#India- Sexual harassment complaint to #Jayalalithaa from #NWMI #Vaw


To
Ms J Jayalalithaa,
Honorable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,
Chennai.

Madam,

The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) is an association of women
journalists working across India. It is with deep anguish that we bring to your
notice a
violation of privacy and mental harassment that is being repeatedly caused to a  member of our network.

Kavin Malar, a Chennai based journalist, has been facing online harassment for
over a month now from one Mr Kishore K Swamy, a self-proclaimed
AIADMK supporter. Mr Kishore K Swamy has been repeatedly posting abusive messages
on Facebook targeting Kavin Malar’s personal character and
willfully causing harm  to her reputation
in  society as well as the  media. The allegations, besides being baseless,
are also a gross violation of privacy and human dignity.
We are also being told that Mr Swamy has been repeatedly and habitually
targeting women journalists, by indulging in character assassination. We find
this kind of behaviour not merely disturbing
but also threatening. It creates an unpleasant   environment for working women.
Kavin Malar  has  sought the help of the police department to
fight the harassment. However, her  complaint to the Commissioner of Police on May
13 has not been of much avail.  The cyber
crime cell has not
taken any action on the complaint beyond calling her for an enquiry.
We are attaching the screenshots
of abusive messages posted by Mr Swamy, a copy of which has been made available
to the cyber crime department.

We are aware of the steps taken
by your government to curb crimes against women. While placing on record our
appreciation of such action to promote women’s safety and security, we  urge you to personally intervene and take
action against Mr Kishore K Swamy for his misdeeds.

We believe such a move will help create a more agreeable atmosphere for women
journalists in the Tamil Nadu.

With kind regards and thanks in advance for your intervention in this case,
Yours sincerely,
(on behalf of the  NWMI)*
Signed:

Binita Parikh, Ahmedabad
Tanushree Gangopadhyay, Ahmedabad

Laxmi Murthy, Bangalore
Anita Cheria, Bangalore
Melanie P. Kumar, Bangalore
Ammu Joseph, Bangalore
Gita Aravamudan, Bangalore
Satarupa Bhattacharya, Bangalore
Satarupa Bhattacharya, Bangalore
Meera K, Bangalore

Lakshmy Venkiteswaran, Chennai
Nithya Caleb, Chennai
Kavitha Muralidharan, Chennai
Nithila Kanagasabai, Chennai
Jency Samuel, Chennai
Ranjitha
Gunasekaran, Chennai
Nithya Caleb, Chennai
Shobha Warrier, Chennai

Teresa Rehman, Guwahati

Satyavati Kondaveeti, Hyderabad
Susheela
Manjari Kadiyala, Hyderabad
Akhileshwari
Ramagoud, Hyderabad
Vanaja C., Hyderabad

Anju Munshi, Kolkata
Rina Mukherji, Kolkata
Rajashri Dasgupta, Kolkatta
Manjira Majumdar, Kolkata
Ranjita Biswas, Kolkata
Rajashri
Dasgupta, Kolkata

Linda Chhakchhuak, Mizoram

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai
Jyoti Punwani, Mumbai
Geeta Seshu, Mumbai
Freny Manecksha, Mumbai
Sandhya Srinivasan, Mumbai
Meena Menon, Mumbai
Kalpana Sharma, Mumbai

Neha Dixit, New Delhi
Shahina KK, New Delhi

Shree
Ananya
Ramlath Kavil

 

#MadrasHC- issues notice for withdrawal of cases against anti-nuclear activists


Chennai, June 18, 2013

PTI

 The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered issue of notice to Tamil Nadu Government asking why steps were not taken to withdraw cases filed against anti-nuclear activists protesting against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

First Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, ordered notice to the state government and sought reply within three weeks.

The notice was issued on a petition which sought a direction to the state government to withdraw all criminal cases filed against anti-nuclear activists, who have been protesting against the Indo-Russian project in Tirunelveli District.

The petition referred to the Supreme Court’s direction to the state government to withdraw all criminal cases against the protestors.

 

#India – More rapes in Delhi in 2012 than 4 other metros , Mumbai child rapes spike by 20% #Vaw


, TNN | Jun 14, 2013, 01.39 AM IST

More rapes in Delhi in 2012 than 4 other metros put together
The number of rapes in the capital last year (706) was more than those reported in four other metros – Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai (484) – put together.
  • NEW DELHI: Delhi‘s shame continues. The National Crime Records Bureau’s report for 2012, released on Wednesday, iterates through statistics what every woman in the city knows by experience – that it remains the most unsafe for women among 88 important cities of India.

With 5,959 cases of crime against women registered last year, Delhi accounted for a staggering 14.88% of all women-related crimes reported from these 88 cities. No other city even came close to matching Delhi’s notorious record.

Bangalore was a distant second, with a share of 6.18% of all crimes against women in urban India. Next came Kolkata (5.66%) and then Mumbai (4.86%).

No crime reveals Delhi’s violence towards women better than rape. The number of rapes in the capital last year (706) was more than those reported in four other metros — Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai (484) — put together. The staggeringly high figure can’t be explained by the capital’s sprawl. For, the female population of Delhi is 75.76 lakh, lower than Mumbai (85.20 lakh) and not much higher than Kolkata (67.93 lakh).

2,160 kidnap cases of girls registeredAccording to the NCRB figures, Delhi’s share of all crimes committed in the country was 2.83%. Among states and UTs, Bengal leads the pack with a share of 12.67%.

As many as 2,160 kidnapping cases in which women or minor girls were the victims, were registered last year in Delhi. There were 134 dowry deaths and 1,985 cases of cruelty to women by husbands or relatives.

Seeking to downplay the numbers, Delhi Police said statistics did not reveal the actual picture. Senior cops said gave a number of reasons for the rise in crime in Delhi over the past decade. They said rapid growth in the city’s population, socio-economic imbalances and urban anonymity were encouraging deviant behaviour. They said the city’s adverse sex ratio (866/1000) and loosening of social structures were also playing a part in rise of crime.

Among the new initiatives for controlling crimes, the cops said 255 city routes had been identified as being the most frequented by women late in the evening. More than 400 women sub-inspectors and 2,088 women constables were being deployed on these stretches.

Earlier, a document submitted by a Delhi ministry in the assembly had criticized a few rape victims themselves for inadvertently contributing to the low conviction rate in such cases. “Victims sometimes do not support prosecution during trial. At other times, there are compromises made between both parties,” the ministry stated.

