Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Battery-operated golf cart at Coimbatore Airport

A battery-operated four-seat golf cart vehicle for the benefit of aged, ailing and physically challenged passengers who could not walk or board the coaches was commissioned recently at the Coimbatore Airport.
Airport Director Abraham Peter and Deputy Commandant of CISF, Arun Singh commissioned the vehicle in the presence of Kasturi Groups Chairman, Arvind Kumar R Shaw and Vice-President of Kasturi Groups, Vijay A. Shaw. The vehicle is from the Kasturi Group.

Coimbatore needs more flyovers: consumer body

The Coimbatore Consumer Cause (CCC) has appealed to the Chief Minister to consider allocation of funds and sanctioning of a few more flyovers in the city to avert congestion and ease traffic.
In a memorandum, Secretary of CCC K. Kathirmathiyon pointed out that the Chief Minister was kind enough to announce the construction of a flyover at Rs.100 crore at Gandhipuram.
Instead of a mere flyover, it would be extremely useful if there was no intersection of vehicles at the Dr. Nanjappa Road-Sathyamangalam Road junction. 
The CCC also thanked the Chief Minister and the government for the sanction of Rs. 3 crore for widening a portion of Marudhamalai Road in the first phase.  He expressed confidence that the entire stretch would be widened in the next phase shortly.  
He pointed out that the government had sanctioned Rs.13 crore towards the approach roadwork even on the National Highways at Eachani. The Central Government had abruptly stopped the work due to change in policy. The people heaved a sigh of relief only when the State Government came forward to complete the bridgework.  
Though the Highways Department considered the construction of a few more flyovers in the city, it was dropped as there was a proposal to construct them by the Municipal Corporation through Jawarhalal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme. After so many years, it was now understood that it might not be possible to construct those flyovers under the JNNURM scheme as it was purely a Highways work.
Even the margin money required was huge which the local body was not in a position to meet. 
Hence, Mr.Kathirmathiyon urged the Chief Minister to kindly look into the matter so that the State Highways Department could re-start the work on the proposal to construct the flyovers.
The CCC pointed out that the Lakshmi Mills junction and GRG School Junction on Avinashi Road and Pankaja Mill Road – Nanjundapuram Road Junction at Ramanathapuram on Tiruchy Road and the Lawley Road Junction at Thadagam road required flyovers to ease traffic congestion.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Renovated Bharathi Park opened

Bharathi Park, situated on a sprawling 3.12 acre in Ward 34 of Bharathi Park area, was inaugurated on Sunday after renovation at a cost of Rs. 25 lakh.
Rural Industries and Animal Husbandry Minister Pongalur N. Palanisamy, Mayor R. Venkatachalam, Deputy Mayor N. Karthik, Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra and others took part in the inauguration. The park would serve the residents of Sai Baba Colony and Ramalingam Colony.
The works included a 26,000-sq.ft. concrete walking path with tiles and pavement shoulders, compound wall, eight decorative lamp posts, water facilities with sprinkler and entry arch besides renovation of play materials for children.

Chamber seeks better train connectivity for Coimbatore

The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has appealed to the Union Ministry of Railways to introduce train service between Coimbatore and Rameshwaram.
According to a representation from the chamber, the railway station at Peelamedu should be located near the Avinashi Road.
A train should be introduced from Coimbatore to Bangalore. This was a long-pending demand of the chamber. Coimbatore required better train connectivity to Tirupathi and Thiruvananthapuram.
Trains should also be introduced to the east coast of Tamil Nadu. Commuter trains should be introduced from Coimbatore to Erode, Mettupalayam, Palghat and Pollachi.
The Coimbatore railway junction should have retiring rooms, waiting halls, digital coach indicators and roofing for all the platforms.
Another sub-way should be added to decongest the existing one.
The chamber also sought revision of electricity tariff to move towards the average cost.
The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board should reduce cross-subsidisation of power to other consumers.
Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Chamber here recently, the outgoing president Mahendra Ramdass said, “As a great enterprising city with good human capital and manufacturing potential, Coimbatore stands a chance to reinvent itself and continue to maintain its enviable position as the manufacturing hub of India.”
Similar to the investments in roads, bridges and other infrastructure, the country should invest in skills to drive productivity, improve competitiveness and create jobs. The Government, business associations and the academia should encourage entrepreneurship in innovative technologies.
The Government should increase its support to the small and medium-scale enterprises.

Nice Flick

More autonomy for innovation varsities?

The day-long meeting on Saturday on draft bill on Innovation Universities made a series of suggestions in a bid to give more flexibility and autonomy to the proposed institutions.

HRD minister Kapil Sibal said most of the suggestions have been accepted, and are likely to be incorporated in the final draft. "The bill is likely to be introduced during the winter session of Parliament after inter-ministerial consultations," the minister added.

The key suggestion was that since these universities will be innovative in nature, the bill should clearly spell out and even define outcomes that it plans to achieve. The nature of administrative structure, too, figured prominently in the discussion. For instance, it was felt that there is no need to have both academic board and board of governors.

"Delayering of administrative structure was suggested," a source said. There was an overwhelming view about giving more flexibility in appointment of faculty. In this regard, a specific provision limiting appointment by invitation of any graduating student with high academic distinction to 20% was objected to. "Why limit it to 20%? Let the innovation universities decide," a senior academician argued.

Since Innovative Universities will be set up around a theme, it was felt that they should be multi-disciplinary in nature. It was suggested that while theme could be a good idea for the university to start with, gradually it can develop a multi-disciplinary approach.

Many participants in the meeting agreed that legislation on Innovation Universities should be taken forward, but at the same time the existing institutions should not be ignored, and an attempt must also be made to reform them. "It can be a parallel process," Sibal said.

According to the minister, themes for Innovation Universities will be decided not by the government but by the institutions themselves.

The government will set up 14 fully-funded Innovation Universities in Greater Noida, Amritsar, Visakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Mysore, Gandhinagar, Jaipur, Kolkata, Bhopal and Kochi.

