Special Correspondent

Discussions with striking doctors fail

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday decided to order a Vigilance inquiry into `backdoor' appointments made to public sector units and the Kerala Sports Council during the United Democratic Front rule.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told presspersons after a Cabinet meeting that the talks Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy and Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac had with doctors who had gone on strike were not fruitful because of ``the changing nature of the doctors' demands.'' A settlement appeared to be difficult under such circumstances, he added.

The Cabinet cancelled a decision of the previous Government to allocate land belonging to the Nettukaltheri open prison in Thiruvananthapuram district to a private trust, he said.

The Chief Minister said the Cabinet had decided to grant an assistance of Rs.500 each to nearly 300 workers of the Alappuzha port which had become defunct.

Two weeks' free ration would be sanctioned to reed and bamboo workers and fishermen facing hardships on account of rough seas. The Cabinet also cleared the renovation of the Government staff quarters in Thiruvananthapuram city and the construction of 50 quarters each in the districts. A special assistance of Rs.1 lakh would be granted to the School for Deaf and Dumb at Malampuzha.

Posts had been sanctioned for the new industrial training centre at Attappady.