Parents queued up at schools to pick up their children and a few private schools in Central Chennai were closed past noon.
Chennai: Normal life was affected in Chennai on Thursday following the statewide bandh called by the opposition parties and traders. While government and private schools functioned normally, office goers and the travelling public faced hardship due to flash road and rail rokos. Parents queued up at schools to pick up their children and a few private schools in Central Chennai were closed past noon.
Ambulances carrying patients to private and government hospitals found it difficult to reach the hospitals as both the arterial Anna Salai and Kamaraj Salai were choked till noon.
Windowpanes of government buses were broken and pro Tamil outfits in Central and North Chennai also pelted stones at private banks and retail showrooms. A few shops and banks which were kept open in the morning were immediately closed following stone pelting events creating tension in Parrys and Doveton. Branches of Kotak Mahindra and ICICI banks were also warned by DMK men and were closed within hours after they were opened for transactions. The bank employees were also asked to leave for the day by their management.
Both Chennai Central and Egmore saw passengers stranded for more than two hours due to inadequate services of MTC buses, autos and cabs. “My in-laws who arrived from Bangalore through intercity express at Chennai Central were stranded for about one and half an hours due to the bandh and finally we got a cab to reach our place in Ashok Nagar”, said P. Malini a stranded housewife at Central railway station.
Though normalcy was restored by around 6 pm, almost 70 percent of commercial firms and shops remained closed throughout the day in Central Chennai. Commercial hubs including T. Nagar, Parry's, Purasaiwalkam, Vadapalani and Mylapore were deserted on Thursday morning. Koyambedu and Parry's corner known for sprawling vegetable and fruit markets also remained closed.
For improvement of pulses, more focus was given by state government.
In view of poor storage of water in Mettur dam, the Chief Minister on 12.06.2017, announced the “Kuruvai Cultivation Package 2017” in delta districts at an outlay of `56.92 crore, with an objective to protect the welfare of the delta farmers and to encourage the farmers to take up Kuruvai cultivation with focus on pulse crop utilizing the ground water in delta districts. Due to implementation of this package, an area of 2.73 lakh acres of paddy and 0.683 lakh acres of pulses was covered, in delta region.
Further, the CM has announced Samba package 2017 with a budget outlay of Rs 41.15 crore on 28.09.2017 when announcement was made for the Mettur dam opening on 02.10.2017 to protect the welfare of the farmers by giving priority to direct sowing utilizing the rainfall received in delta districts. Due to this package, 2,51,534 farmers were benefited and paddy coverage touched an area of 10.685 lakh acre.
For improvement of pulses, more focus was given by state government. An area of 19.40 lakh acres under pulses crop was achieved during 2016-2017 by implementing cluster demonstration of pulses and awareness Campaign under pulses development programme. An amount of `74.73 crore has been spent for seed production and seed distribution, distribution of implements, important inputs such as MN mixture, gypsum and PP chemicals at subsidised cost.
Tamil Nadu has experienced an unprecedented drought in 2016, state government has taken sincere efforts to bring more farmers under crop insurance cover for compensating the yield loss.
Due to the steps taken by the government, an area of 31.85 lakh acre was insured and 15.37 lakh farmers have been enrolled. A sum of `565 crore was released to the insurance companies as the State share of premium subsidy. So far, an amount of `3,020 crore has been sanctioned to more than 9 lakh farmers as compensation claims and a sum of Rs 2,512 crore has been credited to 7.49 lakh farmers account. The state government is continuously following with insurance companies and bankers for crediting the balance compensation.
During the year 2017-2018 under the “Mission Soil Health Card” scheme, so far 6.51 lakh soil samples have been collected and 5.53 lakh samples analysed and 5.23 lakh soil health cards were distributed to the farmers, for soil test based application of fertilizers.
For promotion of integrated farming system among farmers, inputs were distributed in 13,550 hectare to encourage two crop sequences. Milch animals and small ruminants are being distributed. 453 permanent and 500 temporary Vermi compost units were established utilising Rs 15.88 crore.
Paramparaghat Krishi Vikas Yojana is being implemented as a three year continuous scheme in 10 districts covering 4,646 acres in cluster approach.
With an aim to improve area under cotton, the Tamil Nadu Cotton Cultivation mission (TNCCM) is being implemented in the year 2017-2018.