But the number of universities to be set up by private sector has not yet been decided.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

From Skyscrapercity Coimbatore Forum

Good times to roll

Déjà vu it seemed, that three years after making the cover of the first edition of the CinemaPlus in Chennai, actor Vikram was again the cover story; this time on the inaugural Coimbatore edition.
The star unveiled the first edition of the supplement, to hit stands on Sunday, in the presence of Mayor R. Venkatachalam, Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra, Managing Director of Kasturi & Sons Ltd. K. Balaji and Senior Associate Editor of The Hindu Mukund Padmanabhan.
Highlighting Coimbatore's significance to the paper, Mr. Balaji said that not only was The Hindu's first press outside Chennai set up here in 1969, the size of our market here is next only to Chennai.
Mr. Padmanabhan seconded his statement, saying, “The paper would have a much deeper engagement with the city.” The Friday Review November Fest - of Indian and world music and, The MetroPlus Theatre Fest in December, are scheduled for this year.
He added that CinemaPlus is now expanding all over the State. It would have glimpses of film history by Randor Guy, interviews, reviews and film news; largely of Kollywood, but also of Bollywood and Hollywood.
The excited audience was treated to a cinema quiz by the paper's Regional General Manager (Advertisements) Venkatesh Natarajan.
The prizes were handed over by the dignitaries, who also included CII-Coimbatore Chairman Ravi Sam and Anna University- Coimbatore Vice-Chancellor K. Karunakaran and, sponsors Chennai Silks and Trigger Jeans.
Then, Vikram took the stage. He showered praise on the district for its cuisine and its polite lingo.
During the shooting of Majaa, he revealed, he indulged himself in 14 varieties of dosas and 20 varieties of idlis available in Pollachi. The Hindu's Regional General Manager, Coimbatore, D. Rajkumar, proposed the vote of thanks. 
 GRAND EVENT: Actor Vikram (centre) launching "The Hindu - Cinema Plus" at a function in Coimbatore on Friday. Managing Director of Kasturi & Sons Ltd. K.Balaji (left) and Senior Associate Editor, The Hindu, Mukund Padmanabhan (right) are in the picture

Friday, August 27, 2010

INTEC expects Rs. 300-crore business

The Industrial Trade Fair (INTEC Coimbatore 2010) to be held here from September 1 to 5 expects to generate business of about Rs. 300 crore.
Chairman of INTEC V. Sundarrajulu told presspersons here on Wednesday that the event would have about 450 participants from different States and other countries too. Participants were expected from Japan, China, Singapore, the U.S., Italy, Taiwan, and Germany. A large number of small-scale units here would also take part.
Last year, the fair generated business enquiries for about Rs. 300 crore. Order books were full for most of the industries here, outsourcing units were doing well, the market had revived, entrepreneurs were willing to invest and the banks were ready to finance. Hence, business was expected to be higher this year.
With the industries here facing shortage of 15,000 to 20,000 workers, automation would be an area of focus at the exhibition. The engineering industries here wanted to go in for automation to increase productivity. The spotlight at the exhibition would be on industrial automation, material handling, and energy efficiency.
President of Coimbatore District Small Industries Association M. Kandhaswami said the exhibition would would be inaugurated by Union Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications A. Raja. Over a lakh visitors were expected from across the country.
A seminar would be held on September 3 on “Positioning Manufacturers for the Economic Upturn”. V. Sumantran, Vice-Chairman of Hinduja Automotive Limited, would inaugurate the seminar. It would be organised jointly by INTEC, CODISSIA and TexasVentures.
According to D. Gandhikumar, President of the Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries' Association, the momentum in the industry is expected to be sustained for another four or five years. Several joint ventures are taking place between Indian and overseas companies.

‘Drainage scheme implementation being closely monitored'

The Coimbatore Corporation is closely monitoring the implementation of the Rs.377-crore underground drainage scheme. Faulty works are being detected and action initiated, Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra said here recently.
“We have imposed a fine of Rs.1 lakh on a contractor for using poor quality of bricks and for not using sulphate resistant cement that was mandated in the tender conditions,” Mr. Mishra said, referring to the poor quality of work in sewage chambers under construction in Ward 9.
The Commissioner said this was the first case of such nature found so far. This could have happened because it was not possible for Corporation engineers to be present during masonry work.
Inquiries by the Commissioner with the officials concerned also revealed that the contractor had not informed the Corporation that the work was set to begin. “They need to inform us so that we can monitor the work,” Mr. Mishra said. “In this case [at Ward 9], orders have been issued to re-construct five to six sewage chambers.”
The Commissioner convened a meeting of all the contractors involved in the drainage scheme on Wednesday. Meetings with contractors were being held once in 15 days to review the progress of the drainage works. But, the one held on Wednesday was to bring to their attention the issue at Ward 9 and the fine imposed on the contractor, in order to send a clear message that poor quality of work would attract stringent action.
The Commissioner said tight vigil would be maintained during pipeline laying and while providing the right level for the lines to ensure proper flow of sewage. The extra caution during these works was needed in order to avoid problems that could crop up later because of poor implementation.
There would not be any problem with the quality of the pipes because these were being despatched after third party assessment and certification. On the claim of Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam that it detected the case at Ward 9 on Tuesday, the Commissioner said such social auditing was welcome.
All the councillors in the wards covered by the schemes were totally involved in the implementation. They wanted the works to be completed soon and were keeping a watch on the pace and quality of works. Their involvement also helped the Corporation in communicating with the residents on the inevitable time-consuming process of digging roads and relaying them after the lines were laid, the Commissioner said.

Coimbatore Corporation councillors seek speed, quality in implementation of schemes

The ordinary meeting of the Coimbatore Corporation Council on Thursday witnessed a stream of complaints from councillors over the pace and quality of the implementation of development schemes and also on sanitation and maintenance of streetlights.
Led by Commissioner Anshul Mishra, the Corporation administration responded to each of the charges and explained how the civic body was squaring up to the challenge of monitoring the implementation and in ensuring hygiene in the city.
The first of the charges was that quality of the underground drainage works was suspect. Leader of the Opposition and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam member V.N. Udayakumar was the first to raise this charge. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam member P. Rajkumar, Communist Party of India (Marxist) member and Corporation North Zone Chairman C. Padmanabhan and some other councillors expressed dissatisfaction over the quality of work.
“I had already asked for a special meeting on the drainage scheme. We want a detailed report on its implementation,” Mr. Padmanabhan said.
Mr. Mishra and the officials overseeing the implementation of the Rs. 377-crore drainage scheme told the councillors that monitoring was being done and action initiated wherever the quality was found to be bad.
To a specific question from Mr. Rajkumar on the impact of vertical growth in the city on its sewer lines, Superintending Engineer, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, K. Bhoopathi said lines of appropriate size were being laid to ensure smooth flow of waste water.
Mr. Mishra said damaged roads would be re-laid. Under a special roads project cleared by the Government, 120 km of roads could be re-laid. But, not those that had been laid just a year ago, he said.
Councillors, however, demanded that roads in markets and heavy traffic zones should be re-laid.
Councillors also complained of shoddy garbage removal from their wards. Health Committee Chairman P. Nachimuthu, however, said the situation was not very bad. It was not to the extent of inviting a stream of complaints from the public, he claimed.
Mr. Padmanabhan pointed out that only another 13 to 15 ordinary monthly meetings could be held as the local body elections would come up next year. There would not be much time for the present Council to discuss development issues.
The CPI (M) member lamented that many works announced in the Corporation's budget had not been carried out since the present Council assumed charge (in late 2006).
“Reports in the media seem to register better with the officials than the suggestions made by members in the Council,” Mr. Padmanabhan said. He attributed the complaints of malfunctioning of streetlights to poor maintenance. “We had been against the awarding of private maintenance of lights in all four zones to one operator. But, the Corporation went ahead with it,” he alleged.
This had led to complaints and even CPI (M) councillor N. Murugesan carrying a lantern to the Council meeting to highlight the problem, he pointed out.
To Mayor R. Venkatachalam taking exception to the councillor's act, Mr. Padmanabhan argued that the member had not done anything wrong. “Have you not indulged in much bigger protests (when a councillor),” he asked the Mayor.
Some of the councillors demanded that they should be paid a salary of Rs. 20,000, in addition to the sitting fee of Rs. 800 a meeting paid now. The members said they deserved the salary as they had to work everyday for ensuring basic amenities and development in their wards.
It was not appropriate to conclude that councillors worked only on the day they attended Council meetings, they said.

