Enforce Motor Vehicles Act strictly: DGPCHENNAI: Director-General of Police D. Mukherjee has instructed Commissioners and Superintendents to enforce effectively the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. The instruction comes in the wake of road accidents, one reason being the use of dazzling headlights at night. The increase in accidents was not only due to increase in population, but also due to rise in vehicle population, he said in a release. Use of dazzling lights at night was also a reason for mishaps. The DGP said vehicle owners should paste a black sticker or paint a portion of the headlight. This would help avoid accidents. Also, awareness should be created among vehicle owners that they should not use dazzling lights. Special Correspondent

Crop loan at concessional rateCHENNAI: Indian Bank is extending short-term crop loans up to Rs. 3 lakh to all eligible farmers at an interest rate of 7 per cent per annum. This follows an advice from the Reserve Bank of India following the 2006-07 Union Budget announcement to ensure that farmers received short-term credit at 7 per cent. A bank release said about 1.5 million farmers in the country would be benefited. "The scheme will provide credit to farmers at very affordable rate and will enhance the farm production and productivity." The Centre would provide interest subvention of two per cent per annum to banks in respect of the short-term credit. Staff Reporter

Polytechnic application forms from June 19CHENNAI: Application forms for admission to part-time diploma courses for 2006-07 in government polytechnic colleges will be issued from June 19, a Department of Technical Education release said. The courses are conducted in Government Polytechnic College, Tiruchi; Central Polytechnic College, Chennai; Government Polytechnic College, Krishnagiri; Thanthai Periyar E.V.R Government Polytechnic College, Vellore; Government Polytechnic College, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu Polytechnic College, Madurai; Government Polytechnic College, Nagercoil; Government Polytechnic College, Tuticorin and Alagappa Polytechnic College, Karaikudi. Eligibility for joining the courses is a pass in SSLC. Applications will be issued till July 3. Cost of an application is Rs. 150 for other communities and free for SC/ST students. Last date for receipt of applications is July 3. Special Correspondent

IBM contest CHENNAI: IBM India, along with IBM Business Partners, has launched "The Great Mind Challenge" contest, in which 10,000 students of 250 engineering and MCA courses in colleges across the country will develop software based on project scenarios. The contest will help students develop hands-on experience on IBM software products and gain live project experience, a release here said. The programme will be on till the end of the year. Details can be had from >www.ibn.com. Special Correspondent

More flights to BangkokCHENNAI: Effective June 19, Indian will be operating more flights between Chennai and Bangkok. The Airbus-320 service (IC-737/738) will operate five days a week instead of tri-weekly.

On Mondays, Fridays and Sundays, flight IC-737 will leave Chennai at 10-50 a.m. and reach Bangkok at 3-10 p.m. (local time). On Tuesdays, IC-737 will leave Chennai at 10-55 a.m. and reach Bangkok at 3-15 p.m. (local time). On Thursdays, IC-737 will leave Chennai at 11-05 a.m. and reach Bangkok at 3-25 p.m. (local time). Flight IC-738 on the Bangkok-Chennai sector will leave Bangkok at 7-20 a.m. (local time) and arrive here at 9-15 a.m. on all these days. Details can be had from the helpline: 1407 or 1800-180-1407. Special Correspondent

Garbage disposalNAMAKKAL: Collector N. Sundaramurthi visited several streets in the Rasipuram town and asked officials to ensure 100 per cent removal of garbage and proper cleaning of drainage channels in the town. He also advised the municipal officials to purchase necessary tools to undertake fogging work. He also inspected Uzhavar Santhai and Government Hospital. In the Senthamangalam Special panchayat, the Collector enquired with the people about the preventive measures taken up to control the spread of viral fever.

- Staff Reporter

Officials gheraoedSALEM: Residents of the Aandipatti Lake colony in Gugai gheraoed the Slum Clearance Board officials, who went to collect rent from the residents, demanding basic amenities to the their colony. They complained that they were not getting adequate water supply and the colony lacked proper toilet facilities. Officials from the Slum Clearance Board had not taken up any maintenance work and that the apartments were in the pathetic condition.

More than 1,000 people, many of them were daily wage labourers,

were living in the colony. Residents claimed

that they had repeatedly represented their problems to the officials but

to no avail.

- Staff Reporter

Woman commits suicideNagercoil: A woman committed suicide by consuming poison on Thursday.

According to police, Vasantha (35), wife of Kumaresan of Thovalai took this extreme step owing to misunderstanding with her husband.

In another incident, Rajayan, a coolie of Tholayavattam near Karunkam, committed suicide by hanging himself in his house due to family dispute.

The police have registered cases and are investigating.

Breaches in irrigation channel to be pluggedNagercoil: Tourism Minister N.Suresh Rajan has directed officials to allot a sum of Rs. 5 lakh to rectify breaches at Thovalai channel.

According to sources, water from Pechipparai dam was released to Thovalai channel for irrigation in the tail-end areas. Public Works Department officials noticed breaches near Thirumalapuram in Thovalai channel, and when it was brought to the attention of the Minister, he asked officials to plug the breaches immediately. The work would be completed in five days, PWD sources said.

DemonstrationNagercoil: Cadres of the Bharathiya Janata Party including a large number of women staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate here on Thursday.

They urged the Government to withdraw the increase in the prices of petroleum products.

District president Kumaradhas led the agitation. Chairpersons of Nagercoil Municipal Council Meen Dev, district general secretaries Ramesh and Sathyamurthy participated.

Mass contact dayPUDUKOTTAI: At a special mass contact day programme at Saathinipatti in Andakulam panchayat in Kulathur block held on Wednesday, Collector S. J. Chiru gave away assistances to 91 beneficiaries to the tune of Rs. 2.02 lakh.

He appealed to officials to ensure expeditious redressal of public grievances. He gave away house site pattas to 13 persons and issued orders for old age pension to four others.

Samathuvapuram inspectedPERAMBALUR: Collector Anil Meshram on Thursday inspected the `samathuvapuram' areas in Elambalur and Paravai villages. He enquired about the basic facilities for the residents and directed the officials to keep open fair price shop for two days in a week.

Economic assistancePERAMBALUR: A total of 4,500 members belonging to the Scheduled Caste/Tribe in the district will get economic assistance, loans for the purchase of lands and other benefits during the current financial year, Collector Anil Meshram said here on Wednesday.

Inaugurating the one-day seminar on `Economic development of SC/ST', he said the programmes envisaged an outlay of Rs. 1.57 crores. A subsidy of Rs. 54 lakhs would be sanctioned to 360 women under the `Land Purchase Scheme' while 25 youths would get loans to the tune of Rs. 11.40 lakhs for taking up self-employment programme, he said.

The District Revenue Oficer, V. Sampath, and the District Manager, Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Housing and Development Corporation, N. Gopal were among those who spoke.

Mettur levelTiruchi: The water level at the Mettur dam stood at 113.13 feet on Thursday. The inflow was 953 cusecs and the outflow 15,000 cusecs. Staff Reporter.