With an objective to enhance the sugarcane productivity, Sustainable Sugarcane Initiatives (SSI) is programmed to a target of 16000 hectare at a financial outlay of `30 crore during 2017-2018.
Seeds and other inputs have been distributed at 50% subsidy to farmers to sustain the yield in the dry land area. A total sum of `50 crore was allotted for 5 lakh acres in the first year. So far, 4,53,926 acres of dry land area has been sown under millets, pulses, oil seeds and cotton during this year.
For reduced use of pesticides, the government is giving emphasis for adoption of Integrated Pest Management practices. As a part of this intiative 20,000 Portable Solar Power Light Traps are being distributed at 50% subsidy for an outlay of `4 crore during 2017-2018.
For judicious use of water, Micro Irrigation (MI) scheme is being promoted for which 100% subsidy is extended to Small/Marginal farmers and 75% subsidy to Other farmers. In the year 2017-2018, Micro Irrigation is implemented in 3 lakh acres at an outlay of `804 crore. So far 2.23 lakh acres have been registered and the installation is in progress.
For Modernization of state horticulture farms, works such as face lifting of parks, Center of Excellence for cut flowers and vegetables are in progress. Infrastructure facilities for seed production in 19 state horticulture Farms are being carried out at an outlay of Rs 2,076.57 lakh.
As special livelihood package was announced by the CM on 11.12.2017 to provide relief and recultivation assistance to the “Ockhi Cyclone” hit Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi Districts farmers. Accordingly, the assistance for the Banana cultivated farmers is Rs 48,500 to 63,500 per hectare, for Rubber tree cultivated farmers assistance is Rs 1 lakh per hectare and for Clove cultivated farmers the assistance is Rs 28,000 per hectare.
l Through Regulated Markets, 19.86 lakh MT of agricultural produce were sold by farmers and `100.54 crore was collected as revenue from traders.
l To prevent post harvest losses and for value addition a mega project “Supply Chain Management of Fruits, Vegetables and Other Perishables” is being implemented in 10 Districts under WIF scheme at a cost of `398.75 Crore. Civil works for Primary Processing Centres and Main Markets at an estimated cost of Rs 253.66 crore are under progress.
The state government aims to promote farm mechanization to minimize the problems due to shortage of labourers and to enable the farmers to take up timely agricultural practices. So far, 4,375 numbers of agricultural machinery and implements were distributed to farmers with a subsidy assistance `32 crore.
For infrastructure facilities at 7 Agricultural Colleges and 3 Research stations under TNAU, an amount of `108.04 crore has been allocated.
Establishment of Mango Research Centre with a sanctioned amount of `2 crore at Paiyur in Krishnagiri District.
During the year 2016, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University was ranked 40th position and 7th Position in the year 2017 among the all Universities across India besides 20th position under the category Teaching and Learning resources in the year 2016 and 5th Position in the year 2017 by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Animal husbandry, dairying & fisheries department
Free Distribution of Milch Cows / Goats / Sheep Scheme:
The free distribution of milch cows scheme is being implemented in 21 Districts at a financial allocation of Rs 49.832 crore. During the current year, so far, a total of 8,417 beneficiaries have been provided with 8,417 milch cows at the rate of one cow/ beneficiary.
Further, the free distribution of goats/sheep scheme is being implemented in 31Districts at a financial allocation of Rs 198.75 crore. During the current year, so far, a total of 97,473 beneficiaries have been provided with 3,89,892 goats / sheep at the rate of four goats/sheep per beneficiary.
Scheme for Poultry Development
The Scheme is implemented with a view to improve the rural economy by increasing the percapita income in rural areas. Financial Sanction for a sum of Rs 18.75 crore has been accorded for the Scheme.
State Fodder Development Scheme
l A total sum of `25 crore has been sanctioned and Rs 18.75 crore was received under this Scheme a total of 7,170 acres of farmers own lands have been brought under green fodder cultivation, resulting in a production of 20.038 lakh metric tonnes of fodder.
Infrastructure Improvement Programme
l In order to improve the infrastructure in the Department, a total of 150 Veterinary Institutions are being newly constructed under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund XXIII of NABARD at a financial allocation of Rs 49.09 crore. Urther, under NABARD RIDF XXII, a total of 127 veterinary Institutions are under construction at a financial allocation of Rs 34.63 crore. Besides these, financial sanction of Rs 1.6 crore has also been accorded for the construction of an integrated office Complex for the Joint Director and Assistant Director's offices at Kancheepuram.
