Respite from heatTIRUCHI: There was a sudden drop in the mercury level on Saturday afternoon, bringing a respite to Tiruchi residents, who were reeling under severe heat conditions for the past several weeks. Parts of the district experienced a drizzle for a while.

Karunanidhi leaves for ChennaiThe Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief, M. Karunanidhi, who arrived here late Saturday night after campaigning in Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts, left for Chennai by train. He was seen off by scores of cadres of the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance.

Chithirai car festival at Srirangam templeChithirai car festival (Viruppan Thirunal) will commence at Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswami Temple on April 18.

The Garuda Sevai falls on April 21 and the car festival on April 26, when Namperumal will be taken on the Chithirai streets around the temple.

A press release from the temple issued here on Saturday said there will be no 'Viswarooba Sevai' between April 18 and 27 on the occasion of the festival.

Forum plea to enhance payThe Tiruchi District Cooperative Employees' Association has urged the State Government to enhance pay for all employees and salespersons attached to fair price shops and cooperative stores.

A resolution adopted to this effect at its meeting held here recently also pleaded for extension of Provident Fund (PF) and pension benefits to these employees. The meeting also adopted a resolution urging the Regional Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Tiruchi, to initiate action for modernising the Tiruchi District Cooperative Printing Press and bring it out of the red.

The meeting also urged the cooperative authorities to remit employees' contribution towards monthly premium to the PF, LIC, Cooperative Thrift and Savings Society etc. Although the monthly recovery is effected from the salary of the employees, there was delay on the part of many cooperative bodies, in remitting the same to the concerned financial institutions.

The following were elected office-bearers of the Association: Vincent (president); S. Jayakumar (general secretary); A. Abdul Majeeth (executive president); K. Munusamy (organising secretary); R.S. Balraj and V. Ramakrishnan (vice-presidents); C. Babu and M. Muni Iyah (joint-secretaries) and Parimanam (treasurer).

New radio programme Tiruchi station of All India Radio, in its first channel, will broadcast a new weekly programme on 'Iyarkkaiyin Vindhaigal' every Friday at 9.16 p.m. A press release issued here on Saturday said the programme would focus on salient features of environment. A special phone-in career guidance programme, 'Varum Kaalam Valamaaga,' to benefit Plus-Two students will be on air at 1 p.m. on April 17. Listeners can participate by dialling 0431 2416888.

Power shutdownThere will be no power supply between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on April 18 in the following areas: Musiri, Thumbalam, Manamedu, Solampatti, Mettupatti, Nachiyaputhur, Thathampatti, Panchampatti, Thinnakonam and Muthamapatti.

Mettur levelThe level at the Mettur dam stood at 112.09 feet on Saturday. The inflow was 1,173 cusecs, and the outflow 2,000 cusecs. Staff Reporter