG movement have had a significant impact. Institutional lending has also helped in a big way. “If we adhere to the principle that SHG movement is only for the poor and not for all, the concept works,” says N. Shanthi Maduresan, Chief Executive Officer, Dhan Kalanjiam Mutual Movement (DKMM), which is involved in getting people out of poverty.

Besides facilitating the exit from usury, Kalanjiam SHGs have also helped families in getting their men out of liquor addiction. The CEO says there is a lot of money available now for lending.

“But we look at lending only for essential needs, like medical emergency or education,” she adds. For this, a cash flow study is made before lending. The target group is divided into three – survival (highly vulnerable), subsistence (can endure with limited security) and self-employed (stable and secure).

Lending takes place on the basis of requirement for each group. The DKMM also enlightens the beneficiaries of essential spending and the need to consume nutritious food to improve health and tracks their financial improvement every year. Through poverty reduction initiatives, the DKMM has brought 4,22,924 members out of poverty in the last six years.

11
November


2,662 students get laptops


Source : THE HINDU

As many as 2,662 students studying in Madurai Corporation schools received free laptops from the government here on Friday.

Giving away the laptops, procured at a cost of ₹ 4.25 crore, Cooperation Minister Sellur K. Raju said that laptops were given to 32.67 lakh students across the State including 12,448 students of Madurai Corporation schools in the last five years.

He said that ideas of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa were being implemented by this government led by Edappadi K. Palaniswami. She had said that women should not remain in kitchen. To empower them, the government had been providing all possible infrastructure and girl students should utilise it.

The minister said the authorities had taken steps to issue photo identity cards to the students of Madurai Corporation schools like those given to children in private schools. All furniture, which were in bad shape had been repaired. A sum of ₹ 5.65 crore was spent for new furniture and additional buildings. Night watchmen were posted to 55 schools and the corporation earmarked close to ₹ 54 lakh for their salaries annually. Similarly, 88 conservancy workers were posted to keep corporation schools clean and ₹ 88 lakh was allotted for their salaries annually. To prepare students of corporation schools for competitive examinations like NEET, the government had planned to build smart class rooms, offer special coaching and distribute model question-answer books.

The government led by Mr. Palaniswami was dedicated to improve the standard of common man and their dependants, Mr. Raju claimed and urged the students to work hard and come up in their life. Stalwarts like former President Kalam should be the role models for the students, he said.

Madurai Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao, Corporation Commissioner Aneesh Shekar, MP R. Gopalakrishnan, MLAs V.V. Rajan Chellappa were present.

10
November


Man found murdered on outskirts of Madurai


Source : THE HINDU

Madurai: A man was found murdered with several injuries on his face at Tiruparankundram on the outskirts of the city on Thursday. Residents of Balaji Nagar found a body in the bushes behind Thiruparankundram Poonga bus stand and alerted Thiruparankundram police.

Investigations revealed that the deceased was Shanmuga Sundaram, 32, from Devi Nagar in Tirunagar. From the facial injuries, police deduced that he could have been attacked with stones. Forensic experts were pressed into service to collect finger prints.

The body was recovered and sent to Government Rajaji Hospital for postmortem. Shanmuga Sundaram was married and had two children. He got separated from his wife due to his habitual drinking.

He could have got into a drunken brawl with his friends while boozing, police said. A case has been registered and further investigations are on to find the murderers.

08
November


Fire destroys defunct theatre at Othakadai


Source : THE HINDU

Raw materials stocked for a tyre factory gutted

A huge quantity of raw materials stocked by a tyre factory on a defunct cinema theatre premises at Othakadai near here was destroyed in a fire accident that broke out in the small hours of Tuesday. However, no one was injured.

Fire and Rescue Services personnel from six stations across the district, led by the Deputy Director (Fire Services), P. Saravanankumar, fought till 11 a.m. since past 2 a.m. to put out the flames.

“We deployed eight fire tenders and one foam tender to fight the inferno,” said Madurai District Fire Officer (in-charge), M. Subramanian. Soon after the fire-fighting started, the tin-roof of Sivalinga Theatre collapsed covering the raw materials stocked by TVS Tyres.

“We could not reach the bottom of the fire source as they were covered by sheets. But, we kept cooling the tin sheets to control the flames,” Mr. Subramanian said.

A huge shelter was put outside the hall to stock the highly combustible materials.

The flames in the rear side of the theatre premises partially burnt the door, windows, plumbing lines of a house of one A.B. Palaniappan. He also pointed out to some cracks on the walls claiming that the high-intensity fire had damaged the stability of his house.

“We had to struggle amidst thick fumes in the dead of the night to remove gas cylinders from the kitchen that was close to the flames,” said his neighbour Malaichamy.

With narrow approach roads on Ayyappan Nagar and Nanjil Colony, fire tenders could not come closer to the theatre premises. A woman in the vicinity said that she was woken up by the huge noise caused by the fire. The inferno raised beyond the height of the theatre, she said.

Firemen had to break the compound wall of the theatre to get better access to the flames. The iron materials used for the tressing were seen mangled by the flames.

No fire permission

“No fire licence had been obtained for the building to be as a godown from the Fire and Rescue Services Department,” Mr. Subramanian said.

Neither the building had any smoke/fire warning system nor it had automatic sprinklers that could have minimised the damage, he said.

The Melur Revenue Divisional Officer, R. Pannerselvam, who inspected the spot, said that details about the licence for the godown had been sought from the officials of the tyre factory. The RDO instructed that the entire building should be demolished as it lost its stability.

A middle-aged woman said that the theatre was a landmark for Othakadai.

Vehicular movement on the Melur Road linking Dr. MGR bus stand with Madurai-Tiruchi highway was regulated till 9 a.m. owing to the fire.

07
November


Cable TV operators demand time for digitisation


Source : THE HINDU

Several cable television operators thronged the Collectorate here on Monday and protested against the Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable Television Corporation for abruptly suspending relay of more programme channels.

Prabu, president of ‘SEE TV’, an association formed by the cable TV operators in Thoothukudi, said several pay television channels relayed through the Corporation were taken off air abruptly on November 3 in parts of Thoothukudi since such channels were broadcast through the analog system.

Mr. Prabu, who led the protest in front of Collectorate here, said the Centre had given ample time to modify the relay of television channels from the existing analog signal transmission system to digital signal transmission system, but it was unfortunate that most of pay channels went off abruptly after the intervention of Arasu Cable TV authorities here.

All cable TV operators had registered accordingly with the Corporation and were licensed to relay television channels, he said.

Moreover, monthly subscription was being paid regularly to the Corporation, but much to the dislike of subscribers, most of the prime channels of their desire, could not be viewed, said Mr. Prabu.

Due to this, the cable TV operators were likely to lose their subscribers, who had been opting for direct to home (DTH) network, of late. However, the cable operators had been transmitting such channels through DTH network to keep their subscribers intact.

Moreover, set top boxes provided by the State government for accessing television channels were not adequate to cater to the needs of subscribers in the district. Further, he said it requires more time to distribute such set top boxes to all subscribers.

06
November


Are nuances of GST not properly understood?


Source : THE HINDU

Many people directly impacted by the new taxation system feel more awareness is needed

Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented on July 1, making it the single tax window in the country by replacing all earlier taxes. Though its implementation faced opposition from States like Tamil Nadu, which has a diversified manufacturing sector, the GST was implemented across India with a few amendments.

Four months after the implementation of the GST, which was touted as a revolutionary move in the taxation system, questions are asked about it in vibrant commercial hubs like Madurai. Traders and the public are yet to understand the nuances of the new taxation system and some feel that they are still in the dark.

Speaking to The Hindu, S. Rethinavelu, senior president of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said there was still a lack of knowledge of the GST among traders and public.

Though the GST was a progressive move, Mr. Rethinavelu said, it failed to convince the commoner at the implementation level.

When it came to e-way bill, filling invoice and uploading it to the GST portal, a trader from a rural area, who was not so tech savvy, had to rely on an auditor to do it for him. The traders’ voice in the issue should be heard, he said.

Mr. Rathivelu also expressed his displeasure over environment-friendly products being taxed high. He said clay bricks taken from fertile soil was taxed at 5% whereas eco-friendly fly ash bricks attracted 12% tax.

The public felt that they had been impacted by the GST as their average expenditure had shot up. S. Shanmuganathan, a customer at a departmental store, said, “The monthly expenditure on household products has increased by at least ₹2,000.”

He said middle and lower income groups found it hard to manage their monthly expenditure. If he wanted to have his breakfast at a decent hotel, he would have to cough up about ₹100, he said.

K. Krishnan, a retired government official, said it had gone haywire at the implementation level. “Tax on important and essential commodities like medicines can be reduced,” he opined. “One has to think twice before going for a movie or eating out,” he added.

However, some traders felt that as the GST was already implemented, it would do a world of good if all could adapt themselves to the current taxation system than keep complaining.

C. Soundarnath, who runs Sri Ram Jai Ram Commercial Centre, welcomed the taxation and said, “People should adapt themselves now that the GST is in implementation.” However, he felt that there should be a proper distribution of the tax. It was more like a cycle, where each contributed to the other.

T.M. Syed, who runs a stationery store at Anna Nagar, said the implementation of the GST was welcome and he was happy to contribute to the nation, even though it meant paying more towards tax than before.

When The Hindu contacted B. Saraswati, Joint Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, with queries on the GST, she said prices of goods and services were bound to come down. With the free flow of goods throughout the country, the logistics cost would also come down. Dealers could take credit of the GST paid by them while buying goods and availing themselves of services relating to business. They could redo the pricing to pass on the benefits to the consumers, she said.

Measures taken to create awareness among both traders and consumers would bring about a better understanding of the GST. With better knowledge of the issues, experts believe that better results can be achieved.

04
November


Madurai to get its 3rd direct flight to Bengaluru from Dec 29


Source : THE TIMES OF INDIA

Madurai: The city is all set to get its third direct connectivity with Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport. Indian low cost carrier IndiGo airlines is introducing its first service in the sector. While regular service begins from December 29, 2017, the airline has already opened bookings.

The flight number 6E 906 will start from Bengaluru at 7.45 pm and will reach Madurai on 8.45 pm. In return direction, the flight number 6E 909 will leave Madurai at 9.15 pm and will reach Bengaluru at 10.20 pm.

Jet airways and Spice jet are operating one each in the sector.

IndiGo officials said that they expect good occupancy since this would be the first night service between the two destinations. While Jet airway is operating in the morning, Spice jet is operating in the evening at present.

Domestic sector is the strength of the Madurai airport. Over 70 percent of the traffic handled is domestic passengers.

At present, ticket price to Chennai from Madurai is available from Rs 1350, which is cheaper than an omni bus ticket during festival season

02
November


Steps to ease process of filing GST returns


Source : THE HINDU

The Department of Commercial Taxes has been taking extensive steps to ease the process of filing Goods and Service Tax returns, said its Joint Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, S. M. Saraswathi here on Wednesday

The Centre recently extended the date for filing GSTR-2 till November 30. This is required to claim income tax credit under the GST regime.

The earlier date was October 31. The last date for filing GSTR-3 for July, 2017 was extended to December 11, from November 10.

In a bid to engage with traders in Madurai, the Joint Commissioner and her team presented a skit.

They performed a live demonstration and encouraged questions. She told them that special efforts were taken by the GST Council to reduce tax rates.

The conditions for registration had been relaxed and free registration can be done within three days.

There is free flow of trade, she said.

“Dealers of Madurai division must file GST 1, 2 and 3 only on quarterly basis. The awareness campaign is meant for those who are filing returns from October,” she said.

According to a data published by the Commercial Taxes department, only 40% of registered dealers have filed returns for tax value of ₹ 98.91 crore in July and ₹ 111.86 crore in August under the GST regime.

However, this amount is equal to the returns filed by all of dealers under the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime.

“For the common man, the rate of tax has been reduced in several areas. For instance, the tax for A/C restaurants is now on par with non-A/c restaurants. Now both are 12 %, against 18% for A/C restaurants earlier,” she said.

01
November


It is now MGR bus stand at Mattuthavani


Source : THE HINDU

New names board shines on the premises

With Madurai Corporation installing a new name board, Mattuthavani integrated bus stand formally became M.G.R. bus stand on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had announced during the birth centenary celebration of former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran in Madurai that the bus stand would be named after the late leader.

However, the change did not come into effect even after a few months of the announcement.

Madurai North MLA V.V. Rajan Chellappa had made an appeal through the media to implement the name change at the earliest. A government order for changing the name was passed recently, following which the Municipal Corporation installed the new name board.

31
October


Thevar guru puja peaceful


Source : THE HINDU

Police make elaborate plans for smooth traffic, crowd management

The 110th birth anniversary and 55th guru puja of freedom fighter Muthuramalinga Thevar passed off peacefully on Monday. City police had made elaborate security arrangements to ensure that there were no untoward incidents.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, several Ministers and elected representatives were the first to garland the bronze statue of the leader at Goripalayam.

Union Minister Pon. Radhakrishnan, DMK working president M.K. Stalin, MDMK general secretary Vaiko, All India Forward Bloc leader P. Kathiravan and Congress leaders A.G. Rambabu, K.S.K. Rajendran, and All India Moovendar Munnani Kazhagam leader N. Sethuraman were among those who garlanded the statue later.

The police had regulated the crowd by erecting barricades up to the pedestal and back. They also allowed normal vehicular traffic at the junction without causing much inconvenience to road users.

“A total diversion of traffic away from the junction for the entire day would have caused lots of hardship to vehicle users. For the vehicle users, who would have otherwise taken more time for circuitous routes, waiting at the signal for a few more minutes would have been easier,” Commissioner of Police Mahesh Kumar Aggarawal said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Arun Balagopalan said only when vehicles piled up on Alagarkoil Road (towards Goripalayam), there were diversions.

Additional police teams had been deployed on arterial roads to check rash driving and triple riding on motorbikes. The police picked up the violators and did not allow them to get closer to Goripalayam junction.

When an unruly group of motorbike riders managed to come to the junction from Panagal Road, a team of police, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) V. Sasimohan, intercepted them. The Commissioner himself stopped a few SUVs in which youths were dangling outside through windows.

The city police had already warned of stern action against violators of traffic rules. A total of 60 two-wheelers were seized.

The police banning beating of drums like last year also resulted in a more orderly movement of volunteers at the junction. Several shops on the junction were closed as a precautionary measure.

With several schools having declared holiday and the police having banned entry of lorries into the city, traffic management became easier. At least a score of ambulances crossed the junction without any difficulty to reach Government Rajaji Hospital.

A Sub-Inspector of Police, K. Radhakrishnan, who was giving instructions to volunteers at the venue and regulating vehicles through public address system frequently asked the police personnel to give priority to women carrying milk pots in climbing the pedestal.

The police picked up a youth from Meenambalpuram in the evening for having reportedly indulged in argument with women police personnel who were regulating the crowd atop the pedestal.

30
October


Tethered copter deployed for Thevar jayanthi security


Source : THE HINDU

Advanced UAV version is used for the first time during the event

Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) of Anna University has deployed a ‘tethered copter’, the advanced version of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), for high endurance and accurate capturing of images during Thevar jayanthi.

The university’s Centre for Aerospace Research team, headed by its Director K. Senthil Kumar, developed the new version after four years of research, and it was deployed for full-fledged operation for the first time here, M. Muthu, a postgraduate student of avionics, heading the five-member team, said.

After launching the test-flight of the vehicle here on Sunday, Superintendent of Police Omprakash Meena told reporters that deployment of 8,000 police personnel commenced on Saturday for peaceful conduct of the 55th guru puja and the 110th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Muthuramalinga Thevar on Monday.

The ‘tethered copter’ was demonstrated to Defence Research and Development Organisation when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Rameswaram on July 27 for the inauguration of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam National Memorial, Mr Muthu said.

Fitted with a ‘30X zoom camera’, the UAV, a first of its kind in the country, would fly at a height of 150 metres covering a radius of five km, and it could be airborne for four hours. The high definition camera would capture even small movements in the area and transmit images to the special control room, he added.

Besides, the South Zone police technical team, led by Sub-Inspector Vignesh, deployed a ‘quadcopter’, fitted with a ‘10X camera’ and ‘target tracking system’. It would also cover a radius of five km, but it could be airborne for only about 45 minutes, he said.

Both the UAVs had vertical take-off and landing facilities, he said, adding while the ‘tethered copter’ would be positioned static in the air, the ‘quad copter’ would be manoeuvred.

A Chennai-based private agency has deployed Face Detection Cameras, also for the first time, to automatically recognise known accused and alert the police at the control room. The SP inspected the installation of the cameras in Pasumpon area.

Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Vijay Kumar, Inspector General of Police (South Zone) Shailesh Kumar Yadav and DIGs, including Pradeep Kumar (Madurai, in-charge of Ramanathapuram range) inspected security arrangements. Bomb Detection and Disposal Squads combed the memorial site.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, Ministers, sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran and leaders of various political parties are scheduled to pay homage to the leader on Monday.

26
October


Collectors, police officials meet not held for 4 years


Source : THE HINDU

Last conference was chaired by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in December 2013

Come December, it will be four years since the State government held District Collectors and police officers’ conference, which was an annual feature not long ago.

The last such event took place between December 11 and 13, 2013, which was presided over by the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. At the meet, she had stressed on equitable development through inclusive growth. “The emphasis is on the word “inclusive,” she said while inaugurating the conference. After she returned to power in May 2011, she chaired the first conference in mid-November that year and the second in December 2012.

In September 2014, Jayalalithaa was eased out of office following her conviction in a corruption case. O. Panneerselvam succeeded her as Chief Minister and held the post for eight months. During this period, there was no conference. Though Jayalalithaa returned to power in May 2015, the following 16 months passed by without any meet of Collectors or police officers.

The purpose of holding conferences of Collectors and police officers is to carry out an exhaustive review of the working of the government machinery. All those who matter in the government — the Chief Secretary, the Director-General of Police and Secretaries and the heads of all departments — would be present at the meeting.

It would also provide a platform for the Collectors and the police officers at the district or zonal level to take up certain issues directly with Chief Minister and get them sorted out. A senior official says that even though it could not be said that every conference was productive, such a meet would bring to the fore issues that may not have got the attention of the top brass of the government.

Another official says that the government is indeed contemplating holding a conference of District Collectors and SPs sooner or later. It would like to wait till the end of the present spell of dengue epidemic as well as the completion of the northeast monsoon, which is expected to set in shortly and will go on till the end of December.

K. Satyagopal, Principal Secretary/Commissioner of Revenue Administration, says that in the last one year, a series of video teleconferences has been going on at his level as well as at the level of Chief Secretary on a host of matters. “Sometimes, the Chief Minister [Edappadi K. Palaniswami] himself has video conferences with Collectors [in groups].”

Some officers of the Indian Administrative Service point out that it is time for the government to effect changes among District Collectors, as some of the present Collectors have been serving in the position for five years, even though these officers have covered more than one or two districts in the given period.

25
October


Absence of benefits hammers their iron will


Source : THE HINDU

Decibel level on Pattaraikkara Street is coming down slowly

The art of making handmade pots and pans is a dying profession in Madurai, claim the blacksmiths of Pattaraikkara Street in Goripalayam area. The shift to machinery has reduced their workload. These workers are unable to gain access to basic health care and other benefits for over 15 years.

B. Allaji (35), secretary of the local blacksmiths association, says that the process of making large pans, saucepans, griddles and bowls is a strenuous physical task. About 20 men work in a ‘pattarai’ and perform different functions. Their income is dependent on orders received.

Despite the presence of machinery, the final phase of providing accurate shape to the edges lies in the skill of the man who beats the metal with a heavy hammer. Allaji has lost his left eye while beating the metal. Some of his colleagues have lost their arms and fingers. “It is impossible to work for 12 hours with sweat and grime every day,” says A. Kamarudeen, another worker. Others such as U. Sathik too say that the extent of physical labour taxed their nerves. Most of them make a total of Rs. 10,000 per month but this is inadequate to run a household while also making weekly visits to doctors. Allaji spent Rs. 4 lakh on his surgery but continues to be blind in the left eye. He works because his 16 year-old son needs to study. He is unaware of the schemes at his disposal with the Tamil Nadu Manual Workers’ Welfare Board as officers are yet to take the initiative to educate the residents of the area.

“When we approached the Collector’s office for guidance, we were told that camps would be held for different groups for enrolment, which would get us benefits. Nothing of that sort has happened. How long will we be in the dark?” asks Allaji.

A senior official of the Department of Labour told The Hindu that these manual workers have access to marriage and maternity benefits of Rs. 1000 if they register with the welfare board. Kin will receive Rs. 17,000, including Rs. 2,000, in the event of natural death of the worker. In case of an accidental death, they could receive up to Rs. 1.2 lakh. “Over the past six months, the welfare board has not received any funds. This is why the sanctioning process is slow,” she says.

The labourers at Pattaraikkara Street, however, say that their woes date back to several decades. “It is not about six months. Many of us have registered too,” says Allaji. He says that he will continue approaching the labour welfare board until blacksmiths get subsidies.

21
October


This 91-year-old ‘PMG’ still serves the postal department


Source : THE HINDU

Helps people who visit the Ramanathapuram Head Post Office in filling up forms, promotes postal products

When he joined the Department of Posts as an ‘outsider’ in 1940, P.M. Gurusamy, popularly known as ‘PMG’ in the department circle, would have never imagined that he would remain integrated with the department for more than seven decades and continue his ‘service’ even after retirement.

While serving as an ‘outsider’ (casual worker) at the Ramanathapuram Head Post Office after completing his third form (Class VIII), Mr. Gurusamy joined the Quit India Movement in 1942.

He was sent to jail, but released the very next day as the jailor found him hardly 16 years old.

The jailor informed the Postmaster that Mr. Gurusamy faced no case and there was no bar on him to continue his service in the department.

On March 3, 1943, Mr. Gurusamy was posted as a Class IV employee at the post office in Mandapam.

After retiring as a Selection Grade Postman in 1985, Mr. Gurusamy – he is now 91 years old – has been visiting the Head Post Office for 32 years, helping people who visit the post office and promoting postal products, especially ‘My Stamp’, the personalised sheets of postage stamps of India Post.

He has been visiting the Head Post Office for two hours in the morning and an hour in the evening, helping people fill up forms, and deposit and withdraw money. He has also been encouraging them to start recurring deposit and savings bank accounts or join ‘Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana,’ designed for rural people who fall victims to dubious financial companies.

'Will continue the service'

“God is keeping me in good health and I will continue the service as long as I can,” he told The Hindu. Recently, the Postmaster ‘pulled him up’ for coming late and he considered the ‘reprimanding’ as the biggest compliment.

No one would visit the post office after retirement and Mr. Gurusamy is an exception, says N.J. Udaya Singh, Superintendent of Posts. He has popularised ‘My Stamp’ product in a big way, Mr. Singh adds.

“I have a passion for ‘My Stamp’ and have got the personalised stamps for more than 150 people, including former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and his elder brother A.P.J. M. Maraikayar,” says Mr. Gurusamy.

Appreciating his service, the Karaikudi Kamban Kazhagam has honoured him with a ‘Seva Ratna’ award.

Mr. Gurusamy had served as a postman in Dhanushkodi for five years since 1945 and continues to be the living link to the 1964 cyclonic tragedy that destroyed the post office and the once flourishing town.

17
October


‘Forests play a vital role in protecting the Vaigai’


Source : THE HINDU

If right government policies and community participation were in place, Vaigai river could become perennial again, said K. Kalaivanan, a veterinarian, here on Saturday.

At a function organised as part of Wildlife Week celebration at Mannar Thirumalai Naicker College, the speakers spoke about the seminal role played by the Megamalai forest range in preservation of the Vaigairiver.

Dr. Kalaivanan correlated on tiger population and the sustenance of a river. He said mere cleaning of the Vaigai river bed would not have much of an impact in protection of the river.

C. P. Rajkumar, founder of Vanam, a non-governmental organisation, said: “A forest with a significant tiger population will have a river. Saving the animal will ensure the ecological balance of the forest. If there is a tiger reserve, the area will be protected by National Tiger Conservation Authority which will ensure funding for relocation of tribal people by providing them alternative means of livelihood such as farming, petty shops and forest guards,” he said.

M. Manivannan, another speaker, traced the journey of Vaigai river- both historically and geographically. He said construction of dams, large-scale mining and loss of forest cover posed problems for all south Indian rivers.

District Forest Officer J.R. Samartha was present.

16
October


International Day of Girl Child celebrated


Source : THE HINDU

Sakthi-Vidiyal orgnises various events for children

The two-day celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child organised by Sakthi-Vidiyal, a non-governmental organisation, concluded here on Sunday.

It witnessed enthusiastic participation of girl children in various events focussing on their emancipation. The events included treasure hunts and cat walks.

A facial display event was also organised for the participants under two categories – seniors and juniors – and the theme was ‘We are the brightness of the world’.

G. Sharmila, Project Director, Sakthi-Vidiyal, said there was a need for equal rights in all spheres for the girl child. “Girl children face discrimination at home and in school. They do not believe that they are entitled to equal opportunities,” she said.

Sakthi-Vidiyal provided opportunities for students to focus on the ways to empower themselves, she added.

Seventy-five students took part in the celebrations. R. Jayarani, one of the students, said she was once shy and was unable to express herself clearly.

“With these exercises, I have been able to break the barriers. I have also learnt to share my experiences and talk to others,” she said.

The events were followed by the valedictory function, in which a small candle lighting ceremony was held. Children and parents came together to take an oath to support and ensure rights of girl children.

13
October


New ward with 230 beds set up in GRH


Source : THE HINDU

It is expected to help in better monitoring of fever patients and efficient deployment of staff

With the prevalence of dengue and other fever cases not coming down, Government Rajaji Hospital here has set up a new ward with 230 beds since Wednesday, primarily to treat fever cases.

The new ward has been set up at the erstwhile Obstetrics and Gynaecology ward, which has been shifted to the new Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and New Born Care (CEmONC) building.

According to hospital sources, the new ward would help in better monitoring of fever patients and efficient deployment of staff. “As a large number of people are getting admitted, we are accommodating them in different wards. Now a majority of them can be admitted at one place,” a senior doctor said.

According to him, around 450 patients are getting treated for fever and platelet count, of which nearly 50% of them are below normal.

Senior hospital officials said that special teams had been formed with doctors, postgraduate students of Madurai Medical College and students on Compulsory Rotatory Resident Internship (CRRI) to treat the patients. “We hope the number of fever cases comes down. However, we are prepared even if the number goes up further,” the senior doctor said.

Child dies

Meanwhile, V. Bharathivel, aged around three, son of an advocate residing in Yagappa Nagar, died at a private hospital here on Thursday, in a suspected case of dengue.

Health department sources said the boy was admitted three days back for treatment of fever. Following the death, Corporation officials have intensified mosquito breeding control activities in the area, including door-to-door checks.

Awareness programmes to prevent breeding of dengue-causing mosquitoes was also organised in different places in the district. Minister for Cooperation ‘Sellur’ K. Raju, along with Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao and Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar, took part in a campaign in Solai Azhagupuram.

A dengue review meeting was conducted at the Collectorate in which Mr. Rao distributed cell counters to all primary health centres to help in speedy identification of platelet count.

12
October


Potholes, dust pose threat to road users


Source : THE HINDU

Commuters upset over filling pits with construction debris

Commuters were greeted with potholes on several arterial roads, filled with construction debris, on Wednesday. They were not happy.

As the signal turned green at the Arasaradi junction, R. Sundaram (62), who was riding his bike on New Jail Road, was caught off guard by the brick-protrusion on the road. His scooter wobbled and later settled but the man was shaken. “Why would anyone place bricks in the middle of the road? I could have met with an accident,” he said.

Several roads of the city including Gokhale Road, Panagal Road, Travellers Bunglow Road and 80 Feet Road in K. K. Nagar are ridden with potholes following the recent rain. The Corporation has filled up the damaged potholes with construction debris in an attempt to make roads even.

Buses from places like Theni, Dindigul and Kerala pass through Gokhale Road to reach Mattuthavani. Until this temporary casing was done, commuters could see the fourth layer of the road in huge potholes.

The road is part of a major bus route and has several shops and hospitals. Officials from the district administration including the Collector and Corporation Commissioner often drive through these rough patches.

Residents and commuters, who use public transport, have been complaining for several months about the billow of sand on the periphery of these roads. This new debris-patchwork seems to have added to their woes.

R. Shanmugam, who owns a push cart on B.B. Kulam, says that dust often flies. He has been unable to cycle past Gokhale Road without sand in his eyes. Fine dust is the highest contributor to Madurai’s air pollution levels, says an environmental expert.

Top officials from the engineering department of the Madurai Corporation say that this is a temporary measure to cover potholes during rainy season. Hot bitumen mix cannot be used in patch work during rainy season as it will not last long, says an engineer. Use of debris to fill up potholes is a routine affair, done every year, they claim.

When contacted, Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar said that he was unaware of this patchwork taking place. He added that tender had been floated for repair work on Gokhale Road and work would start in a month as it was a highly damaged road. The rest of the roads, however, continue to be in the deep trouble.

11
October


Vast, wasted space at World Tamil Sangam


Source : THE HINDU

Underutilisation of the area lamented

When the plan to build Madurai’s World Tamil Sangam was first envisaged in 1982 by then Chief Minister M. G. Ramachandran, Tamil scholars believed that the place would be a haven for Tamil literati.

Ideas, poetry and debates would flow in the amphitheatres, auditoriums and lawns.

Those who preferred silence would read books in quiet corners of the library.

35 years

It has been 35 years and only the first phase of the structure is complete. The World Tamil Sangam was built atop Tallakulam tank — a move that several experts in water conservation objected to as it would obstruct groundwater recharge.

It spreads over an area of 87,000 square feet. There is a large auditorium that is vacant for most months of the year.

There are plans for a mega library. A museum and an art gallery already exist on the premises. Only the administrative block of the Sangam is functional.

The majestic two-tiered structure is riddled with overgrown weeds. The vast lawn is shabbily maintained.

It is not unnatural to find bird and animal droppings here and there. One can also see occasional empty alcohol bottles and cigarette butts strewn around at the back of the building.

Construction is now in progress at three places — a car parking facility, a bridge of sorts over the tank and the rest of the auditorium. RM. Valliappan, one of the architects and the design supervision managers of the structure, said that a total of ₹100 crore was allocated for the project and only the first phase for which ₹12.5 crore was sanctioned was complete.

The interiors were yet to be completed. The furnishing, library and auditorium still needed work.

“A platform has been created but there are miles to go before it could be used,” he said. Popular Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee Su. Venkatesan too laments the underutilisation of the space.

“The area can be used to host interesting seminars, lectures and educational meetings. People studying for competitive exams need not go to parks. The purpose of the library was to have a facility like Chennai’s Anna Centenary Library. There is no vision here,” he said.

Hub for research

He added that the place could be a hub for research in Tamil studies too.

Everyone else but the administrative team at the World Tamil Sangam seem enthused about the possibility of an active cultural space. A top official there said that he would not comment on taking the initiative forward. He added that the second phase was on hold at the moment and would not begin in the near future.

10
October


‘State will take over Keezhadi excavations’


Source : THE HINDU

Centre has given approval: Minister

The Tamil Nadu government would go ahead with excavations in Keezhadi on its own, and has obtained necessary approvals from the Central Advisory Board of Archaeology (CABA), said MaFoi K. Pandiarajan, Minister for Tamil Official Language, Culture and Archeology.

The announcement is likely to put an end to the controversies surrounding the project, including the refusal to grant an extension, the delay in provision of funds and the replacement of project officials, among others.

“The fourth season of excavations at Keezhadi will be undertaken by the Tamil Nadu government itself. This will be an in-depth excavation.

“This is not a pilot project but will be a full-scale project. CABA has given its approval for us to undertake the excavation,” Mr. Pandiarajan said.

He said that the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department will undertake the fourth stage of excavations at Keezhadi. Dr. R. Sivananthan, deputy director, and Dr. J. Bhaskar, Archaeology officer, Directorate of Archaeology, will lead the excavation.

“The excavations could even begin as early as November. We will ensure that all resources are given to the excavation teams,” Mr. Pandiarajan said.

09
October


Taekwondo: student eyes Guinness record


Source : THE HINDU

C. Abishiek Prabhu attempted his third Guinness World Record and first High Range Book of World Record by breaking 100 tiles in one minute through back-kicking style of taekwondo at Dr. M.G.R Stadium on Race Course Road here on Saturday.

This 21-year old student studying Information Technology at Thiagarajar College of Engineering here said, “While practising, initially it took one minute and thirty seconds. I gradually brought it to a minute.” He had been training this Korean martial art form for three years now at Madurai Taekwondo Academy. A kukkiwon black belt holder, he trains youngsters even while practising for four hours every day under the watchful eyes of trainer and master N. Narayanan.

M. Solai Raja, vice-president, Tamil Nadu Olympic Association, was the chief guest.

07
October


More floods loom as city channels remain clogged


Source : THE HINDU

Madurai: If the rain on Wednesday and Thursday saw the city getting inundated in just about an hour's time, imagine what would have happened had it poured over 100 mm in just two hours as in Hyderabad and Bangalore recently. The city would have been marooned as the channels that are to carry the water to the Vaigai river are all clogged with garbage and bushes, leaving no way for the water to drain out.

There are two sets of channels to carry excess water to the Vaigai, 13 of them in one set with a width ranging from 1 metre to 3.5 metres traversing through the city for 53 kilometres. Another set of 24 channels, smaller in size, covers a distance of 22 kms. But today, most of them have turned into garbage dumps, sizes shrunk and disconnected.

06
October


Anti-Dengue Day’s focuson cleanliness in schools


Source : THE HINDU

First such day observed in schools across Madurai district

Following a recent announcement of Tamil Nadu government to observe all Thursdays as anti-dengue day in a bid to give a push to dengue-control measures in the State, the first such day was observed in Madurai district on Thursday.

As part of the programme, the School Education department had sent instructions to all the schools to conduct a cleanliness drive either between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. N. Marimuthu, Chief Educational Officer, said the focus would be on ensuring water did not stagnate on the school premises, as it is the breeding source for dengue-causing mosquitoes. “We have received confirmation from almost all schools that the drive was carried out,” he said.

