One recurrent complaint that emerged during a recent public hearing of the NCPCR was the poor state of infrastructure in schools and hostels in the hinterland.

A study of about 50 panchayat schools brought out by People’s Watch in 10 districts served as a sample. Activists deposed that majority of the schools lacked basic amenities, such as a proper building. Drinking water facilities were non-existent in several institutions. Some of the schools, the study stated, had one toilet for 300 students. This rendered the facility unusable owing to lack of maintenance, thereby influencing enrollment.

Collector Rajendra Ratnoo has redoubled the efforts to transform Cuddalore into a “zero-waste” district before January 2013. He has started propagating the message in all the panchayats, town panchayats and municipalities.

Addressing the meeting of the panchayat presidents and representatives of the Self-Help Groups at Panruti near here on Tuesday, the Collector noted that all good things should begin in right earnest. He said that in his camp office only recyclable things were being used and one-time use plastic articles were totally dispensed with. He pointed out that the plastic articles were hazardous to health, both on earth and in the sea. As the plastic articles would remain in sub-soil for hundreds of years without any degradation, it would prevent rain water to percolate into the soil.

Over 1.14 lakh get degrees at the 80th convocation of Annamalai University

On the occasion of the 80th annual convocation of Annamalai University on Thursday, M.S. Swaminathan, Chairman of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, asked the university to promote seawater farming. Delivering the convocation address, Mr. Swaminathan said the founders of Annamalai University had established the Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology at Parangipettai with great vision. Its role was quite important at a time when humanity was facing the travails of climate change, global warming and marine pollution.

The Tamil Nadu Government would construct one lakh concrete houses for the people in Cuddalore and Viluppuram districts, hit badly by cyclone Thane last year.

Collector Rajendra Ratnoo has urged private hospitals and clinics to adopt appropriate medical waste management system, failing which they will face penal action. At a review meeting held here on Tuesday, he told medical officers that they should keep a tab on waste disposal from private hospitals and clinics.

If there are infringements on this score, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board would initiate disciplinary action against defaulting private hospitals and clinics.

Failure of the monsoons has wreaked havoc in the lives of farmers in the Cauvery delta

The Tamil Nadu tourism department is implementing a Rs 450-crore project along with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In the first phase, the department would take up the East Coast circuit followed by the Southern circuit. The main focus will be on improving infrastructure and safety.

The first meeting of the State Level Steering Committee in this regard was held here on Wednesday. Tamil Nadu is one among the four states selected by ADB for the Infrastructure Development Investment Programme for Tourism. TN is the only southern state with the other being Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The programme targets enhanced economic growth and provision of livelihood opportunities for local communities through tourism infrastructure development.

The Kollidam Keezhanai Paasana Vivasayigal Sangam has urged MPs of all parties in Tamil Nadu to call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and impress upon him the need for getting the State’s due share of Cauvery water for the current crop season.

The Sangam, at a meeting convened at Kumaratchi near here, adopted a resolution, according to its president P. Vinayagamoorthy. He told The Hindu that since water from the Mettur dam was not opened on June 12, farmers in the tail-end delta region of Chidambaram and Kattumannarkoil taluks could not raise kuruvai crop.

It is up to Puducherry government to resolve the issues: Narayanasamy

The East Coast Rail project was fraught with land acquisition issues and resolving them rested solely with the Puducherry government, said V.Narayanasamy, Union Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office, Parliamentary Affairs, and Pensions, here at the flagging off of the Tiruchirappali-Nagore passenger extended up to Karaikal, on Monday.

Days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took additional charge of the finance ministry and called for the need to revive the economy by reversing the ‘climate of pessimism,’ the government took a