Rail Works Came to an end

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Extent of land to be acquired for airport expansion brought down

The extent of land to be acquired for the expansion of the Coimbatore Airport has been substantially brought down, District Collector P. Umanath said here on Tuesday.
Talking to reporters, Dr. Umanath said that on examining the Airport Authority of India's demand for 848 acres, the State Government found that such a massive expansion was not feasible in many populated areas. The Government, after talks, reduced it by 170 acres and after further scrutiny, brought it down to 613 acres. Four-hundred and twenty-four acres of that alone would be patta land. One-hundred and thirty-six acres belong to Central and State Governments and 52 acres are occupied by the Airport on lease. Of the 424 acres, large portion was unused vacant land and some were farms.
At present the airport is spread over 444 acres with a runway of 9,900 ft. The proposal is to extend it to 12,000 ft for landing and taking off of wide-bodied and fat-bellied aircraft.
Dr. Umanath said that the district administration had convinced the Airport authorities to shift some of the proposed facilities, planned in populated areas, to the uninhabited areas to reduce the impact.
One such relocated facility was the VHF Omni Directional Range (VOMR), originally planned on 100 acres on the thickly populated side.
The final revised plan had excluded nearly 65 acres and nearly 400 houses from acquisition and demolition. What could not be averted was the 950 m of land, eight to ten acres, accommodating 100 buildings, because the airport authority wanted the 950 m for the flight pathway approach threshold.
Under the original plan 814 buildings, including two industrial and two school structures, faced the threat of demolition.
Now 397 buildings, including one industrial building and two school buildings, have been sparred. Only 417 would now be demolished. Classifying the threat to buildings in villages, Collector said 71 buildings in Irugur, 100 in Uppilipalayam, nine in Singanallur and 236 in Kalapatti would be demolished. Originally, the threat was there for more buildings in Irugur and Kalapatti and they had been substantially brought down.
On the compensation for lands acquired and the buildings to be demolished, Dr.Umanath said that sale data was being gathered for the lands in the area in recent times.
Based on that, land value would be fixed reasonably. The value for the buildings would be arrived at based on their age and depreciation. In addition to the final value, an additional 30 per cent would also be given as extra compensation. For carrying out all the formalities, a proposal had been sent to the Government for sanctioning a post of DRO, as done in the case of land acquisition for widening the Chengapalli – Walayar stretch of NH 47.
The process was expected to start shortly and the Airport authorities had planned to complete the airport expansion and modernisation in 24 months from the date of completion of land acquisition. As part of the expansion, the terminal building would come up on the other side of the airport land, just opposite to the existing terminal building. The approach road for the airport would be from Avanashi Road near the bypass road and an additional approach road would be laid from SIHS colony along the existing airport compound.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cool Photo From Dinamalar


Music that transforms

It was like a whiff of early-morning breeze straight form the Andes. Within minutes into the concert of the Summer Duo, I knew that the experience would be something to cherish. As a hushed audience listened at the PSG IM auditorium, French flutist Yohann Egret and classical guitarist Shyamanth Behal embarked on a rendition of Latin American music like never before.
Tango from the 1930s was the first of the evening's symphonies. It was out of this world. From then on, it was just the music and each one in the audience. Music from Peru, with its arpeggios and sudden descends to melody was eye-popping. It created images of spring, of light-footed dancing on the grass, and so on.
“The next piece was composed so as to describe the cold North wind,” said Yohann before starting his solo performance. The light vibrato and occasional airy intonations truly invoked the icy tingle of the cold winter air.
The duo's rendition of four pieces from History of Tango by Argentine composer Ástor Piazzolla was easily one of the highlights of the evening. Lively and bouncy, Shyamanth and Yohann played the story of tango as it moved into the cafes and nightclubs in the early and mid twentieth century. Libertango, also by Ástor Piazzolla was meticulous and passionate. The music that was “written for countries under dictatorship,” according to Yohann formed a fitting finale. 

French flutist Yohann Egret and classical guitarist Shyamanth Behal at the "Summer Duo" concert organised by the Alliance Francaise in Coimbatore on Monday.

Voice gym to open in city

The School of World Music and Dance, USA, in association with Carnatica is launching a “voice gym” here.
According to a release from Carnatica, it is a complete voice fitness, training, management care and cure centre.
Besides, it conducting “the first of its kind” interactive voice management and care workshop at the Kikani Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Sastri Road, here on Sunday (August 22) between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. It is free and the registration will be open up to 9.45 a.m.
It will provide professional advice on the aspects of voice culture and care, vocal dynamics and voice management exercises.
This event is open to everybody across the community covering aspiring musicians, music teachers, music students and professionals in marketing, hospitality, academics, teachers, students and all speakers who would like to culture their voice.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Twilight zone

Appealing:A colourful cloudy sunset in Coimbatore.