K.V. Arjun Kumar, Deputy Director of Health Services, said different teams visited schools across the district to create awareness among the school children and also to distribute nilavembu concoction. “In each of the 13 blocks in the district, we had deployed around 30 to 35 personnel, including Block Medical Officers, Block Health Supervisor, Sector Health Nurses and Village Health Nurses, and other officials. We covered around 700 schools. The rest will be covered in the next couple of days,” he said.

Dr. Arjun Kumar said that awareness programmes were also conducted in government offices. Pledge was taken in many offices to maintain cleanliness o campus. Awareness sessions were conducted for students in some of the colleges.

05
October


Madurai gets second direct air link to Bengaluru


Source : THE HINDU

Will open up onward connectivity

Madurai got its second direct air link to Bengaluru with SpiceJet re-introducing its Bengaluru-Madurai-Bengaluru daily flight services on Wednesday.

Jet Airways is already operating in this sector.

SpiceJet will operate a 78-seater Bombardier Q 400 aircraft. Initially, the flight will land in Madurai at 12.40 p.m. and leave for Bengaluru at 1 p.m.

‘Good link’

But the landings and take offs in Madurai will shift to evenings from October 29.

It will leave Bengaluru at 2.30 p.m. and reach Madurai at 3.45 p.m.

In the return direction, the flight will take off at 4.05 p.m. and land in Bengaluru at 5.20 p.m.

“It is a good link between the IT city and temple city. This sector has good potential for leisure and business travellers,” said N. Sriram, a leading travel agent.

The second flight service will give an additional choice for passengers of southern districts.

Besides, it will also open up the onward connectivity for people around Madurai to reach various north Indian destinations from Bengaluru.

Other destinations

Now, only Chennai serves as a hub for passengers from southern districts to fly to different destinations.

Besides Bengaluru, Madurai also has flight connectivity to New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.

It is also connected to international destinations such as Colombo, Dubai and Singapore.

04
October


‘Misinformation on GST in social media’


Source : THE HINDU

Most of the complaints were in the hotel and construction industries: official

Many consumers have raised complaints due to misinformation on Goods and Services Tax in social media, according to V. Pandiraja, Joint Commissioner of Central Goods and Services Tax and Central Excise.

Addressing a consumer awareness meeting here on Tuesday, he said most of the complaints were in the hotel and construction industries. “In case of a non-air-conditioned restaurant, the tax ought to have dropped by 2%. However, consumers have not got the benefit. We are monitoring the reasons,” he said. Earlier, the Central government did not tax such restaurants. The State government levied 14.5% Value Added Tax on food served in these restaurants. The current GST levied on customers is 12%,” he said.

Mr. Pandiraja said that prominent focus had been provided to Section 171 of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act, anti-profiteering rules.

The Central and State governments had issued a notification to set up an anti-profiteering agency in Madurai soon.

R. Karnan, president, Tamil Nadu Citizen Consumer Protection Centre, said that the ink used in most bills often faded.

He said that many furniture shops often resorted to providing ‘estimates’ or hand-written bills in order to evade tax. “The customer faces a problem,” he said. “We are left wondering if bills are fake because there is no mandatory GST number. Only estimates and quotations are given at furniture shops,” said S. Arunkumar, advocate and president of the Consumer Rights Protection Consortium.

A few petitions on levy of GST were submitted to the Joint Commissioner at the meeting.

02
October


Meenakshi temple gets ‘cleanest iconic place’ tag


Source : THE HINDU

The famed Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai has been adjudged the best ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ (clean place) in India. Ten spots were identified by the Central government as part of the ‘Swachh Iconic Places’ initiative earlier this year.

The Madurai City Corporation is also set to receive a special award from the Centre as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

District Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao and Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar will receive the award on October 2 from Uma Bharti, the Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation.

As part of the recognition as Swachh Iconic Place, a project has been conceived to clean the periphery of the temple, according to Mr. Aneesh Sekhar. It is in the early stages and is slated to be completed by March 2018. The project is estimated to cost ₹11.65 crore and has been sponsored by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

“We have been awarded for the swift progress that has been made until now. We are proud that we have been chosen among the 10 iconic places,” he added.

The Madurai Corporation has placed several bins at the distance of 50 metres along the Chithirai streets.

Ambitious target

There are 25 e-toilets and 15 water ATMs for tourists to use. There are two road sweepers and battery-operated vehicles specifically purchased to clean this stretch.

The target before March 2018 would be to make Chithirai, Masi, Avani Moola Streets and Veli Streets – the four concentric squares around the temple – 100% plastic-free, according to the Commissioner.

30
September


Vaigai gets another round of cleaning:


Source : TIMES OF INDIA

Madurai: Nearly 25,000 volunteers, including students and local people participated in a mass cleaning drive of the Vaigai River bed on Thursday, as part of the Swachhta Hi Sewa drive. However experts are of the opinion that a better plan of action is needed to keep the river bed clean and free of garbage.

Swachhta Hi Sewa drive is underway in Madurai from September 15 and will go on till October 2. As part of the drive various parts of the city and district have been taken up for intensive cleaning. Many of the tourist spots and public places have been cleaned so far. The Vaigai River was taken up for cleaning in two parts, by the district administration and Madurai Corporation. While the stretch from Thiruvedagam to Manadimangalam was taken up for cleaning by the district administration, in the city it was cleaned from Kamarajar Bridge to Obulapadithurai.

A total number of 17,060 people participated in the cleaning program conducted in the seven kilometers stretch from Kamarajar Bridge to Obulapadithurai, which was divided into 35 parts. The volunteers numbering 4,000 included corporation employees, tax collectors, unskilled workers, sanitary workers, sweepers, contract labourers and daily wage workers, 8,060 college students, a batch of 5000 people including NCC students and Self Help Groups.

One of the persons who participated in the program was Sirshti Bakshi, a Hong Kong-based professional, who works for women empowerment. She is on a journey from Kanyakumari to Kashmir for the cause where she is meeting women and conducting workshops. As many as six JCB machines, eight tippers, three mini robots, 20 tractors and sand cleaning machines were used for the cleaning program. A pledge of cleanliness was administered by the Madurai District Collector to the volunteers.

M Shanthi, who participated with her neighbours said that they were ready to work on such programs regularly, but the Corporation authorities should take steps to maintain the places clean, once it was cleared of garbage.

"The Corporation has been conducting cleaning programs in Vaigai in recent times just for publicity as the areas cleaned were littered with less garbage. The places that really need attention are ignored. The channels from Sellur Kanmai to Vaigai River are continuously ignored," said R Abubacker, founder of the waterbodies protection movement.

29
September


Another child dies in suspected case of dengue


Source : THE HINDU

In the second such death in a span of two days, a 11-year-old school student died at Government Rajaji Hospital here on Thursday in a suspected case of dengue.

Hospital sources said that the victim M. Thiruchelvi, daughter of a daily wager from Kayampatti near Othakadai, was initially getting treated at a private hospital in the city for fever, following which she was referred to GRH on Tuesday.

The personnel associated with Health and Family Welfare department, who subsequently visited the girl’s village to identify any other cases of fever and to carry out activities to prevent mosquito breeding, faced hostility from the villagers, who blamed them for inadequate precautionary and treatment measures that led to the girl’s death.

Some DMK functionaries meanwhile met D. Marudupandian, Dean of GRH, and urged him to ensure proper treatment for all dengue-affected patients undergoing treatment at the hospital.

On Tuesday night, R. Sanjana (3), a resident of Sellur, died at a private hospital on Kuruvikaran Salai, also in a suspected case of dengue.

28
September


1,240 people receive job offers


Source : THE HINDU

Around 7,200 participate in the job fair organised at MKU

A total of 1,240 people received job offers from 53 companies which participated in the job fair organised by the district administration and District Employment Office in Madurai Kamaraj University here on Tuesday, a statement by the university said.

According to university officials, the job fair saw a huge turnout of around 7,200 job seekers, mainly youngsters. Addressing the participants, Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao stressed the need for developing interpersonal, leadership and other soft skills, which were as crucial as obtaining degrees.

As part of Swachhata Hi Seva campaign, he also used the opportunity to stress the need for cleanliness and made the participants take a pledge to maintain their environment clean. MKU Vice-Chancellor P.P. Chellathurai, Registrar (in-charge) V. Chinniah and officials of the university and the district administration participated.

27
September


Ex-guest lecturer stabs HoD of Madurai varsity


Source : THE HINDU

A guest lecturer attacked her allegedly because she refused to renew his appointment.

S. Jenefa, an associate professor and Head of Department of Journalism and Science Communication at Madurai Kamaraj University, was stabbed with a knife on Tuesday morning in her office by a disgruntled former guest lecturer of the department, whose employment was discontinued this academic year.

Ms. Jenefa, who sustained cut and stab injuries in 21 places, including her neck and abdomen, is being treated at a private hospital here.

Although she lost a lot of blood, hospital sources said she was out of danger.

The incident happened when Ms. Jenefa entered her office on the second floor of her department’s building after taking attendance in a classroom.

The assailant V. Jothimurugan, 32, followed her and attacked her with a knife, police said.

Hearing her scream, a few students in a nearby classroom rushed to her help and found Ms. Jenefa lying on the floor bleeding, with Jothimurugan standing nearby.

Since a 108 ambulance was kept on standby in MKU for a job fair in progress, Ms. Jenefa was immediately taken to a nearby Primary Health Centre in Nagamalai Pudukottai and subsequently to a multi-speciality hospital in the city.

Some of the students beat up Jothimurugan, but the police intervened and took him into their custody.

The Madurai district police said that Jothimurugan was from Kulamangalam village and an MKU alumnus. He was engaged as a guest lecturer on a temporary basis to mainly handle practicals for students.

He had also enrolled for a part-time Ph. D programme at the Centre for Film and Electronic Media Studies in MKU, after an unsuccessful attempt to register for Ph. D at the Department of Journalism and Science Communication with Ms. Jenefa as his research guide. The faculty at DJSC, headed by Ms. Jenefa, decided not to renew his engagement as guest lecturer this academic year because of his reported inefficiency in handling classes and alleged inappropriate behaviour with a staff member, university sources said.

Recalling that he continued to visit Ms. Jenefa seeking a reappointment, a senior faculty member said that the two had a heated argument on Monday after Jothimurugan came to know that two others had been engaged as guest lecturers.

Family issues

Police sources said that Jothimurugan’s marital relationship had strained after his wife and her family came to know about his status of employment status.

MKU Vice-Chancellor P.P. Chellathurai, who visited Ms. Jenefa at the hospital, said that Jothimurugan’s enrolment in the part-time Ph. D program would be immediately terminated and a committee would be set up to inquire into the incident. Safety measures in the university would also be improved, he said.

The Nagamalai Pudukottai police said that a case of attempt to murder had been registered against Jothimurugan.

26
September


Residents oppose diversion of drainage into waterbodyy


Source : THE HINDU

Sewage water collected in a pond at Othakadai in the city.


Cadres of Communist Party of India, along with residents of Othakadai, staged a hunger strike on Monday, condemning the action of diverting stagnant drainage water in and around the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court campus into the Rajagambeeram tank on Tirumogur Road.

The protesters claimed that the tank was almost full with sewage water and its bund could be breached or it would overflow if the letting of drainage water into the tank continued. They also alleged that the quality of groundwater in the nearby areas had already shown signs of deterioration.

According to them, the issue started when the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court recently registered its disappointment with Madurai district administration over the continuous accumulation of drainage water on acres of vacant low-lying land to the opposite and adjacent sides of its campus.

Swinging into action, the district administration set up a mechanism to pump the stagnant sewage water into a drainage canal, which in turn, took the water to the tank.

“This is a hasty decision. To address the problem at one place, they cannot create new problems in another place. Is it not reasonable to expect the officials to come up with a sustainable way to address the problem,” said K. Kalidas, district secretary of Communist Party of India and former president of Othakadai panchayat. “A few days back we had a meeting with Tahsildar and Block Development Officer. However, they could not provide any suggestions to address the issue. Hence, we decided to stage a fast,” he said.

Madurai East MLA P. Moorthy, belonging to DMK, also met Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao, urging his immediate intervention to resolve the issue.

While the protesters alleged that the sewage water, earlier stagnating near Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, was coming from different areas of Madurai Corporation, Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar told The Hindu that the Corporation had nothing to do with the problem. “The stagnating water was from Othakadai panchayat,” he said.

Stating that the apprehensions of the protesters that the tank would soon overflow or breach as unfounded, Collector Rao said that the drainage water from several areas of Othakadai panchayat was already being let inside the tank.

“However, I have instructed the officials to thoroughly study the situation and explore the feasibility of diverting the drainage water into Corporation drainage network, as requested by the villagers. If feasible, we would implement it at the earliest,” he said.

25
September


Swachhata Hi Seva campaign gets poor response on 9th day


Source : THE HINDU

Conservancy workers play a crucial role, but citizens’ involvement is not high

The ongoing Swachhata Hi Seva campaign received a wavering response as it entered its 9th day. What began with over 2,000 volunteers on the first day was reduced to about 200 students lending a helping hand in a few parks and on railway station platforms here on Sunday.

Though conservancy workers played a crucial role in cleaning several prominent public spots, citizens’ involvement was not high.

Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao and Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar attempted to popularise the campaign by getting on the ground and cleaning several platforms such as hospitals and schools. The Vaigai mass clean-up on September 21 saw about 7,000 citizen, government officials, private organisations and students of school and college participating. The Madurai Corporation even began competitions on September 21 to encourage residents to clean their areas and paint their walls. They were promised attractive cash prizes too. An official from the Health department of the Madurai Corporation said that they were taking a social media-driven approach towards promoting the campaign.

However, Facebook pages - ‘Madurai Collector’ and ‘Madurai Corporation’ as well as their Twitter handles are not buzzing with ‘Thuimai Selfies’.

On Sunday, Collector, Corporation Commissioner and about 40 students from the College of Allied Medical Sciences, Otthappatti, helped in cleaning the Vandiyur Walker’s Park. The Collector administered the cleanliness oath. Officials and students cleared the park for one hour. Some auto rickshaw drivers too cleaned the area.

S. Muthulakshmi, a warden in the college, said that her students came to this park and cleaned the area once in a month irrespective of ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’.

The Collector said that more participation would be necessary. Mr. Aneesh Sekhar said that the initiative elicited positive response from several residents. Non-governmental organisations such as Lion’s Club and Rotary Club had helped with the cleanliness process.

He said that a mass cleanliness project was slated for September 28 and would see a large public participation. “If we provide opportunities for cleaning, citizens do come and participate,” he said.

23
September


‘Millet consumption on the decline’


Source : THE HINDU

A steady decline in consumption of millets was a matter of growing concern, said speakers at the eighth edition of Madurai Symposium here on Friday.

Entrepreneurs, farmers and scholars discussed emerging trends in processing and value addition of millets. Speaking to The Hindu, M. Karthikeyan, Programme Leader of Rainfed Farming Development at DHAN Foundation, said millet industry faced three problems - low production, difficulties in processing, and lack of popularity among general public.

Millets could be grown in any area were rain-fed crops were raised. They were drought resistant, he said. The theme of the symposium is ‘Building resilience for sustaining growth.’

N. Varadharaju, Head of Post Harvest Technology Centre at Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, said non-availability of subsidies discouraged farmers from raising millets such as proso, barnyard, foxtail and kodo. “Free rice is supplied through Public Distribution System, leading to its large-scale use. Unless this changed and over emphasis on rice is stopped, millets cannot be promoted,” he said. Some policy level changes such as Mission for Sustainable Dryland Agriculture (MSDA) were providing farmers with production and processing inputs, said Mr. Karthikeyan.

Entrepreneurs T. S. Urmila and R. Rajalakshmi, who sell millets in Madurai and Chennai respectively, said lack of awareness kept people away from their products. “Substituting a millet-based item instead of the popular rice or wheat will ensure better health,” said Ms. Urmila from Madurai.

With a view to promoting millets, the DHAN Foundation has taken up a research project in partnership with McGill University, Canada, and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.

22
September


‘Funds sanctioned for new building in World Tamil Sangam’


Source : THE HINDU

MADURAI

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the government to file a counter affidavit within four weeks after its counsel made an oral submission that funds were sanctioned for a new building and developing infrastructure of World Tamil Sangam here.

The government said funds were earmarked for development programmes and about ₹1 crore would be spent on books for the library.

A public interest litigation petition was filed by B. Stalin, advocate, claiming that the aims and objectives of World Tamil Sangam were only on paper and as of now only the building existed and no development activity took place. Some of the objectives of the Sangam were to integrate world Tamil organisations, publish a Tamil encyclopedia in foreign countries, form Chairs in universities around the world, start Tamil research centres and conduct seminars and workshops.

21
September


Drivers say no to speed governors


Source : THE HINDU

Drivers and owners of commercial and tourist vehicles submit a petition to officials at Collectorate

About 50 drivers and owners of commercial and tourist vehicles gathered at the Collectorate here on Wednesday to submit a petition against compulsory use of speed governors in vehicles.

Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, earlier this year, made it mandatory for transport vehicles to fix speed limiting devices (SLDs).

The Supreme Court ordered that as per amendments to Rule 118 of the Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1989, speed governors should be fitted in transport vehicles with a maximum speed limit of 80 k.m. an hour, particularly on national highways.

The petitioners deplored that they did not receive fitness certificates from their respective Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) despite installing SLDs.

“First, we installed one bought for ₹2,500. Some RTOs accepted it, others did not. We switched over to ₹9,000 speed governors. They were registered,” said R. Arumugam.

He asserted that a large number of accidents happened because of private vehicles driving at a speed of 140 km an hour without following safety measures. “Either, they should have speed governors installed or this rule should not be implemented,” he said.

An RTO official from Madurai (Central) said that SLDs were approved by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). “The cost of speed governor does not matter.

There are appropriate speed governors for different vehicles. The government order has stated it clearly. Drivers must fit the one that is applicable to their vehicles,” he said.

He added that most of the commercial vehicles did not possess basic safety measures like anti-lock braking system and air bag. Most drivers did not wear seat belts.

He added that all vehicles ought to possess speed governors in order to prevent fatalities.

20
September


Judges team visits Keezhadi site


Source : THE HINDU

Takes stock of progress made thus far

Justice M.M. Sundresh and Justice N. Sathish Kumar of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court inspected the excavation site at Keezhadi near Madurai on Tuesday, in connection with a public interest litigation that the two-judge Bench has been hearing with regard to the preservation of the excavated artefacts, the construction of an on-site museum and a few other issues related to the excavation.

The judges enquired about the progress made thus far in the excavation, which is being carried out since 2015 at the site, the different types of artefacts excavated so far, the consequent inferences made about the history of the place, and the procedures adopted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for excavation, analysis and preservation of artefacts.

Explaining the details to the judges, P.S. Sriraman, Superintending Archaeologist, Excavations Branch (Bangalore), ASI, said that the excavations so far had indicated that intensive human habitation in the area was roughly about 40 to 50 acres in size.

He, however, told the judges that the artefacts found so far have not given any clear indication about the type of settlement, i.e. whether it was urban or industrial. He said that while the charcoal sample sent earlier for carbon dating had fixed the time of settlement at around 200 B.C., a charcoal sample collected near a fragmentary wall during the ongoing third season of excavation, in a layer below the earlier excavated level, could push the time further behind by a century or two.

He also explained the difficulties in excavating the roughly 100-acre earmarked site at Keezhadi, of which only around 2,500 square metres have been excavated so far, since it was agricultural land owned by farmers in the area.

19
September


Plea for permission to studyon Gandhi Museum campus


Source : THE HINDU

“The authorities know very well that we use the premises only for studying”

Condemning the decision of Gandhi Museum authorities to ban aspirants of competitive examinations from using the museum premises to study for exams, around 100 aspirants petitioned Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao on Monday requesting his intervention in revoking the ban.

S. Swapna, a transwoman, who is aspiring to crack Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission Group I examination, said the ban was imposed after a group of youngsters belonging to different movements tried to enter the premises last week to protest against National Eligibility-cum Entrance Test.

“However, the authorities are just using that as a reason to deny us permission. They know very well that we use the premises only to study and not protest for anything,” she said.

A. Azhagumurugan, another aspirant, said the open spaces under shades of trees at Gandhi Museum and Madurai Corporation provided them peaceful ambience to study for the examination. “Most of us come from economically poor background. It is difficult to study at home,” he said.

Here, we can exchange information with fellow aspirants, which is crucial for the preparation.

For instance, some aspirants would be making their second or third attempt for a particular examination. Hence, that person can share the experience,” he added.

A. Vignesh, another aspirant, said they also shared study material, which cannot be bought by all. Pointing out that the city lacked such public spaces, he said that it was unfair to restrict entry to the few available places.

Collector Rao assured the youngsters to favourably consider their demand.

18
September


Encroachments removed at Arapalayam


Source : THE HINDU

Minister for Cooperation Sellur K. Raju flagged off a rally, as part of ‘Swachhata hi Seva,’ a mass cleanliness and sanitation drive, at the Collectorate on Sunday.

Hundreds of conservancy workers, National Cadet Corps (NCC) and National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers from various institutions marched on the streets with placards on the importance of personal hygiene.

Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao and Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar also participated in the programme. They supervised removal of encroachments in Arapalayam. Heavy machinery was used to clear stormwater drains to make way for rainwater to reach the Vaigai river.

Work on construction of 30 community toilets also started on Sunday.

The Swachhata hi seva rally began on September 15 as part of the Swachh Bharat initiative.

The series of events will conclude on October 2, coinciding with Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary celebration.

The Collector, while addressing the press, said officials from the District Rural Development Agency, Public Works Department and Forest Department were working on Vaigai Restoration Project. A five-part work - clearing encroachments; solid and liquid waste management; removal of Prosopis juliflora trees; clearing supply channels and outlets; and strengthening boundaries - would be taken up.

Conservancy workers would visit hospitals, schools, colleges, vegetable markets and industries to raise awareness of cleanliness and hygiene. On Monday, they would visit hospitals.

15
September


‘172 child abuse cases reported in 20 months’


Source : THE HINDU

Stating that 172 cases of child abuse were booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in the past 20 months in Madurai district, Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao said that stringent action was being taken against the offenders in every reported case and adequate protection and rehabilitation were being provided to the affected children.

Speaking at the ‘Bharat Yatra’ rally organised by Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation against child sexual abuse and trafficking here on Thursday, he said that while 99 cases were reported in 2016, the number stood at 73 till August this year.

The district administration, through the District Child Protection Unit and other departments, was consistently carrying out awareness programmes for various stakeholders, including the police, government departments, village health nurses and community groups.

Awareness programmes were also being organised for nursery and primary school children, who were more vulnerable to abuse.

“There are nearly 5.22 lakh school children. Even a single case of abuse should be treated as a blot on society,” the Collector said.

The foundation’s managing director, Rahul Shrawat, who led the rally here, said the main objective of the rally was to move towards a situation where no child in the country was subjected to abuse.

14
September


Desilting of entry channel of fishing harbour under way


Source : THE HINDU

After a decade, desilting of entry channel to Thoothukudi fishing harbour is being carried out. The deposit of silt close to the channel often caused damage to propellers of boats. With the aid of earth movers, silt and sediments had been removed, sources said.

According to A. Sangu Pichaiya, Vice-President, Thoothukudi Mechanised Boat Owners’ Association, propellers of more than 100 boats suffered damage after crossing this channel in shore waters off the harbour.

Several boat owners were destined to incur huge expenditure to replace the damaged propellers. One of the four leaves of the propellers often broken and crew on board knew only after three or four hours at mid sea, he told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

On many occasions, the damaged boats turned immobile at sea and they had to be towed with the aid of other boats. It was not the only reason for propellers getting damaged, but also due to boulders getting dropped into sea accidentally from barges.

Besides incurring an expenditure of ₹50,000 for towing a damaged boat, the boat owner needs to shell out ₹1.30 lakh for replacing a propeller.

As for M. Dharmapitchai, president, Thoothukudi Mechanised Boat Fishermen Labourers’ Association, desilting was carried out before tsunami struck when DMK was in power. The draft in shore waters close to the channel became lower since the silt was not removed and resultantly most of the big boats touched the sea bottom.

Joint Director of Fisheries R. Amal Xavier said desilting was being done with funds from Thoothukudi Fishing Harbour Management Society.

13
September


USIC set up in Alagappa University


Source : THE HINDU

To give a new impetus to research activities

The Alagappa University has established a state-of-the-art University Science Instrumentation Centre (USIC) on its science campus here on Tuesday, giving a new impetus to research activities.

Prof. S.P. Thyagarajan, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras, and Professor of Eminence and Dean (Research), Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, declared open the facility, at a function.

Prof. S. Subbiah, Vice-Chancellor, Alagappa University, said sophisticated instruments had been made available under one roof at the USIC to take standard of the state-of-the-art of scientific research facilities at the university to new high.

Research scholars in the University and in the region could get access to the facility all the time, he said. The USIC has modern instruments worth ₹9 crore and instruments and equipment such as XPS – X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Nano LCMS and TEM, all worth ₹10 crore would be added soon, he said.

Emphasising that researchers should contribute something tangible to the society, he exhorted the student community to make the best use of the instruments and equipment for promotion of research.

Prof. Thyagarajan said that he was extremely happy to declare open the centre on the campus with the state-of-the-art infrastructure. The university had made a remarkable achievement by raising the infrastructure to the international level. This became possible only because of the basic work culture prevailing among the faculty, administrative staff and the students, he said.

Prof V. Balachandran, Registrar in-charge, Mr. Ranganathan Raghavan, General Manager, Government Business and Advocacy, and Dev Chandran, Fast Track Leader, GE Health Care Life Sciences, were among others addressed the function.

Alagappa University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Wipro GE Health Care Private limited, Bengaluru, for promotion of scientific research in the areas of healthcare, bio-informatics and bio-technology.

09
September


81 NEET protestors sent to judicial custody


Source : THE HINDU

A majority of them are college students

A total of 81 youngsters, of whom a majority were college students, were sent to judicial custody for taking part in protests against the National Eligibility-cum Entrance Test (NEET) near Tamukkam Grounds and Alagarkoil Road on Thursday.

The protesters, detained from the two places on Thursday morning, were produced in the early hours of Friday by Madurai City police before a magistrate, who remanded them in judicial custody. While five girls in the group were sent to Madurai Central Prison, the remaining were sent to a jail in Dindigul.

According to the police, tens of youngsters gathered near Tamilannai statue in front of Tamukkam Grounds on Thursday morning, heeding a call by a group called Students’ Federation Against NEET, which is a coalition of a number of activist groups.

More than 50 youth were forcefully evicted from the venue by the police subsequently. A similar group, including many school students, who gathered later in the day on Alagarkoil Road, were also detained.

The city police said that barring those under 18 years of age others from the two groups were remanded in judicial custody in separate cases booked in Tallakulam police station under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those dealing with unlawful assembly, rioting, criminal conspiracy and assaulting or using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his or her duty.

Condemning the arrest, R. Murali, State general secretary, Tamil Nadu-Puducherry, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, who visited the arrested youth on Friday, said, “It was a peaceful, non-violent gathering of students in support of social justice, which is denied through NEET. The arrest would only end up instigating the youngsters further,” he said.

Alleging that the arrest was irrational, he said that those who took part in similar protests in other places against NEET were detained and let off in the evening. He also blamed the police for keeping the youngsters under detention throughout the night and failing to inform their families.

However, a senior official from Madurai City police, blamed the arrested youth for non-cooperation in giving their addresses and contact numbers. “Moreover, all were subjected to thorough medical check up, which resulted in the delay,” he said.

Meanwhile, on Friday, a group of students from Madurai Kamaraj University College staged a sit-in protest on their campus against NEET and condemning the arrest of youngsters.

07
September


A tank being desilted after 325 years


Source : THE HINDU

It encompasses a mango-shaped swimming pool at one corner near Aranmanai

Mugavai oorani, a massive waterbody with a spread of 22.76 acres, at the centre of the town behind ‘Aranmanai’ (palace) is being desilted and given a facelift for the first time in 325 years.

The tank, dug during the reign of Vijaya Ragunatha Kilavan Sethupathy, the first Raja of Ramnad, between 1675 and 1710, had been serving as a perennial drinking water source for residents before it accumulated silt and turned dry.

The waterbody, encompassing a mango-shaped swimming pool at one corner near Aranmanai for the king to relax, had been a treat to the eyes but turned an eyesore in the last four years after it became dry.

Former Collector K. Nanthakumar made an attempt to renovate the waterbody, but the work came to a halt after complaints of indiscriminate removal of earth. Now after the government passed an order on April 27, allowing public and farmers to remove silt from waterbodies, Collector S. Natarajan launched full-fledged renovation of the oorani.

“This is the first time in 325 years that the oorani is renovated with levelling of the bunds on a large scale,” said M.S. Karunanidhi, vice- president of Tamil Sangam, whose house is located on the bank of the waterbody. The mango-shaped swimming pool was an architectural marvel, he said and urged the Collector to preserve it.

Stating that the swimming pool - 48 ft. long and 42 ft. wide - was being covered up during the ongoing renovation, he urged the Collector to preserve the structure. The king and his wives had access to the pool through underground stairs from the palace and the stairs were still intact, he said.

“It’s not a just desilting work but a beautification project”, said Mr. Natarajan. The district administration plans to plant saplings on the bunds on all four sides and provide pathway for walkers. The swimming pool structure was not disturbed, he said. Neelakandi oorani, another major drinking water source, was also being desilted. It went dry last year and became a venue for hosting a three-day cricket tournament few months ago.

After the government came out with the April 27 GO, 1,432 waterbodies in the district had been desilted - a majority of them in the last four months. They could start storing water from the coming north-east monsoon, the Collector said.

05
September


Kids release the books written for them at book fair


Source : THE TIMES OF INDIA

Madurai: It was a different set up at Gandhi Museum on September 1 when the 12th Madurai Book Fair was inaugurated at Tamukkam grounds. A bit away from the book fair venue, 70 children of various age groups had assembled, holding a story book each.

M Prasanna, studying Class 6 in a city school gingerly narrated the story of a fox from the book 'Nariyum Poorikattayum' in the Madurai slang, attracting a lot of laughter and glee from his peers. Upon finishing his story, he asked others to share the stories from the books in their hands.

Books for Children, a wing of Bharathi Puthakalayam, a publishing house along with 'Kalakala Vagupparai' movement arranged this novel method of releasing children books. "I took the entire day to read the story 'Yarange Paduvadu' and it was quite interesting," exclaimed S Sivakami, studying Class 5 at Madurai east panchayat union primary school.

Fifty Tamil fiction and non-fiction books including books on children psychology, as well as Russian books translated in Tamil were released at this children book release function. "We have fixed the price as Rs 50 per book and a 20% discount can be availed if the total amount exceeds Rs 200 at the 12th Madurai Book Fair," said K Nagarajan of Bharathi Puthakalayam.

Explaining the initiative, R Siva, a teacher and founder of Kalakala Vagupparai said that creative mind is not only important for children, but for teachers also. The movement started using social networking site Facebook and has over 5,000 followers today, where they discuss about engaging students in a different manner using folklore, drawing, drama and art in classes. "We have handed over the books to children two days ago and asked them to read it. They were asked to narrate the story in their terms and authors like me had an eye-opening session by getting feedback from the children", he said.

Most of the children who participated in the book release were from 'Madurai Seed' an organisation for underprivileged children. "This innovative method of releasing books will develop the creativity and critical minds of our children," said A S Karthik Bharathi, president of the organisation.

04
September


Four-lane Ring Road work starts


Source : THE HINDU

27.2-km-long bottleneck with numerous potholes is to be relaid with bus bays, major improvements

There is some good news for vehicle users taking the Inner Ring Road connecting Uthangudi with Kappalur, a vital link between southern and northern districts - the narrow road, notorious for its numerous potholes, is getting widened at last.

Tamil Nadu Road Infrastructure Development Corporation has begun work on making it a four-lane highway. The narrow road, laid in the late 1990s on the fringes of Madurai, was aimed at decongesting city roads. However, after four-laning of highways from southern districts to Chennai and Bengaluru, the 27.2-km-long Ring Road remained a bottleneck as the cash-strapped Madurai Corporation did not allow National Highways Authority of India to take over the road for four-laning. The toll collection was a major source of income for the civic body.

However, after the High Court banned the Corporation from collecting toll, it came forward to widen it. The State government awarded the work to the State Highways that eventually rendered the narrow stretch in a mess with huge and innumerable potholes for several months as the Corporation stopped maintaining it thereafter.

“Two-wheeler riders are the worst affected due to the potholes and rash driving of heavy vehicles. In their attempt to overtake other vehicles, drivers of heavy vehicles often force us (coming in the opposite direction) to the unpaved shoulders which are also in a worse condition,” said M. Muthukumar (22), a carpenter from Yagappa Nagar.

His friend, P.N. Surya (19), said the potholes and patch work made the road bumpy and two-wheelers often wobbled on the narrow road margin. “It becomes very dangerous to closely follow any car, as potholes take us by surprise and make us lose control of the vehicle,” he said.

A lorry driver from Tiruchi, M. Sundaram (21), said he had not seen any other road in such a poor condition. “It takes us at least an hour to cross this stretch. Overtaking is not possible due to the heavy traffic on the narrow road,” he said.

Lorries also lose a lot of diesel due to frequent changing of gears. The potholes cause quicker wear and tear of tyres.

Airport link too

Despite the Ring Road being the main link to all major highways from Madurai airport and frequented by VIPs, the condition of the road has not improved much.

“The new road will be on a par with four-lane highways of the NHAI on many aspects,” said a source in State Highways. Besides widening the road, the department would put up a median to prevent head-on collision.

Almost three years after late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced the project, the construction work has begun. The project, taken up at a cost of ₹200 crore, is expected to be completed by April 2019. However, the authorities are confident of throwing it open for traffic earlier.

Hundreds of men and huge machinery are involved in digging the roadside and filling it up with different layers – from fine earth to wet mix macadam (WMM)– before two bituminous layers are laid.

“As of now foundation work for 21.8 km has been taken up. Culverts, minor and major bridges and road overbridges will be taken up in the coming months,” the officer said.

