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Coir factory workers' bonus
Coir factory workers in the State will get 20 per cent bonus for 2003. The workers will also get 9.11 per cent incentive in addition to this. The amount will be distributed by April 7. An understanding to this effect was reached at a meeting of representatives of employers' and workers' unions held in Alappuzha with the Labour Commissioner, S. Sreenivasan, in the chair.
Sabarimala `prasadam' by post
The agreement between the Department of Posts and the Travancore Devaswom Board for sending the Sabarimala and Vavaruswamy prasadam by express parcel post all over the country during the Vishu festival from April 11 to 18 will continue this year also. Those who require the prasadam by post are to send Rs. 150 through money order or speed money order to the Executive Officer, Travancore Devaswom Board, Sabarimala-689713. The last date for sending the money order is April 10. The despatch of the prasadam will begin on April 12.
Savings agents canvassing for Public Provident Fund Accounts and those canvassing for deposit schemes from employees retiring from Government service and public sector companies will get their commission on the spot from June 1. According to an earlier announcement they were to get it from April 1. The agents are to submit their commission claims for business conducted up to May 31at the Regional Office of the National Savings Organisation.
NGO Union protest
The NGO Union has taken exception to the Speaker, Vakkom Purushothaman's reported statement that officials were the biggest enemies of the Government. The general secretary of the union, C.H. Asokan, said in a statement today that the pronouncement did not befit a person who held such an office. He felt that the pronouncement reflected the Government's attitude towards the employees.
Annie Mascrene award
The noted musician and social worker, O.V. Raphael, has been selected for the award instituted in the memory of Annie Mascrene by the All Kerala Latheen Katholikka Aikya Vedi. It consists of a plaque, a citation and a purse of Rs. 10,001. It will be presented to him at a function being organised in connection with his 60th birthday in Thiruvananthapuram on April 14.
Top priority to NRI problems
The Centre proposes to give top priority for solving the problems of the non-resident Indians. This was stated by the Union Minister of State for Defence, O.Rajagopal, at a `pravasi sangamam' held in the State capital. The NRIs were the backbone of State's economy. Kerala accounted for the largest number of NRIs. The Minister said that no post-Independence Government did anything worthwhile for the NRIs.
Weapons seized; three held
The Chavara police last night arrested three persons and recovered a cache of crude weapons from them. Police said that the trio were en route to attack a person with whom they had some previous enmity. Swords, iron rods and choppers were seized from the vehicle in which the trio were travelling. Their identities were given as Jose (26), Subash (23), and Sujith (23).
BJP membership for Sankar
The Union Minister for Finance, Jaswant Singh, today issued membership of the party to Mohan Sankar, son of former Chief Minister of Kerala, R. Sankar; A. Shanavaz, film actor and son of late actor, Prem Nazir; G. K. Pillai, veteran film artiste; O. M. Nambiar, coach of athlete, P. T. Usha; A. M. G. Nair, retired Director of Enforcement; and M. Sebastian, surgeon in Wayanad.
Janu to get back voter ID card
The Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate, M.K. Kuttikrishnan, today ordered return of the voter identity card to C.K. Janu, Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha leader. The order was passed on a petition filed by Ms. Janu. According to her; she was contesting the Idukki Lok Sabha seat. Therefore, she wanted the court to return her the card, which was being kept in the custody of court following the filing of a criminal case in connection with the Muthanga incidents.
PDP (Secular) to contest
The People's Democratic Party (Secular) will field candidates in Muvattupuzha and Mukundapuram parliamentary constituencies and the Wadakkancherry Assembly seat. Announcing this at a press conference here today, K.E.Abdullah, PDP(Secular) chairman, said the party had taken this decision in the wake of the UDF Government's stand on the Narendran Commision report and the Chief Minister's statement on minorities. He said the name of candidates for the elctions would be finalised soon.
The Kerala unit of the National Coordination Council of Pensioners' Organisations will stage a dharna in front of the Ernakulam telephone exchange on April 17 to protest against the Central Government's move to wind up the present pension schemes. The move to deny pension to those above age 75 and also to stop paying dearness allowances to all pensioners had caused hardship to the majority of retired people.
One killed in bus-lorry collision
One person was killed and four others injured when a lorry collided with a school bus on NH-47 at Thiruvambady junction here early morning today. The bus belonged to the Crescent English Medium School, Pathanapuram. The deceased has been identified as Siddique (25) of Shefik Manzil, Chavara, Kollam. His uncle, Shamnad, who was travelling along with him in the lorry was injured.
Sabarimala shrine to open on April 10
The Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala will be opened on April 10 afternoon for the Vishu festival and monthy poojas in the Malayalam month of Medom. The Melsanthi, Gosala Vishnu Vasudevan, will open the sanctum sanctorum at 5 p.m. on April 10 and the poojas will begin with the Ganapathi homam the next morning. The Vishukkani would be prepared on April 13 evening and the Kani darshan at the temple will be held the next morning. The temple would be closed after the Athazha pooja on April 18. Udayasthamana pooja and Padi pooja will be performed at the temple on all the eight days.
Omalloor Hindu meet
The third Omalloor Hindu Maha Sammelan will be held at the Raktakantaswami Temple at Omalloor from April 9 to 10. The former Chief Secretary, R. Ramachandran Nair, will inaugurate the convention on April 9 afternoon.
Travancore auto show
The second Travancore Auto Show and Food Fest-2004, organised by the Rotary Club of Kozhencherry, will be held on the Kozhencherry St. Thomas Higher Secondary School grounds from April 15 to 18.
Row over law library
The Alappuzha Bar Association president, S. Ganesh Kumar, and the secretary, G. Priyadarshanan Thampy, have said that the controversies over the construction of a public law library in the Bar Association's building, on the premises of the Alappuzha district court, was unfortunate. The Alappuzha district LDF convener, Mohandas, had recently pointed out that the allotment of MP fund to the Alappuzha Bar Association to construct a law library was against the rules, which stipulated that MP fund should be utilised for a public institution only.
The byelections to the wards of Mokavoor in Elathoor gramapanchayat, Maruthonkara south in Maruthonkara grama panchayat and Velakkad in Mudadi grama panchayat will be held on April 6. The counting of votes would be held on April 7, according to a press release here today.
Bank building inaugurated
The former president of thethe Hosdurg Service Cooperative Bank, C.N. Narayanana Nair, inaugurated the new building of the Arangadi branch of the bank this morning. The president of the bank, Karuvacheri Balakrishnan Nair, presided over the function and its secretary, P.V.Ramachandran, presented the report. The Cooperative Joint Registrar, V. Kunhikannan inaugurated the safe deposit locker facility.
Vishu fete begins
The Vishu thalapoli festival began at the Munnalingal Sree Tiruvani Bhagavathi temple here today with the temple priest, Sree Vishnu Bhattathiripad, leading the ceremonies to hoist the festival flag. The festival will be on for 11 days. A cultural meeting organised as part of the festival was inaugurated later in the day by Swami Chidanandapuri. Mr AKB Nair and temple committee president PP Premanand, spoke.
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