Karunanidhi in BangaloreBANGALORE: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi arrived in Bangalore on Wednesday morning on a private visit. He was welcomed by workers of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam at the airport. The police maintained tight security at the airport in view of an attempt on the life of Mr. Karunanidhi's son and Local Administration Minister M.K. Stalin in Madurai on Tuesday. Mr. Karunanidhi, who will be here for a few days, is likely to visit the campuses of Infosys Technologies and Wipro Limited on Thursday. He will stay in his daughter's house at J.P. Nagar. Special Correspondent

Union Minister refutes Jayalalithaa's chargeCHENNAI: Union Minister for Environment and Forests A. Raja on Wednesday denied the allegation of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa that he did not sign the file concerning the desalination project. Mr. Raja said when the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was in power, impact assessment study report on the project had not been completely prepared. Details were sought, by getting a report from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. For this, there was no response from the previous regime. At the time of giving approvals, it would not behove of Union Ministers who took oath on the Constitution of disregarding environmental norms or relaxing the rules concerned, the Union Minister said. Special Correspondent

Madurai Government hospital to be expandedCHENNAI: The outpatient wing of the Rajaji Government Hospital in Madurai will be expanded in view of the increase in number of patients, said Health Minister K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran here on Wednesday.

Talking to media persons, the Minister said on an average more than 10,000 people were getting treatment as outpatients at the hospital necessitating its expansion. The Government also identified 250 hospitals in the State for expansion. Special Correspondent

Dravidian varsity programme for youthCHENNAI: The Dravidian University in Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, has been chosen to start the 21st century Gurukulam programme aimed at developing rural resources and youth. It will be started in September. "The programme is being launched by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in collaboration with the Carnegie-Mellon University of the U.S." The programme provides an unprecedented advanced training to the talented rural youth helping them to catch up with the high potential job market, it said. An intensive 10 months training was part of the programme. The candidates would be selected from each mandal through a written test. "The training would be provided with the support of the banking sector also both in the IT stream and the competitive examinations at the national level," the release said. Special Correspondent

Bus burning case adjourned to June 29SALEM: The First Additional District Sessions judge D. Krishna Raja on Wednesday adjourned the Dharmapuri bus burning case to June 29 when he was told that the revision case filed by a defense counsel was still pending before the Madras High Court. Counsel had filed the petition seeking reports of the then Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and the then Dharmapuri Collector on the bus burning incident. The same was yet to be taken up. This was conveyed to the judge who posted the case to June 29. Three girl students of the university were burnt alive when a mob set fire to the university bus at Ilakkiampatti in February 2000 following the conviction of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case. Special Correspondent

Counselling for teachersTIRUCHI: Counselling for Government school teachers, seeking transfers, would be held on June 24 and 25 in the City, according to a Press release from the Chief Educational Officer, Baskara Sethupathy.

Counselling for transfers for those serving within Tiruchi district would be held at 10 a.m., on June 24. For teachers from other districts, the counselling session would be held the next day. The sessions would be held at the Bishop Heber Higher Secondary School campus at Teppakulam in the City.

Post graduate, graduate, Tamil, secondary and special grade teachers of Government high and higher secondary schools, seeking transfers, should submit their applications (routed through proper channel) to the district Chief Educational Officer on or before June 22, the release added.

Use of helmetsTIRUCHI: The Thennindia Nugarvor Padhukappu Kuzhumam has appealed to the Government to make helmets mandatory for two-wheeler riders.

In a resolution adopted at its executive committee meeting, the organisation also demanded stern action against pawn brokers who failed to adhere to the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India with respect to interest rates. Steps should be taken to make it mandatory for the finance firms to prominently display their interest rates. The organised also urged the City police to crack down on use of mobile phones while driving.

Jamabandhi heldTIRUCHI: About 166 petitions were received from the public on the first day of the week-long jamabandhi at Srirangam taluk which began here on Wednesday.Twenty-five of petitions were disposed off on the spot by the Collector, Ashish Vachhani, who ordered immediate action over them. He also verified the Revenue records of Allur, Kadiyakurichi, Peria Karuppur, Thiruchendurai, Andhanallur, Thiruparaithurai, Perugamani, Sirugamani, Kodiyalam and Pettaivaithalai areas falling under the taluk.

Mettur levelTiruchi: The water level at the Mettur dam stood at 113.97 feet on Wednesday.

The inflow was 1,379 cusecs and the outflow 15,000 cusecs. Staff Reporter

Two drown in Cauvery river ERODE: Two youth drowned in Cauvery river on Tuesday while taking bath. The deceased have been identified as Sarathykumar (19) and Satheeshkumar (17) sons of Arunachalam of Bakthavatsalamnagar, Tiruchengodu. They came here along with another person to take bath. Body of Sarathykumar (19) has been fished out.

Jamabandhi beginsERODE: Jamabandhi (annual village account verification) programme began in the district on Wednesday. The Erode District Collector, D. Karthikeyan, would conduct it at Kangeyam taluk office. He received more than 200 petitions.

He distributed welfare measures to 44 persons. Jamabandhi was conducted in six other taluks.

Totally 1,625 petitions were received on Wednesday and almost all the grievances petitions were disposed off on the spot.

Policeman killed as train hits himSALEM: A Central Industrial Security Force policeman was killed when a speeding train hit him near Karuppur on Tuesday night.

The Railway police said that Rajakannu (54) of Reddiyur was trying to cross the railway track when the accident happened.

Pedestrian injuredTuticorin: R Venkataraman (45) was injured when a motorbike hit his cycle from behind while traversing through Nalatinpudur-Kazhugamalai Road on Tuesday. He was admitted to the Kovilpatti Government Hospital. The Nalatinpudur police have registered a case against V Venkatasamy, bike rider, for rash and negligent driving.

Two arrested with poisonous toddyTuticorin: The police have arrested two persons who allegedly possessed poisonous toddy at Sattankulam on Tuesday.

P Thangaraj (60) and K Muthusamy (55) were seen walking with two cans under suspicious circumstances. On questioning, it was found by the police that the cans contained toddy. Both the accused were remanded to judicial custody.

Kerosene seizedTuticorin: The Civil Supplies CID seized 1,840 litres of kerosene from a house at Veerapandiyapattinam near here on Tuesday and arrested Kesavan (45), a retailer, in this connection.

Official sources said the accused kept the kerosene meant to be sold through Public Distribution System at his house without any valid document.

Birth anniversary of NesamonyNagercoil: The 112th birth anniversary of Marshal Nesamony, organised by Kumari Thanthai Nesamony Tamilar Peravai, was celebrated at Scott Christian College here. The Principal, James R Daniel, recalled the sacrifices of Marshal Nesamony, who was instrumental in the merger of Kanyakumari district with Tamil Nadu in 1956 during the linguistic reorganisation of states. `Pulavar' Pachaimal of Tamilalayam delivered the keynote address. Kumaresan of Kamaraj College of Education and others spoke.

Anusha and Jesu Jesma won the elocution competition and prizes were distributed to the winners in poetry and essay competitions to mark the occasion. Staff Reporter