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Briefly

CAP: 838 gain admission

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM SEPT. 9. At the Centralised Allotment Process held here today for admission to the engineering colleges, 838 candidates were allotted seats in different branches. Candidates with ranks from 7,901 to 9,700 have been directed to report for the CAP on September 10.

Bank fraud: CBI files case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against the former Chief Manager of the Statue branch of a nationalised bank and the proprietor of an exporting firm in the city in connection with a bank fraud. A CBI team from Kochi had conducted simultaneous raids in the office, godown and house of the firm's owner in the city on Wednesday in this connection and seized several incriminating documents, according to sources. The accused bank official had sanctioned a huge loan to the firm in 2001 for export purposes. However, the money was allegedly diverted for other purposes and the firm also defaulted on the repayment.

Ministers get official residence

Official residences have been allotted to the Ministers. The grand and stately Cliff House that has been the official residence of the Chief Minister in the past has been allotted to the Finance Minister, Vakkom Purushothaman. The Electricity Minister, Aryadan Mohammed, has been allotted the Nest, the Food Minister, Adoor Prakash, Rose House, the Tourism Minister, K.C. Venugpopal, Ajanta, the Water Resources Minister, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Ashoka, the Forest Minister, K.P. Viswanathan, Pournami, the Education Minister, E.T. Mohammed Basheer, Ushus, the Transport Minister, N. Sakthan, Kalpana and the Health Minister, K.K. Ramachandran Master, Thycaud House.

Review meetings

The Water Resources Minister, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, will hold district-level meetings to review the progress of water supply schemes from September 16 to October 5. The MPs, MLAs, presidents and members of district panchayats, presidents of block and grama panchayats, mayors and municipal chairmen will be invited to these meetings. The meetings will be convened by the Executive Engineers concerned.

Elected chairman

N. Jayachandran has been elected the chairman of the Kerala State Centre of the Institution of Engineers. The election is for the period from 2004 to 2006. He is the managing director of Imtope Private Ltd.

KGOA expresses concern

The Kerala Gazetted Officers Association (KGOA) has expressed concern at the reversion of engineers deployed from the Public Works Department to the local bodies. Its general secretary, K. Sivakumar, said in a statement today that the reversion would adversely affect the decentralisation process as many activities of the department had been transferred to the local bodies. It would also lead to large-scale transfers and termination of the services of many persons in the department.

`Tone up welfare board'

The Motor Thozhilali Union, which is affiliated to the AITUC, has demanded the toning up of the Motor Workers Welfare Fund Board. The executive of the board, which met in Thiruvananthapuram today, said that at present the Board was inordinately delaying the payment of many benefits. These included the assistance to the next of kin of dead members and retirement benefits. The meeting warned that the Union would be forced to launch an agitation if the style of functioning of the Board was not changed.

Space Week competitions

The VSSC will conduct an all-Kerala essay and poster competition for high school and Plus Two students in connection with the World Space Week celebrations, being organised from October 4 to 10. The theme of this year's celebration is `Space for sustainable development'. It is also the theme of the competition. The essay, which can be in Hindi, English or Malayalam, should be handwritten by the participant on one side of the paper and should be around 2000 words. The posters should be done in water colour on white art paper or card of approximately 30 by 40 cm size. The entries should contain the name, age, school, class, residential address and contact phone number with STD code of the participants and should be accompanied by a certificate from the head of the institution. Entries should reach the Convener, World Space Week Office, TDAD, VSSC, ISRO Post, Thiruvananthapuram-22 by September 24. The prizes include a special GSLV award for the best essay from the high school stream.

Panchayat Raj tribunal

The Government today appointed the District Judge, George Mathew, as the tribunal for hearing all appeals and revision petitions relating to decisions taken by the Panchayat Raj institutions in the State. The tribunal will function in the building housing the office of the Rural Development Board on Punnan Road in Thiruvananthapuram.

`PCB abdicating its duty'

The Kerala Sastra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) has accused the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) of abdicating its duty by ordering the polluting companies to close down, instead of taking meaningful measures to correct them. The KSPCB's job is to enforce pollution control measures and keep the factories functioning for the development of the State, the KSSP said in a statement here today.

Provide help to students: CPI

The CPI State secretary, Veliyam Bhargavan, has urged the Government to provide assistance to merit quota students of private self-financing professional colleges now that the Kerala High Court has quashed the Government Order pegging the fees payable by them at last year's level. In a statement here today, Mr. Bhargavan said the Government had the duty to stick to its decision, as it had not succeeded in getting the relevant law, enacted by the Assembly recently, included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

Rubber federation plea

KOCHI SEPT. 9. The Kerala State Cooperative Rubber Marketing Federation has urged the Central and the State Governments to provide power and water to factories manufacturing rubber products at a subsidised rate. The federation chairman, T.H. Mustafa, MLA, demanded that rubber be included in the special package recently announced for agricultural produces such as tea and coffee. Talking to mediapersons here, he demanded review of the decision to lift restriction on rubber import.

One-day workshop

PATHANAMTHITTA Sept 9. The District Panchayat president, K.K.Royson, has called upon the local bodies to ensure maximum public participation in the grama sabhas. Mr. Royson was inaugurating a one-day workshop as part of the Kerala Development Project at the Mannil Regency here today. The Fisheries Assistant Director, S.Ajayan, the KILA executive faculty, K.M.Thomas, the Deputy Planning Officer, D. Induchoodan and the Deputy Director, Dairy Development, P.Vijayakumar, also addressed the workshop.

Tree felling: action sought

KOZHIKODE SEPT. 9. The Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) has demanded that the State Government initiate criminal proceedings against those involved in the illegal felling of trees at Jeerakappara forests near Tusharagiri. In a press release here today, the KSSP president, K. Papputty, and the environment wing chairman, K. Sreedharan, said the Jeerakappara forests were protected forest land following a Government Order in 2000 after the local people resisted the felling of trees in the area. The Tusharagiri waterfalls and the Chembukkadavu hydroelectric scheme would exist only if the forest land at Jeerakappara was preserved, they said.

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