The officials have planned to deploy different teams for different works and different stretches. The ROB works at Kappalur and near Rameswaram highway are expected to begin next month.

Vaigai bridge work

“The confirmatory soil test on Vaigai riverbed for the bridge work is expected to be completed in a couple of weeks after which it will be taken up simultaneously,” he added.

The project would be taken up on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) mode. Though five toll gates were there earlier, the officials are yet to decide on the number of toll plazas planned for the four-lane road.

The existing Ring Road has only 7.5 metres of two-way carriageway with 1.5 metres of shoulders on both sides. The widened road will have two carriageways of 7.5-metres each and similar paved shoulders with a 1.5-metre-wide median.

Even the older road would be dug up for nearly 15 inches and three layers of WMM and bitumen would be relaid. “In short, road users will have a totally new surface of road that will save time and fuel,” the officer added.

The onset of monsoon and work on shifting huge sewer lines of Madurai Corporation for nearly seven km on two stretches were holding up the work. “The Corporation officials have promised to expedite the work,” the officer said.

Among the new features would be provision of bus bays at 12 spots and major improvement of road junctions to ensure safety for vehicle users. Another major feature will be provision of drainage-cum-pedestrian walk for 400 metres on either side of the road near Pandikoil for the convenience of the large number of devotees visiting the temple.

01
September


BLUE WHALE CHALLENGE TAMIL NADU A family’s dream shattered


Source : THE HINDU

Vignesh was their hope for a good future

The untimely death of Vignesh has come as a huge blow to his family. All their dreams for him have come crashing down. He was their hope for a good future.

His death has rendered the sacrifice of his elder brother, J. Sathyamoorthy, useless. The youth chose to drop out of school and shoulder the family’s responsibility, taking up a job at a textile shop so that Vignesh could continue his studies.

“Vignesh was always very cheerful. His house had been our hangout for many days in the last few years,” said one of his friends, Pon Sudhan.

A die-hard fan of actor Ajith Kumar, Vignesh could not stand any criticism of the tinsel town hero. “He would get angry with us if we criticised the actor,” he said.

The deceased, who was using a basic model phone earlier, recently bought a smart phone. It is believed that he downloaded the Blue Whale game about a fortnight ago.

Change in behaviour

“Over the last week there was just one change in him: he did not attend my calls. I did not find any other change in his behaviour in the college. Now, in retrospect, I think he was not his usual excited self the last few days.”

Sudhan says that he too tried to download the Blue Whale game on his smartphone, but got some other game instead. “However, I got bored and deleted it,” he added.

His father Jeyamani and mother Daisy Rani were inconsolable as they waited for the post-mortem to be conducted at the government hospital in Tirumangalam. “I know he was playing some game. But, whenever I asked him, he showed some cartoon character to convince me. I never thought he was playing a deadly game,” his mother cried.

His father was shattered as the dream and joy of producing the family’s first graduate came to an abrupt end.

Sathyamoorthy said he noticed his brother slipping out of the bed sometimes after everyone in the family retired for the night at around 11 p.m. “I waited for his return and asked him, but he said nothing.”

When Madurai District Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao tried to console the bereaved family, the parents wanted him to bring to book the administrators of the Blue Whale game, so that there would be no further victims.

30
August


Madurai boy shoots five gold medals at one go


Source : THE HINDU

The athlete father R. Bharatidasan wanted his son B. Dharsan to become a great swimmer. But, Dharsan developed a liking for shooting as he had to cross Madurai Rifle Club on his way to the swimming pool in Race Course ground.

Though Mr. Bharatidasan, a head constable with the Armed Reserve of Madurai Rural district, wanted Dharsan to concentrate on swimming, fate had a different story for him.

“Once he met with a minor accident and was medically advised not to take to swimming pool for three months. Then, I had to take him to the Rifle Club,” recalls Mr. Bharatidasan. After two years of sheer determination and hard work, Dharsan has brought laurels to Madurai with five gold medals in the recently concluded 9th South Zone Shooting Championship held in Chennai.

Shooters from five southern States and two union territories took part in the event.

“I won five gold medals in individual events and four gold and one silver in team events,” the 7th standard boy from a city school said.

The boy secured 389 out of 400 points in 0.177 Peep Sight Air Rifle (10 metres) event. “This score was good enough for him to get gold medals in sub-junior, youth, junior men, men and ISSF Youth categories,” his father said.

“His coach says swimming has helped him to have relaxed muscles, much-needed for holding rifles,” he said.

Despite his limited resources, Mr. Bharatidasan has bought him a second-hand rifle for ₹1.60 lakh and was spending a significant amount of money on his practice.

On his part, the 12-year-old boy has sacrificed his desire of playing games on mobile phone to save his eyesight.

“I am not allowed to play on mobile phone for more than three minutes,” he says with a disappointment.

“Madurai Rifle Club gives him all possible help to groom him,” he said.

Mr. Bharatidasan himself has joined the Rifle Club to learn the nuances of the sport to provide additional coaching to his son.

“I am grooming my son not with an eye on a seat on sports quota in professional courses, but to see him victorious on an international platform,” he said.

28
August


Vinayaka idol procession peaceful


Source : THE HINDU

Thanks to a huge deployment of police personnel and elaborate security arrangements

Around 200 Vinayaka idols were taken out in a procession through all the four Masi Streets in the city and immersed in the small pond-like structure dredged in the Vaigai river on Sunday, marking the end of the Chathurthi celebrations.

The procession was largely peaceful owing the huge deployment of police personnel and elaborate security arrangements throughout the procession route. Minor tension prevailed since passion run high for the participants of the procession, when it crossed the mosque on the West Masi Street. However, no untoward incident happened, police said.

Idols kept in various parts of the city were earlier assembled on East Masi Street, where the procession began. The police had a tough time making the procession move faster since participants kept dancing to the drums and other music arranged by many groups that took part in the rally.

The police eventually had to ask many of these groups to stop playing music so that the procession could move faster.

A considerable number of people, particularly women and children, had gathered on both sides of the streets to witness the rally.

Commissioner of Police Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) V. Sasi Mohan were present at the venue to oversee the security arrangements.

Police sources said that apart from the nearly 200 idols immersed in the Vaigai, another 30 Vinayaka idols installed for Chathurthi in areas around Avaniyapuram and Tirupparankundram were immersed in tanks in the respective areas.

21
August


Farmers look at ‘murungai’ tree for miracles


Source : THE HINDU

Products made from it in Madurai are sold across South Asia, Canada and European countries

“Murungai undavan verum kaiyyai povan (Those who eat ‘murungai’ will go empty handed)” is a popular saying in the villages of south Tamil Nadu. A superficial reading of this will suggest that a person eating ‘murungai’ regularly will have nothing in his hand. But the actual meaning is that the person will not require any support, especially a stick, to walk even in his 70s. There was a time when each house had a ‘murungai’ tree in the backyard and its leaves were consumed regularly to lead a healthy life.

‘Murungai’ as a dependable crop is gaining acceptance in Madurai district after being hit by successive drought years. A recent research undertaken at Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai, shows that disenchanted farmers, who started small industrial units in villages around Usilampatti, have returned to their farms, encouraged by success in ‘murungai’ cultivation.

A.P. Alagarsamy, who lives closer to Madurai district at Pallapatti, is an outstanding example of how one can reap benefits in murungai. His chance reading of ancient Tamil writings on traditional herbs led this Ph.D. holder in Education Technology to organic farming.

Not satisfied with the behaviour of traditional varieties of ‘murungai’, he developed his own high-yielding variety – Pallapatti Alagarsamy Vellimalai Murugan (PAVM) – by using air layering method with assistance from Horticultural College and Research Institute, Periyakulam. This variety is now raised in many States and has also travelled to countries like Cuba and Nigeria. His model farm at Pallapatti near Vadipatti has so far supplied about one crore ‘murungai’ saplings to farmers in the last two decades.

“It is not enough that we alone enjoy the benefits of ‘murungai’. People in other parts of the world should also have access to it at least in the form of powder,” says Mr. Alagarsamy. This wish has been fulfilled by a Madurai agripreneur, R. Saravanakumaran, through his successful venture, Miracletree Life Science, located on Palamedu Road at Milagaranai.

His enterprise’s focus is on introducing organically grown ‘murungai’ to all parts of the world through value addition. “We have tested the quality of ‘murungai’ in internationally recognised laboratories to confirm whether it is a ‘miracle tree’. All tests have corroborated the claims made in ancient Tamil literature – ‘murungai’ has 90 nutrients, 18 amino acids and 36 antioxidants,” says Mr. Saravanakumaran.

He markets 10 value-added ‘murungai’ products, including an energy bar, leaf tablet and oil. “Even after getting laboratory results, I test the product with my children before marketing it,” he says. Today, ‘murungai’ products made in Madurai are sold across South Asia, Canada and European countries.

Murungai offers a win-win situation for both farmer and consumer. “Raising ‘murungai’ with organic practices yields good results. While the yield is consistent throughout the year in red soil, it is high in all other types of soil during summer,” says Mr. Alagarsamy, a winner of many national awards for innovative farm practices.

According to him, it will be easy to reap a profit of ₹10 lakh to ₹15 lakh per acre by raising ‘murungai’ in the organic way. It is also suitable for dry land cultivation, albeit the yield being marginally low. He advises people to consume two grams of ‘murungai’ powder twice a day to enjoy its preventive and curative qualities. He recalls how an ancient Tamil literature asserts that a person will gain the strength of ‘yaali’, a mythical animal supposed to be stronger than elephant, by consuming ‘murungai’ leaves fried in ghee.

Endorsing Mr. Alagarsamy’s views, Mr. Saravanakumaran, who sells organically produced and processed ‘murungai’ products, points out that laboratory tests have shown that ‘murungai’ contains 16 times more potassium than banana; 14 times more calcium than milk and 10 times more Vitamin A than carrot. He says that about 80% of its nutrients will be lost if fried or cooked for a long time. His tip to gain maximum benefit: “Do not cut drumstick into small pieces. Boil longer pieces as you boil idli”.

M. Jeyakumar, Senior Consultant, Tamil Nadu Council for Enterprise Development (TACED), opines that awareness of native products, especially organic products, has gone up after the ‘pro-jallikattu’ agitation. TACED plans to sign a memorandum of understanding on behalf of farmers with Miracletree Life Science to supply ‘murungai’ leaves, drumsticks and flowers for value addition.

14
August


The needy do not go hungry at GRH any more


Source : THE HINDU

The huge number of attendants at this big hospital get subsidised and free food, thanks to Amma Unavagam and an NGO’s initiative

Government Rajaji Hospital here witnesses a steady flow of about 10,000 patients and their attendants every day.

Many, including the likes of V. Hari from Dindigul, whose mother is getting treated for heart ailment, are staying in the hospital for long. Hari has his coffee at the canteen of this big hospital and later rushes to the Amma Unavagam for breakfast. “I must hurry and reach there in five minutes or I’ll miss the idlis,” he says.

Hari hails from a poor farming family and cannot afford to spend much on food. His family is in debts for three years now as crops have failed due to scanty rains. He considers himself lucky on days he eats two square meals.

The steaming hot idlis at the canteen are sold out within minutes of their arrival. “I’ve availed a loan for 40 % interest from a landlord for my mother’s treatment. How can I afford food at city restaurants,” he says.

There are approximately 2,500 beds at the hospital. Each inpatient comes with two or three attendants, say the staff at the Amma Unavagam. A total of 300 curd rice packets costing ₹5 each; 300 sambar rice packets at ₹ 3 each and 1,200 idlis at ₹ one each are sold here.

Members of Pandi Women’s Self-Help Group, which runs the Amma Unavagam, say the breakfast invites a huge crowd. “We are unable to cater to everybody due to the limited supply. Some buy 10-15 idlis in one go. The people in the end of the line are usually disappointed. Lunch, however, is normally available for all,” one of the staff says.

The SHG members have asked their circle managers to increase the current rations to cater to more number of people. “We are yet to get a response,” they say.

The hospital has two canteens. The meals in the afternoon cost 10 times the price at Amma Unavagam. Earlier, people usually filled themselves up with a tea and snack if they could not find the means.

The situation has changed with the introduction of Pasiyilla Madurai, an initiative by the Madurai Corporation and Palakarangal, an NGO, with support from Sri Meenakshi Caterers which contributes food for 500 people daily.

Alima Banu Sikkandhar, founder of the NGO, says despite all their efforts, several people at the GRH continue to go hungry. According to a survey conducted by the organisation, an average of 960 people still require food daily.

“We are looking to increase the number of packets but we need donors. A.M. Ramakrishnan of Meenakshi Caterers gives food free of cost but we continue to expand to other areas. So we need the support of more people. It is common to hear of attendants of poor patients going hungry at the hospital,” she says.

V. Sabari, one of the many attendants who depend on food dished out here, said he had been looking after his friend who was injured in a fire accident in Virudhunagar. “But for the subsidised and free food, people like us will suffer a lot since we cannot afford to have food from restaurants outside the hospital,” he says.

Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar says the number of food packets sold at Amma Canteen is not going to be increased. “If there is a demand, we will ensure that the gap is bridged through Pasiyilla Madurai,” he says.

NGOs are coming together to conduct ‘hunger mapping’ to relieve the city of its hunger.

08
August


Doctors say NEET-SS will rob Tamil Nadu of specialists


Source : TIMES OF INDIA

Madurai: With more super-specialty medical seats being taken away by candidates hailing from outside the state thanks to Tamil Nadu's inclusion in the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (super-specialty), the state may run out of the required number of specialists in the near future, warned Doctors Association for Social Equality. A group of doctors from the association addressing newsmen in the city also insisted that the state government, which is seeking a temporary relief, should take necessary action for permanent exemption from NEET.

General secretary of the association Dr G R Ravindranath said that the prospects of Tamil Nadu students getting into all levels of medical education had been immensely affected because of NEET . He insisted that the state follow in the footsteps of Andhra Pradesh, which had passed laws to avoid sharing the seats with the national pool.

01
August


Madurai to get direct flight to Singapore


Source : THE HINDU

Third international destination to be connected from Madurai after Colombo, Dubai

Madurai is all set to get direct air link to Singapore with Air India showing keen interest to start international flight operation from September 15.

“We have cleared certain constraints at Madurai airport for operation of late night departures to Singapore from Madurai. The services will start after the headquarters of Airport Authority of India cleared the proposal,” said Madurai Airport Director, V.V. Rao.

Air India has proposed to fly to Singapore from Madurai on four days a week. The flight would leave Madurai at around 11.15 p.m. and reach Singapore at 6.15 a.m. In the return direction it would leave Singapore at 10.40 a.m. and reach Madurai at 12.10 p.m.

The constraint in permitting the flight to the new international destination was in extending the airport operations timing beyond 10 p.m. At present, the AAI officials and staff work in two shifts between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.

“However, as the Singapore flight is scheduled to arrive Madurai from Delhi at 9.45 p.m. and depart to Singapore at 11.15 p.m., the airport operation timing has to be extended by over 1.45 hours (including 30 minutes after last departure),” Mr. Rao said.

After airport operations timings, only a skeletal strength of CISF personnel are deployed for taking care of the watch towers, airport terminal building gates, and operating gates and surveillance in and around airport.

“Given its strength, the CISF could not spare their men in the security hold area after 10 p.m.. Now, the issue is cleared with sanction of additional strength for CISF personnel,” Mr. Rao said.

The AAI staff and CISF personnel have now come forward to work for extended hours to meet the passenger requirements of an additional international flight and for the economic growth of the region, he added.

Mr. Rao said that the extended working timings of the airport could also attract other airliners to operate additional services — at least domestic flights — in the nights that could provide convenient connectivity to different destinations.

Game-changer

Senior president of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the Singapore flight service would be game changer for Madurai airport. The new flight will boost economic growth as more industrialists will come forward to invest in the proposed Madurai-Thoothukudi industrial corridor.

Already, two flights to Colombo and one flight to Dubai are being operated from Madurai.

“The additional service will only put the infrastructure available at Madurai airport to good use. Except for manpower, we have all the facilities for round-the-clock operation of the airport,” he added.

Mr. Rethinavelu thanked Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan for taking up the CISF issue with the Union Home Minister.

Additional benefit

The new flight would also give the first direct link for Madurai with New Delhi. “Other flights hop at either Mumbai or Chennai. The direct link will help passengers save more than one hour of travel time,” Mr. Rao said.

28
July


People expect others to be honest: Sagayam


Source : THE HINDU

People in Tamil Nadu certainly expect honesty in public life, although it was time-consuming, said U. Sagayam, Vice-Chairman of Science City in Chennai and former Madurai Collector, while inaugurating classes for the third batch of students at Nermai IAS Coaching Academy here on Thursday.

Stating that honesty had become a dangerous word that invoked fear of getting isolated and boycotted, Mr. Sagayam said the situation was changing as people were beginning to embrace honest people.

Later, referring to a recent meeting organised in Puducherry by Makkal Padhai, an organisation doing social work under his guidance, Mr. Sagayam pointed out how around 5,000 people, predominantly youngsters, waited patiently to hear him even though he reached the venue 2.5 hours late.

Hindi or Tamil

He also recollected his recent deputation as an Election Observer to Uttar Pradesh where all the communications were in Hindi though the District Magistrate there was aware that he did not know Hindi. “At one point, a senior police official asked me to approve a file that was in Hindi. To make him understand, I asked him to bring it in Tamil, to which he replied that he did not know Tamil. Then I told him back that I did not know Hindi,” he said. “I can learn as many languages as possible. However, that should be my choice and should not be imposed on me,” he said.

Alleging that the District Magistrate there did not act on his request to provide an assistant who understood Tamil, Mr. Sagayam said that a young woman Trainee District Magistrate from the State but belonging to UP cadre came to his rescue. “She hailed from a humble family and studied in a Chennai Corporation school,” he said, urging the participants to take inspiration from her and become IAS officers.

Nermai IAS Coaching Academy, which provided free coaching to IAS aspirants with particular focus on differently abled candidates, had been named ‘nermai’(honesty) since that was the quality the country lacked, he said.

S. Ramakrishnan, Director of the Academy, said 50 candidates from poor socio-economic background, including two differently abled persons, had been selected for coaching this year.

M. Davamani Christober, Principal of The American College, where the academy would be conducting classes, appealed to students and IAS aspirants to read books instead of spending time on social media platforms to succeed.

21
July


80 students distribute pamphlets, discuss waste disposal


Source : THE HINDU

In a bid to take the concept of ‘source segregation’ to each household, students of Sri Vidyalayam Matriculation Higher Secondary School in S.S. Colony undertook a door-to-door campaign on Wednesday.

A group of 80 students distributed pamphlets and discussed waste disposal practices with residents. Guhesh. R, a Class XI student, enthusiastically said he would practise waste segregation in his school and at home.

Assistant City Health Officer K. Parthipan, Assistant Commissioner of Zone 1 Arasu, former Councillor R. Lakshmi, volunteers from Enlight Trust and Corporation workers participated in the event.

Mr. Parthipan said the Corporation chose to reach out to schoolchildren as it would have a replicative effect. “Parents, neighbours and other children would be attracted by this exercise and would want to participate. Each person generates half a kg of waste every day. It can be reduced if we pay more attention to segregation techniques,” he said.

Children could be taken to Velakkal dumping yard as part of their educational trip. “Our aim is to ensure 100% waste segregation by October 2 (Gandhi Jayanthi),” he added.

M. Rajadarshini of Enlight Trust, the organisers of the awareness campaign, said they wanted Ward 18 to be a model ward. The area had got 12 tricycles for garbage collection and 25 ‘Swachh Police’ members, who regularly monitor cleanliness of the ward. Residents’ associations had held two meetings on source segregation, she added.

The event was organised in association with Bheema Jewellers.

13
July


Applicant gets passport within 5 hours


Source : THE HINDU

Vikkas will be representing the nation in a sports event

A passport applicant, studying tenth standard and a medallist in swimming in his age group, received his passport within five hours of filing an application online at the Passport Seva Kendra.

He is expected to participate in the ninth Asian Age Group championships to be held in Uzbekistan in September.

P. Vikkas, being trained by Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT), had set a national record in two categories at the 44th Junior National Aquatic Championship organised earlier this month by Swimming Federation of India in Pune.

In this connection, the boy had applied for his passport recently online. On the appointed date, he informed passport authorities at the PSK during interview that he would be representing the nation in a sports event. The officials immediately referred the application to Regional Passport Officer Maniswara Raja.

The process was taken up in top gear and the booklet was ready for delivery the same evening.

Happily, the boy received the passport from the RPO and thanked the personnel for their gesture. He told reporters that he would practise vigorously and bring home laurels from Uzbekistan.

The boy’s coach, Sarojini Devi, said that he had won gold in 50 metres freestyle and silver medals in 50 metres butterfly and 4x100 metres freestyle relay.

05
July


Schools in Madurai told to form Child Protection Clubs


Source : THE HINDU

All schools in Madurai district have been asked to form ‘Child Protection Clubs’ with the objective of encouraging the children to freely discuss the issues they faced. The decision was taken at a recent District Child Protection Committee (DCPC) meeting headed by Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao.

The Collector told The Hindu that the idea was to provide a forum for children to raise issues faced by them, including that of any violence or abuse.

“Apart from this, another key objective was to use these clubs as a vehicle to create awareness among the children of their rights and the support available for them from Childline and other government agencies in case of any trouble,” he said.

“We already have block-level and village-level child protection committees. Having clubs at school-level will help us to reach out to the children more easily,” he said, adding that senior officials from the School Education department, who were also part of the DCPC meeting, had been asked to initiate steps for the formation of clubs at the earliest.

According to officials from the District Child Protection Unit, the clubs will have the headmaster of the respective school, the physical education teacher, three children and parents of two children as its core members.

Highlighting the idea as a pioneering initiative taken by the Social Defence department in the district, M. Viviliyaraja, District Child Protection Officer, said that once the clubs were formed, orientation programmes would be organised by the department on how the clubs could be put to maximum use.

“Since periodic meetings of the clubs will be organised in the presence of DCPU officials, the clubs can also be used to effectively address other issues prevailing in certain schools like lack of toilets, unavailability of purified drinking water or other teaching-related issues,” he said.

Apart from the formation of clubs, it was also decided in the DCPC meeting to collaborate with Madurai Kamaraj University to train college students, who are studying social work or teacher training courses, in child rights issues and utilise their service in turn to create awareness among children at school-level.

30
June


Safety match units to down shutters


Source : THE HINDU

They fear that new tax regime would affect their business

In protest against introduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST) from July 1, safety match industry would go on indefinite closure of their units from Saturday.

M. Paramasivam, president, National Small Match Manufacturers Association, said that the manufacturers had planned to intensify their protest by taking out a rally in Kovilpatti on July 3, staging a demonstration in front of the divisional office of Central Excise on July 4 and rail roko on July 5.

Manufacturers used to pay 6 % excise duty on total goods manufactured through semi-mechanised units, 12 % duty for matches manufactured through fully mechanised units, and 5 % sales tax. Introduction of 5 % GST on non-existent handmade sector was unnecessary and 18 % GST on production of safety matches by semi-mechanised and fully mechanised units was a big burden, he said. Around 100 semi mechanised units, its allied sector comprising 700 units, and 30 fully mechanised units were functioning in parts of Thoothukudi district. Some manufacturing units were operating in parts of Kovilpatti, Kalugumalai, Ettayapuram, Ottapidaram and Vilathikulam.

The workforce consists 90 % of women. Any halt in production would affect livelihood of these workers. The country’s foreign exchange would also be affected as possibility of exports would be hit, he said.

25
June


Madurai Junction gets ‘rail dhaba’


Source : THE HINDU

Gauge conversion till Usilampatti to be completed by March 2018

Gauge conversion of the first section of Madurai-Bodinayakanur metre gauge line till Usilampatti, will be completed by March 2018, according to Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Neenu Ittyerah. The line, one of the last metre gauge routes in Tamil Nadu, was closed in 2011 for conversion.

‘Rail dhaba,’ a food plaza, and water vending machines on Platform 1 of Madurai Junction were inaugurated by Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu from Chennai Central Railway Station through video conferencing on Saturday.

Addressing media persons on the occasion, the DRM spoke of amenities to be provided at the junction. These included a foot-over-bridge and improvements to the Western entry of the junction. She stated that preliminary plans were in place to provide more amenities for the passengers. “Unless we build infrastructure, we cannot provide better service. Without better service, the earnings may not look up,” she said.

The DRM also said the railways had plans to open an all-purpose enquiry counter and bring the Women Facilitation Centre closer to the entrance as women would have easier access to file complaints.

R. Baradwaj, a frequent traveller in the Pandian Express, said that the upkeep of toilets in the train was far from satisfactory. The monsoon also brought with it leaky train roofs and insects such as cockroaches and moths, he complained. Ms. Ittyerah said she had proposed provision of floor mats in the bio-toilets as a temporary measure. She stated that she would also be looking at a more sustainable solution. The Madurai Junction is all set to go solar besides getting an executive A/C lounge, the tender for which would be floated on July 19. Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao was also present.

Tiruchi

The refurbished food plaza at the Tiruchi Railway Junction was formally dedicated to the public by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, through video conferencing from Chennai on Saturday. The food plaza, which was already functional, was spread over an area of 1,158 square feet with vegetarian, non-vegetarian and pastries segments.

P. Kumar, MP, P. Uday Kumar Reddy, Divisional Railway Manager, Tiruchi, were present.

22
June


My elevation came as a bolt from the blue, says Chief justice


Source : THE HINDU

“But I’m thrilled to come a State I loved”

The Chief Justice of Madras High Court Indira Banerjee on Wednesday said news of her elevation to the post came as a bolt from the blue in February since she was tipped to be Chief Justice of Delhi High Court where she got transferred on August 8, 2016 after serving as a judge of Calcutta High Court, her parent court, since February 5, 2002.

“On February 8, when I got a call from Chief Justice of India offering me the position of Chief Justice of Madras High Court, I was not only surprised but absolutely thrilled because I would be able to come to the State which I simply loved,” the Chief Justice told a gathering at a formal welcome accorded in view of her maiden sitting at the High Court Bench here. “Even before my appointment, I used to often come to this State and my visits here were biannual, if not annual, from 2002 to 2016 when I was transferred as a Judge of Delhi High Court from Calcutta. This State has a rich history, it has a rich heritage, it has a very rich culture and has the longest continuing language,” she said.

Stating that she was in the process of learning Tamil and assuring the gathering to speak in the language next time, Ms. Justice Banerjee said: “Learning a new language at this age takes a little time... I am overwhelmed by the warmth, love, affection and the hospitality of people of Tamil Nadu... I assure that I’ll make the utmost endeavour to make this institution excel.

The Chief Justice also said that no stone would be left unturned in maintaining the glory of the prestigious Madras High Court which was respected across the State for its landmark judgements. She hoped that the court would continue to deliver remarkable judgements especially in Constitutional law, Admiral law and intellectual property rights.

Earlier, Additional Advocate General B. Pugazhendhi and office-bearers of Madras High Court Madurai Bench Advocates Association (MAHAA), Madurai Bench High Court Advocates Association (MBHAA), Madurai Bench of Madras High Court Bar Association (MMBA), Madurai Bar Association (MBA) and Women Advocates Association (WAA) welcomed the Chief Justice.

15
June


Vegetable market cleared of encroachments


Source : THE HINDU

In a major drive against encroachments conducted at the wholesale vegetable market near Maatuthavani, Corporation officials from the Town and Country Planning wing evicted as many as 30 shops, which had been set up encroaching the walkway.

Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar had directed the officials to conduct inspection following complaints on encroachments from public and market users.

Special teams led by Assistant Commissioners Rangarajan, Arasu, Kousalambigai and Palanisamy conducted the inspection. The encroachers were warned of legal action. The vegetables were seized from them and later distributed to old age homes and special homes for children with disabilities and orphanages in the city.

The Commissioner has directed the supervisors to keep a tab on all violators and wanted them to discourage encroachers in the initial stage itself, officials said.

A press release said that Dr. Aneesh Sekhar, who inspected the public toilets in Periyar bus stand and Arapalayam on Wednesday, checked the facilities himself. He also directed the contractors to keep the premises clean.

The Commissioner wanted the rental arrears to be collected from shops let out at the earliest besides ensuring that there was no delay in revenue collection to the Corporation.

During inspection, the Commissioner also found the improper upkeep of bus stop shelters in many locations.

He wanted them to be repaired and replaced, wherever required.

Soon after taking charge recently, he had assured to visit all key places, including urban PHCs and maternity homes run by the Corporation. When he visited the Devasagayam Maternity Hospital, he interacted with some of the pregnant mothers enquiring about the facilities and also checked staff availability.

The Corporation had launched waste segregation campaign in the city on the World Environment Day. By collecting biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste separately, it will help in disposal of waste with ease at the Vellakal and Sakkimangalam dumpyard. Moreover, waste segregation was mandatory as the city had been selected for the Smart Cities Project, .

Dr. Aneesh Sekhar had proposed, at a meeting held at Anna Maaligai with health wing officials, to utilise the services of NSS volunteers from colleges to campaign about waste segregation among residents.

As a first step, the Corporation health officials had installed separate dumper bins for collecting plastic waste and others. A campaign would be held on June 17 at various locations to draw the attention of the residents. Every Wednesday, plastic waste would be collected and other wastes would be collected on other days, the release added.

01
June


Phase 2 of kudimaramathu begins in Madurai


Source : THE HINDU

The second phase of kudimaramathu, which aims at carrying out desilting and other maintenance activities in tanks with public participation, was inaugurated in Karisalkulam tank in Sivarakkottai near Tirumangalam here on Sunday by Revenue Minister R. B. Udhayakumar.

After inaugurating the work, orders were also handed to farmers granting them permission to lift alluvial soil from the tank as per recent orders of Tamil Nadu government, which allowed farmers, potters and general public to make use of the fertile alluvial soil from tanks and lakes by obtaining due permission and paying a nominal charge.

Speaking at the function, Mr. Udhayakumar said that the first phase of the kudimaramathu had received overwhelming welcome from the public.

Pointing out that maintenance work had been carried out in 1,519 tanks across the State at a cost of ₹ 100 crore in the first phase, he said that the work in Madurai district was carried out in 72 places with a budget of ₹ 5.85 crore.He said that the second phase of the scheme, for which ₹ 300 crore has been allocated, will include 2,200 tanks in Tamil Nadu.

Officials said that ₹30 lakh has been allocated for maintenance work under kudimaramathu in Karisalkulam tank, which has an area of 109 hectares and a capacity of holding 30 mcft of water.

Madurai Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao, who presided over the function, said that permission for lifting of alluvial soil will be granted in 1,194 lakes and tanks in the district.

30
May


Villagers find pond water on rock bed pure and better


Source : THE HINDU

Realise it is their duty to protect pond, instead of waiting for help from government

A natural pond, formed over a rock bed at Pulipatti on the foothills of Alagar Hills, has been a major drinking water source decades before 90-year-old Nevi, a farm worker, was born.

Today, after years of neglect, it is a glowing example of what self-help can do to a community. Last week, villagers joined together to remove silt from the pond, working from 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m., for three days. While the surface water contaminated by waste was pumped into a nearby waterbody, which is utilised for washing and bathing, people removed silt to make the water clean and clear. As usual, they draw water from the pond for cooking and drinking.

“The pond water is pure and better than what we get from the handpump installed by the civic body,” says N. Chinnamma, who lent a hand in desilting the waterbody. Water supply by the panchayat is erratic and people have to wake up as early as 3 a.m. to get water on many days, says R. Ponnammal.

People who know the history of the pond realise that it is their duty to protect it, instead of waiting for help from government. Nevi, who lives close by, recalls how her ancestors, driven by famine, migrated to this region from Kalayarkoil in the present Sivaganga district. “They were actually searching for water when a fully drenched palm civet (mara naai) appeared in front of them. They were led to a place where my forefathers saw a tiger in a pond. As the tiger ran into the forest, they named the rock bed on which they found the animal as Puliparai and the village Pulipatti.” Since then Puliparai has not gone dry and people have been drawing water from it for drinking.

The Puliparai initiative, though isolated, has a message for residents of Madurai city.

25
May


Youths’ contribution ensures desilting of irrigation tank


Source : THE HINDU

“If PWD joins us, we can easily desilt all four tanks in our village”

Without waiting for the Public Works Department’s assistance for desilting a systemised irrigation tank in their village, residents of Pottal near Palayamkottai have mobilised funds to complete desilting of the waterbody in their hamlet hoping that the forthcoming southwest monsoon would revive farming operations in and around their hamlet.

Whenever the farmers would appeal to the PWD officials during the monthly grievance redressal meetings to desilt the irrigation tanks in their villages or repair the damaged shutters, the monotonous reply they would normally get would be the requests would get fulfilled on getting funds from the government. However, situation would not change for sure for the next couple of years despite repeated attempts made by the farmers concerned.

And, the ongoing ‘kudimaraamaththu’ has also failed to excite the farmers as desilting or renovation of only 106 waterbodies and associated channels have been selected to be executed on the outlay of ₹6 crore while the district has 2,518 irrigation tanks, including 1,221 systemised and 1,297 non-systemised tanks.

Having been aware of the reality, a group of 30 youths from Pottal near Palayamkottai, all working with private firms and still continuing farming operations in their ranches, have contributed ₹30,000 for desilting one of the four irrigation tanks close to their village.

“When we struggled a lot to remove the water weeds and thorny bushes grown inside the smallest tank, we’d to hire an earthmover for ₹10,000 a day and the desilting of this waterbody is nearing completion. If the PWD joins hands with us, we can easily desilt all the four tanks in our village,” said D. Suresh, a private bank employee from Pottal, who is also involved in the work.

Along with the youths, the school students are also enthusiastically involved in the work.

Farmer Kanagaraj of Pottal said that all four tanks near the hamlet, getting water from Palayam Channel, were nourishing the crops, mostly paddy and plantain cultivated on 3,000 acres in Pottal, Vellakovil and Keezhanattham.

“Now, the desilting has revived our hopes that the nature would bless the efforts of our youths and bring water to the now bone dry irrigation tanks during southwest monsoon,” Mr. Kanagaraj said.

