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Reporter's Diary

GO GLOBAL, Think Local, is the mantra in the corporate world. So taking a cue, the Thrissur-based South Indian Bank, which has regional flavour as its USP, has decided to make a foray upcountry and in right earnest has opened a branch in Jalandhar in Punjab. The bank has been selected by a magazine recently as the best private sector bank in the service quality segment. The bank Chairman, A Sethumadhavan, says the bank that had a regional presence in the past has now got a national presence. The Jalandhar branch is the 418th branch of the Bank and also the 224th branch offering `Anywhere Banking' facility. The leading lights of the Diocese of Jalandhar were also present during the opening ceremony of the branch at Jalandhar.

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THE VISIT of the Union Minister for Shipping, T.R. Baalu, to Kochi last week is memorable for several reasons.

First, it was the first time that Mr. Baalu had visited the city in his capacity as the Minister for Shipping and Highways. And, he came at a time when the city was eagerly waiting for an announcement from him on the International Container Transshipment Terminal project.

Though he did not make any announcement of the inauguration of the project, he was categorical that it would be kicked off by the end of this year. He also made it clear that he would always take the best decision possible for the country.

Most of all, he impressed Kochiites with the speed with which he grasped the presentations. His interventions during these presentations were impressive too at the meeting, which was attended by the Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy.

As Mr. Baalu left the State, this time by road to Madurai via Munnar, he left a host of good memories.

* * *

THE COMMENDABLE progress achieved by industrialised nations had prompted many countries to wholeheartedly welcome the industrial revolution. Though the industrial ventures were bound by environmental protection norms, these were conveniently forgotten by many units. Over the years, pollution has assumed large proportions. Paradoxically, enhancing the quality of life is one of the objectives of the industry and failure to honour its commitment is a grave offence.

The industrial belt in Kochi has come under the scanner for a lackadaisical approach towards pollution control. Some of the units responsible for polluting water resources and posing serious threat to flora and fauna have been given time to take corrective measures.

But some have apparently adopted the easier route to close down the units. It is more profitable for such polluting units to end operations owing to the substantial investment for `clean technology.'

The question is whether such a course of action could be justified. Everyone would agree that the industrial units have a social obligation towards the people who are at the receiving end. Of course, there are many companies that take up humanitarian projects at various places. Such activities could be extended by the concerned units even while complying with the mandatory steps to do away with pollution.

By K. Venkiteswaran, K.A. Martin and
R. Ramabhadran Pillai

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