45% rise in sexual harassment cases in Mumbai, rapes up by 5%

V Narayan & Sumitra Deb Roy, TNN | Jun 15, 2013, 1

MUMBAI: The city saw a huge 45% rise in sexual harassment cases in 2012, even as incidents of rape and sexual assault also grew, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureaureleased this week. There were 235 cases of sexual harassment in 2012 as compared to 162 in 2011. The rise from 2010 to 2011 was much lower at 17.4%.While rape cases in Mumbai rose at a slower rate of 5% in 2012, the 232 cases put the city second nationally, behind only Delhi, which saw 585 cases. In Maharashtra, Pune also made its way into the hall of shame, recording the sixth most rapes among cities nationally.

Worryingly, both at the Mumbai and state level, most rape victims were aged 14 to 18. Of the 232 victims in Mumbai, around 105 (45%) were from this age group, while at the state level the figure was 609 of 1,294 victims (47%). Shockingly, 11 victims in Mumbai were under 10.

The all-India data released this week showed a 11% rise in sexual assault cases in Mumbai, going from 553 in 2011 to 614 in 2012.

Like in Mumbai, in Maharashtra too there was a huge jump in sexual harassment cases, from 1,071 in 2011 to 1,294 in 2012. This 21% increase contrasted with the 9.2% drop there was in 2011. There were also 8.1% more rapes and 3.6% more sexual assaults in 2012 in the state.

Law enforcers, however, claimed the city was behaving itself, at least when compared to previous years. In their defence, they said the rise in rapes and sexual assaults the previous year was higher, 14% and 16.4% respectively.

The rise in sexual harassment comes as no surprise in a city that saw the deaths of Reuben Fernandez and Keenan Santos, who were stabbed in 2011 in Amboli for protesting against the sexual harassment of women. Beyond city limits, Santosh Vichivara, 19, was stabbed by five boys, including four minors, in December 2012 for protesting against lewd comments passed against a girl.

While former IPS officer-turned-lawyer Y P Singh said increasing urbanization in Maharashtra was to blame for the rise in crime against women, additional commissioner of police (crime) Niket Kaushik said that at least some of the increase was due to more people coming forward to lodge complaints. He also credited prompt registration of FIRs. “Crime is on the rise, but special teams are also being formed to tackle crime,” he said.

Nandita Shah, co-director of NGO Akshara, said more women are shedding inhibitions and coming forward to complain. “Delhi’s Nirbhaya incident took away some element of shame and guilt that women always found themselves surrounded with whenever faced with assault or harassment. But there is no denying that crime is on the rise,” she said. She echoed Singh’s view that rapid urbanization can lead to unfulfilled aspirations.

After 2011 drop, child rapes spike by 20%

V Narayan & Sumitra Deb Roy | TNN

Mumbai: The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 2012 report reveals an increase in the number of cases of infanticide, sex selection, abandoning of newborns, rape and murder of children (below 16 years) in Mumbai and Maharashtra. The report shows a 20.5% and 13.3% rise in children raped and murdered in the city over 2011, though rape cases in 2011 dipped by 16.4% against 2010.
The report lists Maharashtra after Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in crimes against children and says children raped in the state increased by 9.5% in 2011 and 2.9% in 2012. A senior cop said murders of children were mostly kidnappings for ransom that went awry. “Extramarital affairs also account for murders. In rare cases, mentally ill people kill their children. To take the life of a child even in rage requires emotional detachment and a deranged mind,” said the officer.
Former IPS officer-turnedlawyer Y P Singh blamed the increase in population, rapid urbanisation and economic growth for the rising crime graph. “The passion of the youth for sex, money and power makes them mostly vulnerable to crime. Most crimes are registered against youths aged between 18 to 35,” he said.
“Infanticide and foeticide are deep-rooted social evils somewhere related to rapid urbanization and growing aspirations,” said Dr A L Sharda, director of NGO Population First. The NGO’s girl child campaign, Laadli, has been working to address the disparity in the sex ratio. “Even people in rural areas prefer smaller families. But the desire for a male child is so dominant even
among the educated that couples could resort to extreme measures,” she said. Sharda said the ratio of the female child per 1,000 population is 62, for the male child it is 72. “By nature, the survival rate of a girl child should be 10 points more than a male child. So, essentially we are talking about missing 20 points,” she said.
Pooja Taparia, founder and CEO of Arpan, an NGO working on child sexual abuse, said, “We are talking about kinds of punishment for rape when we don’t find offenders guilty.”
Elderly admit to abuse by kin N early one in 10 senior citizens in Mumbaiadmitted to being abused, said asurvey released by voluntary organisation HelpAge India on Friday. The survey, which covered 6,748 elders across 24 cities from April 27 to May 17, found nearly four out of 10 admitted that their own sons and daughters-in-law were the perpetrators

One of 10 senior citizens in city abused: Survey

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Mumbai: Octogenarian and Vile Parle resident Anandibai Bendar has no roof over her head in her sunset years, despite owning a house in the western suburbs. She says she has been thrown out by her grandson, who allegedly transferred her home in his name, promising to look after her. She is now pursuing legal options.
Just last week, 93-year-old Anantaiah Shetty from Bangalore was found on the terrace of his building chained by his sons. Nearly one in five senior citizens in urban India admitted to being abused, according to a survey released by voluntary organization HelpAge India on Friday. In the city, one in 10 elders faced such abuse, but nearly 46% did not report it.
The NGO surveyed 6,748 elders over 60 years of age across 24 cities and found that nearly a fifth faced abuse, some as often as daily. Much of the suffering was at the hands of loved ones, with nearly four out of 10 admitting that their sons and daughters-in-law were perpetrators. The actual magnitude of cruelty is likely to be much higher given that seven out of 10 of those interviewed across cities said they did not report the abuse. In metros, 72% of those surveyed said abuse of the elderly was prevalent in society.
“We encourage elders facing abuse to report it,” says Prakash Borgaonkar of Help-Age India, explaining that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, has criminalized abuse of the elderly and made children liable to look after elderly parents.
Senior citizens in the city can dial 1090, a police helpline. While nearly one in two elderly Mumbaikars had heard of the police helpline, just two in 100 knew about the protective law.
Abuse in tier-II cities was higher; over 60% of elders in places like Madurai and Kanpur faced ill-treatment. It ranged from disrespect and oral abuse to neglect and violence

 

#India – 273 bonded labourers rescued in Tiruvallur


SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, The Hindu , June 12

The Odisha natives, who had been working under inhuman conditions in brick kilns, were sent back home on Tuesday night — Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam
The HinduThe Odisha natives, who had been working under inhuman conditions in brick kilns, were sent back home on Tuesday night — Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

At the end of an investigation that went on through the night until the crack of dawn on Tuesday, district officials established they were victims of bonded labour

Uttam was given only one day off in a week to venture out of the brick kiln. Even on that day somebody would accompany him.

