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Briefly

Athirappilly development

Thrissur March 8. The Tourism Minister, K.C. Venugopal, has said that Rs. 5 crores will be spent for the development of the Athirappilly tourism centre. Inaugurating Chalakudy-Vazhachal Tourism Road on Tuesday, the Minister said the Forest Department would draw up a comprehensive project for the development of Vazhachal within two weeks. The Public Works Minister, M.K. Muneer, presided.

Demand

A demand suitable for reservation in professional colleges to students passing the Vocational Higher Secondary courses is being raised by the All Kerala Vocational Higher Secondary Staff Association. In a statement, the Kollam region president of the association, P. A. Sajimon, said that the demand to the effect had been passed as a resolution at the regional conference of the association held here today. The conference also demanded the green signal for the "on-the-job training programme'' which had been included in the VHS curriculum and a hike in all VHS examination duty wages. The conference was inaugurated by the State president of the association, Paravur Sajeeb.

Seminar

KOLLAM March 8. The Centre for Community Research and Development here is organising a seminar on `fashion designing and beauty therapy' at CCRD Hall here at 10 a.m. on March 12. Fashion designer Jajimol will present the subject.

Safety Week

KOZHIKODE MARCH 8. The Kozhikode City Police Commissioner, H. Venkatesh, inaugurated the observance of Safety Week at the Kozhikode Diesel Power Project in Nallalam recently. Classes in industrial and power safety, presentation of modern fire-fighting equipment and a safety quiz are being held from March 5 to 9.

SBI treasury branch

The State Bank of India (SBI) has opened its second treasury branch in the State at Thampanoor, here. It was inaugurated by Vilas D. Sha, deputy general manager, (Vigilance). K.V. Krishnamurthy, deputy general manager, zonal office, Thiruvananthapuram; and Achuthan Nair, branch manager, were present.

The branch will undertake business relating to various Government departments and would also open PPF accounts.

Action plan for water schemes

KOCHI MARCH 8. The Minister for Water Resources, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, has said that a one-year action plan will be drafted to streamline drinking-water distribution schemes in the State. Addressing presspersons at Ernakulam Guest House on Tuesday, Mr. Radhakrishnan said steps would be taken to commission projects that could be completed within a year. A top-level meeting of the Kerala Water Authority officials would be convened in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday to discuss the problems related to drinking-water shortage. He said dues of local governing bodies in the State to the authority amounted to Rs. 200 crores.

Campaign against court orders

Activists of Janadhipatya Vanitha Sanghatana today held a signature campaign against the Kerala High Court orders in the Suryanelli and ice-cream parlour sex racket cases. A statement by C.A. Kumari, district unit secretary of the organisation, said women should protest against such verdicts. The campaign was taken to mark International Women's Day. The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) district secretary, T.C. Subramanian, inaugurated the campaign.

Award for O.M. Karuvarakund

KOZHIKODE MARCH 8. O.M. Karuvarakund, Mappilapattu lyricist and Kerala Folklore Academy member, has been selected for the Pulikkottil Hyder Award instituted by the Mahakavi Moyinkutty Vaidyar Smaraka Committee. A jury comprising Abkar Kakkattil, Alankode Leelakrishnan and Poovachal Qader selected Mr. Karuvarakund for his contributions to Mappilappattu. The award, conferred once in two years, comprises a purse of Rs. 1,111 and citation. The award will be given at a function in April in which the collected works of Vaidyar will be released, K.N.A. Qader, MLA and chairman of the committee, told presspersons here today. The jury commended Mr. Karuvarakund's expertise in writing lyrics for traditional and modern methods of Mappilapattu. "He deserves special mention as his Mappilapattus and Oppana songs have played a role in bringing these music genres to the notice of the new generation," the jury said.

Air-India special flights

Air-India will operate three special flights to Mumbai on March 12, 19 and 26. Flight No. AI-808 will depart from Kozhikode at 10.20 p.m. A special fare of Rs.2,270 has been offered for travel on these flights. Details can be had on the phone 95484-2611666.

Sabarimala temple pujas

PATHANAMTHITTA MARCH 8. Sree Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala will be opened on Monday evening for the five-day pujas in the Malayalam month of Meenom beginning of Tuesday. The Melsanthi, V. Muraleedharan Namboodiri, will open the sanctum sanctorum at 5.30 p.m. on Monday and pujas will begin with Ganapathi homam the next morning. The Travancore Devaswom Board authorities said `Padipuja' and `Udayasthamana' Puja would be held on the five days and the temple will be closed after `Athazhapuja' on March 19 evening.

Demands Day observed

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM MARCH 8. The Theeradesa Mahila Vedi, the women's wing of the Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, observed Demands Day today. Fisherwomen took out a march to the Secretariat with empty pots and vessels in which they usually carry fish for vending, demanding an end to the harassment of women, cancellation of the fish import agreement and protection of the job opportunities of women fish vendors and steps to solve the water shortage in the coastal areas. The State committee member of the Federation, Maglin Peter, who inaugurated the march, said it was the Government's duty to ensure the security of women in all sectors in the context of the increasing cases of harassment of women in the State. She asked the Centre to correct its fish import policy as it would push the women vending fish to starvation.

Janata Dal(S) demand

The Janata Dal (Secular) has demanded the reversal of the privatisation of the Cheriyanad Railway Station. The general secretary of the party, Varughese George, said in a statement today that the Station Master had been withdrawn from the station between Chengannur and Mavelikara and the services including the sale of tickets had been handed over to a private individual. He had been allowed to take a commission of 15 per cent on ticket sales. Did it mean that the Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad's solemn announcement that the Railways would not be privatised was mere hollow talk, he asked.

Seminar on fashion designing

KOLLAM March 8. The Centre for Community Research and Development here is organising a seminar on `fashion designing and beauty therapy' at CCRD Hall here at 10 a.m. on March 12. Fashion designer Jajimol will present the subject.

Rotary Club initiative

The Rotary Club of Quilon Lake City is organising a theme park trip for the inmates of the Kollam Juvenile Home. The club secretary, K. Anil, said that on March 10 the inmates would be taken on a trip to the Veegaland Theme Park.

The Rotary district governor-elect, G.A. George, will flag-off the trip. Last week, the club donated a colour television to the home. As part of the community service programme, the club donated Rs. 25,000 to the District Collector's relief fund.

Raj Bhavan march

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM MARCH 8. The district committee of the CITU will take out a `Raj Bhavan march' on Thursday as part of a nationwide protest by left trade unions against the UPA Government's alleged failure to abide by the promises made to the working class in the Common Minimum Programme. The Leader of the Opposition, V.S. Achuthanandan, would inaugurate the march, which would start from Museum Junction at 10 a.m.

Quiz contest on March 12

The SBT Staff Recreation Club would conduct an inter-institutional quiz competition at the club hall in Anantha Vilasam Palace at Fort on March 12, according to a press release. The competition is open to Central and State Government employees as well as the employees of public sector institutions, banks and insurance companies. A two-member team can represent an institution. Interested persons should report with their credentials at the venue before 2.30 p.m. and enrol themselves. More details can be obtained from the general secretary, C. Mohan Kumar (mobile phone no.94473 10310), the press release adds.

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