QChennai: TN Gets Lokayukta; Amit Shah Announces PM Rally in Oct
Here is your roundup of the top stories from Chennai.
1. Tamil Nadu Finally Set to Get Lokayukta
A day before the expiry of the Supreme Court-set deadline for establishing the Lokayukta in the State, the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday adopted legislation for constituting the anti-corruption panel.
The Opposition, comprising the DMK, the Congress and the IUML, staged a walkout after a bid to get the Lokayukta Bill referred to a select committee of the House failed. Anti-corruption activists too opposed the Bill in its current form, saying it had several flaws.
The proposed Lokayukta, comprising a chairperson and four members, would be empowered to inquire into complaints of corruption by public servants and recommend departmental action against them.
(Source: The Hindu)
2. BJP Will Work for Tamil Pride If Elected to Power: Amit Shah in Chennai
Launching his poll preparation tour ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP chief Amit Shah addressed a gathering of about 8,000 people in Chennai on Monday. Shah’s speech largely focused on resisting a “false campaign” against the BJP in Tamil Nadu and to list out the number of schemes and money spent by the NDA government in the state.
“In October, we will have a much bigger rally in Tamil Nadu addressed by Narendra Modi himself with over 1.5 lakh people,” he said, adding that the party will take decisions about electoral alliance in September and October, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
(Source: The Indian Express)
3. No Formalin Found in Fresh Samples: Officials
A day after The Hindu published a report that 11 samples of fish tested positive for formalin, the State Fisheries Department and the Food Safety Department swung into action, testing samples sold across markets. The Food Safety Department directed district officers and food safety officers to inspect fish markets and stalls, and give instructions to the vendors to not use harmful chemicals or formalin. Officials have been asked to issue warnings that if they are found using such chemicals, severe action would be taken against vendors and traders alike.
Both the departments together lifted 24 samples from the Kasimedu, Chintadripet and Saidapet markets but they all tested negative for formalin, officials claimed. Meanwhile, fishermen of Kasimedu have expressed worry over the fish testing positive for formalin.
(Source: The Hindu)
4. Chennai Floods in December 2015 Man-Made, Says CAG Report
The massive floods that swept Chennai, Kanchipuram and other districts in December 2015 were due to failure of various state government agencies to heed the recommendations of expert committees on flood mitigation, check dam building and other measures, said a CAG report.
One of the key reservoirs storing water for Chennai, the Chembarambakkam reservoir was not operated on full capacity, said the report. "An abrupt and uncontained release of water from Chembarambakkam reservoir contributed to the massive disaster. Imprudent and injudicious action by tank in charge warrants detailed enquiry," the report said. The 127-page report also detailed various inefficiencies on the part of the state water resources department in installing warning systems.
(Source: The Economic Times)
5. We Are Being Patient, Not Intolerant Towards Criticism: CM
Rejecting the allegation of the DMK that the state government was “gagging” people to prevent them from speaking out against various schemes, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami claimed in the Assembly on Monday that his government was, in fact, being “patient” with all criticisms. Palaniswami maintained that though over 90 percent of the people supported the Salem-Chennai green corridor project, “a few, belonging to some political parties” were deliberately opposing the project.
As for Stalin’s claim that the government was “gagging” those who sought to speak up against various schemes, Palaniswami claimed it was only because of the AIADMK that people were able to voice their opinion over various issues.
(Source: The Hindu)
6. State Government Could Fall into a Debt Trap in 5 Years, Warns Report
After five years, the state government could fall into a debt trap, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has observed. The outstanding debt grew by 29.85 percent over the previous year. The rise in the ratio between interest payments and revenue receipts from 13.48 in 2015-16 to 14.64 in 2016-17 was due to increased interest payments (18.07 percent) compared to the revenue receipts (8.7 percent).
The CAG report also faulted the State government for having released Rs 22,815 crore as interest-free loan “in violation” of the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed among the Centre, the State government and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) under UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana).
(Source: The Hindu)
7. Doctors in Chennai Call Off Stir for Now, Expect Tamil Nadu Government to Concede
Members of the Service Doctors and Post Graduates Association, who had been on fast unto death for the last one week at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, called off their protest, following a request from various doctors associations on Monday. The doctors are demanding pay parity with Central government doctors.
The doctors said the entry-level salary for state government doctors and Central government doctors is the same, but in the Central government, promotions are quicker, as also increase in salary. But, in the state government service, promotions are delayed at least by over 10 years. The government has also not implemented dynamic assured career progression under which promotions are based on vacancies and not on years of completion of service.
(Source: The New Indian Express)
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