Uttam was one of the 273 labourers from Odisha who were tricked into working as bonded labourers at two brick kilns in Chennai’s neighbouring Tiruvallur district. The labourers, who were allegedly working under inhuman conditions for a weekly payment of Rs. 300 to Rs. 400 per family, were rescued by revenue officials in an overnight raid on Monday.

At the end of an investigation that went on through the night until the crack of dawn on Tuesday, district officials established they were victims of bonded labour.

One hundred and eighty nine workers were handed ‘release certificates’ that identified them as bonded labourers, thereby enabling them for government rehabilitation packages. They were also given Rs. 1,000 each as initial rehabilitation payments and tickets for their journey to Bolanghir in Odisha.

Huddled beside Dhanbad Express at Chennai Central station on Tuesday evening and clinging to their meagre belongings, they recalled the difficult working conditions in the kilns, where even children were made to work.

Manoj from Kantabanji in Odisha, who worked as a driver at the kiln, got just three to four hours of sleep every day. “I was promised a salary of Rs. 7,000 a month, but got Rs. 15,000 for three months and nothing for the last two.”

While the labourers spoke in Odia, Annie Baptist, a volunteer with International Justice Mission (IJM), the NGO that assisted the district officials with the rescue, translated.

Sountharba, (45), said the family had taken a loan of Rs. 50,000 for her son’s wedding which they were unable to repay. When a ‘seth’ (middleman) offered to pay them an advance of Rs. 48,000 for four members in the family, they went to work in the kilns as they wanted to pay back the debt taken from other persons.

“My husband, son, daughter-in-law and I came here in January and were made to work six days a week from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. with few breaks in between,” she said.

Twelve-year-old Dinesh, who spoke little Hindi, said he attended school between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and was then made to work between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. Baduku, another labourer, complained that if one of the members in the family was unwell, the wages would be accordingly cut.

After seven months of working close to 17 hours a day for six days a week at a place nearly 1,200 kilometers away from their home districts of Bolanghir, Naupada, Barghar and Nabranghpur districts in Odisha, the labourers on Tuesday night boarded the Dhanbad Express for a day-long journey home.

No criminal charges

Tiruvallur district collector K. Veera Raghava Rao said the labourers were rescued from the two kilns that were operating under the name ‘Eswari Brick Works’ in Thirukandalam village of Otthukottai taluk. Though the descriptions of the working conditions, provided by IJM, which assisted the district officials, sounded grave, the revenue department could only file penalties against the proprietors of the brick kiln under the Bonded Labour Abolition Act (BLA) of 1976, Mr. Rao said.

When it was pointed out that a press release from IJM noted that some labourers were beaten by the employers for demanding fair payment, the Collector said details would be collected of specific instances and if required, cases would be filed under IPC.

Tiruvallur district has close to 300 brick kilns that provide resources for the booming construction industry in Chennai. It is populated with a lot of labour-intensive small industries, including rice mills.

(With inputs from Asha Sridhar)

 

Woman without dupatta denied Aadhaar photo #UID #WTFnews


200 px

 

 

, TNN | May 31, 2013, 05.48 AM IST

 

  • CHENNAI: Is there a dress code to get an Aadhaar card? An incident on Thursday at an enrolment centre in Chennai shows that there indeed may be one, and that it smacks of moral policing.
Lavanya Mohan tweeted that she was sent back by officials who refused to photograph her since she was not wearing a dupatta. “Waited for about an hour to get an Aadhaar card photo done and was sent back in line…because I wasn’t wearing a dupatta,” she tweeted. “Local officers sometimes have their own bizarre rules. It’s nothing to particularly be angry about :),” read another of her tweets. Minutes later, #Dupatta and #Aadhaarcard were the trending topics on Twitter.

MRV Krishna Rao, joint director of census operations, said there was no curb on dress for the Aadhaar photograph.

“Earlier the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had said that shirtless people and those in collarless shirts should not be photographed. But we had requested the UIDAI to withdraw these restrictions as it would affect the customs and traditions of some communities. Now, there is no dress code.”

He admitted that there were some complaints about the dress codes while taking photographs. “Representatives of the brahman community from Kancheepuram recently approached us that they want to be photographed without shirts. So I informed the contractors who were tasked with the drive that no dress code should be insisted upon,” said Krishna Rao.

Lavanya Mohan found support online. Some comments dripped of sarcasm. “Dear Nandan, I want my Aadhaar card but I don’t have a dupatta. Can I use a towel? Yours Sincerely, Sreesanth,” said Ramesh Srivats. “Dupatta for Aadhaar card! Is this the beginning of talibanization of India & Indian democracy?” wondered another

 

 

Koodankulam:A Court in the Supreme Contempt of its People


injustice

 

The Supreme Court’s verdict on Koodankulam rests on three hugely contested premises: the judges’ belief in the necessity of the nuclear energy for India’s progress, their faith in the country’s nuclear establishment to perform its role, and the judges’ notion of the larger public interest and the apprehensions of small sections which should make way for the country’s progress. Not only have the judges given judicial sanctity to these contestable propositions, but have also completely overlooked the Koodankulam-specific brazen violations of the government’s own norms, raised by the petitioners.

injusticeThe Supreme Court’s judgement on Koodankulam would go in India’s history in line with the Narmada Dam verdict and other judicial pronouncement reflecting the inability of our post-independence democratic institutions to overcome the narrowly defined confines of ‘larger public interest’, ‘development/growth’ and ‘national conscience’.

Whose interests are larger?

While the petition filed by the Chennai-based environmentalist group Poovulagin Nanbargal presented specific concerns of safety hazards and violations of the government’s own norms in implementing the project, India’s growth and the assumed indispensability of nuclear energy for it is a recurring rationale in the Supreme Court’s final verdict. The judges have gone beyond the scope of the prayer and have extolled nuclear energy as essential for India’s growth, terming the ‘fears’ of people as misplaced. The judgement goes on to prescribe that ‘minor inconveniences’ must be tolerated in the larger interest of the nation.