Milk Procurement Achievement
Milk procurement during February 2017 has been increased by 22% from 25.40 LLPD to 31.04 LLPD during November 2017. The highest procurement was achieved by Aavin on 21.09.2017, with an all time high of 33.01 LLPD.
Milk Sales Achievement
Milk sales has increased by 4.76% from 21.02 LLPD in February 2017 to 22.02 LLPD in November 2017.
The highest sale of 12.30 lakh Litres in Chennai Metro was achieved on 29.09.2017. Similarly highest sales of 10.32 lakh Litres was achieved on 03.09.2017 in the District unions. As per the announcement made by the Hon'ble Minister for Milk and Dairy Development Department for 2017-2018, the sale of 225 ml milk sachets at `10/- was launched on 08.09.2017.
Sales of Milk Products
The sales revenue of By-products was `20.43 crore in February 2017. Aavin has created history by achieving Rs 24.44 crore in November 2017, with 20% increase. Aavin has introduced revenue earning products like 500 ml Curd sachet, 1000ml bucket Curd, Rasagulla and 4 varieties of ice creams.
Export of Milk Products
l In order to launch Aavin milk products in foreign countries, for the first time in the history of Aavin, the sale of tetra pack milk with helicap was launched in Singapore on 25.11.2017.
The Government has enhanced the fishing ban period relief assistance from Rs 2,000/- to Rs 5,000/- to each marine fisherman families and disbursed a sum of `79.75 crore to 1,59,506 fishermen families of 13 coastal Districts.
Ockhi cyclone - Relief activities
The severe cyclonic storm "Ockhi" hit the Kanniyakumari coast on 30.11.2017. The Government has sanctioned a sum of `2.20 crore towards providing diesel for bringing back the 217 fishing boats and to meet out the ration expenses 1,754 fishermen.
TAMIL NADU FISHERIES UNIVERSITY, Nagapattinam
l New Fisheries College and Research Institute has been started at Thalainayeru with the budget of Rs 68.1678 crore and the classes commenced on 12.10.2017 presently at TNFU main campus premises.
AIADMK to celebrate 70th birth anniversary of late CM.
CHENNAI: Ruling AIADMK will mark the 70th birth anniversary of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa by unveiling her full-size statue at the party headquarters here and launching a newspaper in memory of her.
AIADMK's celebrations will begin Saturday morning when party coordinator O. Panneerselvam and joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami unveiling the statue that is being installed near the bust of the late leader's mentor M G Ramachandran on the llawn
The bronze statue, which was sculpted in Nellore, was to be installed last year, but the plan was shelved after the then interim general secretary V K Sasikala was jailed in the disproportionate assets (DA) case. The statue will be jointly unveiled by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, who are running the party affairs after the September 12 General Council meeting nixed the post of general secretary of the AIADMK.
After unveiling the statue, the leaders will launch Namadhu Puratchi Thalaivi Amma — the party's new mouthpiece. Namadhu MGR, which was launched by J Jayalalithaa to air her views following the death of her mentor M G Ramachandran in the late 1980s, went on to become the official propaganda arm of the AIADMK till her death in 2016. Jaya TV, launched in 1999, was also an integral part of Jayalalithaa's publicity arm.
However, both the organisations went to the control of V K Sasikala family after the AIADMK split into two factions - one led by EPS-OPS and the other led by T T V Dhinakaran - leaving the party bereft of any mouthpiece.
The newspaper, which will hit the stands on Saturday, will be edited by party spokesperson Marudhu Azhaguraj, who was removed as editor of Namadhu MGR by the Sasikala family in August last year. Unlike Namadhu MGR, Namadhu Puratchi Thalaivi Amma will be published from major cities in the state. Namadhu MGR is published only from Chennai.
The move to launch the newspaper and a television channel, which is in works, was taken after Namadhu MGR and Jaya TV began blacking out news relating to the AIADMK Government since August 2017.
May be sign of a healthier political trend.
