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2G scam: Pranab Mukherjee acknowledges note, declines comment; Congress backs P Chidambaram - 9/22/2011

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NEW YORK/DELHI: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee refused to comment on a letter sent by his ministry to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the 2G spectrum scam, saying he cannot make any remark on the matter is it is "subjudice".

"The matter is subjudice. I cannot make any comment on it. The whole matter is under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court of India. We cannot make any comment on any matter that is subjudice," Pranab Mukherjee, who is in the US to attend an India-US investor forum, told reporters here.

Separately, while addressing Indian and American business leaders at a high-profile USIBC roundtable, Mukherjee said the finance ministry letter to the Prime Minister's Secretariat is out in the open only due to the Right to Information Act, which is one of the many steps the government has taken to flush out corruption and make governance transparent and accountable.

"In fact today a sensational news item has come and it is through the exercise of the RTI. A note was sent by minister of finance to Prime Minister. Somebody demanded through the use of RTI to have the copy of that note from the Prime Minister's Secretariat and... fact of the matter is somebody has produced that as a piece of evidence in a particular case," Mukherjee commented.

He said whether the letter can be used in such a manner or not "is a different story."

A finance ministry document submitted to the Supreme Court says the telecom ministry could have gone in for auction of 2G spectrum licenses had the then finance minister P Chidambaram insisted on this.

Meanwhile, the congress has come out in support of home minister P Chidamabram.

Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the party had full confidence in P Chidambaram and had no doubts on his integrity.

Singhvi said the party rejects the charges levelled by Subramanian Swamy and alleged that there was a deliberate attempt to create a divide between constitutional authorities.

The Congress leader said it was unfortunate that the matter raised by Swamy was being raised in the media and judgement being pronounced even when the case was sub-judice.

'Ye Laagim' CD releases at Milagres Kallianpur - 9/22/2011

Pics & Report by Richard DSouza

Kallianpur : Ajith Peter DSouza of Pethri presents Ye Laagim CD was released at Milagres Church here by Very Rev Fr. Stany B. Lobo Vicar of Milagres Church on Monthi Festh. Prajoth DSa of Milagres Church one of the member singer of the CD, Rev Fr. Ivan Rodrigues, Fr. Wilson D'Souza and Rev Fr. Arun Rodrigues were present during the CD releasing ceremony.

 

Dream was actualized of the Ajith along with Lancelot Monteiro, Prajoth, Vinod, Norman, Rithesh, Joel and Johnson. During the occasion of CD release Prajoth D'Sa one of the team member thanked Vicar and priests of Milagres for the opportunity to release the same.

 


Team 'Oriyardori Asal' honours its crew on 118 day celebration - 9/22/2011

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Mangalore : The Roopalakshmi Films, producers of record-breaking Tulu film Oriyardori Asal organized a special programme to honour its entire crew comprising of actors and technicians who worked for the success of the film at Town Hall on September 21, Wednesday.

Oriyardori Asal

Speaking after inaugurating the event at the 118 day celebration, Moodbidri MLA Abhayachandra Jain said that ‘Oriyardori Asal’ which is now the longest running Tulu film is closing in on the 125-day mark and has recorded more than 2,000 screenings in theatres across Karnataka and will run for still more days in the theatre.

Oriyardori Asal

 

Speaking on the occasion, story, screenplay, dialogue and lyricist of the film Vijaya Kumar Kodialbail said that, it was possible for him to make a film with the inspiration gained from other 40 tulu films released from ‘Enna Thangadi’ to ‘Koti Chennayya’.

He also said that the people of tulunad located all over the country have given a wide support to the film irrespective of caste and religion and further to reqire the same from them.

Further, he will try to give the best film for the people of tulunad by releasing it in all the theatres simultaneously. The people gathered in the hall to witness the programme is itself the honour received for his effort, he added.

Handing over the mementos to the entire crew of the film from the hero to the technicians, B Nagaraj Shetty, chairman of Coastal Development Authority said that, the film Oriyardori Asal’ has given the second life to the tulu film industry.

He also said that large numbers of actors will their major and small roles have filled life into the film. Further the tulu film must increase in large number and popularize tulu culture and language in the country.

Apart from honouring the crew of film, theatre artiste Machchendranath Pandeshwar, Koti Chennayya film director Dhanraj and Udayavani Bureau chief Manohar Prasad were honoured with memento on the occasion.

Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP presided over the function.

Director H.S. Rajashekhar, Likhith Shetty, Ramya Barna, Rajesh Bantwal, Rekha Das,  Roopa Vijaya Kumar, Dr Asha Jyothi Rai, PA Srinivas, Ram Shetty,  Malady Baakrishna Shetty and Dr Richard Castelino were present on the dais.