DOCUMENTS:

TEXT of the Supreme Court’s Judgement on Koodankulam

Koodankulam Scam: TEXT of the Petition Filed in the Supreme Court by Adv. Prashant Bhushan

Special Leave Petition on Koodankulam filed in Supreme Court

Writ Petition on Nuclear Liability for Koodankulam Filed in the Supreme Court of India

People’s Movement is Emotional fear, Nuclear Establishment has the Expertise

The second paragraph of the judgement itself calls the people’s massive agitation in Koodankulam an “emotional reaction” to the setting up of the reactor. It almost mocks the people’s concern saying the “fears and unrest” might not have been thought of by Enrico Fermi who set up the first nuclear power plant. Since then, the judgement says, people have reacted emotionally when every new reactor is commissioned. The judgement goes on to add that the people’s concern was mooted even the constituent assembly when the Constitution was being drafted. Does this imply that nuclear energy in India should be regarded a fait accompli?

The judgement accepts the establishment’s narrative on nuclear energy in India unquestioningly.

  • The judgement extols the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) as the repository of final authority on everything nuclear and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) as a competent regulator, glossing over its dependence on the AEC for funds and human resources and its being obliged to report to the AEC whose activities it is essentially mandated to regulate.
  • The verdict also reposes complete faith in the national policy on nuclear energy and the existing framework to control and regulate all radioactivity-related activities in India.
  • Under the title ‘National Policy’ (page 9) the judges narrate the evolution of India’s 20 nuclear power stations built over last four decades producing 4780 MWs today with a rare clinical coldness, without questioning the nuclear establishment’s claims and its performances in the same period, while under the same title on page 10, it mentions that renewable sources provide “small share” of our total electricity – 15%, which is actually 6 times more than the share of nuclear energy. 
  • In its overview of the global status of nuclear energy, the rapid downward trend of the industry post-Fukushima doesn’t find a mention – France produces 74.6%, US has 104 reactors, world had 439 reactors in 2007 producing 13-14% of total energy. The reality is, nuclear power produced just 11% in In 2011 and the downward trend is expected to continue due to larger number of reactors ageing and lesser numbers being built today.
  • It doesn’t even question the NPCIL’s claims of producing 20,000 MW by the year 2020 and 63,000 MW by 2030.
  • Transgressing the scope of the petition, the judges have mentioned that “one of the reasons for preferring nuclear energy as an alternative source of energy is that it is a clean, safe, reliable and competitive energy source which can replace a significance of the fossil fuel like coal, oil, gas etc.” The judges have not bothered to see that each of these adjectives have been questioned and have led to review of national policies, including in France where a national energy transformation law is underway.

As the questions raised in the petition involved technical problems plaguing the Koodankulam project, the Court consulted the government’s experts – officials from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). Unfortunately, no independent institutionalised expertise on nuclear issues exists in India outside the confines of the Department of Atomic Energy.  This led to a situation in which the Judges have no option than to believe the same official experts against whose refusal to acknowledge the risks was the petition filed. While this made the entire proceeding lop-sided in the first place, there was still scope for the judges to look into the glaring violations and specific risks in Koodakulam which do not fall strictly under nuclear expert issues.

The crucial issues of supply of sub-standard equipments by ZiO-Podolsk, violation of Coastal Regulatory Zone stipulations and Environmental Impact Assessment norms, lack of clarity on the crucial issue of spent fuel storage, non-compliance with proper mock evacuation drill required by the AERB norms, much larger population in the vicinity than stipulated etc. have either been glossed over or have been legalized post-facto.

Court validating a political deal?

The judgement mentions India’s civil nuclear agreement with the US in 2005 and then with France and UK in 2008 and 2010, and explains them as the govt’s effort give effect to the “National Policy for development” for which “India has entered into various bilateral treaties and arrangements with countries which have considerable expertise and experience”. It is a well known fact that the nuclear deal came from the US side and the energy justification was a later concoction to justify it. The integrated energy policy of 2006 came one year after the Indo-US nuclear deal. In fact, it was the nuclear establishment in India which was the first one to get surprised with the news of Indo-US nuclear deal in 2005. The deal was essentially about the US manoeuvring internationals institutions norms of the  NSG and the IAEA to legitimise India’s nuclear weapons and ensure its entry into global international commerce. India’s compulsory purchase of the French, American and Russian reactors was a price it paid to achieve this. Former AEC Chairman Anil kakodkar himself has admitted in the past that importing foreign reactors, with an embarrassingly low liability cap,  had to do with accommodating these countries’ interests.

 Nuclear Energy and National Policy

After enthusiastically elaborating India’s national policy on nuclear energy, the judges say, “it is not for Courts to determine whether a particular policy or a particular decision taken in fulfilment of a policy, is fair” (page 13). Precisely. The petition before the court nowhere sought to discuss the rationale or desirability of the nuclear policy, if at all India has one. The petition raised concrete questions about safety norms and their violations. Then why the judges have went on to declare nuclear energy is green, clean and essential for India’s development? The judges quote an old case in Lodon to undermine that its “only duty is to expand the language of the Act in accordance with the settled rules of construction”, and hence “we cannot sit in judgment over the decision…for setting up of KKNPP in Kudankulam in view of the Indo-Russia agreement”. Fine, but what about ensuring that the inter-governmental agreement between India and Russia is made public and the liability provisions within it be made compliant to the law of the land?

After the aforementioned introductory part, the SC verdict has two parts – the first deals with safety and security of NPP, International COnventiions and Treaties, KKNPP Project, NSF and its management and transportation, DGR, Civil Liabilities, DMA, CSA and other related issues. Part II deals with environmental issues, CRZ, desalination plant, impact of radiation on eco-system, expert opinions, etc.

In part I, the verdict seeks to find out whether the project has adequate safety measures. In doing so, it starts with elaborating the Safety Codes of the AERB (in 12 full pages), without questioning its institutional autonomy or making mention of the CAG’s report on the AERB in which it strips down the myth of AERB’s independence and its efficacy. Details of India’s international obligations and its adherence with IAEA safety norms, based on the AERB’s submission, take several pages more.

IAEA’s 2008 report emphasizing tripling of electricity supply by 2050 is highlighted by the judges. The IAEA’s contested claim of nuclear energy being a low-carbon electricity is adopted unquestioningly.

The verdict reposes its complete faith in “the safety and security code of practices laid down by the AERB, the IAEA and its supports so as to allay the fears expressed from various quarters on the safety and security of KKNPP”

The judges mention PUCL vs Union of India and others case of 2004, where the court upheld that the AEC deals with a sensitive subject. The veil of secrecy remains intact in 2013 even if the civilian and military nuclear facilities are separated as per the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Safety Issues:

Reading the Supreme Court verdict’s sections on Koodankulam’s safety is not much different than reading AERB’s or NPCIL’s stated policies on nuclear safety. Elaborate claims of safety standards and practices, but very little about whether these guidelines sufficiently address the specific questions raised by the protests, even less on how efficient and democratic these procedures are.

