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Vol. 6 No. 308 CHENNAI ● TUESDAY ● 1 ● FEBRUARY ● 2011 www.facebook.com/deccannews, www.twitter.com/deccannews, www.deccanchronicle.com 40 pages `2.00
CASE AGAINST CVC THOMAS DISCUSSED: PC
KIM SON THROWS FURRY HAT IN THE RING
DJOKOVIC TELLS HIS SUCCESS MANTRA
ASTROGUIDE: Vikruthi: Thai (18) Tithi: Chaturthi Star: Pooradam Rahukalam: 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm Yamagandam: 9.00 am to 10.30 am FORECAST: Generally cloudy. Max: 30 Min: 23 RH: 90% Rainfall: Nil PRAYERS (MASJIDUS-SALAM) Fajar: 5.50 am Zohar: 1 pm Asar: 4 pm Maghrib: 6.14 pm Isha: 7.45 pm SUNSET Today 6.10 pm SUNRISE Tomorrow 6.35 am MOONRISE Today 5.02 am MOONSET Tomorrow 5.47 pm
300 Indians back home from Egypt
Mumbai, Jan. 31: Amid continuing violent disturbances in Egypt, an Air India plane carrying the first batch of around 300 Indians, stranded in the African country, landed here Monday afternoon. Anxious relatives waiting at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport heaved a sigh of relief as the special Boeing 747-800 touched down at 2.20 pm. “Thank god, we are safely back in our country,” was the common refrain of the lucky few who escaped the tumult that has hit Egypt over the demand for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. They thanked the government for rescuing its citizens.— PTI
● FORMER TELECOM MINISTER GRILLED BY CBI AGAIN
Probe panel faults Raja for 2G lapses
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An Indian family after their arrival in Mumbai on Monday from Egypt which is facing a political upheaval. A special flight of Air India brought back nearly 300 Indians from Egypt. — PTI
Old allies to strike new deal
DC | NEW DELHI
Nirupama gives Lanka piece of mind
Colombo, Jan. 31: India Monday voiced “serious concern” over the killing of two Indian fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy and said it expected the island nation to put in place “effective measures” to avoid recurrence of such incidents. Visiting foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said she conveyed India’s concern to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the recent violent incidents in the waters between India and Sri Lanka which had resulted in the “tragic” death of the two fishermen. A joint statement issued after the conclusion of the visit said that additional information be made available by the Indian side on the incidents which New Delhi said should be “fully investigated.” The two sides however agreed that the use of force cannot be justified under any circumstances. “My visit is to underscore the very serious concern about the issue,” she said. — PTI
Jan. 31: The DMKCongress alliance that came into being in 2004 is all set to continue for the forthcoming Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu and a group would be constituted to discuss the seat-sharing arrangement. Confirming the tie-up after calling on Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday, TN CM M. Karunanidhi said, “I had a 45-minute meeting with Ms Sonia Gandhi. The alliance between the two parties will continue.” The CM, accompanied by senior DMK leader T.R. Baalu, Union textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran and MP Kanimozhi, told reporters, “A group will be constituted that will decide the number of seats and the specific constituencies to be contested by the two parties (Congress and DMK).” On Sunday, he said the
Why panel on dam, asks CM
Jan. 31: The one-man committee of Justice Shivraj Patil, a retired Supreme Court judge, which was probing procedural lapses in the issuance of 2G licences, on Monday submitted its report to communications minister Kapil Sibal naming the officials involved in the 2G scam. It is learnt that the committee named former communications minister A. Raja and former telecom secretary Siddartha Behura for procedural lapses in the allocation of 2G licences in 2008. The report is also learnt to have named Mr Raja’s private secretary R.K. Chandolia, former DDG (access service) A.K. Srivastava and a former
joint secretary in the department of telecom. In all, seven to eight officials have been blamed in the report for the procedural lapses, sources said. Justice Patil confirmed that he had named officials in the reports for lapses over the allocation of 2G licences, but refused to reveal any names. “I have identified the officials on whose part there was deficiency or lapses. One of the
terms of reference is if there are any shortcomings or lapses or deficiencies in procedures, who are the public officials responsible — (that) they must be identified. This I have done,” said Justice Patil after submitting the report to Mr Sibal. Meanwhile, the CBI questioned A. Raja in connection with its probe into the 2G spectrum scam. The former telecom minister was questioned for the third time by the CBI at the agency headquarters. According to sources, he was grilled by agency officials for nearly eight hours. Earlier in the day, Justice Patil was of the view that these officials should be called by the department to give their version before any action is taken against them.
