Monday, January 23, 2012

Tamil Nadu approves second phase of outer ring road

Chennai, Jan 23 : The Tamil Nadu government has approved the second phase of the Chennai outer ring road project involving the building of a 32-km road at an outlay of Rs.1,075 crore on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.

In a statement issued here Monday, the government said Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has ordered the laying of the 32-km outer ring road connecting Nemilicheri-Tiruvottriyur-Ponneri and Mijur on a public-private-partnership basis and annuity payment model.

According to the government, the first phase of the outer ring road project involving the laying of a 29.65-km road will be completed by November at an outlay of Rs.1,081.40 crore.

In addition, the government has allotted Rs.285 crore towards maintenance and upkeep of roads and bridges across the state.

With the completion of these projects, heavy vehicles carrying containers can reach the Chennai and Ennore Ports by avoiding the city roads, the government said.

Another former DMK minister arrested

Chennai, Jan 23: Tamil Nadu police Monday arrested former DMK minister M.P. Saminathan following a land grab complaint against him, officials said.

Saminathan, former minister for highways in the erstwhile DMK government, was arrested at his residence near Tirupur, about 400 km from here.

Many senior leaders and former ministers of the DMK have been arrested and jailed on land grab charges since the AIADMK government assumed office last May.

Former ministers K. Ponmudi, K.N. Nehru, Veerapandi Arumugham and others are amongst those arrested. The government has set up special cells to investigate land grab complaints.

State police have also registered a land grab case against former deputy chief minister M.K. Stalin and his son Udayanidhi Stalin

Fisherman injured in attack at sea

The fisherman who was attacked by Sri Lankan Navy being enquired by a policeman, in Rameswaram on Sunday. Photo: L. Balachandar
A fisherman of Rameswaram was injured when Indian fishing boats were attacked, allegedly by Sri Lankan naval personnel, near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) at Kachchatheevu late on Saturday.
The attackers, who were seen patrolling near Kachchatheevu, allegedly pelted the fishermen with stones.
Several fishermen took evasive action and escaped. However, M. Jegadeesh (30) was hit by a sharp stone. He received injuries on his right leg. The boat's windshield was damaged in the incident.
“When we were fishing near Kachchatheevu, the Sri Lankan Navy men threw stones on the boats. We could not escape as they targeted us from a very close range,” Mr. Jegadeesh told The Hindu.
He said they also damaged fishing nets and gears of several boats warning the Indian fishermen to return from Kachchatheevu.
Mr. Jegadeesh added that though several other fishermen were attacked in the incident no one was ready to reveal their identity fearing a backlash from the Sri Lankan Navy.
Attack condemned
Condemning the attack on Indian fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Naval personnel, CPI leader D Raja said India should reopen the 1974 agreement ceding Katchatheevu to the island nation to find a lasting solution to the recurring mid–sea incidents.

Search still on for Sasikala's brother

Police continued their search for V.K. Divakar, brother of Sasikala, former aide of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, in connection with a complaint relating to demolition of a house for the second day on Sunday.
In her complaint to the police, Kasthuri, wife of Balasubramanian of Rishiyur in Needamangalam taluk in Tiruvarur district, said that her house was demolished on November 28 by seven persons with the help of some officials. This she alleged was done at the behest of Mr. Divakar. Police tried to meet Mr. Divakar for interrogation on Saturday. They went to his house at Mannargudi and his college (Sengamala Thayar Arts and Science College) at Sundarakottai near Mannargudi in search of him. But he was not available.
The police search continued on Sunday too, sources said.