22
May


It’s a mad scramble for seats in arts colleges


Source : THE HINDU

With a deluge of applications, 38 arts and science colleges in Madurai struggle to meet demand

With the announcement of Plus Two State board results 10 days ago, the annual admission fever has reached its peak across Tamil Nadu and Madurai is no exception.

As has been the trend over the past few years, with the interest towards arts and science courses consistently on the rise, the 38 arts and science colleges in Madurai, particularly those in the city, are struggling to cater to the demand with the flooding of applications.

Sources at American College and Lady Doak College said the number of applications they received had crossed 10,000 by the middle of last week. The trend is not confined to aided colleges. D. Sarala Thambavani, Principal, Sri Meenakshi Government Arts College for Women, said that while they usually printed 10,000 application forms, they had printed a couple of thousand more this year anticipating the increase in demand. “Though a majority of the applicants are from Madurai district, we are also receiving a large number of applications from neighbouring districts,” Ms. Thambavani said.

Academicians say that, continuing with the trend, the demand has been more for Commerce, English Literature and Mathematics courses.

“At least in our college, I can observe a gender-wise trend. While boys preferred Commerce, girls opt for English Literature and Mathematics, since many plan to do a postgraduate course and get a government job,” said M. Kannan, Principal, Saraswathi Narayanan College.

Students find it tough

Many of the students The Hindu spoke to expressed apprehension that they may not get admission to the desired course in a good college despite scoring reasonably high marks. “The number of quality colleges seemed to be quite low compared to the demand. I have scored more than 85% marks. But, in two colleges, I was denied application forms for commerce course,” said N. Selvameena, a student from Sellur.

M. Yogalakshmi from Karumbalai, whose mother is the sole breadwinner of the family, said she scored 1,002 marks and intend to do Mathematics. “I have applied in two popular colleges in the city. However, the colleges have told me that the prospects of getting admission in government-aided category was limited. My family cannot afford a self-financing course,” she said.

Acknowledging the high demand, Ms. Thambavani pointed out that while the college had roughly 1,000 seats on offer, the applications received was 10 to 12 times the number.

She, however, added that the college tried its best to accommodate meritorious students to the maximum extent possible. “For instance, if our capacity for Commerce is 60. We seek permission from Madurai Kamaraj University to accommodate 10% more students,” she added.

Lack of transparency

A section of students and parents also alleged lack of transparency in the admission process in many of the colleges. “They are asking us to submit the applications and wait for the publication of selection lists. Meanwhile, some students get calls from the college in between with offers of spot admissions in self-financing courses. Everything is perplexing,” said A. Selvendiran, who had come for admission for his son at a private college.

Some students also alleged lack of communication about admission process. M. Karthika from a government school who scored 1,031 said she came all the way from Oddanchatram in Dindigul district on Saturday to get application from a government college in the city, but was disappointed to see that the counters were closed.

“After coming here, I came to know that applications were being issued even before the announcement of Plus Two results. Now, I am worried if I will get an application,” she said.

Some of the colleges The Hindu spoke to, however, rejected the allegations of lack of transparency. A. Mercy Pushpalatha, Principal, Lady Doak College, said they had made the entire application process online and helplines had been provided for students and parents. “We do not do any spot admissions for self-financing courses unlike other colleges. We stringently follow the government norms and admissions are done only as per merit,” she said.

"To avoid confusion for CBSE students, whose Plus Two results are yet to be announced, we have also decided to keep 10 % seats in all the courses reserved for them," she added.

M. Davamani Christober, Principal, American College, said they had made the admission process more transparent and easy by making a number of processes online. “The parents and students are appreciating it,” he said.

20
May


Shifting focus: Treading the path of peace and growth


Source : THE HINDU

The hamlet has come a long way with educated youth turning Good Samaritan

Two decades ago, the very mention of MSK Nagar, an intermediate caste dominated hamlet on the outskirts of the district headquarters would send chills down spines as it was notorious for communal flare ups. Now it chose to tread the path of peace and growth thanks to police intervention.

Festoons of particular colour, identified with the community, hung or tied in the lamp posts at the entrance of the hamlet and people of other communities, leave alone dalits would dare to step in. Now the hamlet has come a long way with educated youth turning Good Samaritans.

Finding that the youths, even after graduation continued to roam around and fall prey to violence in the district in the absence of employment opportunities and proper guidance, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) S. Sarvesh Raj stepped in with a charter of programmes to reform them and his efforts have paid rich dividends.

The ASP, who did a study on ‘identity crisis in adolescents’ in the district and reasoned as to why youths in the district took pride in identifying themselves with their castes, formed a group, comprising educated youngsters and convinced them that hard work and sincerity would always pay.

When the youths, led by M. Prakash, an engineering graduate dug a ring well in the village with the help of a sponsor found by the ASP to address the drinking water woes, they not only won the trust of the elders but commanded respect.

Thanks to the guidance and motivation of the police officer, they began to prepare for examinations for police recruitment and other government jobs.

“We were misguided a lot and now realised that there was no point in boasting about caste and community,” said Mr. Prakash and his friends. They removed the flags and festoons and stopped wearing ‘caste colour’ wrist bands to focus on their career.

Though there was a sizeable number of graduates in the hamlet, they lacked awareness and proper guidance, the ASP who interacted with the youths on Thursday, said. He proposed to renovate the disused community hall in the hamlet and convert it into a library. “After setting up the library, we propose to make available study materials for various competitive examinations,” he said.

Mr. Sarvesh Raj also deputed a training sub inspector of police to coordinate with the youths. As employment was the biggest challenge, the government could intervene with free coaching classes and study materials, he suggests.

After police intervention, M. Balachandran, a science graduate and a few others have come forward to contest the local body elections and render service to the people.

Yes, police need not be tough always.

17
May


Fresh demand for AIIMS in Madurai


Source : THE HINDU

Renewing their demand to establish the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) model hospital at Thoppur here, a delegation comprising members from trade and industry from southern districts met Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda in New Delhi.

A press release issued here on Tuesday said that Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry senior president S. Rethinavelu, president N. Jagatheesan, Virudhunagar Chamber of Commerce secretary V.R. Muthu, R.G. Chandramohan, MD Hatsun Agro Foods, and All India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Thoothukudi general secretary P. Mayilvel, accompanied by Union Minister Nirmala Seetharaman met Mr. Jagat Prakash Nadda.

The points highlighted by the delegation were that in 2015, when Jayalalithaa was then Chief Minister, had recommended five locations, including Madurai, to the Union government for establishing the AIIMS.

Following this, a study group led by Dharitri Panda from the Union Ministry inspected Kancheepuram, Thanjavur, Erode, Pudukottai and Madurai.

With Coimbatore and Chennai having speciality hospitals, the people in western and northern districts of Tamil Nadu were relatively placed in a comfortable position as they got better treatment.

To narrow down the imbalance, the Chamber had been suggesting to establish a state-of-the-art super speciality hospital in Madurai, which is considered as the gateway to southern districts.

With about 2.32 crore population, which is 29 per cent of the TN’s population, spread over 13 districts from Theni to Kanyakumari and parts of central districts, including Tiruchi, Pudukottai and Thanjavur districts, Madurai was ideally located.

The land identified for the proposed construction of AIIMS at Thoppur was not only close to the Madurai airport (just seven km), but also had good water and other amenities.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry had also reliable information that the study group had favoured Madurai as the ideal location after an inspection. Considering the above aspects, the Union Minister should take a positive step in the public interest, the statement said.

After the members insisted for an early announcement, since States like Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, who were also getting AIIMS model hospital in their States, had begun construction last year after the Centre had earmarked funds.

The delegation, according to the statement, was informed by the Minister that the Centre would take a call on this in about a month.

15
May


‘Happy Street,’ a hit at Kamarajar Salai too


Source : THE HINDU

The nearly 800-metre stretch from Munichalai junction to East Veli Street junction on the busy Kamarajar Salai here wore a festive look from 6.30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Sunday morning with the stretch blocked for vehicles for the second edition of Happy Street event by Madurai Corporation.

Hundreds of people, predominantly families with their children, actively took part in a variety of events on the road, including badminton, table-tennis, board games, cycling - many children even gave a shot at mallakhamb.

The participation from the public saw a huge increase compared to the first edition of the event conducted last month in Anna Nagar. Though the event was planned on the first Sunday of every month, it was postponed to second Sunday this month owing to Chithirai festival.

While a large number of the participants had known about the event in advance through media, many people residing in nearby areas were surprised to see their road transforming into a place of celebration. “We were on our morning walk with and were pleasantly surprised by the event. The Sunday turned out to be happy. We had a very relaxing time,” said S.R. Gnanasekaran, a resident of Khan Palayam Road, who had come with his wife.

S. Anand, a resident of CMR Road, said the event gave a sense of belonging to the city. “This stretch is a nightmare for road users since it is heavily congested on a normal day. However, the event has given a new perspective to this road,” he said.

Many found the stalls set up by Madurai Corporation to create awareness of waste segregation and rainwater harvesting useful.

When Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri asked on stage on how many had attended the first edition of the event, a majority of the hands went up. “The event has really taken off no, if the increased participation of people from all walks of life is any indication. Now, many people are asking us to bring the event to their neighbourhood in the subsequent months,” he told the media later.

Saplings were planted on the roadside during the event. A blood donation camp was also conducted by Government Rajaji Hospital.

Sanitary workers, who took part in the clean-up of the road for the event, were honoured by Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao.

13
May


NCLP makes a mark in a family of child labourers


Source : THE HINDU

All 30 former child labourers who were put into mainstream education after being identified by the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) at different stages of their child labour days have cleared the Plus Two examination.

Among them, four have come out with flying colours by securing four-digit marks. M. Vetrikondan (17) has got top scores with 1,053 marks, followed by V. Munieswari (1,037), S. Gunasakthi (1,036) and P. Bavya (1,014).

If NCLP has brought in a big change in the lives of these boys and girls, its sustained effort in transforming child labourers into literates is seen with the family members of Vetrikondan.

For he is the third child of his family to be taken to school after he was found making paper tubes meant for crackers in Sivakasi.

“Poverty forced we three children (along with his elder brother and elder sister) to help our mother to make the paper tubes. Otherwise, my father’s lone income would not suffice us to make both ends meet,” Vetrikondan said.

The two boys and the girl augmented the family’s income at a tender age. “It was until Mary teacher found us working and encouraged us to join NCLP school years back,” recalled Vetrikondan’s brother, M. Raja.

Raja who was the first to be put into the bridge course run by NCLP school in Reserve line, has now completed his degree in Botany after he was mainstreamed. He is preparing for competitive examinations. His younger sister who completed 10th class is married off.

“Those days the school offered us good lunch and also gave us a stipend of Rs. 100 a month that was deposited in our account,” Vetrikondan said.

“We would have toiled in some fireworks factory like our father had we not been identified by Mary teacher,” he said.

NCLP has also arranged for coaching classes for people like Raja to face competitive examinations.

09
May


அழகர் வரார் அழகர் வரார் மதுரையை நோக்கி... பச்சை கொடியுடன் தங்க பல்லக்கில் பதினெட்டு பட்டி ஜனங்களுடன் வரார் .. வேட்டு சத்தத்துடன் ஆரவாரமாக வருகிறார் அழகர் மதுரைக்கு...


Source:Facebook

05
May


Collector drives home need for safety check


Source : THE HINDU

He crawls under bus to check chassis, drives to check brakes

Assistant Superintendent of Police S. Sarvesh Raj, Regional Transport officer K. Selvakumar, police personnel and motor vehicle inspectors watched in awe as Collector S. Natarajan crawled under a school bus and checked the chassis and drove a bus to check the brakes.

Detracting from the usual practice of launching the annual inspection of school buses for issuing Fitness Certificates (FC) before the start of the new academic year by posing for photograph, the Collector took the police and transport officials by surprise when he called for a mat and crawled under the bus.

After emerging out, Mr. Natarajan, an engineering graduate, who had studied automobiles as an elective, drove a bus and checked the braking system during the inspection here on Thursday. “I wanted to drive home the point that the inspection to ensure safety of school children should not be customary,” he told The Hindu.

Sharing his expertise on automobiles, he advised the vehicle inspectors to thoroughly check the school buses before giving the FC. The vehicles should be 100% safe for children, he stressed.

The RTO and his team checked more than 400 buses on the first day and found 28 of them not fit for issuing FC, Mr. Selvakumar said.

These buses had no proper fire extinguishers, first aid boxes and door and floor systems, he said.

The school managements have been asked to rectify the faults and present the buses for fresh inspection before the reopening of the schools, he added. There were 656 school buses in the district and all the buses would be issued FC only after thorough checking with special focus on safety aspects, he said.

The RTO was assisted by motor vehicle inspectors S. Viswanathan and M. Manickam in the inspection. They checked speed governors, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, height of footboards, driver cabin, bag racks, window grills, reflecting lights and tapes, he also said.

Inspection of school buses became mandatory after a six-year-old girl was run over by the bus, in which she was travelling after she slipped through a hole on the floor of the bus and fell down near Chennai in July 2012.

03
May


CHITHIRAI THIRUVILA


Source:Facebook

29
April


Pasi Illa Maduai


Source:Facebook

27
April


Passengers can buy unreserved tickets using mobile app


Source : THE HINDU

Paperless mode of ticketing through SMS is under process: Railway DRM

As an additional feature in sparing passengers of express and passenger trains from standing in the queues to buy unreserved tickets, Southern Railway has enabled mobile app-based unreserved ticketing system at all automatic ticket vending machine (ATVM) centres.

Addressing the 62nd Railway Week celebration programme here on Wednesday, new Divisional Railway Manager Neenu Ittyerah said passengers could buy tickets using the mobile app and take out a printout of the ticket at an ATVM.

“The paperless mode of ticketing through SMS is under process and will be made functional soon,” she said. After downloading the mobile app and buying the tickets within a stipulated distance from the railway junction, the passengers could get the tickets printed at the ATVMs. The ATVMs had been installed at 27 places in Madurai division.

Ms. Ittyerah said that the total originating earnings of the division for the year 2016-17 was ₹. 738.08 crore. The passenger earnings was ₹. 463.17 crore as against ₹. 440.82 crore recorded last year.

Ticket checking drives against travelling without proper ticket fetched ₹. 2.66 crore last year, she added.

Outgoing Divisional Railway Manager Sunil Kumar Garg said that railway employees could not bask in the past glory but must take continuous steps in meeting the aspirations of the passengers with respect to improving amenities in trains and at stations. Additional Divisional Railway Manager P.V. Murali Krishna spoke. A total of 249 employees of the division were given awards along with 13 group awards and seven shields.

24
April


‘Concerted efforts needed to protect kadamba trees’


Source : THE HINDU

MKU department documents century-old tree at village near Vadipatti

The necessity to protect kadamba trees in the city and to plant more of them was highlighted during a nature walk organised in Chockalingapuram village near Vadipatti on Sunday to document the century-old kadamba tree there.

The event was organised by the Department of Communication, Madurai Kamaraj University, as part of its ongoing initiatives in collaboration with National Council for Science and Technology Communication to sensitise young people from different fields on environmental issues.

S. Nagarathinam, Head, Department of Communication, said that though Madurai had historically been renowned for the abundant presence of kadamba trees, the species had become a rarity.

“Last month, our team visited Vellimalai forest which had a few kadamba trees. We were shocked to see that they had been felled,” he said.

The team, with the help of S. Baburaj, former Associate Professor of Botany, Thiagarajar College, identified a kadamba tree, which is more than 100-years-old, in Chockalingapuram for documentation. Mr. Baburaj said that, apart from felling, a primary reason for the decline in propagation of kadamba trees was the fact that the tree produced only a small amount of seeds every year. “Moreover, the conditions for germination are not favourable due to scant presence of proper pollinators such as insects and butterflies,” he said.

Pointing out that Chockalingapuram residents associated spiritual and medicinal values with the tree, Mr. Nagarathinam said that the belief in the village was that proper flowering of the tree was an indication of good monsoon.

18
April


Oxygen pipelines at Govt Rajaji hospital revamped


Source : TIMES OF INDIA

Madurai: The existing oxygen pipelines at Government Rajaji Hospital have been replaced with those with larger diametre to enable uninterrupted oxygen supply to all outlets and ventilators at the hospital. The new pipeline system was thrown open for use on Monday.

The older pipes were 15 mm in diameter and couldn't meet the demands of the increased number of outlets.

Addressing media persons at GRH, dean Dr M R Vairamuthu Raju and director, Institute of anesthesiology, Dr C Ganeshprabhu said that there are more than 1,350 oxygen outlets and number of ventilators have increased from eight to 80 in the past 50 years.

So it was decided to install a new pipeline system with 28 mm diameter pipes as suggested by technical experts from Inox air products who installed the liquid oxygen tank at GRH.


15
April


Corporation to create ‘Pasiyilla Madurai’


Source : THE HINDU


Plans a novel initiative to feed the needy resting in public places

In a novel initiative, the Madurai Corporation, in association with Palakarangal, an NGO here, has planned to start a project to feed the needy resting in public places soon.

Stating that the project has been named “Pasiyilla Madurai,” Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri told reporters on Wednesday that the idea to start such an initiative came from a young IAS officer Vishnu.

After several rounds of discussions and examination of the modalities on how to go about it on a sustained basis with transparency in functioning, it was proposed to rope in hoteliers, philanthropists and volunteers to work on the project.

Explaining the idea, Mr. Nanduri said, “it was not that we would serve any left over food or excess food procured from some point, which normally was being practised in marriage halls and at private functions. On the other hand, the project aims to feed fresh food to the needy, who were mostly shelterless or deserted on the streets/bus stands among other locations.

A survey suggested that public, who came to the Government Rajaji Hospital and admitted their relatives as in-patients, stayed on the campus till the patient was discharged.

A sizeable number of their attendants relied on the ‘Amma Unavagam,’ during the day time and had to either look for private eateries outside or sleep without taking food. Thus, to begin with, it was proposed to provide 500 food packets to such needy people daily.

As a pilot project, the GRH campus would be an ideal location and based on the response, the volunteers would be sprinkled out to other places like the bus stands and railway station, he responded.

The NGO, represented by, Alima Banu Sikkandhar, founder of Palakarangal said that persons willing to contribute for the project shall do so by visiting the Corporation’s website, wherein, a special bank account would be opened for this purpose. Also, persons can use digital mode for remittance. “We have received good response from philanthropists even before the start and hoped to see a hunger-free city,” she summed up.

10
April


Construction debris clogs the Vaigai


Source : TIMES OF INDIA

Madurai: Besides sewage and garbage, Vaigai river is also polluted with construction wastes. Despite strong opposition to the dumping of construction wastes, it continues to happen in places like Arapalayam and Vandiyur, within city limits. Activists say that the dumping often takes place at night, when people are asleep.

People say that the river can be saved only by fencing the water body. M Rajan from Vaigai Nathi Makkam Iyakkam says that they have caught people dumping wastes a couple of times and handed them over to the police. However such strict vigilance does not seem to act as a deterrent.

Dumping of construction wastes is rampant in Arapalayam, Vandiyur and Sourashtrapuram. They have notified the concerned officials regarding the indiscriminate dumping on several occasions, said Rajan. The best solution would be to fence the river. However, entry should not be restricted when the public want to use the many 'padithurais' constructed a long time ago.

"Such dumping was common between the Kalpalam Bridge and AV Bridge, but after fencing the area, the problem was resolved. A similar initiative should be undertaken to protect the Vaigai river," he said.

A Palanisamy, a youngster from Vandiyur, said people residing alongside the river are encroaching the water body. They first dump soil and concrete wastes. Then put a temporary shed and develop it into a permanent one. At many spots, the river bank has been completely encroached. Civic officials should crack their whip against such encroachers, he added.

When contacted, an official from the public works department said that they would soon inspect the river and take appropriate action. It would be hard to monitor the entire water body on a day to day basis. The public should come forward and help them in protecting the river, he added.


06
April


Distribution of smart cards unlikely to meet target


Source : THE HINDU

‘Only around 4.15 % of the required cards have been received’

Though Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has announced that distribution of smart cards will be completed by May, officials here are uncertain about meeting the deadline since only around 4.15% of the required cards have been received so far by the district administration.

Stating that the situation is the same in all other districts, officials said that distribution to all eligible ration cardholders by May would be unlikely, if the State government did not ramp up printing and despatch.

The government had, however, assured that supply of commodities would not be denied for those not having smart cards until the distribution was completely over.

According to officials, the district has around 8.46 lakh ration cardholders, who have successfully linked Aadhaar and mobile numbers to their ration cards. Hence, they are eligible to receive the cards.

However, the district has so far received only 35,149 smart cards, covering 219 fair price shops located in Madurai North taluk alone. “This is just around 30% of the total number of ration cardholders in the taluk. Even the 219 shops have not received the cards for all the ration cards attached to them,” an official said. “We expected another batch of smart cards by Tuesday but it did not arrive. There was no communication in this regard from Chennai,” the official claimed.

Meanwhile, minor issues have been reported in activating the received smart cards in many fair price shops.

“The ration cardholder has received the eight digit passcode. However, when we key in the passcode, the point-of-sale (POS) device is not activating the card,” said an employee of one of the fair price shops.

Acknowledging that there were issues in getting the cards activated, a senior official from the District Supply Office, however, said that they had been rectified.

“We faced problems initially, perhaps because of the increased load on the server since activation requests will be going from across the State. However, there have been no issues for the past two days,” the official added.

Non-linked ration cards

Officials are also uncertain about issuing smart cards to those ration cardholders who are yet to link their Aadhaar and mobile numbers.

For instance, nearly one lakh ration cards in Madurai district alone have been kept in ‘blocked’ status for non-linking of Aadhaar.

Claiming that a majority of them were likely to be bogus, a senior official in the district administration said that even genuine cards could not be ‘unblocked’ now, even if the cardholder linked Aadhaar since the option had been temporarily stopped.

“We feel that the government will announce another cut-off date for this, once the distribution of smart cards to all eligible ration cardholders is over,” the official said.


03
April


Corporation Commissioner says the programme will be conducted on first Sunday of every month


Source : THE HINDU

Following success in other cities, the concept of closing a stretch of a popular road for traffic so as to encourage residents to have fun together was launched , in Madurai on Sunday.

The Suguna Stores-Ambika Theatre stretch of 80-Feet-Road in Anna Nagar was closed for three hours in the morning for the ‘Happy Street’ programme. There were a slew of programmes for the residents to choose from - cycling, table tennis, dance, yoga - and the children enjoyed every minute of it.

Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri mingled with the participants. Many children went for a cycle ride with the Commissioner, who also played table tennis with the youngsters. “It was lively. There was absolutely no noise since vehicles were prohibited,” Darshana, a Plus One student, said.

Ramanathan from Tahsildar Nagar said, “The ‘Happy Street’ programme took me back to the 80s when the road was broad. By removing roadside encroachments, there can be more carriage space and it can be exclusively earmarked for cyclists,” he suggested.

Many, who came with their families, took a stroll on the road from one end to the other. The cynosure was a live band which belted popular numbers much to the merriment of the youth.

The Commissioner said the programme would be conducted on the first Sunday of every month.

Utilising the large turnout, the officials campaigned on plastic ban, clean surroundings and prevention of dengue-like diseases.

31
March


Police warn of stern action against those not wearing headgear


Source : THE HINDU

Madurai City police have warned of legal action, including seizure of vehicle documents and cancellation of driving licence, against those who fail to wear helmet while riding two-wheeler from April 1.

In a statement, Commissioner of Police Shailesh Kumar Yadav said 225 persons were killed in accidents in the city in 2016 and 90 per cent of the accidents involved those who did not wear a helmet.

Mr. Yadav said that the police had registered a whopping 1.34 lakh cases against the violators of mandatory helmet rules under provisions of Central Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. The violators would be imposed a fine of ₹ 100 for the first instance and ₹ 200 for the second time.

Recalling that the Madras High Court had made wearing of helmets mandatory with effect from July 1, 2015, Mr. Yadav said two-wheeler riders strictly followed the rules in the initial stage. However, the number of people wearing helmets had gradually come down over the period.

The Commissioner said that helmet must be worn not only in the interest of the safety of the rider, but also in the interest of the family members. “Fatal accident is a loss not only to the family and the society, but also to the economy of a country,” the statement said.

Mr. Yadav urged two-wheeler riders to follow the helmet rule and cooperate with the police.

27
March


Archaeologist involved in Keezhadi project transferred


Source : THE HINDU

K. Amarnath Ramakrishna, Superintending Archaeologist, Excavations Branch (Bangalore), Archaeological Survey of India, who has been overseeing excavation work in Keezhadi near Madurai, has been transferred to Guwahati Circle of the ASI.

P.S. Sriraman, Superintending Archaeologist (in-charge), Jodhpur Circle, has been transferred to Excavations Branch (Bangalore), which is responsible for archaeological excavations in the southern States.

The transfer has come at a crucial juncture when the third phase of the excavation in Keezhadi is all set to begin as the Director General, ASI, granted permission for it in February after considerable delay and the initial funding for the third phase was sanctioned last week.

The delay in approval, which ought to have happened in October last year, and the alleged reluctance of the Central government in continuing the excavation kicked up a controversy and evoked widespread condemnation by various political parties, writers and film personalities in Tamil Nadu.

Sources in the ASI said the transfer had been made as per a recent policy change, which necessitated transfer of officials in the rank of Superintending Archaeologists every two years.

Mr. Amarnath has been serving in his present position for around three years and has been involved in Keezhadi excavation ever since the work began in 2015. In the two phases of excavation in 2015 and 2016, as many as 5,800 artefacts were unearthed from the site.

The results of the carbon dating of charcoal excavated from Keezhadi indicated that the settlement belonged to 200 BC, thereby providing strong evidence of the existence of a thriving urban settlement on the banks of the Vaigai since the Sangam age.

Expressing concern over the transfer of Mr. Ramakrishna, an archaeologist closely following the developments in Keezhadi said, “Such transfers are not generally made during ongoing excavations, particularly in the initial phases.”

“It is not merely an administrative work but rigorously academic. The archaeologist develops a keen understanding and knowledge of the artefacts being unearthed and consequently the associated culture, which is crucial for further excavation,” he said.

25
March


World TB day observed


Source : THE HINDU

Hundreds of students from various colleges, paramedical staff and officials participated in a rally organised to create awareness of tuberculosis on World Tuberculosis Day, observed on Friday.

Speaking at a function organised in Madurai Medical College after the end of the rally, Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao stressed the importance of close monitoring and strict adherence to the medicine schedule for complete cure for tuberculosis-affected patients.

Stating that the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme was functioning effectively in the district, Mr. Rao said that nearly 3,000 TB-affected persons in the district were benefitting through the multiple Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) centres functioning in the district.

Pointing out that, apart from reactive strategies, proactive measures were also needed for controlling diseases like TB, he appealed to the public to give utmost importance to sanitation.

N. Rukmani, Joint Director, Medical and Rural Health Services, Madurai, in her speech, stressed the importance of early diagnosis. She said that anyone having cough continuously for more than two weeks should get medical attention. M.R. Vairamuthu Raju, Dean, Government Rajaji Hospital, K.V. Arjun Kumar, Deputy Director of Health Services (Madurai), and other officials participated in the meeting. ×

21
March


UMBRELLA WALKWAY


Source : FACEBOOK

Madurai Meenakshi Temple gets a new Umbrella walkway in the corporation parking lot...Colorful and shady...#maduraimeenakshitemple #swachhiconicplace #maduraismartcity @ Meenakshi Amman Temple.. This idea was given and sponsored by Aparna Rao Director Times kids Madurai and beautifully executed by corp engineers.

20
March


Source : DINAMALAR

பறவைகள் கவனித்தல் - மாணவிகள் ஆர்வம்


திருப்பரங்குன்றம் : பசுமலை மன்னர் கல்லுாரி எகோ கிளப் சார்பில் கல்லுாரி வளாகத்தில் பறவைகள் வருகை கவனித்தல், அவற்றின் செயல்பாடுகள், பறவைகளின் வருகையால் ஏற்படும் நன்மைகளை கவனித்தல் குறித்த மாணவியருக்கு விழிப்புணர்வு நிகழ்ச்சி நடந்தது.

காலை 6:30 முதல் ஒரு மணி நேரம் நடந்த நிகழ்ச்சியில் 50க்கும் மேற்பட்ட மாணவியர் கல்லுாரி வளாகத்திலுள்ள மரங்களில் வசிக்கும் பறவைகள், வெளியில் இருந்து கல்லுாரிக்குள் வந்த பறவைகளை பைனாக்குலர் மூலம் கவனித்தனர்.

அமெரிக்கன் கல்லுாரி உயிரியல் துறை பேராசிரியர் ராஜேஸ், தேனி அரசு மருத்துவ கல்லுாரி டாக்டர் கார்த்திக் ராஜா, மதுரை இயற்கை பண்ணை ஆனந்த் ஆகியோர் பறவைகளின் செயல்பாடுகள் குறித்து விளக்கம் அளித்தார்.

மாணவியர் கூறுகையில், கல்லுாரி வளாகத்தில் 25 வகையான பறவைகள் வசிக்கின்றன. 63 வகையான பறவைகள் தினம் வந்து செல்கின்றன. பனைக்குருவி, தையல் பறவை, வாப்ளர், ட்ரீ பை உள்பட பல அரிய வகை பறவைகள் வந்தன. கல்லுாரி வளாகத்தில் நாவல், கொடிக்கால் மரங்கள், இட்லி பூ செடிகள் வளர்த்தால் மேலும் பல அரிய வகை பறவைகள் வரும் என அறிந்து கொண்டோம். என்றனர்.

முதல்வர் நேரு, செயலாளர் விஜயராகவன், உப தலைவர் ராஜகோபால், பொருளாளர் கோவிந்தராஜன், உதவி செயலாளர் ராஜேந்திரபாபு கலந்து கொண்டனர். எகோ கிளப் கன்வீனர்கள் பேராசிரியர்கள் அறிவுச் செல்வம், ரதி ஏற்பாடுகள் செய்தனர்.

18
March


Source : TIMES OF INDIA

Vaigai water just enough for a few weeks


Madurai: Madurai corporation, Usilampatti municipality, Vadipatti town panchayat and 320 hamlets in the district have been marked as critical areas under the prevailing drought situation. However, there was enough water in the Vaigai dam to meet the drinking water needs of the city for the next few weeks, said district collector K Veera Raghava Rao.

Addressing the farmers grievance meet at the district collectorate on Friday, he said that the recent rain had eased the situation a little and there was hope that the city would tide over the water crisis. He said that 70 tanks had been chosen in the district under the scheme to renovate and desilt water bodies in the state. Farmers should come together to form committees to supervise and carry on the work in coordination with the PWD officials. Tanks such as Attukulam, Kalappanpatti, Kalkulam, Kattathevanpatti, Ponnamangalam, Thummakundu, Nilayur, Valayapatti, Madakulam, Karseri and Sakkudi in the Periyar Vaigai division of PWD are to be taken up for renovation at a cost of Rs 10 lakh. Bigger tanks would be taken up in the next financial year.

Tamil Nadu Farmers Association district president K Devaraj said that the collector's announcement that they could take five loads of silt each for a hectare of land was unacceptable. Instead, they sought 25 loads per hectare. When the collector said that they should use man power to desilt the tanks this too was opposed by the farmers. They said that man power was not available and JCB machines had to be deployed for the work. The collector said a decision would be taken after consultations. There were 2.5 lakh cattle which had to be protected from the drought and steps must be taken to supply fodder at a subsidised cost to farmers through fodder sales centres. Cultivation of fodder would also be given a subsidy, he said.

The collector also sought the help of the farmers to get rid of prosopis juliflora plants, stating that only 20 per cent of the invasive species on government land had to be cleared while 80 per cent on private lands was yet to be tackled.

16
March


Source : THE HINDU

Demand to set up AIIMS in Madurai picks up steam


The need for establishing All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Thoppur near Madurai was stressed by speakers at the day-long token fast organised by Madurai District Tiny and Small-Scale Industries Association, under the banner ‘Makkal Iyakkam,’ here on Wednesday.

They explained how it would benefit not only people from southern districts, but also those from parts of central districts such as Karur, Perambalur and Tiruchi.

Two years ago, the Union government had announced in its budget that AIIMS would be established in Tamil Nadu, modelled on the one in New Delhi. Last year, the Finance Ministry had earmarked funds for the project. However, due to ‘delay’ from the Tamil Nadu government in identifying the land, the project could not take off.

As many as five locations, including Madurai, figured in the proposal. A study team from New Delhi had ‘favoured’ Madurai as its choice as it had all features that other locations did not have.

Recently, when Tamil Nadu Chief Minister ‘Edappadi’ K. Palaniswami went to New Delhi, he appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to establish AIIMS at Sengipatti in Thanjavur district.

Shocked over the CM’s move, the people and various organisations from the southern districts of the State have come together to urge the governments to reconsider the decision.

Presiding over the agitation, chief coordinator V.S. Manimaran said when Madurai was the acceptable location to all stakeholders, the sudden ‘U’ turn by the government in suggesting another town only created confusion and delay.

It must be noted that the Union government had earmarked funds for AIIMS to be set up in three States, including Tamil Nadu and works in other States, incluing Uttarakhand, had begun. So instead of delaying it further, the government should stick to the proposal to establish the state-of-the-art hospital in Madurai.

Speakers from various political outfits, including the CPI(M), led by its leader Jothiram, Bharatiya Janata Party and other regional parties, supported the agitation. BJP State secretary R. Srinivasan said that more than any other city, Madurai would be able to cater to a larger section of people as patients not only from southern districts, but even from faraway towns like Perambalur and Karur could benefit as the road connectivity was good. A total of 2.30 crore population, as per 2011 census, would reap the benefit. The BJP, he said, would strongly voice for Madurai, he asserted.

Various organisations and trade bodies from Virudhunagar, Dindigul, Theni, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and other towns supported the agitation. Perrys Mahendravel presided over the fast.