Shirva: Community Health Day Celebrated - 9/21/2011

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Shirva, 21 September 2011: On the occasion of the Karnataka State Community Health Day on September 20, the Community Health Day and cheques distribution on Janani Suraksha Yojane & Prasuthi Araike program was inaugurated by Jilla Panchayath Member Ida Gibba D’Souza by lighting the lamp. Pregnant women were given Arashina-Kunkuma, Bangles, Mangalya Drawya and were wished.
 
Cheques were distributed under Janani Suraksha Yojane & Prasuthi Araike. The program was presided over by Udupi Taluk Panchayath President Kattingeri Devdas Hebbar. In his presidential address he said that as per the Udupi district health information the health condition of mothers and children in the region is in good condition, the death during delivery is very rare, he said. This shows the progress in the health condition he said. Celebrating the Community Health Day in a unique way by giving Mangalya Drawya to the pregnant women is appreciable and something that can be followed by everyone, he said.

 

 
 
Community Health Centre Senior Medical Officer Dr. Vasudeva Upadyaya spoke on the occasion and briefed on the National health systems and the facilities being provided in the hospitals. Chief Guest present in the program were; Shirva Grama Panchayath President Vanitha Kamalaksha Shenoy, Belle Grama Panchayath President Jesintha Aranha, Rotary District Deputy Governer K.R. Patkar, Shirva Rotary President Ronald Sequeira, Taluk Shishu Abhivradi Yojane Officer Sadananda Nayak, Shirva Rotary Secretary Leo Noronha, Shirva Grama Panchayath PDO Malathi, Kuthyaru PDO Ajith D’Souza, District Health Education Officer Manjegowda and Jyothsna.
 
Dental Health Officer Dr. Santhosh Kumar Bailur welcomed. Health Assistant Nagayya Hiremut compeered the program. Geetha conducted prayers. Guruprasad proposed vote of thanks. Health workers, Asha and Anganavadi workers participated in the program.


Sikkim earthquake: Scores of bodies found in rubble - 9/21/2011

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Sikkim quake: The real picture of devastation

 
 
MANGAN/GANGTOK: A grimmer picture of devastation in quake-hit Sikkim emerged on Tuesday as soldiers blasted boulders blocking hill roads and reached isolated areas like Mangan, 65km from Gangtok. With help reaching faraway regions, the body count from Sunday's temblor raced passed 130 and could rise as many more are feared trapped.
Officially, Sikkim has so far confirmed 58 deaths, the rest of the casualties being from Bhutan, Nepal, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand. But as shocking details emerged, authorities feared at least 40 workers at a hydel power plant site in North Sikkim's Saffo might have perished within minutes, caught in a mountain duct when the tectonic plates under the lower Himalayas shook. Dozens others are missing and feared trapped in the same hydel project site and there's no confirmation of the number of people engaged there.
Saffo is 9km downstream from Chungthang and the accident site is around 30km downstream from the popular tourist destination Lachen. An engineer working for the Hyderabad-based Athena Group, which is handling the project, said 15 workers had died at the site and at least 10 were missing. The tragedy came to light on Tuesday when officials of the Teesta Urja Co-a joint venture between the Hyderabad-based company and the Sikkim Power Department-chartered a chopper to airlift the body of D D Gupta, a senior officer.
Government sources said when they learnt of the airlift, they asked company officials where they had found Gupta's body. The officials were initially hesitant, but ultimately revealed the shocking story. Gupta, a quality control officer, had entered an access tunnel leading to the 1,200 MW Teesta Stage III Hydel Project site deep in the mountain recess.
When the temblor struck about 40 workers were drilling through the mountain to carry water from the dam at Chungthang, 100km from Gangtok, to the generation plant downstream at Mangan, Athena officials suspect. "It appears that some tunnels collapsed burying the men deep in the mountain," a government source said.
"It is unlikely that any of the workers survived the earthquake (that measured 6.8 on the Richter scale). And even if they did, it's doubtful that they'd hold out for very long. The area is mountainous and it will take days before tunnels are re-excavated and the bodies pulled out," a government official said.
Till late Tuesday afternoon, the company maintained that the construction site was intact and about eight people-six labourers and two junior engineers-had died when a boulder crushed their car near Saffo. But, now there are fears that Teesta Urja hasn't come out with the full disaster story. Several hundred workers are engaged at the construction site. A company official denied any tunnel had collapsed at Saffo.
Elsewhere, rescue teams inched close to the quake epicenter and columns of soldiers, riding trucks, tractors and earthmovers and armed with drills, cutters and pick-axes, completed an arduous trek to enter Mangan, the flattened headquarters of the North Sikkim district.
Mangan was a picture of devastation as many anxious and distraught residents waited as National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel with Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Indian Army men toiled to clear debris from blocked roads. The army used explosives to blow up boulder piles, some as tall as three-story buildings. In Gangtok, Sikkim DGP Jasbir Singh said he feared the toll could go much higher. "Yes, large areas are still cut off. We fear the toll could rise."
At Mangan, brick and mortar churches had collapsed, giant boulders blocked roads and landslides had flattened entire localities. "On reaching Mangan, we realized the epicenter was 50km north, where villages and habitations have suffered the worst damage," an NDRF officer said. Rescue teams set off for the area but their progress was stopped by a fresh landslide.