Pak has 100 nukes: Report
DC | ISLAMABAD
Chief minister M. Karunanidhi with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Monday. — DC
PMK would be part of the DMK-led alliance. The meeting between Ms Gandhi and Mr Karunanidhi was scheduled for 1 pm but got postponed. She was hesitant to meet him reportedly because the DMK would not give concrete assurances on seats and Cabinet berth. The DMK then conveyed to the Congress high command that if the meeting did not take place, it would send a wrong signal to the electorate and demoralise the cadres.
Jan. 31: Chief minister M. Karunanidhi on Monday criticised the environment ministry for appointing an expert team to study the ecological impact of constructing a controversial dam replacing the 100-yearold historical Mullaiperiyar dam. Calling on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at New Delhi, Mr Karunanidhi expressed “deep concern” about the reports on appointment of a technical committee to study the impact of the new dam proposed by the Kerala government. “As the issue is before the Supreme Court, the constitution of this committee is
unwarranted. Hon’ble Prime Minister has promised to have the issue looked into,” a government release said. Mr Karunanidhi appealed to the PM to approve the state government’s proposal to extend the Chennai Metro Rail up to Tiruvotriyur and Wimco Nagar. Concerned at the “brutal attack” on Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lankan navy, Mr Karunanidhi told the PM on the need to advise the Sri Lankan government in strong terms to refrain from such “un-called for attacks.” Mr Karunanidhi also requested the PM to release `1,832 crore from the national disaster relief fund for restoration and rain relief work.
Jan. 31: Pakistan has overtaken India in nuclear race with over 100 deployed nuclear weapons, a media report said. Pakistan has deployed over 100 nuclear weapons which is double its stockpile in the past several
years, The Washington Post reported citing US non-government analysts. In a front page dispatch, the newspaper said that only four years ago, the Pakistani nuclear arsenal was estimated at 30 to 60 weapons. The report, citing experts, added, “The Pakistanis have significantly accelerated production of
uranium and plutonium for bombs and developed new weapons to deliver them. After years of approximate weapons parity ... Pakistan has now edged ahead of India, its nuclear-armed rival”. But Brigadier Nazir Butt, defence attache at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, neither confirmed nor denied it.
In haste, Metro Rail flouts tender bid norms
DC | CHENNAI
Makara Jyothi lit manually, says Board
Thiruvananthapuram, Jan. 31: Seeking to downplay the debate over the ‘Makara Jyothi’ of Sabarimala temple, the Travancore Devaswom Board on Monday said it will not run a campaign to declare it to be a man made one as there is strong religious belief behind it. “It is known to everybody that Makara Jyothi is a fire lit by men at Ponnabalamedu and TDB also recognises this. The Board, will however, not run a campaign to propagate it as man-made as there is a religious belief behind it into which the temple board does not intend to interfere,” TDB president M. Rajagopalan Nair told reporters here. The Kerala high court had recently asked TDB to clarify if Makara Jyothi is man lit or a celestial phenomenon, in the wake of the Pullumedu stampede in which 102 devotees died on January 14. Nair was briefing the media after discussions TDB had with high priests, members of the Travancore and Pandalam Royal Houses. — PTI
Jan. 31: In its haste to complete the Chennai Metro Rail project ahead of schedule, CMRL, the company implementing the prestigious transit project, may be compromising the safety of future commuters by flouting tender rules to accept bids from firms that are not qualified and are inexperienced. Documents made available to this newspaper reveal that rules set by funding institution Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) were given the go-by in Chennai Metro Rail Limited’s (CMRL’s) acceptance of applications, including from a World Bank-blacklisted company, for signaling and telecommunications system, an integral part of passenger safety in the transit system. According to a highlyplaced CMRL source, even in the evaluation stage, tenders of ineligible firms were considered. As per
Siemens, that has got through the evaluation process, has been found guilty of fraudulent practices by World Bank and is punished with a ban on bidding for World Bank-funded projects
inside source, Siemens, that has got through the evaluation process, has been found guilty of fraudulent practices by World Bank and was punished with a ban on bidding for World Bank-funded projects (World Bank press release No. 2009/001/EXT). The condition makes it ineligible to bid for CMRL contract till December 2010-end, but it found place among the short-listed firms finalised in October 2010 and reached the final stage.
This goes against JICA stipulation on the ethics of bidders and contractors. Yet another JICA guideline about work experience has been flouted by another bidder, L&T. The spokespersons of Siemens and L&T confirmed to Deccan Chronicle their participation in the tender bid. Mr Subramaniya Chidambaram, a Chennai advocate, trying to bring transparency in these tender proceedings, says that he has not received any reply to his various representations. Mr K. Rajaraman, MD, CMRL, told Deccan Chronicle that he would not divulge any information about the tender proceedings as it was commercial information. The tender would be awarded within 20 days, he said and added they were proceeding as per rules and regulations in the tender invitation document and JICA guidelines and with JICA approval.
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