Setting a healthy political trend in Tamil Nadu, where the polity is deeply dominated by personality cult, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday received Opposition Leader M K Stalin at his chamber in the Secretariat. Stalin was being helpful towards the government to the extent of recommending a slew of steps to resolve the perennial crisis plaguing the transport sector.
Such meetings are rare in Tamil Nadu politics in which the rivalry among the head of the ruling party and those of the main opposition parties would be so intense. In fact, Jayalalithaa and M. Karunanidhi, who alternatively ruled Tamil Nadu for a quarter of a century between 1991 and 2016 after Jaya became CM for the first time, never saw each other eye to eye. This is the first time that Stalin is meeting Palaniswami in his chamber while he has held discussions with the latter's predecessor O Panneerselvam when he was Chief Minister after J Jayalalithaa's death.
Armed with a report prepared by DMK leaders on how to reduce loses and restore the transport department to its old glory, Stalin led a delegation of senior leaders to Palaniswami and submitted the document to him. We will convene another all-party meeting and discuss our next course of action. The Chief Minister received the report, but he did not commit anything, Stalin was to say after the cordial enough meeting.
The DMK Working President has been opposing the recent hike in bus fares by the Tamil Nadu government and had even rallied the entire opposition to protest against the ruling party.
In the report submitted to Palaniswami, the DMK recommended removal of existing taxes on diesel like VAT and levy 10 per cent GST, which will result in an annual savings of Rs 1,600 crore for state-run transport corporations, revenue generation through advertisements and courier services by transport corporations, and attaching buses which ply beyond 200 kms to the State Express Transport Corporations.
The government should also upgrade its luxury buses on par with private bus operators who mint by flaunting their services and allot Rs 1,000 crore every year in the Budget for phasing out of old buses and replacing them with new hi-tech vehicles are some of the other recommendations made in the report.
A five-member panel headed by former Union Surface Transport and Shipping Minister T R Baalu prepared the report. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Stalin indicated that the government was non-committal on implementing recommendations made in his party’s report. The transport corporations suffer loses every day and have debts to the tune of `16,000 crore.
Delimination committee is in the final stage of compiling report.
The much-delayed elections to the local bodies across the state will not be conducted at least for the next three months. This is owed to issues created issues by the stakeholders of democracy.
They range from the State Election Commission (SEC), the AIADMK government and the opposition DMK, all of whom complicated the polls by approaching the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court, thereby ensuring their postponement.
According to sources, the issue dates back to October 2016. The court had also been entertaining the petitions and the affidavits filed by the stakeholders, thereby delaying the natural law of justice. “Justice delayed is justice denied and as per the constitutional mandate, the state deserves elected members in local bodies. But the civic councils have been held up due to bureaucratic delay and pending litigation”, said a former mayor from Western Tamil Nadu, who wished not to be named. The two political parties and the SEC have taken shelter claiming that they are now waiting for the final court orders, he added.
“The state is not in a mood to hold the elections and that’s the reason they are inventing problems and are working slowly on the orders passed by High Court”, said a state official conforming that no communication has been received in connection with the poll arrangements.
When contacted, state election commissioner Malick Feroze Khan said that poll work was very much underway. The delimitation exercise had been completed in all the districts except Chennai. So far seven zonal conferences on delimitation exercise had been completed and the delimitation committee is in the final stage of compiling the report. Once the report from Chennai Corporation is also received a final delimitation report will be sent to the state for its approval.
When all the issues pertaining to women reservation and delimitation are finalised, the SEC will announce the polls. “We have also adhered to Madras High court’s interim orders and another petition is also pending before the Supreme Court”, he said.
The 63-year-old actor has sought a meeting with EC authorities either tomorrow or the day after.
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan, who had recently announced his foray into electoral politics, is expected to meet the Election Commission officials to register his party's name and symbol.
The 63-year-old actor has sought a meeting with EC authorities either tomorrow or the day after. The Election Commission is yet to confirm the appointment.
Also, Mr. Haasan is expected to begin his Nalai Namadhe campaign from the residence of former President and Bharat Ratna, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in Rameswaram from February 21. He would announce the name of his new party on that day.
Ace actor Kamal Haasan talked about the alliance with veteran actor Rajinikanth and said that a tie-up seems unlikely as of now as latter has a "hue of saffron" in his politics.
"There is a hue of saffron in Rajni's politics. If that doesn't change, then I don't see an alliance with him," said Haasan, during the launch of his website, naalainamadhe.maiam.com at Harvard University.