Udupi: Painting exhibition on Ganapathi held - 9/21/2011

BV

Udupi: The young generation who involves in the strikes, usage of intoxicating drugs and illegal activities, if they are made to get into the art activities such as music and painting, they can contribute a lot to the society, said Udupi Bailur Shri Ramakrishnashrama Shree Swami Vinayakananda. He was speaking upon inauguration of the exhibition of Chikani Painting on Ganapathi by Vishweshwara Parkala at Ramakrishna Hotel Auditorium on Sunday.

 


 
Art controls the mind from getting into the evil things. Those who have the eagerness in art related activities will have clean mind and they reach the goal in their life. In India the art is not just for humans, but is also being used for God, said Swamy. Chief Guest of the program entrepreneur Pramod Madhwaraj in his speech said that, those who are financially sound should buy the paintings, thus should support the artists. The artists are keeping the minds of everyone clean, so it is the duty of the society to look after the artists, he said.
 
Two more entrepreneurs Ranjan Kalkura and Lions district Advisor Saritha Santhosh conveyed their best wishes. On this occasion Shradhanjali was offered to young artist Sudhakara who recently died from a road accident. Artist Vishweshwara Parkala welcomed the guests. 


Villagers pour out woes at public meet - 9/21/2011

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Karkala : An informal committee of six members is following up on the applications received in each area at the public contact programme organised in naxal inflicted areas of the district,'said DC Dr M T Reju.

 

 

Speaking at the Janasamparaka Sabhe (public contact programme) organised by District Police in association with District Administration here at Srirama Sabhabhavan, Reju said people are in wrong notion that the public contact programme is of less use that replicates earlier situations where most of the forwarded applications proved to be ineffective. One can’t expect instant overall change. The problems in these areas do exist since many years and finding solution to the problems immediately is not an easy task. It is a slow process with determined guidelines to achieve success. The follow up committee envisioned by both District Police and District Administration consists of two police, one each revenue official and ZP member and two localities. The committee is set up in the areas where public contact programme is held, he added.

Reju informed that as many as 37 applications are received on the occasion. The district administration will try to find solution to the problems mentioned in the applications. The public contact programme should not be a half day affair, rather it should be a continuous supporting programme. Besides, cultural programmes also should be organised, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Karkala MLA Gopal Bhandari was all praises for the initiatives taken by the District Police and District Administration to reach out the people in naxal prone areas. He said there are countless problems with concern to basic infrastructural amenities in these remote areas. Roads, issues concerning title deeds, drinking water facilities, health services, education and shelter all make part of the problems that exist in the naxal prone areas. Extra concentration should be given to these areas while deciding the parameters aiding the facilities of beneficiary programmes. Mala or Mallaru has totally different geography and topography when compared to coastal places. Fund allotments should be made based on the land availability rather than taking the density of population into account.

The naxal prone areas consist of sparse population. Measures should be taken to identify the revenue and forest lands that have yielded much confusion to the land holders. Besides, this confusion has added to the woes of giving away the title deeds.
Retorting to the demand seeking solution to the cattle trafficking rackets, SP Dr Y S
Ravikumar informed that stern measures have been taken to counter the illegal cattle trafficking.  Check posts have been set up in all the three taluks especially during night hours to have meticulous inspection. Stringent actions will be taken against those who are involved in illegal cattle trafficking trade. Public can bring the issue to the notice of nearby police stations or to the night round police officers, he added.

Earlier, Prashanth, son of Rama Poojary alleged that government has failed to offer the assured compensation package to the family of Rama Poojary. It can be recalled that the naxal encounter of 2003 that killed two naxalites Parvathi and Ahagima was taken place in the house of Rama Poojary. The incident left the house fully damaged. The people’s representatives and other dignitaries who visited the house in the aftermath assured Rama Poojary a substantial amount as compensation package besides security of life.  
In fact, the second in line, public contact programme organised for people in naxal area held at Mala-Mallaru (the first one was organised at Andaru-Ajekaru) unraveled the worst pathetic living condition of the people in these areas. The people in the area are deprived of almost all basic infrastructural facilities and bringing them to the mainstream of the society especially in a shorter span of period is a herculean task.