14
March


Source : WHATSAPP

13
March


Source : THE HINDU

These sheltered animals have escaped slaughter


When the pro-jallikattu agitation, aimed at preserving native cattle breeds, was raging all over the State, 24 cows walked into this well-kept home for cows and bulls. Located at Islani village on a detour from the road that links Madurai-Sivaganga Road with Tiruvadavur, Shri Meenakshi Gowsala is now home for 114 cows and six bulls of native breed. Most of these cows would have taken the tortuous journey packed like sardines in lorries to slaughter houses, if not for the intervention of Madurai North Indians’ Welfare Association (MANIWA). Once they become incapable of yielding milk or calves, the cows are usually sent for slaughter as an ordinary farmer always finds it difficult to feed an additional unproductive mouth.

The gowsala is a service project of Shri Meenakshi Gowsala Trust floated by MANIWA on January 15, 2011, ‘Mattu Pongal’ day, with the sole objective of saving cows that otherwise would go to slaughterhouses. “Only 17 of the 114 cows yield milk. We feed all of them well and provide medical treatment,” says G. Raghuraj Bhandari, president, MANIWA, an umbrella organisation of all North Indians who have made Madurai their home for decades. The cattle live inside five sheds, each with a capacity to house about 50 animals. Ceiling fans have been provided to ward off mosquitoes.

In 2011, the home was started with just five cows. “We take any cattle that could not be maintained by an individual. This project will benefit farmers in a big way,” says Parasmal Mutha, secretary, of the gowsala. Members of MANIWA buy the cows that are readied for slaughter after they become dry.

Once there was also an attempt to take over a lorry load of cattle, by blocking the vehicle near Usilampatti, while they were on their way to Kerala. “It did not work out as there were legal implications. Anyway, we arranged for their safe transport to another gowsala. We are ready to accommodate all animals transported for slaughter if somebody helps us in legal issues,” says Mr. Raghuraj.

Members of MANIWA take turns to do service at the gowsala, where there are six trained staff members, including four from Haryana, to tend cattle. A typical day begins at 5 a.m., with the animals taken out of the sheds. While they are being fed, the sheds are cleaned. “I walk the cows in groups of 20 as they cannot be kept standing for long. It is very much like bringing up human beings,” says P. Kannan, who has been taking care of the animals from the first day. A veterinarian visits the gowsala twice a day to take care of sick animals.

The entire campus is run on green energy from a solar system. Cow dung is used to produce organic manure that is applied in the field to raise green fodder. “Since hay has become costlier due to crop failure, we plan to raise green fodder in a big way,” says Ratanlal Gidraha, coordinator.

At present, six bulls of native breed, including one of Kangeyam variety, are used for breeding. “We will soon bring a Gir bull from Gujarat to multiply native breeds. We have stopped producing Jersey breed,” says Mr. Raghuraj. There are also plans to start a gobar gas plant.

In consonance with local tradition, Pongal, the harvest festival, is celebrated at Sri Meenakshi Gowsala with colour and pomp. The celebration is open to all and free transport from Madurai and food are provided for participants. The home for cattle is run at a cost of ₹two lakh per month, with donations from members. Contributions start from ₹10 a day. The names of those who donate for green fodder are displayed in a notice board daily. “Families come here to celebrate wedding anniversary or birthday and make a small contribution for upkeep,” says Nitesh Kothari, member of MANIWA. At present, the gowsala is run on contributions from North Indian residents of Madurai. MANIWA’s other service activities include an eye hospital and a clinical laboratory in the city.

08
March


Source : THE HINDU

Madurai students join Neduvasal protest


Students of three engineering colleges stage protests

Sections of students of K.L.N. College of Engineering and Mangayarkarasi College of Engineering near here staged protests in front of their respective colleges to express solidarity with the people of Neduvasal in Pudukottai district, who have been opposing the proposed hydrocarbon extraction project in the region.

Though the students attempted a road blockade, they soon dispersed from the road after police asked them not to disrupt vehicular traffic.

Minister for Cooperation ‘Sellur’ K. Raju, who happened to be crossing Mangayarkarasi College of Engineering, spoke to the protesting students outside the college and assured them that the Tamil Nadu government would not permit any projects that would affect the livelihood of farmers.

A. Sathish, a third year student of the college, said almost all the students of the college came out to protest and even the college management was supportive. “If a solution is not found to the problem, we will intensify the protest in association with students of other colleges in a manner similar to the pro-jallikattu protest,” he said.

S. Raj Prakash, a final year student, said that a petition was also submitted at the Collector’s office with signatures of nearly 200 students, urging the government to stop the project.

A student of K.L.N. College of Engineering, speaking on anonymity, said that they had to give up the protest midway since they had not obtained police permission for the protest. “We are planning to seek police permission and carry out the protest in a bigger way,” he said.

Meanwhile, some 300 students of Sree Sowdamika College of Engineering staged a road roko in front of their college, pressing for the same demand.

However, police officials persuaded them to move away from Madurai-Thoothukudi National Highway. The protesters shouted slogans for a couple of hours before leaving the college, the police said.

07
March


Source : THE HINDU

‘Educational institutions should improve standards’


Highlighting that innovation in various fields, importantly in defence, could be achieved only with active contribution from educational institutions, G. Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, urged Indian educational institutions to improve themselves to international standards.

Speaking at the 59th College Day celebration at Thiagarajar College of Engineering here on Saturday, Mr. Reddy pointed out that not even a single institution from India was among the list of top 100 educational institutions in the world.

Acknowledging the contributions made by Indian educational institutions in the advancements made by India in the last two to three decades, particularly in the field of atomic energy, space research and defence, he said that the country could achieve a lot more with increased contributions from these institutions.

“In defence, today we possess indigenous technologies in certain areas that only four or five countries in the world have. Yet we remain the second largest importer of defence equipment in the world,” he said, adding that the situation can be changed in the next decade with active collaborations from academia.

Pointing out that technological breakthroughs in the western countries happened mainly from its academia, Mr. Reddy said that a similar trend was needed in India if the country had to become a ‘technology leader’ from ‘technology follower.’

He also heaped praises on TCE for its active collaboration with Defence Research and Development Organisation. “A number of antenna technologies used in our defence equipment originated from TCE. When DRDO awards a project to a college, the college generally submits only a research paper as output. However, with TCE, DRDO always gets a product,” he said.

Karumuttu T. Kannan, Chairman and Correspondent, TCE, advised the outgoing students not to be concerned about the stringent restrictions likely to be imposed by the USA in terms of job opportunities since tremendous opportunities awaited for them in India. V. Abhai Kumar, Principal, TCE, presented the annual report. Best outgoing students and retiring staff members were felicitated.

02
March


Source : THE HINDU

Corporation to promote solar energy in a big way


Every month, the civic body saved almost 50 % in the power bill as each kW capacity of solar panel generated 3 to 4 units

The civic body that has installed 44 kW capacity solar panels atop the roof of Anna Maaligai, its office, at a cost of Rs 55 lakh in 2016, a first-of-its-kind in Tamil Nadu, is reaping the benefits now handsomely.

In the last 10 months, its power bill has come down steeply. Every month, the Corporation saved almost 50 % in power bill as each kW capacity of solar panel generated 3 to 4 units of electricity, said Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri.

Following the success, it has now planned to identify similar buildings for installation of solar panels.

Speaking to The Hindu, he said that the Corporation had around 350 buildings, big and small. “We have chosen 156 among them for installing solar panels. Proposals to establish solar panels with a capacity of 466 kW is ready,” he added.

Buildings with good space to install solar panels and collect sun rays without dilution have been identified for the purpose.

“With peak summer setting in the next 100 to 150 days, the demand for electricity is bound to go up. Thus, by generating our own electricity, power bills will decline and result in savings for the civic body. Above all, switching over to alternative power generation will encourage residents also to opt for green energy,” Corporation officials and senior engineers in charge of installing solar panels said.

“Maternity homes, schools, tax collection centres and overhead water tanks of the Corporation are some of the buildings to benefit from solar panel installations,” Assistant Executive Engineer Senthil said and noted that with many people coming into solar panel trade, installation and procurement of panels would be cheaper now than the 2016 levels.

Maternity home staff in Sellur said that the proposal to install solar panel on the premises was welcome as the in-patients would have uninterrupted power when TANGEDCO shutdown electricity for maintenance work. Similar views were echoed by staff at the computerised tax collection centres, where solar panels will give steady supply without interruptions.

Billing cycle

The Anna Maaligai, which used to get a bill of ₹1.47 lakh per month, has been getting power bills for around ₹75000 a month in the last 10 months. As for the maintenance of solar panels, the officials said the cost was negligible.

Presently, the Corporation consumes the power generated from its solar panels at Anna Maaligai, while it has planned to explore the possibility of inviting bidders to sell surplus electricity through power purchase agreement.

First in State

Among the 12 Corporations in the State, Madurai Corporation was the first to go the solar way, officials said. A commendable and noteworthy project indeed.

01
March


Source : DINAMALAR

பிறந்த நாள் விழா


மதுரை சேதுபதி பள்ளியில் நடந்த கர்னல் பென்னிகுவிக் பிறந்த நாள் விழாவில், மாணவர்களுக்கு நோட்டு புத்தகம், மரக்கன்றுகளை மதுரை கல்லூரி ஆட்சிக்குழு உறுப்பினர் இல. அமுதன் வழங்கினார். அறக்கட்டளை நிர்வாகிகள் ஜான்மோசஸ் ராமன், தியாகி பாலகிருஷ்ணன், உதவி தலைமை ஆசிரியர் நாராயணன்.

28
February


Source : DINAKARAN

Madurai Corporation allots Rs 10 crore to tackle drinking water crisis


MADURAI: With less than 50 per cent of the total arable land in Madurai under cultivation due to the prevailing drought condition and a significant drop in crop yield in the cultivated ones, the district administration has announced that it will take all steps to ensure affected farmers get compensation. Moreover, the Madurai Corporation has allotted Rs 10 crore in the first phase to tackle drinking water crisis in the city. A drought review meeting with officials from all departments was held at the Madurai district collectorate on Sunday. Ministers Sellur K Raju and R B Udayakumar, who participated in the meeting, said that crop loss has been reported in 20,38,518 hectares across the state due to the failure of the northeast monsoon. In Madurai district, the total cultivable area in 645 villages annually is 1,08,112 hectares. It was anticipated that cultivation could be carried out in at least 90,600 hectares this year, but it was done in only 36,302 hectares. Even in the cultivated areas, crop loss was over 50 per cent due to the drought. The ministers said that as many as 32 lakh farmers affected by the drought in the state would receive compensation from Rs 2,247 crore drought package soon and the due amounts would be credited in the bank accounts of the respective farmers. In addition, steps are also being taken to receive funds for drought relief from the National Disaster Fund and to obtain Rs 410 crore from insurance firms for the benefit of the farmers. They said that in the year 2012, crop loans to the tune of Rs 23.29 crore were distributed to 53,960 farmers through co-operative banks in the district. As many as 5,372 farmers also received mid-term crop loans from April 1, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016, amounting to Rs 38.04 crore. Schemes to fulfil 10 out of the 54 poll promises made by former chief minister late J Jayalalithaa would be implemented in the next six months. As water bodies had run dry, a fund of Rs 100 crore has been allocated for renovation and desilting of irrigation tanks and channels. The Madurai Corporation has also been provided Rs 10 crore to tackle the drinking water crisis in the city and further funds would be released based on the demand, they said.

25
February


Source : DINAMALAR

சீமைக்கருவேல மரங்கள் அழிப்பு தீவிரம்: கலெக்டர்


மதுரை, ''மதுரை மாவட்டத்தில் சுற்றுச்சூழலுக்கு கேடு ஏற்படுத்தும் சீமை கருவேல மரங்களை அகற்றும் பணி தீவிரமாக நடக்கிறது,'' என, கலெக்டர் வீரராகவ ராவ் தெரிவித்தார். மதுரையில் கல்லுாரி மாணவர்கள், ஆசிரியர்கள் பங்கேற்ற விழிப்புணர்வு பேரணி காந்தி மியூசியத்தில் துவங்கியது. கலெக்டர் முன்னிலையில் உயர்நீதிமன்றம் நீதிபதி கிருபாகரன் துவக்கி வைத்தார். மாநகராட்சி கமிஷனர் சந்தீப் நந்துாரி, கல்லுாரிக் கல்வி இணை இயக்குனர் கூடலிங்கம், கலெக்டரின் நேர்முக உதவியாளர் (வளர்ச்சி) அபிதா ஹனீப், ஆர்.டி.ஓ., பெனடிக் தர்மராய், தாசில்தார் முருகையன், உயர்நீதிமன்ற வழக்கறிஞர் கமிஷனர்கள் காந்தி, கிருஷ்ணவேணி, கருணாநிதி, ஷெரின்மேத்யூ, மகபூப்பாசில் மற்றும் பலர் பங்கேற்றனர். விழிப்புணர்வு ஊர்வலம் பல்வேறு வீதிகள் வழியாக மீண்டும் மியூசியம் சென்றது. கலெக்டர் கூறுகையில், ''உயர்நீதிமன்றம் வழிகாட்டுதல்படி மாவட்ட நிர்வாகம் பொது மற்றும் தனியார் இடங்களிலுள்ள கருவேல மரங்களை அகற்றும் பணியில் ஈடுபட்டுள்ளது. தனியார் தாங்களாகவே முன்வந்து அவற்றை அகற்ற வேண்டும்,'' என்றார்.

24
February


Source : DINAMALAR

மதுரை தமுக்கத்தில் மடீட்சியாவின் 'புட் டெக் 2017', 'உணவுத் தொழில்நுட்ப கண்காட்சி, இன்று காலை 11:30 மணிக்கு துவங்குகிறது. தலைவர் முராரி கூறியதாவது: இக்கண்காட்சியில் பல்வேறு மாநிலங்களை சேர்ந்த உணவுத் தொழில் உற்பத்தியாளர்கள் பங்கேற்கிறார்கள். உணவு பதப்படுத்துதல், பேக்கரி இயந்திரங்கள் மற்றும் சமையலறை சாதனங்கள் அடங்கிய 125 ஸ்டால்கள் இடம் பெறுகின்றன. இத்துடன் உணவு ஆராய்ச்சி, இந்திய பயிர் பதன தொழில்நுட்ப நிறுவனங்கள், நவீன உணவு தொழில்நுட்பங்கள் குறித்து ஆலோசனை வழங்குகிறார்கள். குடும்ப தலைவிகளுக்கான கேக் டெக்கரேஷன், குழந்தைகளுக்கான அடுப்பில்லா சமையல், மெகா சைஸ் குல்பி தயாரித்தல், புரோட்டா தயாரித்தல், சாப்பிடுதல் போன்ற போட்டிகளும் நடக்கின்றன. மதுரை பேக்கர்ஸ் அசோசியேஷன் சார்பில் 150 அடி உயர கேக் தயாரித்து, செயல்முறை விளக்கம் அளிக்கப்படுகிறது. காலை 11:00 - இரவு 8:30 மணி வரை கண்காட்சியை பார்வையிடலாம். பிப்.,27 வரை நடக்கிறது, அனுமதி இலவசம். என்றார். செயலாளர் முருகன், கண்காட்சி தலைவர் கந்தசாமி, துணைத் தலைவர்கள் சம்பத், குணசேகரன் உடனிருந்தனர்.

23
February


Source : FACEBOOK


மதுரையின் பெருமை #மீனாட்சிஅம்மன்கோவில் நமது கோவிலை காண பல ஊர்களிலும், வெளி நாடுகளிலும் இருந்து பக்தர்கள் வந்து கொண்டிருக்கின்றனர்... பக்தர்கள் சிரமம் இல்லாமல் கோவிலுக்கு செல்லும் வகையில் சிறப்பு பேருந்து இயக்கப்படவுள்ளது... ஆரப்பாளையத்தில் இருந்து சிம்மக்கல்,கிழமாசி வீதி,தெற்குமாசி வீதி,மேலமாசி வீதி, நான்கு மாசிவீதிகள் வழியாக மீனாட்சிஅம்மன் கோவிலுக்கு தெற்காவணி மூல வீதி ஸ்டாப் (ஜூவல்லரி பஜார்) அரசு மினி பஸ் சுழற்சி முறையில் இயக்கப்பட உள்ளது... மாசி சொகுசு ரதம் என்ற பெயரில் இயங்கவுள்ளது என்பதை மகிச்சியுடன் தெரிவித்துக்கொள்கிரோம்.... நமது கோவிலை மென்மேலும் புதுப்பித்த அனைவருக்கும் மதுரை மக்கள் சார்பில் மனமார்ந்த நன்றிகள்...

07
January


Source : DINAKARAN

06
January


Source : DINAKARAN

05
January


Source : DINAKARAN

04
January


Source : DINAKARAN

03
January


Source : DINAKARAN

02
January

“Technology aids in crime prevention”


Source : THE HINDU


Use of technology in crime prevention was yielding good results, said Commissioner of Police Shailesh Kumar Yadav.

Speaking at the third executive committee meeting of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Sunday, he said that after the launch of SOS mobile application by the city police, he said harassment and other crimes against women on the streets had reduced to a great extent.

“One of the common complaints we received earlier was regarding playing of lewd songs in share autorickshaws. That has stopped almost completely since more women are reporting such incidents through the application,” he said.

He added that effective use of government’s software tools like ‘Vahan Samanvay’ in tracking vehicles had resulted in better recovery of stolen vehicles.

Pointing to the installation of CCTV cameras at police stations, Mr. Yadav said such technological interventions had brought transparency in the functioning of police.

He said the city police had submitted a proposal for an ambitious project of bringing every street in the city under CCTV surveillance and establishing a modern command post for real-time monitoring of the feed from these cameras.

He highlighted that transformation of police force should be accompanied by adequate transformation in judiciary as well to make the entire system efficient.

Asserting that success in prevention of crime depended on participation from the public, he pointed out that around 220 people died last year in road accidents.

“Most of these acidents could have been avoided had the people worn helmets and adhered to basic traffic rules,” he said.

The meeting was hosted by R. Haresh, Managing Director of T.V. Sundaram Iyengar and Sons, in the presence of S. Rethinavelu, senior president of the chamber, and N. Jegatheesan, president.

31
December

“Jagriti yatra inspired youth”


Source : THE HINDU


With 480 participants, Jagriti yatra, which started in Mumbai on December 24, arrived here on Wednesday.

The yatra was aimed at inspiring the youth of the country to become job creators and develop enterprise solutions in their respective districts.

Among the participants, who were from 27 States of India and 46 other countries, women accounted for 40 per cent. The idea of the yatra was to cover the length and breadth of the nation and learn about different sectors such as agriculture, health, energy, water sanitation and education. The participants of the yatra, who arrived here by train, listened to a speech at Arvind Eye Hospital. Interacting with them, Aravind Eye Care System Director S. Arvind and Executive Director R.D. Thulasiraj traced the establishment of the hospital, founded by Dr. G. Venkataswamy.

The model of Aravind Eye Care Hospitals had been applauded and become a subject for numerous case studies across the globe, including in premium business schools such Harvard Business School and the IIMs, they said.

The participants appreciated the hospital team for its yeomen service and went around the hospital to know about various activities carried out there.

Over the last nine years, Jagriti yatra had impacted the enterprise landscape of the country significantly by creating future leaders, who believed in ‘building India through enterprise’.

These leaders, 4,000 of them spread across the country, had begun a journey for transforming ‘Middle India’ by collaborating among themselves, said Ashutosh, executive director, Jagriti, in a press release.

The yatra would end at Mumbai on January 8.

30
December


Source : DINAKARAN

29
December


Source : DINAKARAN

28
December


Source : DINAKARAN

27
December


Source : DINAKARAN

26
December


Source : THE HINDU

A little-known lab’s yeoman service in organ transplants



The lab at the MKU carries out, on an average, 250 tests for organ transplants every year.

Madurai: Tamil Nadu has over the years emerged as a pioneering State in India in organ donation and transplantation due to the focus on awareness programmes and establishment of regulatory mechanisms.

However, little known and rarely recognised in this progress is the contribution for 33 years by Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Laboratory at the Department of Immunology, Madurai Kamaraj University, which carries out crucial and mandatory ‘tissue cross-match’ between the donor and the receiver for organ transplants.

“In simple terms, we test whether the receiver’s body will accept the graft from the donor or the antibodies in its immune system will reject the graft,” said K. Balakrishnan, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Immunology.

According to him, the journey started in 1980-81 when RM Pitchappan, who was a Reader in the newly formed Immunology Department, participated in a workshop in Paris with Jean Dausset, who won Nobel prize in 1980 for the discovery of the genes that form the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), also called HLAs (when referring to humans), which determines compatibility between the tissues of two individuals.

Inspired by the workshop and realising the potential for further research in the field, Mr. Pitchappan and others in the department started HLA Laboratory in the MKU.

“In those days, apart from All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, only CMC Vellore was carrying out organ transplants in considerable numbers. We used to get samples of CMC patients from across South India for tissue matching,” said Mr. Balakrishnan.

Today, the MKU has tie-up with around 25 major hospitals across Tamil Nadu and the lab carries out, on an average, 250 tests for organ transplants, mainly kidney transplants, every year. “Though a few private labs and hospitals now have the facilities to do the test, the MKU is the only government institution in the State with the lab. A majority of the staff in other facilities were also trained at HLA Lab here,” he said.

According to Mr. Balakrishnan, two tests are performed between the donor and the receiver for organ transplants at HLA Lab – first, a ‘tissue cross-match test’, which will determine whether the transplant could be carried out or not, and second, the HLA typing, which helps in determining how successful the transplant will be.

The tissue cross-match test involves incubating the lymphocytes isolated from the donor’s blood cells with the serum of the receiver. “If the antibodies in the serum react against and kill the donor’s cells, it is a positive cross-match. It means there is no compatibility and transplant cannot take place,” he said.

The subsequent HLA matching test becomes necessary only when the tissue cross-match test is negative.

HLA matching involves extracting DNAs and then subjecting them to Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). “The PCR multiplies specific DNA regions, in our case the HLA gene complex, so that they can be easily studied. These multiplied genes are then subjected to a process called gel electrophoresis, through which the exact arrangement and characters of the HLA gene complex can be visualised,” Mr. Balakrishnan said.

The procedure will be carried out separately for the donors and the receivers, and the outcome will be compared to see similarities between the HLAs. “Within blood relatives, similarities will be high. Higher the similarity, easier the receiver’s acceptance of the graft and its longevity,” he said, adding that the test was done only for live donors and not in case of cadaveric transplants.

K. Sampath Kumar, Head, Department of Nephrology, Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, who has been using the MKU’s facility for his patients, said the HLA typing also helped in determining the magnitude and nature of immuno-suppressant drugs to be administered to the receiver to make the body accept the graft.

The MKU lab has also been a source of income. In the past three years, it generated an income of Rs. 28.14 lakh, 30 per cent of which was shared with the university and the remaining amount used for maintenance and operation of the lab.

“This comes primarily through what we charge for the tests, which is less than 25 per cent of what is charged by private players, and the training provided for staff of private laboratories,” Mr. Balakrishnan said.

Stressing the importance of having separate institutions like the lab at the MKU to perform these tests, Dr. Sampath Kumar said having such labs within hospitals carried the risk of manipulation of results to perform transplants even if the match was not good.

However, he highlighted the need for more trained professionals in the field as the need for such tests was on the rise. “There is a considerable demand and opportunities in the western countries for professionals in this field, and hence a majority of the trained people do not stay here,” he said.

Acknowledging the brain drain, Mr. Balakrishnan said the university was planning to take more research scholars. “Since studying the HLAs has wider ramifications in developing vaccines and other drugs, we are increasing our collaboration with other institutions to widen our research activities. We hope it will help in retaining more people here,” Mr. Balakrishnan said.

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Source : DINAKARAN

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Source : DINAKARAN

22
December


Source : THE HINDU

Drinking water scarcity reaches alarming stage



Potable water is being carried in tri-cycles by youth for sale, and residents are paying anywhere between Rs.2 and Rs.5 per pot

The inability to provide drinking water to residents by the Madurai Corporation has resulted in youth selling water.

It is common to see potable water being carried in tri-cycles in the city by youth for sale and the residents paying anywhere between Rs 2 and Rs 5 per pot.

When The Hindu correspondent went around Meenakshi Nagar, near Villapuram (Ward 63), the residents said that water supply through taps was very thin. “It takes over 10 minutes for a pot to fill. The timings of supply are also at odd hours. Many wealthy people in the locality have fitted motors in their dwellings and pump out water,” they alleged.

After travelling to places like Jaihindpuram, Tahsildar Nagar, Bethaniapuram, near Fatima College, and a few pockets in and around K. Pudur, the indication is that Villapuram is not the only pocket where there is drinking water problem.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) members Rajapandi and others in Jaihindpuram said that the Corporation had earlier announced that water would be supplied once in four days. The timing was fixed at 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. However, very few beneftted from the distribution as illegal pumping was rampant here, he charged.

Many residents in Pulipandi Street in Jaihindpuram, and those in neighbouring M.K. Puram and Subramaniapuram pointed to the difficulties in getting potable water.

Many residents have slowly switched over to alternatives knowing well that officials at the Corporation can do very little with no rains and poor storage in the Vaigai reservoir.

Speaking to The Hindu, Rajamanickam, a resident of Lakshmi Road in TVS Nagar, said that they had made arrangements with an agent in Kovalan Nagar, who had started supplying water to 20 dwellings in the stretch on alternate days. “We get three pots for each house every time. Each pot costs us Rs 3. “From December 1, the boys are giving us water at a specific timing. So far the arrangement is going on smoothly,” he summed up.

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Source : DINAKARAN

19
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Source : THE HINDU

Post pictures of uncleared garbage on Swachaata App




In the event of non-removal of garbage, residents could post the picture of the garbage mound on the specially designed Swachaata App from January 4, 2017, which would draw the attention of the higher authorities and thus facilitate speedy action, said Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri here on Saturday.

Under Swachh Bharat Mission, the Union government has devised a slew of programmes for clearing garbage. Civic bodies have been linked through a network and an exclusive application has been designed. Anybody can download that App into their handphones and all that they should do is take a picture of the garbage mound and post it on the App.

Speaking at a meeting organised here to create an awareness of the consequences of using plastics, Mr. Nanduri said that with the city having been selected under Smart City Project, many programmes had been launched towards achieving the goal.

The Corporation had proposed to ban plastics around Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple from January 1. Appealing to the people of the Temple City to cooperate in this ambitious programme, Mr. Nanduri said the residents could download the specially designed Swachaata App and post their civic-related problems from the beginning of January.

The Union Urban Development Ministry had fixed certain timeframe for each grievances to be redressed by the officials. For instance, when a public had posted about non-removal of garbage on the App, it had to be redressed within 12 hours. Similarly, if anyone posted about the death of an animal in any street or ward with the picture, it had to be cleared within 48 hours. So, more the posts, the ratings are expected to be high. Hence, he appealed to the residents to download the App and use it for getting their civic-related grievances redressed.

Earlier, he distributed cloth bags to the public and the first set of bags were received by Vishaal De Mal founder and chairman Ilankovan. Aparajita Total Solutions Managing Director K. Nagaraj, Assistant Health Officer Parthiban and others participated.

A variety programme was conducted by students from Thiagarajar College of Engineering.

17
December


Source : THE HINDU

Pudur Main Road gets a facelift as encroachments are removed




Sending a strong signal that encroachment in any form would not be encouraged, the Corporation of Madurai removed over 50 unauthorised shops on roadsides in the city on Friday.

As many as 100 workers accompanied by a large posse of policemen, the officials from the town and country planning wing evicted shops, hoardings and billboards from K. Pudur to Kadachanendal area.

But for a few claims from people that they had approval from the Corporation, the demolition drive largely went on smoothly.

In some places, when political party affiliated persons attempted to stop, the police intervened and cleared the path.

The JCB and other machines were put to use for the demolition near ITI, at bus stand, Pudur Main Road, Moondru Maavadi, Surveyor Colony and Kadachanendal.

Public welcomed the move and hoped the trespassers did not surface after some time when the operation was over.

By demarcating the public space and by imposing hefty fines alone the encroachers could be discouraged, they opined.

16
December


Source : THE HINDU

DMK MLA installs complaint boxes




Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MLA P.T.R. Palanivel Thiagarajan, representing the Madurai Central , has installed suggestion/complaint boxes in as many as 30 different locations in his constituency.

Keeping his poll promise that he would give a “progress card” every six months, about his functioning, to the people in his constituency, he released the first card here on Wednesday.

Addressing around 500 volunteers and party’s ward secretaries, he said that though there were a plenty of things to be done, as an opposition MLA, the scope was limited. He appealed to the party men to be in touch with the people and impress upon them the need for voting the DMK in the ensuing local body polls, which would give them ample chance to execute a number of development works for the temple city through the Corporation of Madurai.

Already, the public had been consulted about spending the MLA’s constituency development fund. Proposals have been prepared and sent to the government for approval, he has informed in his progress card.

The progress card states that apart from assisting 55 applicants in getting old age pension (OAP) from the Social Welfare Department and 43 widow pensions, among others, Dr. Thiagarajan said that he would be glad to see suggestions or complaints, if any, from the people on civic issues. For this purpose, he has kept the boxes in the custody of volunteers and DMK office-bearers from the constituency.

The public would be given printed forms, which they can fill and drop in the suggestion box. At periodic intervals, it would be opened and the suggestions taken up with the authorities concerned for execution, he assured.

He also informed that based on the voter list, he had been preparing a comprehensive data of all the residents in the constituency. This, he said, would enable swift communication in future through WhatsApp and e-mail.

14
December


Source : FACEBOOK

14
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Source : DINAKARAN

13
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Source : THE HINDU

Subramania Bharathi remembered on his 135th birth anniversary




Members of various organisations and students paid homage to poet Subramania Bharathi on his 135th birth anniversary at Setupathi Higher Secondary School, where he once served as a teacher, here on Sunday.

Students dressed as Bharathi, accompanied by members of Amudhasurabhi Kalaimandram, took a pledge to follow the writings of the poet and help promote Tamil language. The members of the organisation made a demand for Bharathi to be conferred the title of ‘National Poet.’ They also demanded that a full-size statue of Bharathi must be installed in Madurai city. The participating students were presented with books of Bharathi.

Tamil Nadu Janata Dal (S) party members, led by its State general secretary K. John Moses, also garlanded the bust and paid their respects.

Senior staff members of the school, however, said that that they refrained from any celebrations since the State was still in mourning for late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and just provided access to the venue to public. “Usually, we conduct competitions for students and distribute prizes. This time we did not carry out any such activities,” a senior staff member said.

He added that since the school was the only place in the city where a statue of Bharathi had been installed, they did not want to restrict access to the public on his birth anniversary.

A garlanded portrait of Jayalalithaa was kept at the venue, in front of which the staff members paid homage by observing a minute silence.

12
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Source : DINAKARAN

08
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Source : DINAKARAN

05
December

புதிய ரூபாய் நோட்டு பிரச்னையால்


மதுரை மீனாட்சியம்மன் கோயிலில் திருமண நிகழ்ச்சிகள் குறைவு



Source : DINAKARAN

03
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Source : DINAKARAN

02
December

காலை 7 மணி முதல் மாலை 5 மணி வரை


Source : DINAKARAN

01
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Source : DINAKARAN

29
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18
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மதுரை மகால் 18ம் நூற்றாண்டில் நீதி மன்றமாக செயல்பட்ட காலத்தின் ஓவியம்


Source : FACEBOOK

17
November

பத்து தூண் சந்து மஹால் , 1950ம் ஆண்டு எடுக்கப்பட்ட மதுரையின் அரிதான புகைப்பட பிரதி.


Source : FACEBOOK

16
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Source : DINAKARAN





15
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Source : FACEBOOK


மதுரை சிந்தாமணி திரையரங்கம் - சில நினைவுகள்! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ நமது முன்னோடிகளின் படைப்பாற்றல், படிமங்களாக உருப்பெற்ற வெண்திரை இன்று கொஞ்சம் கொஞ்சமாக சிதைந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறது.

நாடோடிகளை மன்னர்களாக்கி மகிழ்ந்த திரை இது.திரைமொழி புத்துணர்ச்சியுடன் வெளிப்பட்ட திரையும் இதுவேதான்.வெகுஜன ரசனை கோலோச்சிய பொழுதுபோக்குத் திரைப்படங்களின் ஆதர்சத் திரையாகவும் இது இருந்தது.

நான் ஐந்தாம் வகுப்பு படித்துக்கொண்டிருந்த போது இந்தத் திரை என்னை மகிழ்வித்த 'அன்னை ஓர் ஆலயம் ' என்ற குட்டி யானை நடித்த படம் இன்றும் நினைவில் இருக்கிறது. அதில் ரஜினியும் இருந்தார். அதன் பிறகு இன்னொரு யானைப் படம் என்னை மிகவும் கவர்ந்தது. அது 'ராம் லக்ஷ்மன் ' என்ற படம் . அதில் கமல் இருந்தார்.கமல் - ரஜினி இருவரையும் என் போன்ற சிறுவர்களிடம் கொண்டு சேர்த்ததில் இந்தத் திரைக்கும் பெரும் பங்கு இருக்கிறது.

சங்கரன்கோவிலைச் சேர்ந்த எனது அண்ணாச்சி ஒருவர் முதுகில் நீளமான ஒரு கருப்பு வடு இருக்கும். அது எதனால் ஏற்பட்டது? என்று நான் கேட்ட போது ' அடிமைப்பெண் சினிமா மதுரயில சிந்தாமணி டாக்கீஸ்ல ரெலீஸ் பண்ணப்போ முதநா பாக்கப் போனேம்ல... அப்போ போலீஸ்காரன் லத்தியால ஒரு சாத்து சாத்துனாம் பாரு, அதயும் வாங்கிட்டு டிக்கட் எடுத்துட்டம்ல! ' என்று சந்தோசமாகச் சொன்னது என் நினைவில் வந்து போகிறது.

அவரும் இப்போது இல்லை! இது போல பல அண்ணாச்சிகளின் நினைவலைகளை தாங்கி நிற்கிற இந்தச் சிந்தாமணியும் இனி இல்லை!!

-இரா.குண அமுதன்.

