Drive against erring motorists

Thiruvananthapuram Feb. 26 . As many as 108 vehicles were seized for not remitting the vehicle tax and permit violation and an amount of Rs. 2.17 lakhs collected as fine from the erring motorists for various offences in the special drive organised by the Motor Vehicles Department in the southern districts on Wednesday. A total of 574 motorists— 238 in Kollam and 338 in Alappuzha— were fined in the drive organised by the officials of the three southern districts under the supervision of the Deputy Transport Commissioner, South Zone, V. Ravindran Nair. A sum of Rs. 76,250 was collected as fine from the erring motorists in Kollam while Rs. 1.41 lakhs was collected from Alappuzha. Of the 108 vehicles seized, 33 were from Kollam and 75 from Alappuzha, department sources said.

Manual attestation

The BJP today demanded the continuance of the manual attestation of the certificates of those seeking employment in the Gulf countries even after the commencement of online attestation by the Thiruvananthapuram centre for the purpose. It felt that those who cannot make use of the services of computers would suffer if manual attestation was discontinued. It also wanted the certificates to be returned within 30 days.

Doctor, nurses suspended

A doctor and two nurses of the Kottayam District Hospital have been placed under suspension in connection with the delivery of Sandhya in the toilet of the hospital. The doctor is gynaecologist, A.Susheeladevi and the nurses P.S.Sunila and V.D. Lathabayi. The Health Minister, Kadavoor Sivadasan, said that the action was being taken as the three were found to be guilty prima facie by an inquiry conducted the Additional and Deputy Directors of Health Service and the DMO.

Antony's condolence

The Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, has condoled the demise of the former Union Minister and the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, S.B. Chavan. He said in a message today that the country had lost an able administrator and the Congress a strong leader. The Information and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, M.M. Hassan, the Electricity Minister, K. Muraleedharan, the Finance Minister, K. Sankaranarayanan, the Tourism Minister, P. Sankaran and the Health Minister, K. Sivadasan have also condoled Chavan's demise.

Infam supports stir

THRISSUR Feb. 26 . The Indian Farmers' Movement (Infam) has expressed solidarity with the farmers who will observe a hunger strike at Chittur in Palakkad on March 5. Addressing a press conference here today, the Infam chairman, Fr. Mathew Vadakkemuriyil, demanded an official study on the effects of the use of water by the Coca Cola plant at Plachimada.

`Restrict water-mining units'

PALAKKAD Feb. 26 . The People's Forum for Natural Justice has urged the Director of Ground Water, Government of Kerala, to restrict the drawing of ground water by water-mining industries in the district considering the acute water shortage in the area. The Forum has said that there are 26 major water-mining industries in the Kanjikode-Pudussery-Walayar industrial belt. Each of them uses daily 2 to 8 lakh litres of water. This has affected the ground water table in the district, the Forum secretary, Gokul Prasad, has said.

Hearing on bail plea

KOZHIKODE Feb. 26 . Arguments were heard today on the applications seeking bail for the accused in the Marad carnage case. The case came up for hearing at the Special Court set up to try Marad cases at Eranhipalam here. The District and Sessions Judge, Thomas P. Joseph, heard the arguments by the counsel of the accused. The arguments will continue tomorrow. The Public Prosecutor will also present his arguments on the bail applications. None of the accused was present in court today. The remand period of the accused in the case will end on March 8.

Young architects fete

KOTTAYAM Feb. 26 . The three-day national conference of Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) will commence here on Friday. More than 600 delegates from all over the country will participate in the deliberations which will focus on the theme, `Water and Architecture', Jos K. Mathew, convener, organising committee, has said. The conference would be formally declared open by noted architect Larry Baker on Friday evening. K. Suresh Kurup, former MP, would be the chief guest. IIA president Balbir Varma, would preside. Jabeen L. Zacharias, president, IIA-Kerala chapter; Vijay Garg, chairman, Young Architects Committee, and others would speak on the occasion. The second day of the conference would have papers from architects from Malaysia and Indonesia, in addition to those being presented by noted architects from India.

Water scarcity: KC(M) plea

PATHANAMTHITTA Feb. 26 . The Kerala Congress(M) district working committee here has called upon the Government to take immediate steps to solve the drinking water scarcity in many parts of the district. The meeting presided over by the party district president, Victor T.Thomas, also demanded stern action to contain the anti-social activities reported from many parts of the district. Elizabeth Mammen Mathai, MLA, Cherian Polachirackal, Sam Eapen, Varghese Mammen and the District Panchayat member, Ambika Mohan, were among those who attended the meeting.

Killed in accident

A 25-year-old van driver, Aneesh of Kanjirappally Parathodu Bangalvuparampil, was killed and 18 persons injured when a milk van collided with a private bus, carrying children from the Erattupettah Muslim Government LP School, at Enathu near Adoor this morning.

Award for orphanage

The Sabari Balika Sadanam, an orphanage for girl children run by the Sabari Seva Samithi in Konni, has been selected for this year's Guruji Seva Puraskar for social service, according to the samithi president, V.K.Karunakara Kurup.

Bishop commemorated

KOLLAM Feb. 26 . A ceremony organised by the Bishop Jerome Samnskarika Samithy here today marked the 12th death anniversary of the former Kollam Bishop, Jerome M. Fernandez. The commemoration ceremony was held at the Tangassery Infant Jesus Cathedral Church. A prayer meeting held on the occasion was led by the parish priest, George Mathew.

Welfare scheme

THRISSUR Feb. 26 . Social welfare schemes costing Rs. 2 crores will be implemented here by the Rotary International. The schemes will be executed by clubs in Rotary Region Five, from Kalady to Wadakkanchery. This was announced by the Rotary assistant governor, Suresh Kumar, at the centenary celebrations of the Rotary International here.

Rail overbridge

A high-level meeting in the State capital has decided to speed up the construction of the rail overbridge at Wadakkanchery, according to an official press release issued here on Thursday. The Public Works Minister, M.K. Muneer, told the meeting that funds for beginning the construction would be handed over to the Railways once the plan and the estimate were ready.


KOCHI Feb. 26 . Indian Airlines has rescheduled the flight IC-975 (Chennai- Coimbatore-Kohi- Sharjah) from March 1 owing to closure of the runway at Coimbatore airport for repairs. As per the revised schedule, the flight on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays will leave Chennai at 2-20 p.m. to reach Coimbatore at 3-15 p.m. The flight will take off from Coimbatore at 4 p.m. and arrive in Kochi at 4-30 p.m. It will leave Nedumbassery for Sharjah at 5-20 p.m.