Railway Works

BSNL plans GPON in 39 locations

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Coimbatore, has planned to introduce Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network (GPON) at 39 locations in Coimbatore Secondary Switching Area, said P.T. Mathews, Principal General Manager, BSNL.
Talking to reporters on Friday at a function organised to mark 3G services 1 lakh connection, Mr. Mathews said the GPON equipment will provide voice, data and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) services at the customer's premises through optical fibre.
He also pointed out that 12 numbers of WIMAX towers are also planned in Coimbatore.
Transmission centres
Mr. Mathews said that in Tamil Nadu circle, the 3G capacity is 5 lakh connections covering 38 cities including all district headquarters and important tourist places.
In Tamil Nadu circle as on August 20, the total number of 3G connections reached the one-lakh mark with C.S. Ramaswamy, Managing Director of Sreevatha availing a SIM card.
In Coimbatore, the 3G service is available in Coimbatore and Tirupur cities with a total capacity of 90,000 lines. The number of 3G Base Transmission Stations (BTS) working in Coimbatore SSA is 181 and additionally 60 Base Transmission Stations are planned. In 2G, for wide coverage, totally 481 base transmission stations are working and BSNL has planned to install 76 numbers of 2G cell sites.
Installation charges
Mr. Mathews said that as a special offer installation charges for landline connections booked up to September 30 is waived.
Personalised Ring Back Tone (PRBT) service of the BSNL is available for landline customers as well. PRBT is free up to September 30, 2010 for customers having lot of calls. The facility is now available at Ganapathy and Tirupur EWSD exchanges. Landline customers could avail the services by accessing 56700 from their phones.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Its from skyscrapercity forum-CBE

I was surprised from Seein this,,,

"Updates on pending public projects?

  • Chengampalli-Walayar 6 Lane
  • Western by pass
  • Avinashi road-MTP road by pass
  • World Class University
  • Science park & planetorium
  • Pending scheme road
  • 100 crore flyover at Gandhipuram
  • Central(Prison) Park
  • Commencement of second line from Irugur-CBE JN
  • Podanur-Dindugal gauge conversion
  • Airport expansion (Land acquisation)
  • progress of Nanjundapuram ROB and Sundarapuram-Madukkarai Market ROB
  • Other ROB if missed(Avarampalayam, Pelamedu)
  • Undergraound drainage completion status
  • Aliyar scheme for Kurichi/Kuniamuthur
  • Bhavani Scheme status Kavundampalayam and Vadavalli
  • Pillor Stage II for CBE
  • Any construction update on Anna University Permanent campus near Bharathiar University?
  • ESI medical college
  • GH expansion plan
  • Corporation after acquiring Ponds in city what are they doing with it?

Whether some of the state projects will start before the election?

Private projects status?
  • Malls- Fun republic, Brookefield(Only RMKV?), XO mall, Grand Mall?
  • IT parks-RR, CHIL, KCT tech park updates
  • Update on Aero and defence project by LMW in Textool?
  • Karpagam Medical college

Add some other important projects in the city so that we will make this a comprehensive one and review the progress in this forum on a regular basis"


There are so many of them,, in this forum,, waiting to see Coimbatore as a recognized city!!

Union Ministers to take part in CS centenary celebrations

Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee, P. Chidambaram and G.K. Vasan will take part in a function to be held at SITRA Auditorium here on August 28 to mark the centenary celebrations of former Union Minister C. Subramanian, TNCC president V.K. Thangkabalu told reporters here on Monday.
A coin will be released on the occasion.
Public meeting
The Union Ministers would take part in a public meeting at Jail Grounds in Gandhipuram at 6.p.m. on that day.
AICC leader Sonia Gandhi would take part in a public meeting to be held at Chennai in December as part of the valediction of the 125th year celebrations of Congress Party.
In the last one year, the party had conducted events to honour the contributions made by Tirupur Kumaran, former Minister Kakkan and former Chief Minister Kamarajar and the one proposed for C. Subramanian on August 28 was part of that. 

Research should be part of engineering course

Research should be a part of the engineering curriculum, Mylswamy Annadurai, Project Director, Chandrayaan, said here on Wednesday.
“There is no point in students confining themselves to books. This is not engineering education. They should innovate, experiment and be creative,” he said while speaking at the inauguration of Research and Development Cell of PPG Institute of Technology.
“Engineering students are not expected to learn by rote and reproduce in answer papers what is in textbooks. They are neither photocopying machines nor robots to work in a mechanical fashion.”
Commending the college for establishing the Cell, he said pursuing research and learning to work in teams would also help students find employment.
Team work
“Ability to work in teams is important which is what software companies look for. Most of the engineering students lack the ability, though,” he said and pointed out that as much as 73 per cent of the 20 lakh engineering graduates in the country were not employable.
He told the teachers that they were not expected to just teach what was in the textbook but inspire students to take up research. Your job is to inspire and encourage the students to take up research and that too in teams, as team work is much appreciated,” he observed.
Mr. Annadurai also called upon students to find job opportunities within the country and work for the nation.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Road work to be over by May 2011

Works for widening and strengthening the battered stretch of Mettuppalayam Road in two packages from Stock Exchange to Sukrawarpet and from Sukrawarpet to Narashima Naickenpalayam are progressing at the right and scheduled place and the widened road would be thrown open by May 2011.
Widening and strengthening of the Mettupalayam Road was a long-pending demand since the battered stretch was proving to be accident prone because of the congestion.
Work was taken up recently. Works are progressing at the right pace under the supervision of the Divisional Engineer, G. Thangamuthu and Assistant Divisional Engineer, R. Thangamuthu.
The officials said that a total of 267 electric poles had to be shifted to the extreme road boundary of the new alignment besides 13 transformers.
The TNEB's estimate of Rs. 1.17 crore towards the cost of shifting has been forwarded to the Government and the same would be remitted shortly for enabling the shifting.
Similarly, the Highways Department to make the space available for widening had auctioned i.e., cutting of 612 trees on either side of the road.
Now, a number of sponsors have come forward in order to planting saplings on the extreme road boundary of the widened stretch of Mettupalayam Road.
Depending on the space available, the greenery lost would be adequately compensated.
The Department was ready for planting even ten saplings per tree removed.
The road would be a near 100 per cent straight alignment and there would be 11 bridges widened, and four including a major bridge which would be new.
One existing bridge across Sanganur canal would be rehabilitated through repairs.
On the specifications of the road to cater to the ever-increasing traffic density, the officials pointed out that the road length would be 24.8 km from Sukrawarpet to Narashimanaickenpalayam.
The road width would measure 18.7 m of black topped surface from one extreme boundary to the other with 2 m earthen shoulders on either side for easy negotiation.
The width would include 1.2 m for road median/ separator.
The bridges would measure 23.5 m with median and foot path on either side.
Given the current pace of the works, the authorities are confident of completing the works on schedule and throwing it open for traffic by May 2011.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bilateral trade with Colombia set to grow