In the section under part-II titled “KKNPP  Project” the judges have looked into site selection procedures and site-specific vulnerabilities of Koodankulam. The judges come out convinced that Koodankulam is totally safe for the reactor project – having absolutely no potential of earthquake, Tsunami or other geological disturbances. The evidences presented by the petitioners about the area being geologically unstable and having a history of earthquakes, volcanism and karst have gone completely unheard.

Much attention has been given to the questions of safely storing Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) and finding a Deep Geological Repository (DGR) for KKNPP. These are generic issues plaguing nuclear reactors everywhere and globally the nuclear industry has been struggling to find the answers for several decades. Not surprisingly, there are ready-made and extremely tentative solutions: the NPCIL has agreed to find a repository to store nuclear waste and has given details of its long-term pursuits in this direction, and it has assured the court to safely story the SNF. The AERB’s code of “Management of Radioactive Waste” has been discussed at length, to be found sufficient to address the problem. Typically, Indian nuclear establishment does not acknowledge nuclear waste as waste, because it claims it will reprocess most of it for the second phase of its 3-phase  nuclear programme, to which even the judges have shown admiration. Lost of course is the fact that reprocessing leads to more harmful and long-term wastes and India’s phased nuclear program has been too far from becoming a reality. The judges note : “the experts feel that setting up of a DGR is not much of a technological challenge…but more of a socio-political issue”. The massive  disapproval of proposed waste repositories in the US and elsewhere was based on independent expert opinion is lost again. The verdict mentions a proposed DGR in the abandoned Kolar mines of Karnataka. Of course on this and other several important issues, the NPCIL retracting publicly from its position taken in affidavits filed in the SC had its own trail over last 6 months.

The judges have noted that the Koodankulam reactor has its Spent Fuel Pool inside the primary containment, with a capacity to store fuel equivalent to 7 years of full power operation of  the reactor. That the presence of SFP close to the reactor core complicated the accident in Fukushima and is a concern even today in Japan finds no mention, of course.

Fukushima never happened !

While the judges mention the post-Fukushima safety review ordered by the Prime Minister, they have failed to take into account the critiques of the whole process and the serious risks of relying on such an internal safety review without any independent supervision or assessment. On the 17 Koodankulam-specific recommendations, the court is assured by the AERB that the NPCIL will implement them satisfactorily. In the subsequent paragraphs, the verdict rhymes the nuclear establishment’s lullaby on radiation: We are exposed to radiation in our daily lives, cosmic radiation, radiation from earth’s crust, air travel, X0ray, CT-Scan, angiography, angioplasty etc etc.

In the section titled ‘Response to People’s Resistance’, the Supreme Court gives a sanitized, government version of the dialogue with people. It makes no mention of the fact that the 15-member expert committee appointed by the government did not even bother to meet the protesting people in Idinthakarai, declined from sharing essential safety-related documents with people and completely failed to address the questions raised by the movement. While this sham of a dialogue was on, the state government kept on piling false police charges, the local congress goons kept beating the protesters, the local media kept provoking against the movement leaders and none other than the PM indulged in maligning the people’s genuine struggle. The judgement quotes the government experts group’s conclusion at length and feels satisfied. It also takes no notice that the fact that the Ex-AEC Chief’s appointment as the head of expert committee constituted by the Tamil Nadu State Government subsequently reflected a seriosu conflict of interests.

Under the heading ‘Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage’, the judges in principle agree to the importance of strict liability in nuclear sector, but fail to address the Koodankulam-specific problem of opacity on liability issue. The Russian officials have been claiming they have an exemption from liability under the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA)

Discussion on Disaster Management Plan (DMP), the SC verdict elaborates about the guidelines of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on radiological emergencies and has pressed for better coordination between the NDMA, the DAE, and the state administration to ensure swift evacuation and management in case of a disaster. Much emphasis has been given on the need to spread awareness among the people about nuclear accidents, however, the brazen violation and bluffing by the NPCIL on disaster management receives no attention.

Although the Supreme Court quotes AERB’s norms on population near a reactor sites and specifically mentions that no public habitation should be there within 1.5 km radius of the reactor, it has failed to take into account the Tsunami Colony in Koodankulam where more than 2500 people reside at a distance of just 700- metres from the reactor. Also, the judges have held that the emergency preparedness plan (EPP) for KKNPP is adequate for around 24000 people in the 5 km radius called ‘sterilised zone’ while the norms stipulate not more than 20000 people. The catch here is, the even the 24000 figure used by the SC is taken from 2001 census, not the 2011 census!

The judges admit the importance of the mock-drills and off-site emergency exercises, but strangely caution that ‘such mock-drills are conducted to educate the public not to scare them away, but make them understand that the project is part of the national policy, participatory in nature, and hence we cannot remain as a nuclear-isolated nation’. This would only ensure that the nuclear establishment remains insulated from public scrutiny. The judges’ faith in the affidavit filed by the district administration on off-site emergency exercises flies in the face of reality.

In the last paragraphs of part-I, the Supreme Court judges have iterated their faith in NPCIL’s promise to fulfill its corporate social responsibility (CSR) – millions of rupees allotted for building schools, hospitals, roads and so on. From Tarapur to Rawatbhata to nearby Kalpakkam, local people have seen the realities of such promises.

The second part of the verdict, focused on environmental impacts, again starts with the need to look at environmental issues in the perspective of indispensability of nuclear power in the ‘national policy’ – nuclear energy has a unique position in the emerging economics in India, it is a viable source of energy and it is necessary to increase country’s economic growth !

The judgement in this part dwells elaborately upon the arguments presented by the both sides, but only to concur with the government that Koodankulam project does not violate environmental impact assessment guidelines as the project was notified in 1988, prior to enactment of EIA requirements in 1994! The flimsy affidavits filed by the NPCIL and the MoEF have found better audience with the Supreme Court judges. The court has elaborated upon the rather general and very lenient attempt of taking of environmental impacts in Koodankulam as per a letter written by the then Prime Minister, quotes the 1989 memorandum of the MoEF, the 1989 stipulations by the AERB for clearance, and finally with the MoEF’s letter dated 6 September 2001 in which it legalised the violations in the wake of 377.30 crores already spent on the project, feels confident that the environmental impacts have been taken care of and no violation of EIA stipulations have happened. In case of Coastal Regulatory zone (CRZ) clearance, it again validates the 1994 exemption given to the Koodankulam project.

The EIA reports for the proposed 4 other reactors in Koodankulam have used the EIA studies for Koodankulam 1 and 2 as base-line, which were prepared without a public hearing. Supreme Courts doesn’t find it worthy of objection.