Karkala areca growers feel let down - 9/21/2011

KA-RD

KARKALA : Areca growers of Karkala who are already distressed with various problems, are

continuing to suffer, with the latest to their list of woes being the kole disease that has affected

areca plantations.

The farmers are alleging that the government has in no way come to their aid. “ I have suffered

loss of areca crops in my 10 acre plantation due to Kole disease. Except for the meager

compensation of Rs 1000 which the state government had provided two years ago, so far there is

no help from the government. The government should provide suitable compensation for the loss

of crops, says Mohan Hebbar, an areca grower of Kabbinale Sampige.

Sudhir Hebbar, also a farmer and Mudradi GP member says About five quintals of areca yield

has been lost. In such a case it is difficult for us to manage as the amount we have invested in our

plantation has gone waste.

Though earlier, the government used to provide fertilizers free of cost to the growers, presently

only subsidy is provided. Even to avail the subsidy of Rs 1000, the grower has to produce his

RTC, the receipt of purchase of fertilizer and the letter from the village accountant. But, for all

this the growers have to move from pillar to post and many of them are unwilling to do so amid

their busy schedule.

However, Prakash Bhagavat, Assistant Horticultural Director of Karkala taluk says the

department was doing its level best to provide all facilities from the government.  Already,

the growers have been provided subsidy under National Horticultural Scheme and TP scheme.

Under the state funds, a sum of Rs 2 lakh subsidy has been released for the growers. Every

grower who purchases fertilizers is entitled to 50 per cent subsidy. A subsidy of Rs 1000 is

provided for a maximum of one hectare, he adds.


Dubai: Udenthichim Neketram celebrates Monti Fest - 9/20/2011

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Dubai, 20 September 2011: Nativity feast of our blessed Mother Mary (Monti Fest) was celebrated on September 15th by Udenthichi Neketram, Moodbidri Varado Catholic Association at Karama Centre ,Dubai.

 

The programme  begun with prayer dance by children,which was choreographed by Mr. Arun Lobo. President Mr. Ullas Fernandes welcomed the gathering with his sweet and short welcome message.

 

Prayer to worship Mother Mary was conducted by Mr. Melwyn Cardoza followed by offering of flowers to infant Mother Mary by children while singing hymn sakkad sanagtha mellya and Maryek Hogolsiya. Mr.Joseph Mathais of  Merit Freight was the cheif guest of  the evening.

 

 

Main attraction of the evening  was fancy dress competition for children. Children from various parishes of  Moodbidri varado exhibited their skills which was much appreciated  by  audience.  Cultural programmed started with a dance from children followed by skits from talented artists of Udenthichim Neketram.Various games were conducted for children, gents and ladies. Golden talent music school children entertained the audience with their melodies singing & wonderful  music.

 

Rev. Fr. James Dsouza of  Belthangady parish  graced the occasion and felicitated the sponsors. He blessed the delicious food which was prepared by Al shay restaurant Karama. Every one enjoyed delicious meal in Mangalorean style altogether a typical Mangalorean atmosphere could be felt. It was really wonderful experience of living Mangalore culture together.

 

Secretary of the association Mr. Cyprian Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks.The programme came to an end with housie game and a broad smile on every participants faces.

 

Mr.Lawrence Cardoza,Belvai &  Mr.Richard Saldanha ,Sampige compered the entire event.


Kesarugadde Atota Sparde by Youth Association of Shirva - 9/20/2011

Mlgrns

Shirva : Sports, games and competitions play crucial role in attracting the children and the youth. The winning is hidden in the game plan and discipline. Youth Associations along with the sports also should take part in the uniting of the society, said Shrikshethra Laxmipura Adishakthi Mahalaxmi Temple Trustee and young entrepreneur Santhosh Wagle.

 

 
 
He was speaking upon inaugurating the Taluk level Kesarugadde Atota Sparde in the agricultural fields of Shrinivasa Wagle in Sadambailu, organized by Bantakal Rajapura Saraswatha Yuva Vranda on Sunday. Chief Guest of the program Geetha Wagle – President of Bantakal Shridurga Mahila Vranda spoke and appreciated the Yuva Vranda for reactivating the village folk games and traditional games through these competitions.
 
Teacher B. Pundalika Marathe gave introductory speech. In the program Shrinivasa Wagle, Bantakal Shri Temple Management Trust member Gumpadabailu Jayaram Prabhu and Devdas Patkar were present. Yuva Vranda President K.R. Patkar welcomed the guests and the gathering. Kedaranath compeered the program. Secretary Ravindra Patkar proposed vote of thanks.


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