The perspective of growth of bilateral trade between India and Colombia is impressive, according to Alejandro Pelaez, the Commercial Attache, Embassy of Colombia, New Delhi.
Speaking to The Hindu after a seminar organised here by the EEPC India on Friday on “Doing Business with Latin American Countries”, he said that Colombian exports to India grew from $ 16 million in 2008 to $ 500 million in 2009. The main drivers of exports were petroleum, coal and sugar. This year, Colombian exports to India were expected to be worth $ 600 million. Petroleum exported to India was going up and the Indian companies were buying thermal and coking coal too in large quantities. New products, such as confectionery, were also seeing an increasing market in India.
India had a $ 100-million positive trade balance with Colombia last year. Exports from India to Colombia were growing consistently. Chemicals, textiles, pharmaceuticals and motor cycles were some of the major goods exported to Colombia by India. Indian exports to Colombia were expected to be 15 per cent to 20 per cent more this year than last year. “For both sides, the growth is going to be impressive,” he said. In 2006, about 60 visas were given a month to Colombia. Now, it was more than 180 a month and most of these were business visas.
Apart from trade, Indian investments were also growing in Colombia. Indian companies were joining hands with local partners, especially on the automobile and pharmaceutical fronts, to start production facilities. Indian companies were eligible for incentives if they started units in the Free Trade Zones.
Investment by Indian companies in Colombia between 2006 and 2009 was $ 1 billion. Some of the sectors that were encouraged to invest in Colombia were IT, hotels, hospitals, auto components, vehicles, engineering goods, plastic packaging and pharmaceuticals.
The Colombian economy was expected to grow at 4.5 per cent this year.
The demand was growing for capital goods. Bigger companies in Colombia were able to purchase from Europe or the U.S. The smaller companies were looking at Indian suppliers for cost competitiveness.
Currently, China, Brazil, Germany, the U.S. and Mexico were the leading suppliers of capital goods to Colombia.
The commercial office in New Delhi provided sector-wise information and legal support to potential investors. According to R. Ravichandran, Secretary General of Indo-LAC Chamber of Commerce, Chennai, the Colombian economy is growing and they want Indians to export to their country.
K. Kasthurirangaian, Chairman of the Function Committee for Coimbatore, EEPC India, said traders from West Asian countries, the U.S. and Europe were mainly bridging the trade needs between the Latin American countries and India so far.
Now, Latin American companies were interested in direct exports and quality products.

Alejandro Pelaez, Commercial Attache, Embassy of Colombia, New Delhi, speaking at a seminar in Coimbatore on Friday.

A salute to Kovai Gandhi

Coimbatore region has given birth to many a freedom fighter. But not all have received their due share of recognition.

One among them was R. Kandasamy, born in Karamadai in an agricultural family on November 9, 1915.
Even when studying in St. Michael's High School, Coimbatore, he got attracted towards the freedom movement.
Later, he got himself involved with many leaders including T.S. Avinashilingam Chettiar, former State Education Minister, and C. Subramaniam, former Union Finance Minister.
After graduating from St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli, he joined Law College in Chennai.
But life turned topsy-turvy even as Quit India Movement was launched by Gandhiji in August 1942.
When Kandasamy volunteered to do something for the movement, Avinashilingam Chettiar, who was his mentor, directed him to conduct meetings in and around Karamadai to make the people understand the importance of the movement and also distribute pamphlets explaining the same.
When Kandasamy was carrying out the instructions, he was arrested and charged with possessing prejudicial pamphlets against the Government.
C. Subramaniam's defence to get him I Class in jail failed and he had to undergo 21 months of imprisonment in subhuman conditions.
Originally incarcerated with his mentor in Coimbatore Jail, he was shifted to Vellore jail to have the privilege of being with R. Venkataraman, former President of India, Brahmananda Reddy, former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Subramaniam. He was then shifted to Thanjavur and Allipuram jails. After his release in April 1944, he was once again arrested to undergo imprisonment for six more months.
In spite of such a serious setback, he joined the Law College again.
But his love with the freedom struggle continued.
He used to attend all the meetings of the Congress party and undertake quite a lot of party work and he became quite familiar with leaders like C. Rajaji, former Governor-General of India, K. Kamaraj, former AICC President, M. Bakthavatsalam, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and Kakkan and N.S.S. Mandradiar, former Tamil Nadu Ministers.
He had the privilege of being selected as one of the 40 volunteers for the Bhajans conducted by the Father of the Nation for 15 days under the auspices of the Hindi Prachar Sabha.
According to his daughter K.Vasantha, now an Associate Professor in the Avinashilingam Deemed University, Kandasamy used to say that his dream had come true and he had attained his life's fulfilment by closely watching the Mahatma for a fortnight.
After a short stint in the South India Mill Owners' Association as Labour Officer, he launched his legal career in 1950.
He rose to the level of Chief Public Prosecutor for undivided Coimbatore District in 1964.
Known in legal circles as ‘RK' and called as ‘Kovai Gandhi' by the masses, he was a leading legal luminary in Coimbatore city for more than five decades till he died in 2002 at the age of 87. He had about 25 juniors and a couple of them have been elevated to the Madras High Court as Judges.
His house on the Variety Hall Road, Coimbatore, which witnessed any number of meetings of Congress leaders and freedom fighters, is considered a heritage house. A voracious reader, especially of books on Philosophy, he had a good collection as well.
He was the President of the Coimbatore Freedom fighters Association twice and also the President of the Coimbatore Bar Association.
One who wore only Khadi and extended free legal aid and service to the downtrodden, he made his sons K. Ravindran and K. Jayaprakash also to choose the legal profession.
The first job he assigned to them was to serve in the free legal aid service cell in the District Court.
In his last speech on the All India Radio, Coimbatore, he pleaded that all the freedom fighters and their legal heirs should be given due recognition and the Government should take care of them.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Taking care of business

Ashok T. Aram, recently chosen Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, talks about economics, development and Coimbatore