Modifying the initial plan to take water from two nearby dams, construction of a desalination plant was started in 2006 in Koodankuiam. The petitioners had pointed out that the desalination unit would have its own hazardous environmental impacts and will also add to the overall pollution and hence had demanded a fresh EIA clearance. The court has said that desalination units are not listed under the 1994 EIA stipulations, so absence of such an EIA in Koodankulam is not a violation. Of course, the cumulative impacts also do not need any re-assessment then!

Similarly, the Supreme Court has brushed aside significant objections on CRZ clearance and post-factto legalization by TNPCB of the increased temperature of affluent water in Koodankulam. Under the heading ‘Sustainable Development and Impact on the Eco-System’, the verdict quotes elaborately from the Rolay Commission on Environment Pollution (UK, 1971), Stockholm Conference (1972), UNGA’s World Charter for Nature (1982), Rio Summit (1992), the UN MIllenium Declaration of 2000, UN Conference on Sustainable Development (June 2012) and so on, but only to conclude that “we have already found on facts that the KKNPP has been set up and is made functional on the touchstone of sustainable development and its impact on ecology has been taken care of following all national and international environmental principles” !

Larger Public Interests

Then the judges take it upon themselves to decide whether the claims of “smaller violations” of nearby population’s right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution should take precedence over production of energy, which is “of extreme importance for the economic growth of our country..to alleviate poverty, generate employment etc.” The judgement looks into various earlier cases of objections to ‘development’ projects on environmental and right to life grounds, and concludes that a balance between “economic scientific benefits” and “minor radiological detriments” has to be found. The pre-conceived notions of ‘development’ take over the judicial rigour and objectivity and in their hurry, the judges have done a grammatical faux pas: “Larger public interest of the community should give way to individual apprehension of violation of human rights and right to life guaranteed under Article 21″! We can over look the grammatical blunder of our judges, but what about terming the massive protests by thousands of people in Koodankulam, run for over 25 years in a thoroughly peaceful manner, as ‘individual apprehension’? Who is the ‘larger community’? Do the interests of the farmers, fishermen and poor people of India do not form the ‘larger public interest’?

The judges have gone ahead to claim that apprehensions of far reaching consequences of radioactive effects has “no basis”! The say: “Nobody on the earth can predict what would happen in future and to a larger extent we have to leave it to the destiny….Apprehension is something we anticipate with anxiety or fear, a fearful anticipation, which may vary from person to person.” The Court goes by the “expert opinions” of MoEF, EAC, TNPCB, Report of IOM, Report of Engineers India Limited, NEERI’s EIA etc and concludes that all expert bodies are unanimous that in their opinion KKNPP has fully satisfied all safety norms.

Justice Dipak Misra in his prologue emphasizes the need to “march ahead with life allaying all apprehensions with a scientific mindset accepting the nature’s unpredictability to survive on the planet earth on the bedrock of the doctrine – survival of the fittest”. He again goes on to describe how elaborate the DAE’s guidelines on nuclear safety are, and concludes that ‘all possible measures have been taken to avoid any kind of calamity’. He goes on to quote extensively from the IAEA’s 1994 Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent FUel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management 1997, to which India is not even a signatory, to appreciate the “world wide concern for public safety”. He again quotes in extenso from the AERB’s post-Fukushima Safety Review of KKNPP. However, an unquestioned faith in the nuclear establishment about adequacy of these recommendations and the establishment’s sincerity to implement leads to plain judicial reassurances.

Justice Misra looks into proportionality of safety vis-a-vis the necessity of nuclear energy development. While accepting the need for ensuring safety for present and future generations, he holds that ‘generation of nuclear energy is a necessity in a progressive modern state’ and ‘promotion of development and protection of the environment have to be harmonized’. Besides other cases, Justice Misra cites the Narmada case and quotes that “In a democracy, welfare of the people at large, and not merely of a small section of the society, has tobe the concern of a responsible Government.”

In the final judicial directions, the judges have asked the NPCIL to file a report before the Supreme Court before the final commissioning, certifying that each and every aspect of safety including environmental impacts, have been taken care of. For the periodical safety maintenance and reviews, safety of the spent nuclear fuel during transport, radioactive discharge to the atmosphere, compliance with the 17 post-Fukushima recommendations, and adherence to the NDMA guidelines, the court has directed the NPCIL, AERB, MoEF, TNPCB and other concerned bodies ensure strict compliance, but has essentially reposed faith in their efficacy and sincerity. The Supreme Court has ordered that a Deep Geological Repository should be set up at the earliest so that SNF can be transported from the nuclear plant to the DGR.

Withdraw Criminal Cases Against Protesters: The Supreme Court has directed to withdraw al criminal cases filed against the agitators in Koodankulam and to restore normalcy and peace.

The Supreme Court’s verdict rests on three major premises: the judges’ belief in the necessity of the nuclear energy for India’s progress, their faith in the country’s nuclear establishment to perform this role, and the judges’ notion of the larger public interest and the apprehensions of small sections which should make way for the country’s progress. All three of these are immensely contested propositions. But not only have the judges given judicial sanctity to these contestable claims, but have also completely overlooked the Koodankulam-specific brazen violations of the government’s own norms, raised by the petitioners.

In retrospect, the struggling people of India would find approaching to the Supreme Court in such matters pointless, and counter-productive, as the courts themselves are part of the system which has failed to address the widening gap between the aspirations and lives of the deprived masses and the mainstream notions of ‘larger public interest’. Prayers before the judiciary on such matters ends up legitimising the same ‘experts’ and disastrous notions of progress that the people have been fighting against.

 

Madars HC – Lankan woman seeks Rs 20 lakh for illegal detention #Vaw


TNN Apr 29, 2013, 05.38AM IST

CHENNAI: A Sri Lankan Tamil woman, claiming that her Chennai-based husband had illegally admitted her in a private asylum at Urappakkam here and kept her confined there for 20 months, moved the Madras high court seeking 20 lakh compensation.

A division bench comprising Justice K N Basha and Justice P Devadass, before whom the habeas corpus petition of K Rizmiya came up for hearing, summoned her husband Kaja Mohideen to the court, and then referred the case to be settled through mediation. The mediation has been scheduled for June 5.

Rizmiya’s counsel P Vijendran said she had joined the Abha Hospital in Saudi Arabia as midwife in 2002, and met Kaja Mohideen, a container driver, there. They fell in love and later got married at Ambara in Sri Lanka.

When their daughter was three and half years old, he left for Chennai without informing her. Rizmiya said it took her two years to reach Chennai and trace her husband’s address, only to realize that Kaja Mohideen was already married with two children. He again persuaded her to return to Saudi Arabia, saying the family needed money to settle in Chennai.

