Ombudsman cautions banks

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Banking Ombudsman for Kerala and Lakshadweep, V. Krishnamurthy, has cautioned banks against refusing to accept cheques and drafts presented at the counters and asking them to drop it in boxes. In a release on Saturday, he clarified that according to the RBI guidelines, the customers were free to either present them at the counters and obtain receipts for the same or drop them in boxes. The banks cannot refuse to give an acknowledgement for the financial instruments at the regular collection counters. He called for bringing deficiency of service in this regard to his attention. His address is RBI Buidlings, Bakery Junction, Thiruvananthapuram 695 033. — Staff Reporter

Pankajakshan readmitted to hospital

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The RSP general secretary, K. Pankajakshan, who was convalescing at home after a surgery connected with the windpipe in Sri Chithra Medical Centre at Thiruvananthapuram was readmitted to the hospital on Saturday for further tests and treatment. — Special Correspondent

Cracker unit blast: one more dies

THRISSUR: One person, who was injured in a blast in a cracker godown at Varavoor on Sunday last, died at the Jubilee Mission Hospital here on Saturday, raising the toll in the accident to two. The hospital authorities gave the name of the latest victim as P.K. Sunilkumar, 27, of Kumarappanal. — Staff Reporter

Petrol pumps to be closed tomorrow

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As per the decision taken by petroleum dealers at the national level, pumps in the State will remain closed for 24 hours from the midnight of April 17. — Staff Reporter

Petrol bunks to remain closed on April 18

KOLLAM: T he office-bearers of the Quilon District Petroleum Dealers Association told a press conference here today that the pumps in Kollam would remain closed on April 18 in view of their decision to join the nation-wide stir. The association president, K. Rajeev and secretary, P. Sudhakaran, said that the stir was being launched to press the demands of the petroleum dealers. The demands include hiking dealer commission, compensating evaporation loss, imposing uniform rate for petroleum products all over the State, putting an end to the frequent hike in petrol prices and controlling the allocation of petrol bunks. The pumps will not function from April 17 midnight to April 18 midnight.

Bishop's consecration

KOLLAM: Joseph Kariyil will be consecrated as the new bishop in Punalur at a special ritual to be held at 3 p.m. on May 3 at the Punalur St. Mary's Cathedral. The archbishops of Varapuzha and Thiruvananthapuram will lead the consecration ceremony. A 501-member committee has been constituted to organise the event.

Film fete begins today

KOLLAM: The noted actor, O. Madhavan, will inaugurate the eight-day film festival organised by the Mass Arts Service Society (MASS) at a function to be held on April 17 at the Sopanam Kala Kendram. This is the 13th film festival organised by MASS in Kollam. This year's festival focusses on children's films. — Staff Reporter

Awareness campaign

KOTTAYAM: The Department of Forests and Wildlife will organise an awareness campaign in connection with the `World Earth Day' celebrations. — Staff Reporter

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