A boy from Mani HSS graduates in electronics and communication engineering from College of Engineering, Chennai. He then surprises his peers and heads to Sophia University, Tokyo to do a masters in international business. He's hired right out of university by Deutsche Bank (DB) and five years later he is their youngest managing director.
On March 3, this year, Ashok T. Aram was chosen as a young global leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Their list this year included tennis star Roger Federer, Twitter CEO Evan Williams, Indian minister Agatha Sangma, film star Nandita Das and motivational speaker Sangeeth Varghese; 660 in all, including 12 Indians and four of Indian origin.
So how did it all happen? His university dissertation on direct investments in Asia landed him offers with seven banks. “As a kid I was interested in three countries- United States, Germany and Japan. I joined DB in the hope of learning some German,” he says.
"In ‘94-95 licences for mobile telecom were being given in Asia. I was sent to Singapore then to work with the telecom industry during this telecom revolution," he explains.
The then CEO of DB- Asia offered to take him to Frankfurt just when the Euro was being introduced. He soon joined the investment banking division in London. "I was just at the right place at the right time and I didn't screw up," he says.
Soon he moved on to acquisitions for the bank in the US, where DB took over Banker's Trust in 1998. He became an MD when he was 28 going 29 in 2000. He's currently the managing director of Abraaj Capital, one of the world's 50 biggest private equity groups, based in Dubai.
He doesn't see himself as part of the brain drain from the country. Indian expatriates should be seen as a brain trust, he says. “We now have a significant private sector that seeks to globalise the Indian economy. We need to use the tremendous power of the Indian Diaspora to contribute to our economy,” he explains.
Back in town
Coming back to his hometown, he finds that despite the regions strong culture of enterprise, general infrastructure seems neglected.
“While we continue to bat above average in industrial production and innovation, we are low on sewage, road, rail and airport infrastructure,” says Ashok. “Access is a critical aspect.” If we are on the top tier of destinations on air routes, he explains, opportunities will multiply.
According to him, “The inability to politically represent the region effectively impedes it from becoming much more successful.”
He highlights the need for more organisation at the local level; for Coimbatoreans to ask questions on how development money is being spent on them. “Twenty-five years ago Coimbatore and Pune weren't quite different. Today Pune is a decade ahead in terms of infrastructure.”
On a note of caution for developing India, Ashok says that while the use of foreign technology to tap our natural resources is important, it needs to be used in a sensitive manner. “The government has a crucial regulatory role here,” he states.
He adds, “If the primary beneficiaries of development aren't from the resource rich regions of the country, they will never buy into the process.”
Ashok is one of those who welcome brakes on development by environmentalists. He explains, “It's not bad if they rightfully slow down development. We need to analyse industrial progress comprehensively.”
Now a young leader of the WEF, Ashok doesn't cringe at the WEF becoming a focal point for protests against unbridled globalisation. Large financial corporations are a core pillar of the world economy and symbols of capitalism, he says.
“They integrate world trade and investment, are managers of risk and, play a crucial role in allocation of capital.” The criticism against them, when large financial crises happen, isn't without basis.”
“But if you believe in democracy, you have to grant the right to protesters to make their views known.”

Siruthuli sows seeds to make Coimbatore a green city

Siruthuli office-bearers, prison inmates and officials led by District Collector P. Umanath on Friday sowed the seeds for raising 30,000 saplings at the 12 mother beds created inside the Coimbatore Central prison grounds as part of the Viduthalai Pasumai Payanam project to raise 1 lakh saplings.
The objective of the exercise was to enhance the greenery in and around Coimbatore.
Siruthuli Managing Trustee Vanitha Mohan, Trustee Kanaklal, Project Co-ordinator K. Mayilsami, DIG of Prisons P. Govindarajan and Superintendent of Central Prison Palani joined the Collector in sowing seeds at the mother beds.
Mr. Mayilsami told The Hindu that as part of the Viduthalai Pasumai Payanam, Siruthuli provides inputs such as seeds, wet sand, manure and plastic bags and the prison inmates especially women will nurture the saplings till two ft.
The saplings will then be handed over to Siruthuli which takes care of them at its nursery till they grow up to five or six feet and then it is given to the beneficiaries. The prison inmates had already handed over 20,000 saplings. Siruthuli presented the women prison inmates with gifts for working without any remuneration.
Now, in the second phase, the sowing of seeds was for another 30,000 saplings and the remaining 50,000 would be done in a phased manner. The seeds sown on Friday were of the flower, fruit and shade-bearing varieties with some saplings having timber value.
Siruthuli was also into raising 55,000 saplings for the project of the State Government as part of the World Classical Tamil Conference commemorative initiative.
Of the target of 55,000 saplings, Siruthuli has already handed over 30,000 saplings and the rest are being raised now. These saplings are being provided to schools, colleges, industrial units on the advice of the District Forest Officer.

More Trains

Friday, August 13, 2010

From Skyscrapercity

More facilities sought at ITIs

The Coimbatore Tirupur District Micro and Cottage Entrepreneurs' Association has appealed to the State Government to upgrade the facilities at Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs).
Association president S. Ravikumar has said in a release that the micro and cottage industries were hit by labour shortage. The Government should increase the number of students admitted into these institutes. It should also create awareness about ITIs among school dropouts in villages and those who had studied up to Standard VI, VIII or X.
The Government should consider establishing multi-storeyed industrial estates in Coimbatore.


Picture from Skyscrapercity forum

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The unbridled growth of Coimbatore threatens the Nilgiri ecosystem