According to her, she returned to Chennai in 2008 and insisted that he lived with her. In the guise of taking her to a hospital for treatment, she was admitted in Oxford Mental Health Home at Urappakkam, saying she was insane. Vijendran said Rizmiya said she was in illegal confinement at the ‘home’ for 20 months. She told TOI that she was administered heavy sedatives and fed cheap food by home managers, who later released her after obtaining her signatures on some papers. “I do not know what was written in that paper,” she said in the petition.

Noting that she had worked in Saudi Arabia and given her entire earnings to her husband for nearly seven years, Rizmiya said she had approached the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK), chief minister’s special cell and the city police seeking help to reunite with her husband. Since no help came her way, she filed the present petition seeking 20 lakh as compensation.

Rizmiya said in the guise of taking her to a hospital for treatment, her husband Kaja Mohideen admitted her to Oxford Mental Health Home at Urappakkam, saying she was insane

 

Madras court orders CBI enquiry into a ‘ MISSING 17 YEAR OLD BOY “, as CB-CID botched up the investigations


The Hon'ble Chief Justice of India: Request to Provide a Immediate CBI Investigation to my Son's case.

 

BACKGROUND OF THE CASE

On October 15 of 2011, SANDESH, aged 17, student +1 at Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Hosur, went to a nearby store but he didn’t return back. We looked for him all night but could not find him.  His father  went to the Sipcot Police Station the next day, but my FIRwas lodged only two days later.On 11 July 2012, the Division bench comprising Justices KN Basha and P Devadass ordered the transfer of the Investigation to CB-CID. but the CB-CID also botched up the investigations  and they gave family  an unclaimed body of 40 years old Ias that of  Sandesh’s body,  The familyw ent to court again asking CBI inquiry which was granted  1April 2013 , THE MADRAS COURT HAS ordered CBI inquiry

THE FATHERS ANGUISH BELOW— 

DELAY IN INVESTIGATIONS BY THE POLICE:

Even after the FIR was lodged, the police didn’t take any sort of action to trace my son. When I insisted, the talaash format of the Complaint and the Call reports of my son’s mobile were reported only after a month later. I always suspected Raj Kumar I.R (A central excise Inspector as on date) and his wife Hemalatha (a govt. school teacher) as their daughter Monisha had a love affair with my son. And my Son used to attend tuitions held by Monisha’s Mother for past 3 years. Later, I came to know that they are the only one who has the illegal custody of my son, Sandesh.  Although I Tried, My complaint against the above said was never lodged by the Sipcot Police Station and Instead I was threatened by an officer who said not to go against them. When I did I lost my job as Raj Kumar I.R informed my company management not to let me allow my Job. I was a Employee at Aankit Granites Ltd.,And was Production Incharge with a monthly salary of Rs.20,000/- And due to Raj Kumar I.R I lost my job, as I took steps against him.

As the Police did not take any sort of steps to trace my son, I, with a prayer many authorities as follows:

Ø  The Sub collector, Hosur

Ø  The  District Collector, Krishnagiri Dist

Ø  The  Assistant Superintendent of Police, Hosur

Ø  The  Superintendent of police, Krishnagiri

Ø  DIG, Salem

Ø  IG, Coimbatore

Ø  DGP, Chennai

Ø  CM- CELL, Tamil Nadu

But there was no response of any kind from them. And my FIR against Raj Kumar I.R and Hemalatha wasn’t lodged and no action was taken.

When I met the DIG, Salem, he in front of me ordered the Superintendent Of Police, Krishnagiri through phone and signed in the petition of mine stating ‘ to alter the case to a kidnapping case and to arrest the accused’, but for some reasons, SP, krishnagiri didn’t do as directed.

Prayer to the MADRAS HIGH COURT to produce my son:

In the Month of December of 2011, I had to file a Habeas Corpus Petition (1908/2011) at the madras High court, as I had no alternate way. I shed all my hopes at the High Court. In the Earlier Prosecutions, first the case was directed to the JSP of Hosur, R.V Ramyabharathi, who stated in her status reports that she is looking for my son and also having a close watch at the Under Suspects. Then, the case was directed to the Superintendent of Police, Krishnagiri, Abhishek Dixit, who tried to close the case with an ulterior motive to save Raj Kumar I.R and Hemalatha.

WRONG JUDGEMENT, DENIED JUSTICE:

                                                       When the Matter came up for hearing on 25 June 2012, Additional Public Prosecutor, Govindarajan informed the Division bench comprising Justices KN Basha and P Devadass, that a skull had been recovered and that it would be sent to the Forensic department for Analysis and Scientific Investigation. And the Bench declared my son dead and altered the case to Section 174 of CrPc, without knowing the truth and without any kind of approval from my side. The next hearing was posted to July 9 2012 for the final report of police. The DNA tests were conducted only on 29 June 2012. I always co-operated with the police and give my blood samples knowing the truth that the skull recovered was not that of my son’s but the police never had a co-operation with us.

FALSE CLAIMS BY THE POLICE:

The Claim made by the police is entirely false. The Skull, which was recovered belongs to a 40 year old whose body was found on 24 October 2011 in a lake at Hosur and a Case was Registered at the Sipcot Police Station (FIR: 374/2011) as a un- identified body. The case was registered at the same Police station where my case is lodged. The skull recovered by the police is not my son’s at all. And also, The SP, Abhishek Dixit always harassed me and my family stating that my son is dead, which is entirely false. And earlier, when the case was directed to the SP, the ID marks of my son were very often replaced with the false ones at the TN police website, without my knowledge.

All this incidents prove a sign of danger to my son.

A RAY OF HOPE:

On 11 July 2012, the Division bench comprising Justices KN Basha and P Devadass ordered the transfer of the Investigation to CB-CID.The bench issued the following order as in the Order copy.

(1)    The Additional Director General of Police, CBCID, Chennai is hereby directed to nominate a competent officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police to take up the further investigation in this case within a period of ten days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and also intimate the first respondent about the nomination of the said officer.

(2)    The First Respondent, in turn, on receipt of the intimation from the Additional Director General of Police, CBCID, Chennai, shall hand over the entire records relating to the Crime Nos.368/2011 and 374/2011 to the said nominated officer within a period of seven [7] days from the date of receipt of the said intimation.

(3)    The Said Nominated officer shall take all efforts to expedite the investigation and complete the same as expeditiously as possible and shall file a final report, more particularly, within a period of three months from the date of receipt of the records from the first respondent.

(4)    Post the matter after three months.

