TN This Week: 50,000 TANGEDCO Workers Protest Electricity (Amendment) Bill
Image Credit: Prakash R
Chennai: Last week, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on August 6 renewed his plea to the Supreme Court to establish the southern bench of the apex court in the state. He was speaking at the silver jubilee function of the State Human Rights Commission.
Also,leaders of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) took out a peace rally to Marina beach on August 7, the fourth death anniversary of its former president M Karunanidhi.
In another protest, the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association opposed the State Health Department order increasing the duty timings of medical officers in primary health centres, who now have to work for 48 hours a week.
The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) raided the premises of former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) minister KPP Baskar and his family members. He is a close aide of former chief minister and AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswam.
NewsClick brings you a round-up of the other happenings this week in Tamil Nadu.
OPPOSITION TO ELECTRICITY (AMENDMENT) BILL
Over 50,000 Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) employees attached to 17 associations staged sit-in protests in front of Tangedco offices across the state on August 8. They were opposing the tabling of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill in Parliament.
Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji said: “If the Bill is enacted, many, including farmers and weavers, would be affected. Giving subsidies to the poor would also become impossible. The Bill is an attempt to stop free power to domestic consumers and farmers”.
DMK MPs opposed the Bill in Parliament.
Meanwhile, the medium, small and micro enterprises and powerloom units in Tamil Nadu have also strongly objected to the proposed power tariff hike in the state.
CASTE BIAS AMONG CIVIC BODY CHIEFS
A survey done in 24 districts, covering 386 village panchayats, by the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF) highlights discrimination against dalit village panchayats presidents.
According to the survey, many dalit presidents were not allowed to hoist national flags, not allowed to have a name board and not even allowed to sit on chairs.
Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu on August 12 wrote to all district collectors in the state asking them to ensure that no elected leader of any local body is prevented from hoisting the national flag on Independence Day on grounds of caste.
RECENT RAIN IMPACT
Farmers in Tiruchi district of Tamil Nadu are facing heavy losses as incessant rains submerged crops on 750 acres. Paddy, banana and other crops were under water owing to the rising water levels across the Cauvery river banks.
In the northern Ranipet district, farmers are distressed as they have no space to dry paddy. They are facing losses due to the state not providing either crop insurance or opening DPCs (direct purchase centres).
As a precautionary measure due to incessant rains, the government declared a holiday for schools in a few talukas in Nilgiris district on August 8.
MORE STUDENT SUICIDES
Yet again, a high school student was found dead in Kallakurichi district. Preliminary investigation revealed that the Class XII student died by suicide and took the extreme step allegedly to due to a love affair.
An 18-year-old who had completed her Class XII from Karur district also died by suicide as she was reportedly fearful of scoring low marks in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and could not secure a medical seat.
Meaanwhile, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) will stage protests on August 13 against police targeting dalits for the July 17 Kallakurichi violence, a fallout of the suicide of a Class XI student. They urged the law enforcement agencies to conduct an unbiased investigation.
NOTICES TO MARINA BEACH VENDORS
Several months after the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) allocated smart carts to vendors at the Marina beach, the civic body has started issuing notices to them. The corporation said if they fail to collect the carts, they will be re-allocated to other applicants. Vendors fear their permission to conduct business on the beach would be withdrawn.
The vendors do not want the carts because they are small, exposing them to sun and rain.
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