Sanjeev Sanyal: Of dead rivers and stranded elephants

All discussions about urbanisation in India tend to focus on mega-cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. However, in states like Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, smaller urban centres are also seeing rapid growth. At one level, this is a good thing because it spreads economic activity and reduces pressure on the big cities. However, we need to be extra-sensitive when such disaggregated urban expansion occurs near ecologically vulnerable areas like the Nilgiris. The growth of the urban network around Coimbatore is an illustration of the dangers of expansion without proper regulation. It raises broader questions about how we manage our “commons”.
Historical background
Coimbatore is today an industrial town in the shadow of the Nilgiri mountains with a population of over 1.5 million. However, a settlement on the banks of the Noyyal river has existed for almost two thousand years and was part of the trade route through the Palghat Gap. In the late medieval period, it also became an agricultural hub and local chieftains built a network of tanks along the Noyyal river to store water. In the 19th century, Coimbatore became a local administrative centre under British rule. However, by the beginning of the 20th century, it had developed a major textile cluster.
his textile cluster continued to grow in independent India till, in the late 1990s, part of the industry shifted to the nearby town of Tiruppur (in the same district). Coimbatore town itself moved up the value chain into the engineering sector as well as into services such as education and transportation. At the same time, the city found itself at the heart of a network of towns, including Connoor, Ooty, Palakkad, Tiruppur and Polachi. Over time, there was urban growth along the roads linking these towns. Ribbons of unregulated construction now stretch along the highways. Thus, the impact of today’s Coimbatore is not just about the town alone but the broader urban web that feeds it.
Impact of rapid urbanisation
The growth of Coimbatore and the surrounding network of towns has undoubtedly brought some economic prosperity. It is home to several wealthy industrial groups and has generated thousands of jobs for local and migrant workers. Population of Coimbatore town jumped from a mere 0.36 million in 1971 to over 1.5 million today, but this understates the expansion as it does not include the wider network. However, the long-term environmental cost of this growth is now becoming evident. Here is just a sample of three inter-related issues:
  • The Noyyal river and its network of tanks once provided the area with both drinking and irrigation water. A colonial-era survey map from 1906 suggests that the Noyyal, unusually for southern India, was a perennial river. Today, the river is almost completely dry by the time it reaches Coimbatore town. This is the result of the degradation of the mountain catchments, overuse for irrigation in the upper reaches, pumping of groundwater by bottling plants and so on.
  • The Nilgiris and its foothills are some of the richest biodiversity hotspots in the world. Coimbatore’s urban system is surrounded by wildlife sanctuaries such as Annamali, Madhumalai, Bandipur and so on. There are forest areas within a few kilometres of Coimbatore town. These forests contain endangered species such as tigers, Asian elephants and the hornbill. Urban expansion is threatening their habitat, even ignoring encroachments and other illegal activities. Elephant migration corridors provide a good illustration of the problem. There are now busy highways that cut through these corridors. Brick kilns, residential homes, educational institutes and even theme parks are being built right up to the edge of the forest. As a result, the elephants are finding themselves stranded in scattered enclaves with inadequate water, food and mating opportunities. It is common to see a confused group of elephants in the middle of a highway without an escape route. Not surprisingly, man-animal conflict has spiralled out and people are being killed often by enraged pachyderms. Locals are responding by raising illegal and deadly electric fences.
  • Urban growth and industrialisation generates both solid waste and sewage. The popular lake in Ooty is now full of sewage despite several clean-up initiatives. Similarly, plastic bags and packaging are now scattered across the urban and rural landscape, and can now be found blowing deep inside the forests. In the few places that solid waste is collected, the disposal system mainly consists of open burning — which merely transfers the toxins into the air. Coimbatore is not unique in having this problem, but the dispersed nature of urban growth makes it difficult to solve this with a centralised disposal system.
What can we do?
Urbanisation is not necessarily bad for the environment. What matters is urban form and the management of the commons. Coimbatore’s urban web is based on sprawling along major roads. As more roads are built, the sprawl grows. This is not just environmentally harmful but is also economically inefficient. The solution lies in creating a network of dense urban hubs. One way to encourage this is by investing in rail rather than road links. A rail-based transport system would force denser clustering around the train stops unlike a road-based system. A colonial-era railway network already exists and should be modernised. The old hill train to Ooty, for instance, should not just be seen as a relic for tourists but as a practical and modern means of transport.
More broadly, we need to create mechanisms to manage the remaining “commons”. At the very least, we need to stop all illegal encroachments on forest land. However, we may also need to create buffer zones around water catchments and ecologically sensitive areas where land use is carefully managed. This is not a simple issue because it directly impinges upon private property rights. How does one convince a legitimate land-owner that she cannot build a wall around her property — especially when there is a risk that wild elephants could come rampaging through? Perhaps one should look at a compensation mechanism funded by rationally pricing residential and industrial water use in the urban areas. Such a system has been successfully used by New York to preserve watersheds in the Catskill mountains. Another mechanism could be the creation of tradable development rights.
To conclude, the growth of small cities like Coimbatore is economically beneficial but still needs to be actively managed. This is especially true when it creates an urban sprawl near environmentally sensitive areas. Both the physical and regulatory infrastructure needs to be primed to guide urbanisation along a sustainable path.The author is president of the Sustainable Planet Institute and senior fellow of WWF

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vadavalli Uzhavar Sandhai does brisk sales

The less-than-a-month-old Uzhavar Sandhai at Vadavalli, a suburb west of the city, has registered a sale of more than six lakh vegetables for over Rs.1 crore, pointing at its popularity among people.
Located on 56 cents, it was built at Rs.25 lakh and opened on July 14. It has 30 stalls that sell a wide variety of vegetables ranging from the locally grown coriander leaves and small onions to the potatoes and cabbage from the Nilgiris.
The sellers come from various places in and around Vadavalli and even from Kotagiri in the Nilgiris.
People from Vadavalli, Veerakeralam, Somayampalayam and Edayarpalayam that comes under Kavundampalayam Municipality come here, says member of the District Agricultural Marketing Committee V.S. Rangarajan.

Long-felt need

“This is a long-felt need of this region and there are plans to construct 15 more stalls,” says former president of Vadavalli Town Panchayat V.M. Shanmughasundaram, who is being credited with pursuing the project for the Uzhavar Sandhai.
“District Collector P. Umanath has helped us realise the dream for the shandy in Vadavalli.”
“I started pursuing this when the first Uzhavar Sandhai was opened some years ago on Cowley Brown Road at R.S. Puram in the city (He was then president of the town panchayat). The efforts began showing signs of success only six months ago. We removed unauthorised settlements on this site and relocated people elsewhere. The shandy spares the people of four or five suburbs the trip to R.S. Puram,” he says.

Economic benefits

Sharing this view, R. Velusamy, a farmer, says he used to spend half-a-litre of petrol every day for his trip to the shandy at R.S. Puram to transport drumsticks, onions, coriander leaves and bananas from his 2.5-acre farm near Navavoor Pirivu.
“Now, this amount of petrol lasts for four days,” he says, explaining the economic benefits of not having to travel nearly 15 km every day - to and from R.S. Puram.
The buyers say this applies to them also. “I used to ride to the R.S. Puram shandy till this one was opened. Now, I can walk to the Vadavalli shandy and save the cost on travel,” says R. Jagannathan. “I come here every day and take home fresh vegetables. This helps me avoid stocking these for a week.”
Apart from travel-related cost factor, another benefit is the price of the vegetables in the shandy, D. Hamsavalli points out.
“Till now, many of us were dependent on the small quantities of vegetables sold at the shops in Vadavalli. And, the price was much higher. Now, I get drumsticks at the shandy for half the price sold at these shops,” she says.
The cost of a drumstick at most shops along Marudamalai Road is Rs.3. It is Rs.1.50 at the shandy, she says. N. Sivakami says tomato is cheaper by Rs.2 a kg.
“We want the below poverty line families to know of the cost benefit at this shandy. They are used to buying vegetables from small shops in their colonies and assume that the prices will be high in a huge shandy. This view of theirs is based on the image of and prices at elite vegetable and fruit chains, Mr. Shanmughasundaram says.
Rukmani, a resident of an Adi-Dravidar colony nearby, came to the shandy for the first time on Sunday. “We have come here because a few people in our neighbourhood said vegetables were cheap,” she said.
Mr. Shanmughasundaram says the word has to spread further. The concept of Uzhavar Sandhai is meant for the benefit of the poor also.