14
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Source : THE HINDU

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Source : DINAKARAN





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Source : THE HINDU

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Source : THE HINDU

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05
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Source : DINAMALAR

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Source : DINAMALAR

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Source : THE HINDU

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Source : Facebook

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Source : THE HINDU

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Source : DINAMALAR

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Source : THE HINDU

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Source : DINAKARAN

19
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Source : THE HINDU

Festival to explore sports



Decathlon, sports stores, Madurai, is conducting “Sports Fest 16”, a platform people to learn and explore 15 new sports.

The three-day event, starting October 21, is aimed at giving everyone an equal opportunity to access all sports, connecting experts and users directly, to help people to start practising sport regularly and to give health awareness through sport.

Interested people can get free coaching on horse riding, wall climbing, rappelling, snorkeling, football, volley ball, karate, boxing, roller sport, swimming, basket ball, cricket, archery, racquet sport, table tennis, and golf.

The venue of the event is Decathlon, Madurai between 9.00 am to 10.00 pm. The presenting sponsor of the event is RIO Children’s Hospital, Madurai. The Hindu is the print partner for the event and radio partner is Suryan FM 93.5.

For registrations, please contact 8095056585 or 0452 2424585

18
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Source : DINAMALAR

17
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Source : THE HINDU

15
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Source : THE HINDU

14
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Source : DINAKARAN

13
October


Ancient names of Madurai




Madurai the historical city of all time. "Uyar mathirkoodal", AAlavai,Angan moothur, Kadamba vanam,Kannuparam, Koodarpathy,Koodal, Koodalam perumpathy, sivaraasathani, Sivan mukthi thalam,Thiruvalavai, Dhuvathasaantha thalam, thamil(zh)kadal, Then mathurapuram, Naan maadakoodal, Boologa kayilayam, Porkoodal, Boologa sivalogam, VaZhuthikkoodal, Velliambalam, etc.,Don't afraid these are the names of Madurai in literatures.

12
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Source : DINAKARAN

11
October

Sky gazers left spellbound by dazzling crescent moon, learn a thing or two


Source : TIMES OF INDIA

Madurai: 'International Observe the Moon Night' (InOMN) was observed in the city on Saturday with a good number of space enthusiasts gathering at Teppakulam to watch the earth's only natural satellite. The Galileo Science Centre in the city had organised the event in line with NASA's initiative to learn about the moon.

Former Isro senior scientist N Sivasubramanian interacted with students and explained about the moon at an awareness session conducted at Maniammai School. Participants also created models of the moon as part of the session.

Later in the evening, students and public gathered at Teppakulam, where three telescopes were set up to view the moon. Participants made a beeline to have a glimpse of the moon through the telescopes. Two books on the moon, 'Nilavodu Pesalama' (Shall we talk with moon) by S Devi and 'A to Z Moon' by Sri Sivanesh, a Class Six student at the Queen Mira International School, were released on the occasion.

Director of the Galileo Science Centre A Sathyamanickam said that human race had a close association with the moon from time immemorial. "Till the advent of electric lights, moonlight was something to be cherished as the light guided night journeys. Common banquets were held in moon nights. We are falling away from that close bond with the moon. Not many knows that it was the moon that slowed down earth's revolving speed and gave us a 24-hour schedule of day and night," he told TOI.

The centre had conducted similar sessions and moon watching programmes in 24 places including Kodaikanal, Tiruvarur and Thanjavur, Sathyamanickam said. "Those who attended such events have so far made 1,200 models of the moon. On Saturday, they made 60 such models," he added.

10
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Source : THE HINDU

08
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Source : THE HINDU

07
October



Shiva Nataraja in Chidambaram and Madurai Meenakshi amman temple 'VeLLiyamabalam'.

Chidambaram is the shrine of Nataraja performing the Cosmic Dance.

Normally, the Dancing Nataraja stands on his right leg and throws across the left leg. According to the ThiruviLaiyaadal puraaNam, there was a Pandya king who was grief-striken because of this. He felt that Nataraja has been standing on his right leg for eons of time. He prayed ardently to Nataraja to shift his stance and change his posture. He wanted to Nataraja to stand on His left leg and life up and throw across His right leg.

Because of his prayers, Nataraja appeared and hearing the Pandya's plea, shifted his legs. He stood on his left leg and lifted his right leg and danced thus.

This is known as 'Kaal maaRi aadiya patalam' among the 64 ThiruviLaiyaadal's - 64 Divine Sports of SriChockanatha Peruman of Madurai

04
October


Source : DINAMALAR

03
October

Digging up Madurai’s Sangam past


Source : FRONTLINE

At Keezhadi, a village not far from the southern bank of the Vaigai river near Madurai, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is undertaking a massive excavation, possibly its biggest to date in Tamil Nadu. Already 42 trenches have been dug in two locations in a coconut grove at a place called Pallichandai Thidal in the village. K. Amarnath Ramakrishna, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI’s Excavation Branch VI, Bengaluru, is leading the excavation, which has thrown up quite a few surprises and is attracting many visitors, among them schoolchildren and tourists. Amarnath takes time off to explain to visitors the significance of the finds. One such is a “deep terracotta ring well with 13 rings” that promises to go down further. “Here we have a ring well in association with a structure built of big-sized bricks. This is a peculiarity,” he tells a few visiting archaeology buffs. He contrasts this with the ring well excavated at Vasavasamudram near Kalpakkam (near Chennai), which stood independent of any other structure. The same is the case at Arikkamedu near Puducherry, he adds.

The structure associated with the well is made of burnt bricks, and the floor is also paved with big bricks. In fact, trench after trench, each five metres long and five metres wide and several metres deep, has structures made of burnt bricks. No mud bricks have been used. One trench features two brick walls, looking imposing and meeting each other. One of the walls is ten bricks thick and set in mud mortar. Each brick is 36 cm long, 24 cm wide and 6 cm thick. Another trench features a rectangular brick structure that looks like an antechamber. Large-sized hand-made grooved tiles have also been found in this trench, suggesting that the structure may have had a tiled roof. One trench has a channel made of bricks, perhaps for releasing water. In most of the trenches, below a certain level, layers of river sand have been found, signalling the existence of paleochannels in the area many centuries ago. There are big storage jars, pots with spouts, twin pots, big decorated pots, black and red pottery, white-painted black ware, and so on, jutting out of the trench walls.

There are potsherds and artefacts, too. When this writer visited the site, K. Vadivel, a research scholar in the Department of History, Government Arts College, Krishnagiri, was showing them to schoolchildren standing around him. He is one of the five research scholars from the college, led by Assistant Professor P. Venkateswaran, assisting the ASI. The others are K. Vasanthkumar, D. Balaji, R. Manjunath and G. Karthick. “What do you see engraved on this potsherd?” Vadivel asked the children, holding aloft a potsherd that he picked up from one of the several boxes on the table in front of him. “It is a fish,” exclaimed one of the children. Vadivel took out artefact after artefact and held them up for the children to see —pearl micro-beads, a big quartz bead with a superb engraving, ivory dices, terracotta human figurines, a copper rod for painting eyelashes, bangles made of conch shells, potsherds with Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions, arretine ware, and shining white-painted black pottery. At the end of it, the children appeared mesmerised. “Were all these that were shown now found here?” asked one of them.

In fact, all these and more found here point to this being a Sangam Age site. “This is definitely a Tamil Sangam Age site…. It was a habitation site. It was purely a Sangam Age site,” said Amarnath Ramakrishna. What is “impressive” is the discovery of big brick structures in the trenches. “We have got good structures. We have found big-sized walls.” Similar brick structures were found at Arikkamedu, Kancheepuram, Uraiyur, Kaveripoompattinam and Azhagankulam. “On the basis of a comparative study of Keezhadi with these sites and the availability of black and red ware at stratigraphically lower levels, we can say that this site belongs to the 3rd century BCE. This is tentative. We have not done carbon-dating yet,” the Director of Excavation said. The Sangam Age of the Early Historic period is datable from circa 3rd century BCE to 3rd century C.E. Keezhadi derives its importance from its proximity to Madurai, the capital city of the Pandya dynasty. The Pandya kings were known for their patronage in convening assemblies or gatherings, called Sangam, at Madurai, where Tamil literature was composed and compiled.

V. Vedachalam, veteran epigraphist and domain expert for the excavation, said, “The excavation provides strong evidence that a habitation site belonging to the Sangam Age existed close to Madurai. This site is important because we have got here all the evidence that we normally get from a Sangam Age site. We have got intact a portion of a beautifully built house. Nearby there is a deep ring well. A number of brick-built structures have been unearthed. These must have been elite people’s residences.” He argued that educated people must have lived there because many potsherds had on them the Tamil-Brahmi script. The trenches also yielded black and red ware, Roman arretine ware, rouletted ware, hundreds of beads made of semi-precious stones, ivory dices, iron spearheads and so on. “We have got a rich haul of antiquities. They show the nature of the habitation site of the Tamil Sangam Age and provide evidence about the culture that existed then,” said Vedachalam, who retired as Senior Epigraphist, Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department.

K. Rajan, Professor of History, Pondicherry University, who visited Keezhadi, also asserted that it was an Early Historic site that had many urban components. “It was one of the urban centres on the Vaigai river basin. It was located between the capital city of Madurai and the port city of Azhagankulam of the Pandya country,” he said. Its urban components were indicated by its civic amenities, external trade, existence of a multi-ethnic society, a communication system, use of luxury items, occurrence of expensive pottery, and so on. The discovery of carnelian beads indicated Keezhadi’s external trade links—the carnelian stone came from Gujarat. Luxury items such as pearl micro-beads and ivory dices showed that the Early Historic residents of Keezhadi had surplus wealth. Potsherds with Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions showed the prevalence of a communication system. While Brahmi was the script used, the language used was both Tamil and Prakrit. The name “Tissa” inscribed in Brahmi script on a potsherd belonged to the Prakrit language. Rajan was sure that the Prakrit name signalled that Keezhadi had maritime trade with Sri Lanka.

Keezhadi was a chance discovery. In 2013-14, the ASI conducted a survey of the Vaigai river basin, covering about 400 villages on either bank of the river in Dindigul, Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga and Theni districts. The river, a major lifeline for southern Tamil Nadu, originates near Vellimalai in Theni district in the Western Ghats and traverses about 250 km through the aforementioned districts before debouching itself in the Bay of Bengal near Azhagankulam, a port city that belongs to the Sangam Age. Amarnath Ramakrishna led the survey, and the team included Vedachalam and the assistant archaeologists N. Veeraraghavan and M. Rajesh. The aim was to identify sites for excavation in order to help in the understanding of the cultural transformation that took place in southern Tamil Nadu during the various periods.

“Despite having immense archaeological wealth, the Vaigai river basin remained neglected for an intensive excavation. Barring sporadic diggings in the pre-Independence era, no appreciable effort was made to explore and document archaeological remains along the Vaigai river valley,” said Amarnath Ramakrishna.

In the 1950s, K.V. Raman of the ASI Southern Circle undertook a village-to-village survey of Madurai, Melur, Periyakulam and Tirumangalam taluks and reported several archaeological sites and remains. The Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department excavated Kovalanpottal near Madurai. In 2006, Vedachalam, Rajan, S. Selvakumar and V.P. Yathees Kumar found several archaeological sites in the Vaigai valley, especially in its upper reaches.

“In the Vaigai river basin, the excavations done were minor in nature. The only major excavation done was at Azhagankulam by the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department for six seasons in the 1980s,” said Vedachalam. Thus, there was a felt need to document the villages on the banks of the Vaigai for their archaeological remains and, therefore, choose a site for excavation. With ASI Director General Rakesh Tewari clearing Amarnath Ramakrishna’s proposal for exploring the Vaigai basin, the four-member team embarked on the survey within a 5-km distance on either side of the Vaigai. They were assisted by Professor Venkateswaran and the research scholars mentioned above.

“We found archaeological remains in 293 sites in the form of urn burials, megalithic circles, dolmens, menhirs, hero stones, potsherds and gold bars with the Tamil-Brahmi script, Early Historic inscriptions, sculptures of the Buddha, Tamil Vattelluttu inscriptions and even inscriptions in Arabic,” said Amarnath Ramakrishna. Among the discoveries the team made were the ruins of a Siva temple and a dilapidated choultry, both at Kallikottai near Paramakudi in Ramanathapuram district. While the Siva temple, with important inscriptions and exquisite sculptures, belonged to the 13th century, of the later Pandyas, the choultry was built by Rani Mangammal of the 17th century, of the Nayaka period. “We were disappointed to find that many of the sites that had been discovered earlier had disappeared under the onslaught of urbanisation, cultivation and industrialisation,” said Vedachalam. For instance, the habitation site Uthamapuram, of the Sangam Age/Early Historic period, has vanished. In fact, expanding cultivation has erased many sites of the Sangam Age in the Cumbum valley. The habitation site at Dombichery has also disappeared. It is at Dombichery that a hoard of punch-marked silver coins of the Early Historic period was found. Called the Bodinaickanur hoard, it was important enough for the historian D.D. Kosambi to write an article about it.

As the survey was winding down, the team reached Madurai city proper. Around Madurai, its team members once again studied the Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions chiselled on the brow of natural caves situated atop hillocks at places such as Arittapatti, Keezhakkuyilkudi, Keezhavalavu, Kongarpuliyankulam, Mankulam, Melakkuyilkudi, Tiruvadavur, Varichiyur and Arittapatti. These Tamil Brahmi inscriptions are datable from the 3rd century BCE to the 1st century C.E. The team documented the Jaina bas-relief sculptures, Jaina beds and Tamil Vattelluttu inscriptions of the 9th century in these sites. However, in Madurai city proper, the team found no evidence of any Early Historic habitation site because the entire cityscape had been built up.

Truck driver’s tip-off


As the team members came down further, they reached Keezhadi. There a truck driver, who was loading coconuts into his truck, suggested to them in the course of casual conversation that they go inside the coconut grove and study the place. “The grove is littered with potsherds,” he told them. They went, and what they saw took their breath away. On the surface of a sprawling mound (Pallichandai Thidal), which had become a coconut grove, they saw hundreds of potsherds, some inscribed with graffiti, lying everywhere. Big fired bricks were scattered around. An earthmover was digging a pit in a vacant space among coconut trees. The team members could not believe their eyes when an ancient brick structure—two walls meeting each other—came into view inside the pit. There were other brick structures, too, in the exposed area, besides a lot of black and red ware. The team realised that it was on to something big and that this was an ancient habitation site. For, a few days earlier they had found an urn burial site at Konthagai, about a kilometre from Keezhadi.

Of the 293 archaeological sites that the team located in the Vaigai river basin, about a hundred turned out to be habitation sites. On the banks of the Vaigai, each habitation site does not have a burial site of its own. A cluster of four or five habitation sites had one burial site.

Soon, the team shortlisted three sites: Keezhadi, Maranadu and Sithar Natham for excavation. While Sithar Natham is 50 km from Madurai city, Maranadu is 30 km away. Keezhadi is only 12 km south-east of Madurai. In fact, it is located in Tiruppuvanam taluk, Sivaganga district, adjoining Madurai district. Besides, Vedachalam had, in 1978, documented Tamil inscriptions of the later Pandya king Maravarman Kulasekara Pandya I (regnal years 1268 to 1311) on the plinth of a small Siva temple in Keezhadi village itself.

“After seeing the brick structures, we surveyed the Keezhadi site four times. It was impressive,” Amarnath Ramakrishna said. A contouring of the site was done. The area of the archaeological mound, that is, Pallichandai Thidal, was estimated at 80 acres and its circumference was 3.5 km. The mound’s height was 2.88 metres from the ground level. What was touching was the generosity of Sonai Chandran, the owner of the coconut grove, who readily handed it over for excavation. “I liked the way Amarnath spoke to me. We knew that the ASI will not take away our land permanently. Besides, we are getting important evidence that our village belonged to the Sangam Age. So I told Amarnath and Vedachalam that they can do the excavation in my grove for as long as they want,” Sonai Chandran said.

Pallichandai Thidal is surrounded by Keezhadi, Konthagai and Manalur. If these villages were to form a circle, it is as if Pallichandai Thidal forms the centre point of the circle. Keezhadi and Konthagai were together called Kuntidevi Chaturvedi Mangalam in the 13th century. The eastern portion of Kuntidevi Chaturvedi Mangalam was called Keezhadi. Kuntidevi Chaturvedi Mangalam later got corrupted to “Konthagai”.

The original credit for discovering archaeological artefacts at Pallichandai Thidal goes to V. Balasubramanian, who was the headmaster of the Government High School at Keezhadi. In 1978, Balasubramanian found 14th century terracotta artefacts at Pallichandai Thidal and informed Vedachalam. “I reached Pallichandai Thidal and saw the male, female and Ayyanar [a folk diety] terracotta figurines,” said the noted epigraphist. “Then, in the survey we did in 2014, we identified 293 sites with archaeological remains on either side of the Vaigai river. Of these 293 sites, I said Pallichandai Thidal was an important site. We went there, saw the mound, the brick structures exposed by the earthmover, and potsherds lying everywhere. So we decided to excavate at Pallichandai Thidal because there has been no major excavation in the recent past in the habitation sites in southern Tamil Nadu,” Vedachalam said.

Burnt bricks and artefacts


The first season of excavation began on March 2, 2015, and ended in September. Forty-two trenches were dug and, astonishingly, many of them yielded structures made of large-sized bricks that typically belong to the Early Historic period. For instance, a trench dug in the highest point of the mound yielded a massive brick wall. They were all burnt bricks. Another trench yielded a pot with a conical bottom, whose occurrence was rare. Yet another trench yielded a small room built of bricks, whose floor had a spread of river sand. This led to a debate on whether it was a dry toilet. The centre of the mound revealed a lot of structural activity. Small brick-built rooms threw up plenty of pots.

A bonanza of artefacts was found in almost every trench. What stood out was a big quartz bead with a superbly made engraving. “We can say with confirmation that it was made about 2,200 years ago,” Amarnath Ramakrishna said. “It was found at a depth of 180 cm,” he added. A perforated shallow dish was found as well. “This is a rarity in Tamil Nadu,” he said. Prized discoveries included gleaming pearl micro-beads and hundreds of beads made of semi-precious stones such as carnelian, agate, lapis lazuli and quartz. Glass beads were also found. From the surface of the mound, Vedachalam picked up a human terracotta figurine.

Other artefacts found in the trenches included shell bangles with decorations, ivory dice incised with concentric circles, terracotta gamesmen and spindle-whorls with iron roads (indicating the existence of a textile industry).

Amarnath Ramakrishna said: “The artefacts are a confirmation that Keezhadi was a trade centre and that a big town existed there [during the Early Historic period]. Stratigraphically, in the lower levels, we get all the material such as arretine ware, rouletted ware and white-painted black ware which are associated with the Early Historic period. A wealthy, cultured society must have lived there. Stratigraphically, we have found a lot of deposits which offer good evidence to correlate Madurai with the Sangam Age. This site definitely gives a clue to the date of the Sangam Age.”

So far, no archaeological evidence other than rock-cut Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions around Madurai have been found to relate the antiquity of the town to the Early Historic period. Keezhadi fills that gap, Amarnath Ramakrishna argued. “We have dug only 1 per cent of the mound’s area. If we dig about 10 per cent, we will know the city’s dimensions,” he added.

Vedachalam also argued that the occurrence of brick houses, which were “elite people’s residences”, black and red ware, arretine ware, rouletted ware and russet-coated ware, hundreds of beads, ivory dices and so on revealed “the nature” of a habitation site of the Sangam Age. An irrigation tank, too, existed at Keezhadi. He said: “We did a complete exploration of the archaeological sites on both banks of the Vaigai river, right from the place where it originates to Azhagankulam, where it empties into the sea. Then we chose Keezhadi for excavation. The excavation at Keezhadi will help us to appreciate southern Tamil Nadu’s history and the life and culture of the people of the Sangam Age. Similar exploration should be done on the banks of every river in Tamil Nadu to locate archaeological sites, and excavations should be done in important sites to help us understand the settlement patterns in ancient times. Only then will we understand fully the sweep and magnitude of Tamil Nadu’s cultural antiquity.”

01
October


Source : DINAKARAN

30
September

Voices and music bring alive the past


Source : THE HINDU

A chapter of Madurai’s history comes alive every evening at the Tirumalai Nayak Palace. But sadly, not many are aware or patronize the light and sound show that kicks off daily after the sun sets.

As the show is set to begin on this particular evening, dark clouds waft across the sky. The palace looks more beautiful in that backdrop and soon the natural dimming light of the day is replaced with multi-hued lights beamed across the pillars of the palace. The motley crowd that has turned up for the show in English is introduced to King Tirumalai Nayyak, as a prominent ruler of his dynasty and an ardent devotee of goddess Meenakshi.

As the play of lights takes on a resplendent glory and the sound track goes all powerful with an interesting storyline, we learn about the ruler – as a warrior whose victory over the Mysore king is much celebrated; how people rejoice the King’s love for art, music and poetry; the King as a secular person who made land grants for religious purposes and endeared himself to the masses; how much he was fond of his queens and; all that add up to his credentials as a much loved human being. The anecdotes of Tirumalai reign are narrated in both an intriguing and entertaining manner.

The synchronization of light and sound is remarkable and draws you in so much that you feel you are watching a live play sans actors. Siva Chidambaram’s voice over for the King is dramatic and does complete justice to the show much as the female vocals for the other roles. Together, they bring to life the characters in the narration. The background score is in sync with the show. There are many instances when the various elements of the show combine to make it so real. For instance, the part where a thief enters the palace even while the soldiers guard the palace, can give you goose bumps!

“The play consists of stories based on real occurrence as well as beliefs. The original script has been composed by Kali Muthu, which even included the Kannagi curse that is believed to have set the city ablaze. The episode was, however, removed from the script,” says Oli Malik, the AE at Palace.

He recalls how the show was launched in 1980 with just a halogen light focusing on the centre of the palace and an audio track running simultaneously. “It worked like that till 2007. After the renovation of the palace was completed in 2009, the show was reopened with major changes like the increased use of lights and stereophonic sounds,” he adds.

By the time the one-hour show is over, people know how and why King Tirumalai Nayak constructed the palace spread over 20 acres as a symbol of grandeur in South India and it’s architecture was intended to be part of Madurai’s beauty. Built in 1636, it was a fusion of several arts and its 248 pillars were a distinguishing feature. But unfortunately, only a quarter of the original structure remains now in the original location.

The complex was reduced to remnants when Tirumalai Nayak’s grandson, Chokkanatha Nayak shifted the capital from Madurai to Tiruchirapalli. Later, during the British regime, the palace was used as the district court and continued to function so till 1970. With establishment of ASI in 1971, the task of renovating the palace gained momentum and since then has been declared a heritage site.

The show run daily from 6.45 for an hour each in English and Tamil is quite absorbing. There is a seating capacity for 450 people in the open courtyard in the middle but not more than 50 people turn up in the evenings. On weekends, the numbers increase but never to full capacity. An irritant behaviour of people watching the show is to either leave midway or roam around the corridors of the palace and come in the way of the projector beam or keep flashing their cameras to take photos.

Instead, people should just sit back and enjoy the show. Before coming for the show, if people read up a bit on the history of the dynasties that have ruled Madurai, the evolution of Sangam literature and the Dravidian architecture, then this two decades old sound-and-light show can become even more thrilling to watch and hear with one’s imagination taking on the reins. The State Archaeology department could perhaps publicize the event a bit aggressively to entice crowd. Why let an effort go waste and in the process history be forgotten?

29
September


Source : THE HINDU

28
September


Source : THE HINDU

TCE students bag first prize


Students of Thiagarajar College of Engineering receiving a prize in Madurai on Tuesday



Marking the World Tourism Day, the Travel Club Madurai conducted the third edition of inter-collegiate quiz on the theme ‘Know Your India’ here on Tuesday.

According to a release, 98 students from 22 colleges participated in the competition. Individual prizes were given for all correct answers. The Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Lady Doak College and Thiagarajar School of Management students bagged the first, second and third prizes.

The GRT Regency sponsored the event. Geetha Ravi, former professor of Fatima College, was the quiz master.

Travel Club President M. Senthilnathan gave away the prizes in the presence of Secretary Zafar Salim and Treasurer J. Rishwanth, the release added.

27
September


Source : THE HINDU

21,918 personnel for local body polls


As many as 21,918 polling personnel would be deployed for the smooth conduct of local body elections, to be held in two phases on October 17 and 19, for Madurai Corporation, municipalities, town panchayats and panchayat unions in the district, said Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao here on Monday.

For a total of 4,252 posts, which include District Panchayat Ward Member (23), Panchayat Union Ward Member (214), Village Panchayat President (420), Village Panchayat Ward Member (3273), Corporation Councillor (100), Municipal Councillor (78) and Town Panchayat Ward Member (144), candidates shall file nominations from September 26 to October 3 excluding Sunday.

Addressing a press conference, he said the Department of Panchayat Raj and Rural Development officials were geared to handle the exercise in a fair manner in coordination with revenue, police and other agencies.

Electronic voting machines would be used in urban areas, covering 1,490 polling stations, and 4,958 ballot boxes used in rural areas for electing candidates to different posts.

The officials have identified 492 polling stations as sensitive and hyper-sensitive. It need not necessarily be just on law and order front, but it could be due to other factors such as caste and political. Hence, video cameras and webcast would be in place for monitoring, the Collector said and added that the model code of conduct was in place.

Till the election was over, weekly grievance day meetings would not be conducted. Similarly, new development works shall be kept in abeyance. However, works which had already been sanctioned would not be stopped, he said. Voters who had cast in the recently concluded Assembly elections would be eligible for voting in the local body poll, he said.

When asked whether the rotational change was adhered to in Keeripatti and Pappapatti villages, the Collector said they would go as per the gazette notification.

Superintendent of Police Vijayendra S. Bidari, who was present, said wherever necessary forces would be drawn from other districts as well.

Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri and Additional Collector Rohini Ramdas were present.

Defacing walls in the city and suburban areas had commenced and any violation would attract cases against the respective political parties.

Nominations



On the first day, 101 persons filed nominations for the following posts: Village Panchayat Ward Member: 98, Village Panchayat president: 2 and Corporation Councillor: 1.

Later in the evening, the officials held a meeting with representatives from political parties and spelt out rules to be followed, a press release said.

26
September


Source : DINAMANI

24
September


Source : THE HINDU

23
September


Source : FACEBOOK

மதுரை தெப்பக்குளம் முக்தீஸ்வரர் கோவில் கருவறையில் உள்ள சிவலிங்கத்தின் மீது சூரியக்கதிர்கள் விழும் நிகழ்வு ஆண்டு தோறும் செப்டம்பர் மாதம் நடைபெறும்.இக்கோவிலில் நந்தி சிலையை தழுவிய சூரிய கதிர்கள் கருவறை நோக்கி சென்ற காட்சி.

22
September


Source : DINAKARAN

21
September

Madurai in Smart City Club


Source : THE HINDU


Efforts to get Madurai into the smart cities in the country fetched the desired results.

On Tuesday, Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri told The Hindu that the heritage city had been chosen for the select Smart City Club.

The Commissioner, who was instrumental in giving a fresh thrust on rebuilding, had formed an exclusive team comprising architects and technocrats to work and compete in the selection process.

For over eight months, the team prepared documents and organised meetings to get public opinion.

The proposal was focussed around the world famous Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. “The idea clicked successfully,” Mr. Sandeep Nanduri said.

“We had submitted proposals worth around Rs.1300 crore with which, different components would be taken care of. For instance, Madurai, which is known for its heritage values, the treasures would be preserved. Likewise, the city would be given a facelift even in basic amenities,” he added.

The Corporation would form a private limited company for this purpose and the special purpose vehicle would identify projects under the Smart City development.

Focus on Vaigai



The Vaigai river would get more attention from now on, he said.

Similarly, IT sector, which had planned to come here in a big way, would also get its due from the Corporation.

20
September

Fourth edition of ‘Made in Madurai’ from September 22


Source : DINAKARAN

After a gap of three years, the Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA) is organising the fourth edition of ‘Made in Madurai (MIM)’ exhibition from September 22 at Tamukkam Ground.

Addressing the media on Monday, MADITSSIA Secretary K.P. Murugan said that the exhibition, similar to its previous editions, would provide a platform for both small and big industries to exhibit their products.

“The idea is to project the strength of Madurai district and the industrial opportunities it offers so as to attract investments from bigger players,” he said. Mr. Murugan added that the exhibition would also provide opportunities for the budding and aspiring entrepreneurs in the district to find new avenues as industrialists and entrepreneurs from all over Tamil Nadu were expected to visit the exhibition.

“The last MIM exhibition was organized in MADITSSIA Hall and it received an overwhelming response. This time, we wanted to make it even bigger and hence opted for Tamukkam Ground,” he said.

M. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of the organising committee of the exhibition, said that there would be around 150 stalls in the exhibition, for which the entry would be free. “Majority of the stalls will be for micro and small scale industries. However, big corporate players are also setting up stalls,” he said.

He said that, unlike Coimbatore and Tiruchi that are dominated by a particular type of industry, Madurai had a variety of industries, which would be showcased in the expo.

He said that the exhibition had received support from various government institutions like National Small Industries Corporation and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation.

The exhibition will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from September 22 to September 25.

“Idea is to project the strength of Madurai district and the industrial opportunities it offers”

19
September


Source : DINAKARAN

17
September

Student felicitated for Guinness record


Source : THE HINDU

P. Gowthama Narayanan, a third-year student at Madurai Medical College, was felicitated by Minister for Cooperation ‘Sellur’ K. Raju and Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao for his Guinness record in controlling cricket ball with a bat for longest duration.

Narayanan made his first attempt in July 2015, in which he tapped the ball with the bat continuously for 6 hours and 14 minutes in the presence of observers from Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and Tamil Nadu Olympic Association.

Another attempt



According to Narayanan, though the attempt was recognised by India Book of Records and Asia Book of Records, Guinness World Records demanded another attempt with slight variations.

“Mine was the first such attempt made anywhere in the world. So, Guinness World Records arrived at the qualifying parameters after consultation with experts from the cricketing field. They demanded that both my hands should be on the handle of the bat unlike my previous attempt, in which one of my hands was on the blade. They also set a minimum target of two hours,” he said.

Based on this, Narayanan made his second attempt on September 11 2015, in which he managed to tap the ball continuously for 2 hours and 16 minutes in the presence of observers.

The video footage and other evidence were sent to Guinness World Records, which recognized the record in December 2015.

16
September


Source : THE HINDU

Dengue: Door-to-door check under way in city


Corporation officials impose fine on buildings that litter surroundings

Sending a strong signal that violators would not be allowed to go scot-free, Corporation officials swung into action and imposed fines on buildings which did not keep the surroundings clean.

The civic body has been taking many proactive steps to prevent outbreak of monsoon-related diseases such as dengue.

However, after unusual cases of fever and other ailments were reported, Health Department officials conducted a door-to-door check in areas where water- logging was reported.

Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri had formed 20 teams led by Deputy Commissioner S. Shanti to check all the four zones in the city.

The teams inspected schools, residential apartments and buildings under construction. It was found that in zone 1, 11 out of the 81 buildings inspected were found to have violated rules. In zone 2, out of the 115 buildings inspected, 15 had not kept the premises clean. In zone 3, 18 buildings were totally unclean out of the 55 premises checked, and in zone 4, the officials found that out of 140, 36 buildings had not kept their premises clean.

A total of Rs. 2,98,700 was imposed as fine. The Commissioner said that apart from educating the people, the sanitary inspectors and health staff distributed pamphlets to the residents on the dos and dont’s to be followed.

Waterlogging inside or outside homes, non-removal of unused materials such as tyres and utensils where water got collected and bred mosquitoes were checked. The Commissioner said the officials would keep a tab on buildings which were under construction. Any neglect would be dealt with sternly. “If warranted, we will seal the premises and cancel the plan approval,” he said.

Waterlogging,

non-removal of tyres and utensils where water got collected and bred mosquitoes were checked.

15
September


Source : DINAMANI

13
September

Corporation girls school gets smart classroom


Source : THE HINDU

A smart classroom, equipped with projectors, speakers and e-content, was inaugurated at the Kakkai Padiniyar Corporation Girls Higher Secondary School here on Monday.

Inaugurating the classroom along with Mayor (in-charge) K. Thiraviam, Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri said that this was the first Corporation school in the city to get a smart classroom and work to set up such classrooms was already underway in five more schools.

“Most of the private schools have smart classrooms today. We wanted the students of corporation-run schools also to get the best learning experience,” he said, adding that all the 15 corporation-run higher secondary schools in the district would get smart classrooms within a year.

The smart classroom set up at the school would have e-content involving animations and videos to explain various concepts. N. Kingsley Richard from Educomp, the vendor who supplied the infrastructure, said that the e-content supplied to the school was developed for students from Class 1 to Plus Two as per the ‘samacheer kalvi’ syllabus.

S. Ezhilarasi, headmistress of the school, said that every class would be allocated at least a couple of hours at the smart classroom. “Priority will be given for Class 10 and Plus Two students,” she added.

Madurai Corporation had collaborated with the Madurai chapter of Soroptimist International to set up the classroom at Kakkai Padiniyar Corporation Girls HSS.

“Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) was partnering with us as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. With the funds provided by LVB, we approached Corporation Commissioner and expressed our intent to contribute for a girls’ school. He suggested that we contribute towards smart classroom,” Sangeetha Ranjith, president of the Madurai chapter said. Anitha Rajarajan, founder-president of the chapter, said that the club has decided to adopt the school to make it a model school among other corporation-run schools. Senior officials from LVB also participated in the inauguration.

10
September

An app to guide you through Meenakshi temple


Source : THE HINDU

When you travel to Madurai next time, there will be no need to research through online and offline material to know about the world famous Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. Your mobile phone will be a virtual guide to take you on a tour of the temple, besides providing a peek into the ancient city’s history.

A free-to-download app developed by Chennai-based Aseuro Technologies provides information on the background of the temple, stories and miracles associated with it, its architectural marvels, history of Madurai, hours of worship, dos and don’ts, parking lot and toilets and where can you eat. In 23 audio sections, it describes the important places in the temple in Tamil, English and Hindi.