"My politics will definitely not be saffron," he added.
The actor mentioned that both of them are good friends, but "politics is different".
Haasan also said, the reason for starting his own party is that he does not want to work with any of the existing parties.
Speaking about the website, the actor said that it has been designed in a manner wherein people from all sections can participate.
On the Cauvery dispute, Sellur K Raju said the chief minister was taking suitable steps to secure state's water share from K’taka.
Tamil Nadu Minister Sellur K Raju has courted controversy by saying that government welfare measures would be given only to AIADMK card holders, even as Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said that such schemes were meant for all.
Raju made the statement on Sunday at an event in Madurai to enrol new members and to renew membership of those who had completed five years.
"AIADMK party card is what identifies us and is equal to our life itself.... every party member should have it. All party members should have the card. Only if you have it, can you get government welfare schemes benefits either for you or your family," he had said.
On the vexed Cauvery river water issue, Raju said that the chief minister was taking appropriate steps to secure the state's share of water from Karnataka.
Referring to the local body polls, he said AIADMK is always ready to face any elections.
However, Panneerselvam said that all government welfare measures are aimed at benefiting the ordinary and poor people and all sections of society, irrespective of party affiliations.
He said Karnataka has declined water to Tamil Nadu and that steps were being taken to initiate legal measures to secure water for the state.
"We have a right to seek water for our standing crops," he said
On a related note, Haasan, earlier in Sept, said he would be willing to work with Rajinikanth, if the superstar decided to enter politics.
Tamil superstar Rajinikanth has extended his wishes to actor Kamal Haasan for announcing his political debut.
"I wish him all the best," said the 67-year-old.
On that note, Haasan, on Tuesday, announced that he will undertake a state-wide tour of Tamil Nadu from February 21 and will also announce the name of his political party and its ideology at the beginning of his journey.
He further announced that the tour will be undertaken in multiple phases. On this tour, which will be flagged off from his hometown of Ramanathapuram, the 'Dasavatharam' actor will be proceeding to the districts of Madurai, Dindigul and Sivagangai, where he will be interacting with locals.
On a related note, Haasan, earlier in September, had said he would be willing to work with Rajinikanth, if the superstar decided to enter politics. Earlier on Wednesday, actor R Madhavan also extended his support to Kamal Haasan for his entry in politics.
Haasan also said, a celebration of ‘Dravidian’ all across South India will end discrimination and help them 'speak in chorus with Delhi.'
After announcing his foray into politics on Tuesday, actor Kamal Haasan on Thursday said the meaning of the term ‘Dravidian’ should not be restricted to Tamil Nadu alone. He said the term should also include other southern states in order to receive a better deal from the Centre.
According to a report in NDTV, the megastar’s well-admired column in ‘Ananda Vikatan’ magazine was a caustic observation of the Centre’s tax collection procedure.
“I feel of late, sharing of taxes with states is not done well. Tamil Nadu is the second largest tax contributor. It's fine to develop northern states with it. That's how even in families we help an unemployed sibling. But the gullible contributor should not be left to starve," Haasan wrote.
The actor further argued in his piece that a celebration of ‘Dravidian’ all across South India would bring an end to discrimination and help them “speak in chorus with Delhi.”
Haasan, in his column, explicitly hinted at the gulf in the state’s political scenario after the death of former chief minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa. The leadership crisis within the party, even after sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran came to power in December, underlines Tamil Nadu’s fight toward stability.
The megastar’s take on ‘Dravidian’ doesn’t only encompass the common welfare of all southern states but also renders other torchbearers of the ideology concerned as regressive, the NDTV report said.
The actor’s Thursday column said he would start his political tour --- a “journey of discovery to understand people’s needs and aspirations” --- on February 21 from ex-president Abdul Kalam’s hometown, Rameswaram.
Haasan said, though limited but he has had inspiring exchanges with Kalam. “Like Kalam, I too have a dream for a good Tamil Nadu,” the actor added. He also said how a single man fails to capture power but the people together don’t and hence people should be elevated first.
Haasan’s political debut coincides with Thalaivar Rajinikanth’s entry into politics. Rajinikanth, on Wednesday, wished Kamal Haasan luck for his maiden endeavour.
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