Appreciating the move of taking Uzhavar Sandhais to the suburbs also, retired Professor of Plant Pathology of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University A. Palaniswamy cautions against allowing middlemen into the shandy instead of genuine farmers.
“There have been such instances in other shandies. This will defeat the purpose of bringing direct benefit to the farmers and the buyers,” he says.

Identity cards

Assistant Administrative Officer P. Nataraj shows the identity cards issued to the farmers. “They have to produce these on entry and then go to the stalls,” he says.
“We also announce the prices of each vegetable on a public address system so that excess cost is not collected from the public.”
The activities at the shandy are closely monitored by Deputy Director of Agriculture Business K.S. Subramanian. 


Coimbatore to become an e-district soon

Coimbatore will soon become an “e-district” with select services of four departments going online initially.
Tamil Nadu E-governance Agency Director Santhosh Babu told The Hindu that Coimbatore was one of the six districts that would come under e-governance in the State soon. Revenue, Adi Dravida and Tribal Welfare, Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and Minority Welfare and Social Welfare departments would be covered under the project.
The public could go to common service centres, internet browsing centres or use the computer at home to get various certificates such as birth, death, nativity and community, with a digital signature of the official concerned. For every three villages, one common service centre would be established on the public private partnership mode.
Mr. Babu said the objective was to make the public “feel the Government and not to see it”. E-governance would help the public on two fronts: information and services. Information was already available online on various schemes and projects. With the e-district project, the services would also be available online. The Government proposed to launch M-Governance (information available through mobile phones) soon. Project cost for Coimbatore for the e-district was about Rs. 2 crore. Computer applications for these were ready and in Coimbatore, the required hardware was also procured. The entire Revenue Department here, extending up to the Village Administrative Officers, would have computers with connectivity. In the Adi Dravidar, Backward and Social Welfare Departments, the public would be able to submit their applications online to get the benefits.
“The year 2010 is a watershed year for the State's e-governance initiatives as several related projects are going on,” he said. For instance, a State portal would be launched by next January. The Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu was working on a State data centre and it would be ready in another three months, he said.

Study on IT industry in Coimbatore

Rathinam Institute of Management (RIM), Rathinam College of Arts and Science, will conduct a detailed research study on the latest development in the Information Technology industry in Coimbatore.
Funded by the Rathinam Techzone, the study will involve the changing face of Coimbatore from a textile city into a Silicon Valley model, according to a college release.
Headed by David Soundarrajan, Director of RIM, the team will consist of faculty members and final year MBA students from the institute. The study will cover the special economic zones, IT parks, Government policies, IT education, and the IT-trained human resources in the district.
Respondents will include heads and chief executive officers of the IT and ITES industries, Government officials, policy makers, business house heads, heads of educational institutions, consultancy services, students, and non-Governmental organisations.
The time for the study will be three months and the findings will be sent to the Central and State ministries, policy makers and the public in Coimbatore.
A report of the findings will also be submitted to the Planning Commission, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, and Information Technology Minister.

Integrated residential township through private initiatives

Chennai based Pelican Realty Ventures Private Limited and Coimbatore based Covai Property Centre (India) Private Limited have drawn up plans to raise an integrated residential township in Pinnachikuppam village in Bahoor commune panchayat limits near here.
The project would go on stream in the next two years.
Nirmal Nath, CEO of Pelican Belfort Township,promoted by Pelican Realty Ventures Private Limited, told reporters here yesterday that the township would come up on 52 acres and have all facilities including underground cable system and underground sewerage and telephone facilities.
As many as 400 independent houses would come up on 32 acres in the overall layout.
The township has been named `Pelican Belfort Township`.The Covai Property Centre is going ahead with raising as many as 400 houses at an investment of Rs 220 crore.
With over 7.5 lakh square feet of construction experience, this project 'Serene Pelican Puducherry` aims at meeting the requirements of senior citizens` lifestyles.
Those who have retired or plan to retire and those aged above 50 or whose children have moved away would find this project an ideal investment avenue, Col(retd) A Sridharan, managing Director of Covai Property Centre (India) Private Limited.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tourist spot

Kovai Kappom article on Dinamalar

Pride Hotels to invest Rs 140 crore in Hyd, Kochi

Pride Hotels, part of the Mumbai-based over Rs 3,000-crore SP group of companies, is planning to set up two budget hotels in Hyderabad and Kochi under its ‘Pride Biznotel’ brand, with a total investment of around Rs 140 crore.
"We are in the process of acquiring an acre each in these two cities for the proposed projects, and the legal due diligence is already on. We are looking at starting the construction work in the next six months and hope to complete the projects in one-and-a-half years," Satyen Jain, chief executive of Pride Hotels, told Business Standard. The Hyderabad and Kochi properties will have close to 100 rooms each.
Pride Hotels currently operates 5 five-star luxury hotels in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Pune, Nagpur and Chennai, besides operating five properties under management contracts, together with a room inventory of 1,000.
The Hyderabad and Kochi properties are part of the company’s Rs 1,000-crore expansion plan of having 30 hotels across luxury, business and resort categories under its fold in all metros and semi-metros, besides tripling its room inventory by 2015, Jain said.
"We have raised Rs 65 crore from Kotak Real Estate Fund, besides tying up with commercial banks for over Rs 100 crore, which are sufficient for our expansion spanning the next two years," he said, adding the company would go in for an initial public offering in two years from now.
"We are currently studying the Coimbatore market for setting up a property, even as plans are in progress to forge a management arrangement with a hotel in Munnar (Kerala) by 2011," Jain said.

‘Turn city into model for waste management'

Residents in various localities across the city should get totally involved in the Coimbatore Corporation's solid waste management programme. They should help the civic body in turning the city into a model in waste management, Mayor R. Venkatachalam said here on Saturday.
In an interaction with residents of Saibaba Colony, the Mayor listed the initiatives taken by the Corporation to turn the city litter-free and to establish a comprehensive disposal facility on the outskirts.
Reviewing the system of garbage removal in some model wards, the Mayor said segregation of waste and storing the biodegradable and the non-biodegradable in separate bins was the first of the essential steps towards making the programme successful.
Enough awareness must be generated across the city on all aspects of waste management, including what every individual had to play. “We told the residents to hand over the biodegradable waste every day. They can hand over the non-biodegradable waste once in two days,” he said.
There were plans to hold meetings with the residents of individual apartments on segregation and safe storage of waste, the Mayor said. Ward councillors, sanitary inspector, sanitary supervisors and the residential association office-bearers would take part in the meetings.