Karumuttu T. Kannan, Fit Person of the temple, who officially launched the app on Monday, said it was the first of its kind for a temple in the country and very user-friendly. Srikanth Iyer of Aseuro Technologies said it took 18 months for them to develop the app after intensive research and review by temple authorities.

It had become necessary as authentic information was not available for visitors to many places of tourist importance. “We have made a beginning with the Madurai temple and will soon come out with apps for Belur temple and Mahabalipuram,” he said.

The app does not follow a rigid order. The visitor can enter the temple through any of the entrances and tap the relevant number or name to know about his location. Display boards have been put up in the temple with names of each section and information on downloading the app is provided for visitors around the temple.

First-timers can listen to the introduction before entering the temple to make their visit enjoyable.

For downloading the app, one has to log intowww.pinakinapp.comto register the mobile phone.

09
September


Source : THE HINDU

08
September


உலகில் ஆறாயிரம் ஆண்டுகளாக தொடர்ந்து இயங்கி வரும் ஒரே ஒரு மாநகரம் எது என்று உங்களுக்குத் தெரியுமா?


"The World's only living civilization" உலகில் பழமையான மாநகரங்கள் பல இருந்தாலும் அவை எல்லாம் ஒரு காலத்தில் அழிந்தோ சிதைவுற்றோ மீண்டும் தோன்றியிருக்கின்றன. மிகப் பழமையான கிரேக்க, ஏத்தன்ஸ், ரோம் போன்ற மாநகரங்களை ஆய்விடும் போது அடுக்கடுகான அமைவிடங்கள் இருப்பது தெரியவந்தது. அதாவது அந்த நகரம் புதையுண்டு அதன் மேல் மீண்டும் ஒரு நகரம் உருவாக்கப்பட்டது.

ஆனால் சுமார்6000 ஆண்டுகளாக தொடர்ந்து இயங்கி வரும் ஒரே நகரம் "மதுரை "தான் என்று ஆய்வாளர்கள் பிரம்மிக்கிறார்கள். நகரம் மட்டும் இயங்கவில்லை தனது கலாச்சாரத்தை இன்று வரை தொடர்ச்சியாக எடுத்து வந்துள்ள காரணத்தினால் மதுரையை

"The World's only living civilization" என்று டிஸ்கவரி தொலைக்காட்சியின் "The Story of India" ஆவணப்படத் தொகுப்பாளர் மைக்கெல் வுட்ஸ்.

மேலும் மதுரையை ஒட்டி அமைந்துள்ள பெருமாள் மலையின் அருகில் நரசிங்கம்பட்டி கிராமத்தில் சமீபத்திய தொல்லியல் துறை ஆய்வில் சுமார் 6000 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முந்தைய ஈமக்காடு (இறந்தவர்களை புதைக்கும் இடம்) கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்டது.

இதில் வியக்கத்தக்க விடயம் என்னவென்றால் இறந்தோரைப் புதைத்த இடத்தினை அடையாளம் கொள்ள புதைத்த இடத்தின் மீது அடையாளமாய் கற்களை அடுக்கி வைக்கும் பழக்கம் இருந்துள்ளது. மேலும் இது இறந்தோரை தாழியில் அடைக்கும் நாகரீகத்திற்கும் முந்தையது.

இந்த இடத்தை இப்போது நீங்கள் சென்று பார்த்தாலும் கற்குவியலைக் காணலாம். அங்கு வந்து குறிப்பிட்ட நாட்களில் வந்து பூஜித்து வழிபடும் வழக்கத்தையும் சிலர் கொண்டுள்ளனர். அவர்களை விசாரித்த போது பரம்பரை, பரம்பரையாக பாரம்பரியமாக அழிபடுவதாகவும் இதற்கான காரணம் தெரியாது அங்கு முன்னோர்கள் இருப்பதாக நம்பிக்கை உள்ளதாகவும் தெரிவிக்கின்றனர். அது அவர்களது முன்னோர்கள் புதையுண்ட இடம் என்று தொல்லியல் ஆய்வாளர்கள் சொன்னதைக் கேட்டு பிரம்மித்தனர்.

ஆம் நண்பர்களே சுமார் 6000வருடமாக தொடர்ந்து ஒரு நகரம் இயக்கம் கொண்டு வருவது மட்டுமல்ல, ஒரு கலாச்சாரமும் தொடர்ந்து இடைவெளியில்லாமல் இயங்கி வருகிறது என்றால் பிரம்மிப்பாக உள்ளதல்லவா?

அது மட்டுமல்ல மதுரைக்கு "தூங்கா நகரம்" என்ற பெயரும் இரண்டு, மூன்று ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன் இட்ட பெயர் அல்ல. ஆயிரம் ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்னரே இங்கு இரவு நேரக் கடைகள் பிரசித்தம். அவற்றை அல் அங்காடி என்று கூறுவதுண்டு. இதன் காரணமாகவே இன்று வரை இது தூங்கா நகரம் என்று அழைக்கப்படுகிறது.

ஆறாயிரம் ஆண்டுகளாக உலகிலேயே ஒரு நாகரீகத்தின் கலையையும், கலாச்சாரத்தையும் மொழியையும் சுமந்து தொடங்கி இயங்கி வரும் நகரம் மதுரை மட்டும் தான் என்பது பெருமைபடக்கூடிய விடயம் தானே!


07
September


Source : THE HINDU

Thousands of fish die at temple tank


Thousands of fish died at Saravana Poigai, the temple tank of Subramaniaswamy Temple at Tirupparankundram here on Sunday.

The dead fish started floating since Saturday evening and by Sunday morning many of them died forcing the temple authorities to deploy workers to remove them. Foul smell started emanating from the tank, one of five theerthams of the temple. Local people suspect that it could be a handiwork of some miscreants who could have poisoned the water owing to enmity over taking fishing lease. “A similar incident happened a couple of years ago at the Thenkal tank here when fish died due to suspected poisoning,” said P. Mahamuni, town secretary of Communist Party of India.

He complained that the residents had opposed the temple’s move to lease fishing rights through auctioning which was held in 2015.

“We knew that such sabotage could happen. But the temple authorities did not heed to our plea,” he complained. He wanted the temple administration to probe into the issues and get to the bottom of the issue. The tank is the source of groundwater recharge for the surrounding areas, Mr. Mahamuni said.

However, the Deputy Commissioner and Executive Officer of the temple, K. Chelladurai, said that water samples have been sent for testing. “Officials from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and Department of Fisheries have been informed. Only on getting the results of water samples, we can proceed further,” he said.

Mr. Chelladurai also complained of unabated usage of soaps and detergents in the tank.

The annual fishing rights in the tank of the temple, one of six abodes of Lord Muruga, was given for Rs. 47,000, he added.

A temple source wanted the Collector’s intervention in safeguarding the temple tank.


06
September


Source : Dinakaran




05
September


Source : Dinakaran

03
September


Source : TIMES OF INDIA

'Yagasala pujas' to be held at satellite temples



Madurai: The heart of Madurai city wore a festive look on Friday as the 'yagasala pujas' began for the ensuing consecration ceremonies of three of the most important satellite temple of the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarara temple. There are over 20 satellite temples that come under the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple.

The yagasala will be performed at three of the temples situated one kilometre away from the temple, including the Aadthi Sokkanathar temple, Chellathamman temple and Anjeneyar temple. The 'kumbhabhishekam' for all three temples will be performed on Sunday.

Elaborate arrangements have been made in view of the consecration of these temples and all of them have been decorated grandly. The yagasala for the Sokkanathar temple was established on the road which connects Thalavai Agraharam with North Veli streets.Ministers are expected to participate in the kumbabhishekam.

02
September


Source : Dinakaran


01
September


Source : Dinakaran

31
August


Source : THE HINDU

Where sewage flows into the Vaigai


The Vaigai has become the outlet for the ward’s sewage as many dwellings do not have underground drainage facility

“An ‘Amma Unavagam’ in my ward will benefit thousands of people,” said Muthu Meena, councillor of ward 81, which comprises a part of Madurai Central Assembly constituency and is situated close to the world famous Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple.

The ward, which has a little over 13,000 population spread across a three-kilometre radius, has Hanuman Padithurai, Pechiamman Padithurai, Raja Mill compound, a portion of North Veli Street and Workshop Road up to Aatumanthai (goat shandy), among others. It was earlier identified as ward 34 (when the city’s total number of wards was 72) and got changed to 81 after the inclusion of 28 new wards.

With the local body election scheduled to take place in about 60 days from now, the councillor, who is confident of a second time victory, said that she had done her best to the people.

Speaking on her behalf, her husband, also an AIADMK member, said, “Wherever possible, we have provided basic amenities. Our ward is thickly populated and has been a mix of residence and commercial undertakings. There are five schools, including the Corporation Kasturba Gandhi Girls Higher Secondary School, which has been producing toppers every year in the public examinations. Provision of street lights, drinking water and underground drainage has been a continuous process. As and when there was a demand, it had been taken up with the authorities by us.”

“Since the previous councillor (2006-11) from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had done nothing tangible, we have implemented what all was promised,” he claimed.

The councillor said that a part of the Vaigai river had been put to use for public to conduct ‘tharpan’ for their forefathers during occasions like Ammavasai and a special water tank and dumper bins, in which garlands and other puja materials were dropped, had been provided. However, the Vaigai has become the outlet for the ward’s sewage as many dwellings do not have underground drainage facility.

Admitting that much more had to be done to prevent waterlogging, the councillor said that paver blocks had been laid in narrow roads and by-lanes.

A proposal to renovate the pay-and-use toilet had been submitted to the Corporation Commissioner.

Likewise, the Mayor (in-charge) had assured to get the roads laid within a week in the ward, particularly the Workshop Road, where a “sandhai” is situated.

Public response However, shopkeepers and automobile workshop mechanics on Workshop Road said that neither the councillor nor the Corporation had done any good.

“We have been asking for a road here. Either there is no response or the councillor’s husband would say that they have given a proposal to the Corporation and that on receipt of funds, they would be laid,” an owner of a shop on Workshop Road said.

R. Balu, a CPI (M) member and a resident of the ward, charged that the Corporation gave UGD connections only to people who bribed employees. Hence, the Vaigai was getting polluted. “When there is so much hype over Madurai bidding for Smart City status, in reality, the authorities had not taken steps to stop people from polluting the river,” he said.

When Central government officials claimed that under the Swachh Bharat Mission toilets would be constructed in dwellings, which had no toilets, with government funds, local body officials and ruling party men demanded a “cut,” he alleged. He said that each beneficiary was asked to pay Rs. 7,000, while the construction of a toilet cost around Rs. 25,000. The Corporation had proposed to construct 1,200 toilets in each of the four zones.

The Community Centre built by the previous councillor situated close to the Central Library at Simakkal has not been put to use. “If it is opened, encroachment by antisocials can be prevented. Moreover, the economically weaker sections in the area can use the centre,” Mr. Balu added.

Whenever Simakkal area and North Veli Street get choked, two-wheeler riders alone used the small stretches in the ward to reach the Vaigai river bank to cross over to the northern side of the city.

“By clearing encroachments, these stretches can be put to better use and four-wheelers can also use them when carriage space widens,” S. Ramalingam, a resident of Muthu Irulluppan Pandithurai Lane, said.

Encroachment on pathway by stray cattle in the ward is a common scene. Likewise, forced parking of two-wheelers and pedestrian space getting occupied by roadside vendors leave limited space for vehicle users. The loading/unloading activities of lorries in the ward by commercial operators is yet another big menace.

Though the AIADMK lost the Madurai Central Assembly constituency to its rival DMK, this ward had polled 600 votes more in favour of the AIADMK candidate.

30
August


Source : Dinakaran

29
August

Meenakshi temple gets possession of land which was transferred illegally


Source : THE HINDU

MADURAI: The richly endowed Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple got back possession of a precious piece of its landed property in Madurai, thanks to the efforts of revenue officials.

A village administrative officer (VAO) who had recommended transfer of the patta standing in the name of the temple to private individuals fraudulently, has been placed under suspension. And, disciplinary charges for major punishment has been initiated against a tahsildar who acted upon the recommendation the VAO.

"On August 15, we were informed about illegal transfer of patta of the temple's land to an extent of 1.82 acre in B B Kulam to private persons. It prompted us to take the issue to the notice of the district collector requesting to restore the land back to the temple," said an officer of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) department.

Noting that the property is worth several crore now, he said district collector K Veera Raghava Rao, who came to know about it through the temple's joint commissioner, took steps and restored the land in the name the temple by cancelling the patta.

The suspended VAO of B B Kulam has been identified as Arabian, whereas 17 B charge memo has been issued to the Madurai north tahsildar M K Anbazhagan.Inquiry revealed that patta of the temple's land was transferred in an inappropriate manner with the participation of two persons. Thus we have cancelled the transfer of patta and restored the same in the name of the temple again. "" "Besides, disciplinary action has also been launched against the two persons. We have suspended VAO and issued 17 B charge memo to the thasildar," said the collector to the TOI.Actually, it is the district revenue officer (DRO) who is the competent authority to act upon transfer of patta of the land. But, the instant transaction was done without taking the issue to the notice of the DRO.

The 2,500-year old Sri Meenakshi Amman temple has several thousands of acres of land donated by many people including Kings ruled in Madurai and its neighbouring districts. Accordingly, it has properties in the districts of Madurai, Trichy, Pudukottai, Virudhunagar, Theni, Dindigul and Sivaganga.

26
August

Four-day agri expo begins in Madurai


Source : THE HINDU

The fourth edition of the “United Agri Tech – 2015” expo began at the Tamukkum Grounds here on Friday.Supported by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, the organisers, United Trade Fairs, expected that the expo would benefit farmers in the southern districts apart from agro producers, entrepreneurs and government officials.

The expo, which has close to 150 stalls, was inaugurated by Professor Gopalakrishnan of Agricultural College and Research Institute. It would conclude on June 28.

The display of latest techniques, gadgets, equipment at the expo to be adopted by farmers in the changing pattern of farm management would be useful and informative, said S. Packiaraj and D. Manojkumar, expo directors.

Last year, close to 35,000 persons visited the expo held in the city and this year, around 50,000 persons are expected to visit the expo.

The expo would be open from 10 a.m. and as an incentive to farmers from other districts, the organisers have planned to provide free pick up from Periyar bus stand, Maatuthavani and Arapalayam bus stands respectively, they also added.

25
August


Source : Dinakaran

24
August


Source : Dinakaran

22
August

Desilting of Sellur tank begins


Source : THE HINDU

Two bridges to come up at Goripalayam, Kalavasal; Ministers promise steps to decongest traffic


The government would soon sanction funds for building two more bridges at Goripalayam and Kalavasal junctions respectively, said Cooperation Minister Sellur K. Raju here on Saturday.

Inaugurating the desilting works at Sellur tank, and accompanied by Revenue Minister R.B. Udayakumar, District Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao and other senior officials from the PWD, he said that desilting the tank would give scope for recharging groundwater level in Thathaneri, Aruldosspuram, Meenakshipuram and Narimedu.

Situated in the centre of Madurai Corporation and on the northern side of the Vaigai, the tank, which was originally 72.73 hectares, had over the past been either encroached or given for residential purposes.

The water source for the tank was from the Periyar Main Canal and it was benefitting both the ryots and the residents.

However, only after Jayalalithaa assumed office as Chief Minister, the government had not only evicted encroachers, but had also given importance to desilting works.

Like, the Sellur tank, the Vandiyur tank and the Madakulam tank – the prime source of water for the city’s needs – would be preserved in all aspects, Mr. Raju assured and appealed to the people not to dump garbage in the waterbodies.

The number of vehicles had gone up so much that the city was getting choked at many points.To decongest and ensure mobility, the officials have prepared plans for construction of bridges at Goripalayam and Kalavasal.

Permanent solution


Soon, it would be taken up for approval with the Chief Minister and thus a permanent solution would be arrived at for the issue.Not only in Madurai, but all over the State, tanks were being desilted as it would benefit the farmers and the general public, said Mr. Udayakumar.

“The State would get its due share from Cauvery and the government was taking all steps in this direction,” he added.

20
August

Kudal Nagar station to become second railway terminal in Madurai


Source : TIMES OF INDIA

Madurai: With Madurai Junction reaching the saturation point of train operations, Kudal Nagar railway station on the outskirts will become a coaching hub and secondary terminal.According to railway officials, Southern Railway headquarters has given its nod for the project, which will be executed at a cost of Rs 30 crore.At present, Madurai station handles more than 50 passenger trains on a daily, including 19 originating and terminating trains. Occasionally, freight trains too pass through the junction.

With six platforms, there is difficulty in handling trains during peak hours. At least two to three times in a week, trains have to be detained on the city outskirts like Kudal Nagar or Tiruparankundram during peak hours due to adequate platform facilities.

Considering future requirements, Kudal Nagar will become a coaching hub for the city, said divisional railway manager, Sunil Kumar Garg during a recent media interaction. "There is no place in the junction to accommodate any new trains. So we have to develop Kudal Nagar as the next terminus where trains towards Trichy could originate and terminate as that part of the city is developing fast," he said.

Situated 2 km by rail and 6 km by road from Madurai Junction, Kudal Nagar at present hosts as a goods yard. It was announced as Adarsh station few years ago and has lot of vacant land available for development. The division utilised this station to operate originating and terminating trains when the yard was closed for works in 2012. Even then there was demand among rail users to consider it as secondary terminus for the city.

19
August


Source : THE HINDU

Madurai Deepam to be lit at Tamukkam


Eight tableaus will be taken out from city college



The torch, Madurai Deepam, which will be lit on Tamukkam Grounds for Maamadurai Potruvom celebrations, will be brought from Kidaripatti near Alagarkoil.

The torch will be taken to St. Mary’s Church, Goripalayam Mosque, and Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple before being lit on Tamukkam Ground where an exhibition depicting the different eras of the city's history will be held, the media was informed on Friday. Collector Anshul Mishra, and vice-presidents of the organising committee K.S. Bharath and S. Venkatesan briefed the media. “We have identified a 4th century B.C inscription in Kidaripatti, probably the oldest in Madurai.

The torch will be brought from there on February 8 . said Mr. Venkatesan. Symposiums on historical significance of Madurai and heritage tours for the public would be organised during the festival, he added.

On the proposed carnival, the Collector said that eight tableau with different themes would be taken out from the Madura College to Tamukkam Ground on February 10, the final day of the celebrations. The tableau would depict scenes associated with the Pandya kingdom, Gandhi’s Madurai visit, Mullaperiyar dam engineer Pennycuick and farmers, ancient inscriptions, among others.

Thousand artistes, including college students and professionals, were likely to perform at the carnival. From 6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. on February 10, deepams would be lit on river Vaigai to glorify it. A fireworks show will be organised after 8.30 p.m.

Earlier, Mr. Mishra reviewed the arrangements, and the feasibility of staging an air show at Race Course Stadium as a part of the celebrations.

P. Jayaraman, Joint Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department and Executive Officer of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, said that the Vasantha Mandapam on river Vaigai and Mariamman Temple tank would be illuminated during the three-day festival.

K.S. Bharath, one of the members of the core committee, said that the estimated cost of the celebration was Rs. 1 crore.

18
August


Source : Dinakaran

17
August


Source : Dinakaran

16
August


Pandian Express runs with LHB coaches


Source : THE HINDU

Improved:New ladder for reaching upper berths introduced in first class AC coach of LBH rakes in Pandian Express; (right) fire extinguishers and aesthetically designed stainless steel wash basin in the LHB coaches.s




Rail journey in Pandian Express, the flagship train of Madurai Railway Division, will not be the same any more.For the superfast train has got a pair of LHB or Linke Hofmann Busch rakes.Divisional Railway Manager, Sunil Kumar Garg, flagged off the first train with LHB coaches that come with German technology, here on Monday night.

Indigenously manufactured in Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala and Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, the coaches are approximately 1.7 metres longer than the conventional ICF coaches, said Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer, Jay Prakash, said.

“This provides more seating capacity with wider bays and doorway,” he said.The coaches come with additional berths – 80 berths in sleeper class (instead of 72 berths); 24 in First AC (18/20); 52 in II AC (46), – and 100 seats in general compartment instead of 90 in conventional coaches, he said.

“These coaches have more stainless steel and thereby the weight of the coach is approximately 10 per cent less than the conventional coaches,” he added. This will enable the trains to run faster matching the track speed.

With no electrical facility in the undergear of the coaches, the rakes come with generator cars on both ends. “The independent generator cars will reduce the burden on the locomotives for power requirement of the coaches,” Mr. Jay Prakash said.These coaches are fitted with microprocessor-controlled high capacity air conditioning system, which gives passengers better comforts during summer and winter season.The steel body will also ensure lesser corrosion and easier maintenance with longer life.The coaches also have axle-mounted disc brakes that will give superior braking power in reducing the speed or stopping the train quickly.

Aesthetic look


Higher usage of steel provided better aesthetic look to the coach that has better interiors with large windows, steel wash basins in and outside the toilets. The coaches have been designed with lesser noise inside. It has anti-skid PVC flooring.Besides, the Fiat technology used in LHB coaches is both heat and cold resistant. The new technology consumes less energy while creating heat and cooling effect in these new coaches.

The controlled discharge toilet system (CDTS) in LHB coaches is an added advantage. The windows are wider and each coach has a pantry provision. The railways has partially modified the design of these coaches to fulfil the needs of passengers.Instead of the emergency alarm chain, the new coaches come in a new design which will identify the bay from where the alarm was used.The Additional Divisional Railway Manager, P.V. Murali Krishna, was present.

15
August


New hypothesis links Keezhadi with Indus Valley


Source : THE HINDU

R.Balakrishnan, Additional Chief Secretary, Odisha, addressing Sangam 4 at Fatima College on Friday.— Photo: S. James




A new hypothesis that links the Vaigai civilisation, represented by the ongoing archaeological excavation at Keezhadi near here, with Indus civilisation on the basis of exact names of places was put forth by R. Balakrishnan, Additional Chief Secretary, Odisha, here on Friday.

Clarifying that no conclusions could be made at this stage when experts of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) were still working on the site at Keezhadi, Mr. Balakrishnan, a multidisciplinary indologist, said that questions around Indus Valley civilisation and Vaigai Valley civilisation were two sides of the same coin, notwithstanding the gap in time and space.

Delivering the ‘Keezhadi oration’ at the inaugural function of Sangam 4, an event to celebrate the greatness of Madurai, Mr. Balakrishnan recalled an early Dravidian hypothesis that people of the Indus Valley had migrated to another land and said that the names of places in south Tamil Nadu bore exact resemblance to those in Indus Valley region, comprising parts of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He was of the view that Indus Valley, which had abundant archaeological evidence, lacked in literary references while it was the converse in the case of Vaigai Valley.

500 names



Mr. Balakrishnan said that there were still about 500 names in the Indus Valley which were alien to north Indian languages.But their replicas were found in south Tamil Nadu, especially on both banks of the Vaigai.

He pointed out that names like Korkai, Madirai, Vanji and Thondi existed now in the Indus Valley and this could not be deemed accidental.Added to this were the symbols of the Indus Valley unearthed in Keezhadi. Mr. Balakrishnan said that the proven or potential archaeological sites along the Vaigai had exact counterparts in the Indus Valley but only future research could confirm the link.

The parallels between the Indus Valley and Keezhadi were the brick structures, size of burnt bricks, weights, playthings and red and black earthenware.Keezhadi was very much reminiscent of the Lower Town of the Indus Valley.Mr. Balakrishnan, while amplifying his argument, said that Tamil should not be defined as a State language as it was the language of a civilisation and it had outlived every period. And Keezhadi was not a mere town but a threshold to the Vaigai civilisation and it would provide the missing link with the Indus Valley.

He concluded his talk by making a plea that people should not allow the Vaigai Valley civilisation to be harmed by ‘katta panchayat.’

G. Gnanasambandan, Professor Emeritus, Thiagarajar College, in his talk, recalled the greatness of Madurai with references to ancient literature.

The other firsts of the city were: the first poem of Subramania Bharathi was published here; the first song for a talkie was penned by Baskaradas and Mahatma Gandhi took the historic decision of becoming a ‘half-naked fakir’ in Madurai.

The ASI team, led by K. Amarnath Ramakrishna, Superintending Archaeologist, which is involved in the Keezhadi excavation, was honoured on the occasion.

04
August


Noon Meal Centre


Source : THE HINDU

Click the image for enlarge view


03
August


விபூதி விநாயகர்



மன்னர் திருமலை நாயக்கர் காலத்தில் யாரோ ஒரு சிற்பி, இக்கோவிலுக்கு வரும் அனைத்து பக்தர்களும் தாங்களே அபிஷேகம் செய்து கொள்ளும் வகையில் விநாயகர் சிலையை ஏற்பாடு செய்து தரவேண்டும் என மன்னரிடம் கேட்டுக் கொண்டாராம்.அதன் அடிப்படையில் இந்த விபூதி விநாயகர் சிலை அமைக்கப்பட்டிருக்கிறது என்கிறார்கள்.

பக்தர்கள், தாங்கள் கொண்டு வரும் விபூதியைக் கொண்டு இவருக்கு அபிஷேகம் செய்கிறார்கள். அவ்வாறு அபிஷேகம் செய்தால் செல்வம் சேரும் என்பது அவர்களது நம்பிக்கை.

விபூதி என்றால் `மேலான செல்வம்' என்பது பொருள். இவரை வணங்கினால், வாழும் காலத்தில் பெரும் பொருளும், வாழ்க்கைக்கு பிறகு மோட்சம் என்னும் பிறவா நிலை செல்வமும் கிடைக்கும் என்பது நம்பிக்கை.

02
August


மதுரை மீனாட்சி அம்மன் தங்கதேர் உற்சவம்



30
July


Thanks to rare kidney Surgery,Madurai Techie gets new lease of life


Source:The Times Of India


MADURAI: When Mohan (name changed), a 26-year-old software engineer, was detected with renal failure and needed a kidney transplant, it posed a major challenge for his family. As per the existing laws, kidneys can be donated only by a first degree relation—parents, siblings or spouses. Mohan was the only child of his parents. As his father was diagnosed to have high creatine levels, it was left to his mother to be the donor. But, while the young man had B-positive blood group, his mother's was AB-positive.

However, medical science offered a solution and Mohan went under the knife on June 4. Thanks to his mother's life-saving gift, he is on the path to recovery and will be able to lead a normal life soon, said Dr M Sivakumar, nephrologist at the Apollo Speciality Hospitals in Madurai. "The determination of the patient and his parents to undergo the ABO incompatible transplant made us go ahead with the procedure. The patient was readied 20 days prior to the implantation. As the A anti-body is the main reason for kidneys of different blood groups getting rejected after the transplant, the patient was started on an anti-A antibody depletion treatment, which included special medical techniques, suppression and removal of antibodies," he told TOI.

By doing so, the immune system of the body is made to go into a selective amnesia for a specific period, during which the kidney is able to establish itself in the body, he said. "The antibody levels are carefully monitored and the transplant is performed when there are no antibody A in the body. After sometime, when the immune system is allowed to rejuvenate itself, it fails to recognise the kidney as a foreign body and things get back on track," the nephrologist explained.

There is no difference in the post-transplant conditions including life span of the patients in this method and the conventional same blood group transplants, he said. "The one year success in these patients is 95% while in the conventional method, it is 98%. By following the doctors' advice, such patients could lead a normal life for normal life span," he added.

Chief operating officer of the hospital Dr Rohini Sridhar said that ABO incompatible transplant would be a boon to many renal failure patients as it made it possible for any willing person to be their donor. "While, 3,000 persons were undergoing successful kidney transplants at present, the number could go up to 10,000 with just a slightly higher cost under the procedure," she said.

Kidney failure is one of the major diseases that affect the Indian population, with nearly two lakh persons dying every year across the country for want of a kidney. Only 3,000 successful transplants are performed annually. While, America, which is the leader in kidney transplants, depends on cadaver transplants, in India 30 to 40% are kidney transplants, which are performed with the donor and recipient coming from the same family. Two out of 100 persons with kidney failures require transplants.

29
July


Madurai's ancient streets,temples


Source:The Times Of India


Is it possible to name the first road in any city in the world? But, in Madurai Aadi Veedhi is the first road formed during the construction of the city. The significance of the street is that town plan was once given by the Lord Shiva to the thence Pandya King in his dream.

Later, he ordered the king to build a temple for him and Goddess Meenakshi amidst the Kadamba forest (In those days, Madurai was nick named Kadambavanam as the city was covered with Kadamba tress) and to form roads around the Temple. The roads were formed in concentric squares. The first road — Aadhi Veedhi is situated inside the temple campus and is being utilised only for devotees and public traffic is banned right from the beginning. There is a mythological belief about Aadi Veedhi that your sins are pardoned if the devotees walk to complete the entire square course. So, devotees usually finish their holy walk first around the Aadi Veedhi and then enter the temple with a pure heart!

As per the spiritual belief, the month of Aadi is wholly dedicated to the devotional aspects of life. This is the main reason people avoid all sort of functions including marriages, house warming functions and inaugural functions so that the people can concentrate only on devotional happenings and proceedings. True to the fact, Aadi Veedhi is fully filled with devotional activities happening in all the months of the year.

Lalitha, a staunch devotee explains in details. She says, "If anyone wants to go around the world and seek all the blessings of all the Gods around the earth, they can simply choose to finish a course through Aadi Veedhi. It has an equivalent benefit. The nearby residents come here daily and perform the holy walk in Aadi Veedhi. As per the 'Thiruvilayadal Purana', Lord Vinayaga chose to go around his parents to get the precious fruit whereas Lord Muruga started his physical journey across the whole world and failed in the competition of wisdom. This can be visibly compared with the localities performing the holy walk around the Aadi Veedhi."

There is a stage situated in the north eastern corner of the Aadi Veedhi. Spiritual meetings and speeches often take place on this stage. All the popular spiritual orators make their inspiring speeches on this stage and the devotees who go around the street have a good relaxation at this point.

Aadi Veedhi hosts another place called 'Pasu Madam' where the cows are being taken care. These cows are donated by the devotees and they are well maintained. Female devotees, especially from the northern part of India buy greens ( Agathukeerai) that are available in front of the Pasu Madam and feed them to the cows. People do it and hope they would be blessed by Goddess Komatha.

28
July


மதுரை மாநகரின் தனிப்பட்ட மகத்துவங்களில் ஒன்றானஅதன் பாரம்பரியம் மிக்க உணவுக் கலாசாரத்தைபிரதி­பலிக்கும் இந்த உணவகங்களின் தரப்பட்டியல் இதோ..!
சிறந்த மதிய உணவகம்..!
1- சந்திரன் மெஸ், தல்லாகுளம் ( அயிரைமீன் குழம்பு, நெய்மீன் வறுவல்,நாட்டுக்­கோழி )
2- குமார் மெஸ், தல்லாகுளம் ( விரால்மீன் வறுவல்,அயிரை மீன் குழம்பு, நண்டு boneless )
3- அம்மா மெஸ், தல்லாகுளம் ( நண்டு ஆம்லெட், நெய்மீன் வறுவல்,மட்டன் கோலா )
4- அன்பகம் மெஸ், வடக்குவெளி வீதி ( மட்டன் சுக்கா,கரண்டி ஆம்லேட்,முட்டை கறி )
5- அருளானந்தர் மெஸ், விளக்குத்தூண் ( நெய்மீன் வறுவல், நாட்டுக்கோழி, இறால்மீன் வறுவல் ) மற்ற சிறந்த மதிய உணவகங்கள் - அம்சவல்லி - கீழவாசல் - மட்டன் பிரியாணி பனமரத்து பிரியாணி கடை - புலாவ் போன்ற பிரியாணி சரஸ்வதி மெஸ் - பெரியார் அருகில் - மட்டன் பிரியாணி ஜெயவிலாஸ் சாப்பாட்டு கிளப் - மீன் சாப்பாடு திண்டுக்கல் வேலு பிரியாணி - மட்டன் பிரியாணி
சிறந்த மாலை நேர உணவகம்..!
1- கோனார் மெஸ், சிம்மக்கல் ( முட்டைகறி தோசை,வெங்காய கறி,குடல் குழம்பு, மூளை ரோஸ்ட்,நெஞ்சுகற­ி,இடியாப்பம் பாயா )
2- குமார் மெஸ், தல்லாகுளம்,மாட்­டுத்தாவணி,பெரியார் ( இட்லி,முட்டை வழியல்,முட்டை கறி,முட்டை ஊத்தப்பம்,வாவல்­மீன் குழம்பு )
3- ஆறுமுகம் பரோட்டா கடை, தல்லாகுளம் ( பரோட்டா,சுவரொட்­டி,குடல் வறுவல்,தலைக்கறி­,ஈரல்,எலும்பு ரோஸ்ட்)
4- அன்று அமீர் மஹால், இன்று அஜ்மீர் மஹால் கோரிப்பாளையம் ( முட்டை பரோட்டா,பரோட்டா, சிக்கன் 65 )
5- சிங்கம் பரோட்டா கடை பீபீ குளம் ( முட்டை பரோட்டா,பரோட்டா­,முழுக்கோழி வறுவல் )
சிறந்த மாலை உணவகங்கள்..!
ஜானகிராமன் மெஸ்- திலகர் திடல் ( மட்டன் சுக்கா ) சுதா பை நைட் - ரிசர்வ் லைன் ( முட்டை பரோட்டா ) டாஜ்- டவுன்ஹால் ரோடு ( கிங் பரோட்டா,பட்டர் சிக்கன் ) பஞ்சாபி தாபா - தல்லாகுளம் ( பட்டர் நான், தந்தூரி சிக்கன் ) பரோட்டா கடை - ஆவின் சிக்னல் ( மதுரையின் சிறந்த பரோட்டா ) போஸ் கடை- அண்ணா பஸ் ஸ்டாண்ட் ( பகலில் கறிக்கடை,இரவில்­ இட்லி கடை )
சிறந்த சைவ உணவகங்கள் மதிய உணவு..!
கணேஷ் மெஸ், மேலபெருமாள் மேஸ்திரி ரோடு ( புல் மீல்ஸ் ) மாலை டிபன் - மாடர்ன் ரெஸ்டாரென்ட் ( தோசை,வடக்கிந்தி­ய உணவு வகைகள் ) எந்நேரமும் சபரீஸ், டவுன்ஹால் ரோடு ( நெய் பொங்கல், முஷ்ரூம் பிரியாணி,பன் அல்வா )
இவை அனைத்தையும் விட மதுரையின் சைவ மாலை நேர உணவகங்களின் முன்னோடி -
முருகன் இட்லி கடை, இம்மையில் நன்மை தருவார் கோயில் அருகில் ( இட்லி,இட்லி, இட்லி... உலகின் மிகச்சிறந்த இட்லி )
மதுரையின் தனிப்பட்ட சிறப்பு சுவைகள் -
திருநெல்வேலி லக்ஷ்மி விலாஸ் லாலா மிட்டாய் கடை, டவுன்ஹால் ரோடு,தங்க ரீகல் எதிரில் - அல்வா ( என்னைப்பொறுத்தவ­ரை திருநெல்வேலி இருட்டுக்கடை அல்வாவை விட சிறந்தது )
சங்கர் காபி, அண்ணா பஸ் ஸ்டாண்ட்- உழுந்த வடை
ஐயப்பா தோசை கடை, இடம் பாண்டிய வெள்ளாளர் தெரு,பெரியார் பஸ் ஸ்டான்ட் அருகில் , ஆர்த்தி ஹோட்டல் ரோட்டில் சென்று இடப்புறம் செல்லவேண்டும் - பால்கோவா தோசை,முஷ்ரூம் தோசை,காலி ப்ளவர் தோசை....
விசாலம் காபி- கோரிப்பாளையம் , தல்லாகுளம். - காபி, "கஞ்சா" காபி என்றழைக்கும் அளவு மீண்டும் மீண்டும் பருக தூண்டுவது
பெயர் தெரியாத அந்த இளநீர் சர்பத் கடை, மதுரா கோட்ஸ் மேம்பாலம் கீழே - இளநீர் சர்பத்.
இவை அனைத்தையும் விட மதுரையின் பிரத்தியேக குளிர்பான சுவைக்கு... பேமஸ் ஜிகர்தண்டா, விளக்குத்தூண்- ஜில்ஜில் ஜிகர்தண்டா. யானைக்கல் ராஜேஸ்வரி ஈவினிங் மட்டன் ஸ்டால் (வெங்காய குடல் ) மாமதுரை போற்றுவோம். மணமிக்க மதுரை உணவின் சுவை உலகெங்கும் புகழ் பரப்புவோம்.