This order was issued on 11-07-2012 for the HCP 1908/2011.

FADING HOPES AND LOSING FAITH, DELAY IN STARTING THE INVESTIGATION BY THE CB- CID:

I received my copy of the order. Although the Copy of the order was made ready and sent it to Additional Director General Of police, CB-CID but there was no response. When I enquired through phone and went personally at the Office They said that they haven’t received the Copy of the Order and were Helpless until they had the Order copy. I also sent a copy of the order to the ADGP, CBCID Chennai by mail but they said that would accept the one which is only from the Court. And there was no response from two [2] Months. The Investigation of the case came to stand still.

As there was responsible from CB- CID, I filed a petition again in the Madras High court C on September 3. The petition SR no: 36968 with serial 11 and the proceeding are awaited. On September 5, an Officer from CB CID called me to inform that he was the nominated officer. When asked, he said he was the nominated only on September 4. When I questioned the reason for delay, the reply that it could be due to ‘Administrative’ reasons. The officer appointed was Rajesh, DSP, Krishnagiri- Salem, CB –CID and Vijayraghavan, Inspector CB CID, Krishnagiri unit. In this case, Each and every moment is precious and one’s life at risk, but the CB- CID started their investigation after two [2] months from the date of order passed. By facing all these problems, I have no more belief in State Police and the CB CID of the state.

I  stay here in hosur with my wife and two children. Both of my sons study at Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Sipcot, Hosur, Elder son Sandesh in +1 and the younger Sandeep in 9th Standard. We all were leading a decent happy life but now, we are just helpless. There’s no trace of my son yet.

I hereby end this hopefully written Petition, believing that a CBI Investigation is ordered to my Son’s Case, to trace my son Sandesh Immediate. And Take Necessary Actions against the people for their wrong doings.

[SUSHIL MANDAL]

for more information contact- sushilm_8888@rediffmail.com and
Contact number’s are 09486071246, 09629676704.

Now after a year and half MADRAS COURT ORDERS CBI INQUIRY,

THE ORDER BELOW

Order_Copy_PDF

 

“Emission from Sterlite plant was above permissible level”


Chennai, April 16, 2013

Special Correspondent

A view of the Main entrance of Sterlite Industry in Tuticorin. The plant has been closed following an order by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.
The Hindu Photo Library A view of the Main entrance of Sterlite Industry in Tuticorin. The plant has been closed following an order by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

People complained of eye irritation, constant cough: Minister

Emission of sulphur dioxide from the Sterlite factory in Tuticorin above the permissible level led to people complaining about the plant, Environment Minister M.C. Sampath told the Assembly on Tuesday.

Replying to a calling attention motion, the Minister said continuous monitoring of sulphur dioxide by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) had clearly proved increased emission of gas from the plant on March 23, 2013.

He said people from Meelavittan, Anna Nagar, Brian Nagar, George Road and Thivipuram had complained of irritation in eyes, constant cough and choked throat condition and made a representation to the district Collector. Subsequently the Collector asked the district environmental engineer to take immediate action.

Mr. Sampath said according to National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOH) if the level of sulphur dioxide exceeded 5 parts per million (ppm), it would cause health hazards including eye irritation, cough and choked throat condition.

When the company was asked to explain about the emission of Sulphur dioxide above the permission level, it had informed the Pollution Control Board that the online continuous sulphur dioxide stack monitor was under maintenance. But it had failed to inform the TPCB about temporary suspension of monitor and resuming its operations.

The Minister said while issuing orders for closing the copper smelter division TNPC also directed termination of power supply to the plant.

The company approached the Green Bench and the Bench in its interim order had directed constitution of two-member expert committee.

The names of the experts would be announced on April 18 and the report would be submitted on 29 of the month, the bench had said.

 

Don’t divide films based on region: Kay Kay Menon


Chennai, April 16 (IANS) Don’t divide cinema region-wise, says actor Kay Kay Menon, who is moving from Hindi cinema and theatre to the south with the Tamil film “Udhayam NH4”.

“There is absolutely no need to divide cinema region-wise. Except for the language, I don’t see any difference in cinema made in any part of the world. By dividing cinema based on its region, we are only taking that language for granted,” Kay Kay told IANS.

“We have catered enough to the masses with stupid films. Time has come to make films with certain calibre. I can understand Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Bengali. I’m ready to do films in these languages if I find something off the beaten path,” he added.

He admits language is a barrier when you do not understand it and adds: “One of the reasons I chose to work in ‘Udhayam NH4’ is because I can understand the language. I hate to mouth dialogues in a language I don’t understand.”

Why didn’t you do a Tamil film all these years?

“Honestly, I haven’t been approached. Moreover, I have been extremely busy with Hindi films. I have finally decided to diversify because I’m bored of being part of films that are made only to churn profits,” said Kay Kay.

The 45-year-old, who’s a management graduate, worked in Bollywood ventures like “Black Friday”, “Sarkar”, “Silsiilay”, “Gulaal”, Life…In A Metro” and “Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd”.

His first Tamil film “Udhayam NH4” is a road movie. The upcoming film also features Siddharth Suryanarayan, Ashrita Shetty, Deepak, Ajai, Kalai and Karthi.

The film’s story has been penned by National Award-winning director Vetrimaaran; it is being directed by debutant Manimaran.

“I agreed to work in the film because of Vetri (Vetrimaaran). I consider him a modern-day filmmaker. He had a clear-cut view about what they were making and what they want from me,” he said.

“The personality of a director reflects in his or her cinema. I have heard about Vetri’s National Award-winning film ‘Aadukalam’, but I haven’t watched it yet. However, when I met him, I knew from his personality that he is not one of those directors catering to a particular type of audience,” he added.

Kay Kay plays a character who realises the power of love while chasing a couple across three states.

“It’s a road film that takes the characters on a journey from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu via Andhra Pradesh. Two lovers are being chased by the character I play and how in the process my character realises the power of love. This forms the story,” said the actor.

As far as work culture is concerned, Kay Kay doesn’t find any difference between Bollywood and the south.

“Bollywood has made good and bad films; so has the Tamil film industry. Even the organisation structure and work process in both these industries are much similar. The only difference I find is the language,” said Kay Kay.

The trend of remakes doesn’t excite Kay Kay.

“I always want to be part of something new and original. If a film is really worth being remade for larger audience, then I would love to be part of it. I wouldn’t mind being part of a remake if it’s done effectively with a purpose, but we all know why remakes are made.”

(Haricharan Pudipeddi can be contacted at haricharanpudipeddi@gmail.com)

IANS 2013-04-16 13:21:13