27
July


Madurai City Details


Click the picture for enlarge view

26
July


South Indian Railway


25
July


Madurai’s history lies underneath our feet


Source:THE HINDU

Madurai is steeped in history. But few are aware that much of the city’s history is underneath our feet. Below the well laid out streets lie the ruins of a sprawling empire.
Foreign historians who visited Madurai during the Pandya reign are said to have described it as the city of forts. The fort of the early Pandya rulers (400 B.C. to 400 A.D) and the later Pandya rulers (1190 A.D to 1334 A.D) is located where Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple now stands.
The Vittavasal (gate), situated in front of the Amman Shrine, is one of the few relics of the Pandya fort in Madurai. A part of the fort is covered over by the parking lot of the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple. Residential and commercial buildings stand atop the remaining section of the fort. “The Vittavasal was the Eastern entrance of the Pandya fort. The Western entrance was somewhere near Nethaji statue. The locations of North and South entrances are not known,” says C. Santhalingam, retired archaeological officer.
A street near the Nethaji Statue bears the name of a moat that once existed below it.
“That is the Pandiyan Agazhi Kidangu Street in Madurai, and this shows there were moats surrounding the walls. When exactly the fort was pulled down is not known. But it existed when the Nayak rulers constructed their forts,” he points out. The Nayaks ruled Madurai from 1529 to 1739. “We assume that the Pandya fort must have stood where the police commissioner’s office is located at present. By excavating the vicinity, there is a likely possibility that we can trace the base of the Pandya fort”, Mr Santhalingam adds. “There were Pandya and Chola forts in Madurai. We do not know where all of them are located because of the lack of archaeological evidence”, said R. Venkatraman, retired professor of art history.
According to K. P. Bharathi, tourism development officer of DHAN foundation, commercial complexes and residential buildings now occupy the areas where the Pandya fort stood earlier. An excavation within the city, though unlikely, might bring to the fore several historical revelations, he added.
“Excavating within the city might not be possible because the streets have been formed and roads have been laid over the fort area. The Pandya rulers had trade links with Rome and invaded Ceylon twice, and they brought home a lot of wealth”, Mr Bharathi said. “Excavating Elukadal Street can bring out the trade connections of ancient Madurai. It was a key market in those days, and had evolved into a commercial hub”, he added. The circumstances that led to the destruction of the Pandya fort are, however, not known, experts said. Another prominent fort of yore, only partly visible above ground, is the one built by the Nayaks. The rest of the Nayak fort remains buried.
A portion of the Thirumalai Nayak palace in the city is one of the prominent sites that draw tourists. The four Velli Streets today used to be a large moat which was filled after the fort walls were razed by Collector Blackburn in 1857.

23
July


Yanaimalai, Madurai


22
July


The various era involved in the history of Alagar kovil


Source:"Etheenthra pranavap prabhavam" Book by Pillai logamzeeyar

The Aalwars period


Aalwars are the 12 persons of fierce disciples of lord Vishnu, belonged to 8 th century. Among them, some body belonged to the 5 th century. On those days, they praised this hill and it's wealth, and described this as the "South Thirupathi". In their hymns called "Paasurams", they had praised the isthalam, Moorthy and the Theertham. They had done "Mangalasaasanam" on this Isthalam. Out of this 12 Aalwars, six of them namely, Periyaalwar, Aandal, Thirumangaiyaalwar, Bootathaalwar, Paeyaalwar, nammaalwar had praised the hill and the lord Alagar in their 128 paasurams. All these paasuramshave been compiled and called in the name of " Naalaayira thivya prapantham ", which has been called as the Veda of the vaishnavites.

Periyaalwar and Aandal


Aandal is the incarnation of the goddess Sri "Maha lakshmi", the consort of lord Vishnu, who had been the one of the 12 Aalwars. She wanted to mary lord Sri Renga (lord Vishnu), with out knowing the birth secret of Her incarnation. She had been also called as the other name "Soodi kodutha sudarkodi", that every day, She had made the garland for the lord Vishnu and had garlanded Him with the flowers and songs in the name of paasurams. She and Her father Periyaalwar (also one of the 12 Aalwars) often visited Alagar kovil and had sung paasurams about the hill and Alagar. Atlast She got married with Alagar in the form of lord sri Renganatha.

Historical period


Apart from puraana times, coming into the historical era, when the origin of pandyan kingdom there had been the Alagar kovil and the Alagapuri also there .This temple had been situated within the castle wall of Alagapuri. Both the temple and the Alagapuri were once considered as the same in social & religious life. At first both of these were said to be constructed by the deity of justice and the Viswakarmaa, the celestial architect of heaven, then were renovated by the pandyan king "Malaithuvaja pandyan", who was the son of the founder of the pandyan kingdom, Kulasekara pandyan.
In the Periyaalwar puraanam, when quoting about the temple, there said to be a big wall around the temple, and nowadays, we can see the destructed parts of the remaining big wall here ans there.The circumference of the wall was said to be more than 1.5 k.m , and had been constructed by the stones and bricks. Apart from the pandyan kings, the other kings of cholas, Sri lanka's, Vaanar's, hoisaalar's and the vijanagara's Ambassadors, who were said to be Naayaks were also engaged themselves in the religious services. Atlast the patronage was handed over to the east Indian company of the British government on 1785.
The pandyan kings were having their flags embedded with the monogram of Fish, which would have been the first incarnation of lord Vishnu, the "Machha Avataar", since they were the followersof the vaishnavam.

Vijayanagara kingdom


Pandyan king Jadaavarman Sundarapandiyan (1251 - 1270) had done a lot of religious services to Alagar kovil, like one of them was the golden layer work of the tower of the temple. After the pandyan kingdom, the kings of vijayanagara had the direct supervision over the pandyan kingdom,allowing the pandya kings as only their representatives. One of the kings in the line, named "Thirumaalirunsolai nindran magapali vaanaathiraayan urangaa villithaasan", which had been in scripted on those time. From the name itself, we can able to understand that he had immense devotion towards the lord Alagar perumaan. He had done a lot to the welfare of this temple by registering the lands and assets to the temple. He also made this as his capital and fort. His successors are the persons who had built the big towers of goddess Sri Meenakshi amman, which are seen nowadays.
In 1565, the last king of vijayanagar had been defeated by the Mohammedans, in the war of "Thalaikottai", the ambassadors of the pandyan kingdom became liberated and declared as they were the kings of those regions. Among the Vijayanagara's kings, the very noted person was "Krishna devaraya", who had immense devotion towards Alagar and the temple. He, then gave two villages called "Samaya nallur" and "Sattha mangalam" to the temple. This news had been in scripted in a stone, near the tower of the lord "Pathinetaamm padi Karuppu".From the revenue collected from those two villages, during the festivals on the Tamil month of Aadi, some 'Thaanams" (free meals and gift etc.) were given to the public.
The king Krishna devaraya with his warriors, had come to Alagar kovil and had been halted for three days. The last ambassador of the vijayanagar, Viswanatha nayak had also done a lot of well fares to this temple, which had been in-scripted,near the western side of the tower of "Pathinettaampadi karuppu". Afetr his reign only, the Naayak's ruling on Madurai, individually had began.
During the reign of Thirumalai nayak (1623 - 1659), Madurai had been on it's peak of prosperity. He had done a lot of religious services to the Alagar kovil, like the construction and renovation of yaaga salai, palliyarai, thantha vimaanam, thantha pallakku, abisheka mantapam etc. He also built a palace in Thirmalirunsolai (Alagar kovil).
The power of ruling Madurai had been changed over to "Aarkattu Nawaab" from the last naayak's queen , called Meenakshi ammal, on 1736.That time all the temples in Madurai had been at deep trouble. In 1757, the Mohammedan king 'Hither ali' had conquered Madurai, and robbed the wealth, surrounding Madurai and destroyed the sculptures in the marriage hall of the temple. He also destroyed the city Alagapuri and the surrounding walls of Alagar kovil. Now we can see the remaining destructed parts of the wall, which had been destroyed by Hytherali, near the temple premises.He also broke down the palace and it's surroundings inside the castle.
A great Mohammedan warrior called Yusuf khan defeated Hitherali, and sent him back to Dindigul on 1758, and also on the same year, he returned back the robbed wealth of Hytherali, to the alagar kovil temple. Due to conspiracy, Yusuf khan had been killed and again chaos had been there at Madurai. atlast, on 1785, Madurai had been handed over to the east Indian company of British kingdom.
British reign in Madurai - In 1801, the first British collector,Hardis ,had taken as the in charge of the Alagar kovil temple's trust. He however rectified the management of the temple premises. The reforms he had done with the the temple's management had been called as the authentic- belongings of the temple. Then, on 1817, the management had been handed over to the Board of revenue and at last on 1863, the "committee for governing the religious activities" had taken the in charge of this temple. This committee had done a blunder mistake of registering the rights of having the power of attorney not to the temple, instead it registered it to the name of the persons who managed the temple. Due to this activities, again there were confusion on maintaining the temple management. Some other people,had been enjoying the benefits ans a lot of assets had been lost to the temple. The daily routine works of the temple had met out trouble due to the scarcity of the funds.Now, the only asset to the temple is the land surrounding the temple only. Finally, on 1929, a new department namely, "Hindu Religious and endowment board" had taken in charge of the ancient temples. Now a lot of temples are under the control of this board, and been maintained properly.

Periyaalwar and Thirumalirunsolai


He described the beauty of this hill by comparing it with the north Vengadam as like it, here also there were seven hills as follows:-
1) Alangaaran malai (here malai means hill)
2) Kula malai
3) Kola malai
4) Kulir maamalai
5) kottra malai
6) Nila malai
7)Neenda malai
In these seven hills, there were rivers, springs and fountains, which were described by Periyaalwar in his paarurams.

Arangan Vs Alagar


When Sri Rangam ( one of the 108 Divya Dhesams of lord Vishnu, which is in Trichy, in Tamilnadu) had been looted by the Mohammedans, in order to save the sculpture of the Lord Vishnu, a fierce devotee, called Pillai Logaachariyaar had taken the sculpture in a "Pallaakku" (in which one can sit and travel, which is carried on the shoulders of the carrying people) and traveled to a safe place towards the south direction. On their way of traveling, Pillai Logaachariyaar had died at the place called Jodishkudi. His followers, with out gave up this effort, taken the idol safely to Thirmalirunsolai (Alagar kovil) and had dug a well and named it as Alagiya Manavaalan Thirukinaru, and kept the idol safely in the well and had done all poojaas to the well. Thus for more than a year, Thiru Arangan (idol of lord Vishnu) had stayed in Alagar malai. Here after the idol of Thiru Arangan had been taken to some other places in Kerela (then called as Malayaala desham), and at last after passing 60 years, on 1370, the idol had come back to Sri Rangam safely.

21
July


Corparation's Call Centre Concept, an instant hit


Source:THE HINDU

20
July


Lithograph of "The Teppakulam Tank" at Madurai by L.H. Rudder


Lithograph of the The Teppakulam tank at Madurai by L.H. Rudder after the original drawing by Prince Aleksandr Mikhailovich Saltuikov of 1841 and dated 1848.The temple city of Madurai is dominated by the imposing complex of Meenakshi Sundareshwarar, one of the major architectural achievements of the Nayaka period. The construction of this temple was made possible by the magnificence of Tirumala Nayak (1623-1659). The rectangular precinct covers six hectares and has eleven huge towers and four entrance gopurams. Inside this enclosure there are columned mandapas, tanks, shrines and the two temples of Shiva and Minakshi. Teppakulam is situated at the eastern end of the town, about two miles from the temple. It is a large rectangular tank with an island in the middle with a small temple

19
July


North-east view of ruined palace and fort, Alagarkoil, Madurai

18
July


Old Picture of Thiruparankundram - Madurai

16
July


Ashta Sakthi Mandapam - Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

15
July


TRADITIONAL PLANNING STRATEGIES

14
July


மதுரை கோரிப்பாளையத்தில் இருக்கும் தேவர் அய்யாவின் சிலை பழைய அரிய புகைப்படம்.

13
July


1890ல் தெற்கு கோபுர வாசல் தெரு

12
July


ககோளம்-பூகோளம்


Source:Facebook

மதுரை மீனாக்ஷி அம்மன் கோவிலில் உள்ள பழைய திருமண மண்டபத்தில் 1568 ஆம் வருட வானவியல் தொடர்பான ககோளம், பூகோளம் என்ற இரண்டு ஓவியங்கள் வரையப்பட்டுள்ளன. அதில் பாற்கடல், தயிர்கடல், நெய்கடல், தேன் கடல், சுத்த நீர் கடல் ஆகியவற்றை பார்க்கலாம். ககோளம் சூரிய மண்டலம் 9 ஆயிரம் யோசனை (1 யோசனை = 24 கிலோமீட்டர்) பரப்பளவு கொண்டதாக இருந்தது. அதை சுற்றி, 2700 யோசனைபரப்பு கொண்ட வளையம் இருந்தது. நாம்வாழும் பூமி 50 கோடி யோசனை விஸ்தீரணம் உடையதாக இருந்தது. இந்த பூமியின் மத்தியில் ஜம்புத்வீபம் என்ற தீவு இருந்தது. அந்த தீவில் மேருமலை அமைந்திருந்தது. மேருமலைக்கு கிழக்கே இந்திர பட்டணமும், தெற்கில் எமபட்டணமும், மேற்கில் வருண பட்டணமும் இருந்தன. இந்த பட்டணங்களில் உலகை பாதுகாக்க தேவர்கள் வசிப்பார்கள். இந்த மண்டலங்களில் என்னென்ன தீவுகள், வீதிகள் இருந்தன என்பது குறித்து விபரம் ககோள ஓவியத்தில் இருக்கிறது. அக்கால தேவர்கள் உலகை இந்த ஓவியத்தில் பார்த்து தெரிந்து கொள்ளலாம். இந்த ஓவியத்தில் அஸ்வினி, பரணி, கிருத்திகை, மிருகசீரிஷம் ஆகிய நான்கு நட்சத்திரங்களைக் கொண்ட நாகவீதி. புனர்பூசம், பூசம், ஆயில்யம் ஆகிய நட்சத்திரங்கள் அடங்கிய ஐராவத வீதி, ஆர்ஷ வீதி, கோவீதிதிருவோணம், அவிட்டம், சதயம் ஆகிடவை இணைந்த ஜரத்துருவ வீதி ஹஸ்தம், சித்திரை, சுவாதி அடங்கிய மற்றொரு நாக வீதி விசாகம், ஜேஷ்டம், அனுஷம் ஆகியவை அடங்கிய மிருக வீதி மூலம், பூராடம், உத்திராடம் ஆகியவை அடங்கிய வைஸ்வாநர வீதி உள்ளிட்ட பல வீதிகள் அடங்கியுள்ளன. பூகோளம் இந்த பிரபஞ்சத்தில் ச்வேதத்வீபம் என்னும் கிரகம் உள்ளது. அந்த கிரகத்தில் பாற்கடல் இருக்கிறது. பூமியில் உப்புநீர் கடல் இருப்பது போல மற்ற கிரகங்களில் பலவகை சமுத்திரங்கள் இருப்பதாக வேத இலக்கியங்களின் மூலம் தெரிகிறது. பாற்கடல், தயிர்கடல், நெய்கடல், தேன் கடல், எண்ணெய் கடல், மதுக்கடல், ஆகியவை இதில் அடங்கும். இந்த கடல்களுக்குள் கசேறு, இந்திரதீவு, தாமிரபரண தீவு, கபஸ்திமம், நாகத்தீவு, சௌமிய தீவு, காந்தர்வ தீவு, பாரத்தீவு இருந்தன. இவை பற்றிய விஷயங்களை அந்த ஓவியத்தில் காணலாம்.'' வானவியல் அறிஞர்கள் மற்றும் வரலாற்று ஆய்வாளர்கள் ஆய்வுக்கு உட்படுத்த வேண்டிய ஆவணமாக இதை நான் கருதுகிறேன். மேலதிக விவரங்கள் தெரிந்த நண்பர்கள் பகிர்ந்து கொள்ளலாம். -இரா.குண அமுதன்.

11
July


PRC City Bus In 1975

09
July


Source : Facebook

நம் வரலாற்றை தெரிந்து கொள்ள இந்த முறை உங்களை 20,000 வருடங்களுக்கு முந்தைய கடலில் மூழ்கிய ஒரு உலகிற்கு அழைத்துக்செல்லவிருக்கிறேன், இங்கு தான் உலகின் முதல் மனிதன் பிறந்ததாக வரலாற்று ஆய்வாளர்கள் தெரிவிக்கிறார்கள், இங்கு தான் நம் மூதாதையர் வாழ்ந்தனர்.இங்கு தான் நாம் இன்று பேசிக்கொண்டிருக்கும் நம் தமிழ் பிறந்தது.இங்கு தான் இன்னும் பல வரலாற்று அதிசயங்கள் நிகழ்ந்துள்ளது,ஆம் இது தான் " நாவலன் தீவு " என்று அழைக்கப்பட்ட " குமரிக்கண்டம். கடலுக்கடியில் இன்று அமைதியாக உறங்கிக்கிகொண்டிருக்கும் இது,ஒரு காலத்தில் பிரம்மாண்டமாக இயங்கிக்கொண்டிருந்த ஒரு தமிழ் கண்டம் !!. இன்று தனித்தனி நாடுகளாக உள்ள ஆஸ்திரேலியா, தென் ஆப்ரிக்க, இலங்கை,மற்றும் இன்றுள்ள சில சிறு, சிறு தீவுகளை இணைத்தவாறு இருந்த ஒரு பிரம்மாண்டமான இடம் தான் " குமரிக்கண்டம் ".ஏழுதெங்க நாடு,ஏழுமதுரை நாடு,ஏழுமுன்பலை நாடு,ஏழுபின்பலை நாடு,ஏழுகுன்ற நாடு,ஏழுகுனக்கரை நாடு,ஏழுகுரும்பனை நாடு என இங்கு நாற்பது ஒன்பது நாடுகள் இருந்துள்ளது !! பறுளி, குமரி என்ற இரண்டு ஆறுகள் ஓடியுள்ளது !!.குமரிக்கொடு,மணிமலை என இரண்டு மலைகள் இருந்துள்ளது !!. தென்மதுரை,கபாடபுரம்,முத்தூர் என பிரம்மாண்டமான மூன்று நகரங்கள் இருந்தன.உலகின் தொன்மையான நாகரீகம் என்று அழைக்கப்படும் சுமரியன் நாகரீகம் வெறும் நான்காயிரம் வருடங்கள் முந்தையது தான். நக்கீரர் " இறையனார் அகப்பொருள் " என்ற நூலில் மூன்று தமிழ்ச் சங்கங்கள் 9990 வருடங்கள் தொடர்து நடைபெற்றதாக கூறியுள்ளார். தமிழின் முதல் சங்கம் இந்த கடலடியில் உள்ள " தென் மதுரையில் " கி.மு 4440இல் 4449புலவர்கள்களுடன் , அகஸ்தியருடன் 39மன்னர்களும் இணைந்து, " பரிபாடல், முதுநாரை,முடுகுருக்கு,கலரியவிரை, பேரதிகாரம் " ஆகிய நூல்களை இயற்றப்பட்டது .இதில் அனைத்துமே அழிந்து விட்டது .இரண்டாம் தமிழ்ச் சங்கம் " கபாடபுரம் " நகரத்தில் கி.மு 3700இல் 3700புலவர்கள்களுடன் " அகத்தியம்,தொல்காப்பியம்,பூதபுராணம்,மாபுராணம் " ஆகிய நூல்களை இயற்றப்பட்டது . இதில் " தொல்காப்பியம் மட்டுமே நமக்கு கிடைத்துள்ளது.மூன்றாம் தமிழ்ச் சங்கம் இன்றைய " மதுரையில் " கி.மு 1850 இல் 449 புலவர்கள்களுடன் " அகநானூறு, புறநானூறு,நாலடியார், திருக்குறள் " ஆகிய நூல்கள் இயற்றப்பட்டது.இவ்வளவு பழமையான தமிழனின் வரலாற்றை பெருமையுடன் உலகிற்கு தெரியப்படுத்த வேண்டிய இந்திய அரசு எந்த அக்கறையும் காட்டாமல் இருப்பது வேதனையான விஷயம் !!!!..இந்திய அரசு வெளிக்கொண்டுவராத நம் வரலாற்றை நாமே இந்த உலகிற்கு பரப்புவோம் ,இனிமேல் நாம் 2000 வருடம் பழமையானவர்கள் என்ற பழங்கதையை விட்டு விட்டு 20,000 வருட உலகின் முதல் இனம் ,நம் தமிழ் இனம் என்று பெருமையுடன் கூறுவோம்.

08
July


Source : THE HINDU

07
July

Happy Ramzan [Goripalayam Mosque]


06
July

Fathima College In 1920


05
July

Number of Buses in Madurai Division


Source : THE HINDU

04
July

வெளிநாடு பறக்க இனி சென்னை போக வேண்டாம் மதுரையில் பன்னாட்டு விமான நிலையம்

மதுரை : தேசிய விமான கொள்கையில் மத்திய அரசு புது முடிவு எடுத்துள்ளதின் மூலம் மதுரைக்கு பன்னாட்டு விமான போக்குவரத்து விரைவில் கைகூடும் வாய்ப்பு ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது


செய்தி : தினகரன்

03
July

வைகையாறு 1940களில்

02
July

Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam,Madurai(In 1890)

01
July

Happy Doctors Day


Click the image for enlarge view

01
July

Kadambavanam Ethnic Resort (20 minutes from alagar kovil)

30
June

Madurai City Police Apps on Google Play Store


Click the image to download

Madurai people attention Plz This is for U:
According to recent census the ratio of Policemen and public is 1 : 600.So Madurai City Police to make women feel secure and safe. People can download it from Google Playstore. In case of an emergency they can give an SOS signal or file an online complaint. There is a special unit called “Crime Prevention Cell” in COP office, which monitors the complaints and SOS signals 24/7. You will get an immediate response within a couple of minutes in case an SOS signal is triggered.

30
June

மீனாட்சி அம்மன் கோவில் கட்டபட்ட ஆண்டுகள் விவரம்

கோவிலும் பொற்றாமரை குளமும் சங்க காலத்திற்கு முன்பே அதாவது 2300 முதல் 3600 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்னரே உருவாக்கப்பட்டது. அதன் பின் வருமாறு.
1168 – 75 -> சுவாமி கோபுரம்
1216 – 38 -> கிழக்கு ராஜ கோபுரம்
1627 – 28 -> அம்மன் சந்நிதி கோபுரம்
1315 – 47 -> மேற்கு ரா கோபுரம்
1372 -> சுவாமி சந்நிதி கோபுரம்
1374 -> சுவாமி சந்நிதி வெஸ்ட் கோபுரம்
1452 -> ஆறு கால் மண்டபம்
1526 -> 100 கால் மண்டபம்
1559 -> தெற்கு ராஜ கோபுரம்
-> முக்குரிணி விநாயகர் கோபுரம்
1560 -> சுவாமி சந்நிதி நார்த் கோபுரம்
1562 -> தேரடி மண்டபம்
1563 -> பழைய ஊஞ்சல் மண்டபம்
-> வன்னியடி நட்ராஜர் மண்டபம்
1564 – 72 -> வடக்கு ராஜா கோபுரம்
1564-72 -> வெள்ளி அம்பல மண்டபம்
-> கொலு மண்டபம்
1569 -> சித்ர கோபுரம்
-> ஆயிராங்கால் மண்டபம்
-> 63 நாயன்மார்கள் மண்டபம்
1570 -> அம்மன் சந்நிதி மேற்கு கோபுரம்
1611 -> வீர வசந்தராயர் மண்டபம்
1613 -> இருட்டு மண்டபம்
1623 -> கிளிக்கூட்டு மண்டபம்
-> புது ஊஞ்சல் மண்டபம்
1623 – 59 -> ராயர் கோபுரம்
-> அஷ்டஷக்தி மண்டபம்
1626 -45 -> புது மண்டபம்
1635 -> நகரா மண்டபம்
1645 -> முக்குருணி விநாயகர்
1659 -> பேச்சியக்காள் மண்டபம்
1708 -> மீனாக்ஷி நாயக்கர் மண்டபம்
1975 -> சேர்வைக்காரர் மண்டபம்

29
June

UNEARTHING HISTORY

Historians are on euphoria about the major find and postulate that Keezhadi could redraw the past of Madurai and push its antiquity by well over a millennium. “Through comparative dating, we place this site to be belonging to the 3rd Century B.C., which is over 2,500 years ago. However, the exact age can be arrived at only after carbon dating,” says Amarnath, who has worked on excavations in research of Indus Valley Civilisation in parts of Gujarat.

28
June

Click the picture for Enlarge view

28
June

27
June

26
June

25
June

Tirumalai Nayakar Mahal

24
June

Gandhi Museum

23
June

Statues

22
June

Madurai History Period

21
June

Chithirai Festival

20
June

Madurai Airport

19
June

விளக்குத்தூணில் ஒளி ஏற்றும் அரிய காட்சி. அந்தக்கால படம் 1900ல் எடுத்தது.

18
June

Madurai - 1925

18
June

The Fish Eyed Goddess of Madurai

17
June

STRUCTURE'S IN ARULMIGU KALLALAGAR TEMPLE, ALAGARKOIL

Since the presiding deity is of the temple is Alagar (the beautiful), the temple is called Alagar Koil. This is an important Vishnu temple, about 18 km northeast of Madurai, at Alagar Hill. This is one of the most ancient temples in India and round the temple are ruins of an ancient fortified town. The recently renovated gopurams of this temple look resplendent. The Mahabharata says that this temple was visited by both Yudhisthira and Arjuna. It is said that Karudalwaar, the chief disciple of Ramanuja, regained his eyesight by worshipping the deity here. Don't miss the 2,000 years old Sudarsana-chakra in this temple. About 21kms north east of Madurai, stands a celebrated Vishnu temple dedicated to Lord Alagar. The temple is situated on a hill amidst panoramic surroundings. The shrine is known as Alagarkoil and the hill is known Solaimalai. The temple also contain some beautiful carvings and makes the visit rewarding. Solai malai Mandapam, one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya is located atop the hill.

16
June

Old Picture of Meenakshi Amman Temple

15
June

Madurai To Bangalore

15
June

மதுரை விளக்குத்தூண்.1847. ஆம் ஆண்டு எடுக்கப்பட்ட படம்.

14
June

Gandhi Museum

14
June

Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal

Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal or the Tirumalai Palace is a 17th century palace built by KingThirumalai Nayak, in 1636 AD in the city of Madurai, Tamilnadu, India. This Palace was built with the help of an Italian Architect and is a classic fusion of Indo-Saracenic (Dravidian+Islamic) and European styles. Built in 1636, the first things that draw attention of a visitor are the massive carved domes one of which stands without the support of girder -- an architectural feat of everlasting wonder and the equally massive pillars, 13 meters high. These are so grand, that everyone gape in sheer awe! There are 248 pillars each 13 meters high and 5 feet in diameter.

13
June

Domestic Flight [Madurai TO Chennai] [Chennai To Madurai]

11
June

Madurai Medical College

11
June

Architecture of Madurai City

Madurai is built around the Meenakshi Amman Temple, which acted as the geographic and ritual center of the ancient city of Madurai.The city is divided into a number of concentric quadrangular streets around the temple.Vishwanatha Nayak (1159–64 CE), the first Madurai Nayak king, redesigned the city in accordance with the principles laid out by Shilpa Shastras (Sanskrit: śilpa śāstra, also anglicised as silpa sastra meaning rules of architecture) related to urban planning. These squares retain their traditional names of Aadi, Chittirai, Avani-moola and Masi streets, corresponding to the Tamil month names and also to the festivals associated.The temple prakarams (outer precincts of a temple) and streets accommodate an elobrate festival calendar in which dramatic processions circumambulate the shrines at varying distances from the centre. The temple chariots used in processions are progressively larger in size based on the size of the concentric streets.Ancient Tamil classics record the temple as the center of the city and the surrounding streets appearing liken a lotus and its petals. The city's axes were aligned with the four quarters of the compass, and the four gateways of the temple provided access to it.The wealthy and higher echelons of the society were placed in streets close to the temple, while the poorest were placed in the fringe streets. With the advent of British rule during the 19th century, Madurai became the headquarters of a large colonial political complex and an industrial town; with urbanisation, the social hierarchical classes became unified.

10
June

Pudumandapam 1930

10
June

Madurai 1919

10
June

அமெரிக்க அருங்காட்சியகத்தில் மதுரை இந்து மண்டபம்

பிலடெல்பியா: அமெரிக்காவில் பிலடெல்பியா அருங்காட்சியகத்தில், 1550ம் ஆண்டைச் சேர்ந்த மதுரை இந்து மண்டபம் உள்ளது. மதுரை மதனகோபால சுவாமி திருக்கோவிலில் இருந்து எடுத்துச்செல்லப்பட்ட கலைப் பொக்கிஷம் தான் இந்த மண்டபம். இந்த மண்டபம் கிரானைட் கற்களால் கட்டப்பட்டது. அருங்காட்சியகத்தின் 2வது தளத்தில் உள்ள இந்த இந்து மண்டபத்தில், ராமாயணம் மற்றும் மகாபாரத காட்சிகளை சித்தரிக்கும் சிலைகளும், கிருஷ்ணர், அனுமர், கருடர் ஆகியோருடைய சிலைகளும் இடம் பெற்றுள்ளன. இந்த அருங்காட்சியகத்தில் விஷ்ணு, நடராஜர் வடிவில் சிவன், ராமர், துர்கை, நடன கணேசர், கார்த்திகேயர், காளி, பைவரவர், இந்திரன், காமதேனு, நந்தி, சூர்யன் ஆகிய சிலைகளம் உள்ளன. கடந்த 1876ல் உருவாக்கப்பட்ட இந்த அருங்காட்சியகம், 2 லட்சத்து 27 ஆயிரம் கலைப்பொருட்களுடன், ஓவியம், சிலைகள், காகித வேலைப்பாடுகள், புகைப்படங்கள், அலங்கார கலைகள், துணி ரகங்கள், மற்றும் கட்டட கலை தொடர்பான 200 பகுதிகளைக் கொண்டுள்ளது. இங்கு இந்து மண்டபம் மற்றும் சிலைகள் பராமரிக்கப்படுவதைப் பாராட்டியுள்ள பிரபஞ்ச இந்து சமதாயத்தின் தலைவர் ராஜன் ஜெட், இது போன்று அமெரிக்காவில் உள்ள இதர அருங்காட்சியகங்களும் இந்து மதத்தின் சிறப்பை விளக்கும் சிற்பங்களையும், கலைப் பொருட்களையும் பார்வைக்கு வைக்க வேண்டும் என கேட்டுக் கொண்டுள்ளார். # அந்நியர்கள் இந்து மதத்தின் சிறப்பை விளக்கும் சிற்பங்களை பாதுகாத்து வருகிறார்கள்.



09
June

First Airport in Madurai

தெரியுமா உங்களுக்கு முதல் விமான நிலையமும் மதுரையில் தான் அமைக்கப்பட்டது. அனைவரும் பகிரவும். 1942ல்"ராயல் ஏர்போர்ஸ்' எனும் பிரிட்டிஷ் விமானப்படையினர், மதுரை அருப்புக்கோட்டை ரோட்டில் விமான தளத்தை உருவாக்கினர். இந்திய விமான கார்ப்பரேஷன் சட்டம் 1953ல் அமலான போது, மத்திய அரசின் கட்டுப்பாட்டில் வந்தது. இந்தியா சுதந்திரம் பெற்ற பின், 1956ல் முதல் விமான நிலையம் ஆரம்பிக்கப்பட்டது மதுரையில்தான். படம் : மதுரை விமான நிலையத்தின் பழைய படம்



09
June

மதுரை