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Post offices to be networked soon

Written By RajTamil on Sunday, 18 November 2012 | 03:10

In a few months, customers will be able to access their savings accounts from any of four select post offices in the city.

The Department of Posts plans to interconnect four head post offices (HPOs) in the city on the lines of core banking technology, on a pilot basis. Customers will also have access to automated teller machines (ATMs) to be set up in the Anna Road HPO, and the post offices in Mylapore, T. Nagar and Tambaram.

A senior official said, “We expect to launch the core banking facility in these post offices by March-end. The system will be introduced in other post offices in the city in a phased manner.”

Measures are afoot to seek ATM equipment suppliers and construct ATMs inside the complexes of the post offices. Once the facility is introduced, customers would not have to spend time waiting at the counters to withdraw cash.

G. Mohan, a resident of Mogappair, said, “I have a savings account in Vadapalani post office. If it is extended to all head post offices, it will be useful to

The core banking and ATM facilities are also aimed at saving time for senior citizens. Officials said that core banking would allow customers to carry out transactions from any of the networked branch offices. Account holders could also check the details, with regard to their deposits, online.many customers like me who visit the post office frequently to deposit or withdraw money.”

As on October 31, there are nearly 45 lakh account holders in Chennai city region, which includes those in other neighbouring districts. Of this, about 20 lakh account holders are in Chennai and its suburbs alone.

This measure would also help in reducing transaction costs for the department. Officials said that all post offices across the State would be computerised and interconnected in a phased manner.

People who hold accounts in banks could also eventually use the ATMs to be set up by the postal department. Depending on the patronage and availability of space, there are plans to provide ATMs in locations away from the post offices.


Where is a real good night?

One day I boarded a night train to come back to Chennai. There was another gentleman, heavily built and middle-aged, on the adjacent lower berth. After a few minutes of conversation, I wished my co-passenger ‘Good Night’. He wished me in return: ‘Sound Sleep’.

In about 10 minutes, he was fast asleep. But I could not sleep because he was snoring loudly as were many others. Many were Heroic Snorers, though heroic in this case has nothing to do with heroism. At one point, my neighbour stopped breathing for a few seconds. Medically this is called apnea. Apnea is absence of breathing through nose and mouth for 10 seconds or more, while Heroic Snoring is defined as very loud snoring, which can be heard in the next room even when the doors are closed.

Snoring is common in obese men. But it is also less commonly found in thin people, women and children. A combination of heroic snoring, sleep apnea and daytime sleepiness is called Sleep Apnea Syndrome (SAS), which is very dangerous.

Sleep apnea is caused by the collapse of the upper part of the pharyngeal airway. Normally the airway is kept open by special C-shaped cartilages and the muscular contraction of the upper end. When a person goes to sleep, the muscle relaxes, especially after a heavy meal, alcohol or sleeping tablets. An obstruction in the airway produces a vibration of the pharyngeal tissues, palate and uvula, which produces the noise (snoring). If snoring continues, the patient may develop headache, general fatigue, memory loss, deceased libido, irritability and depression. This is also a cause for road accidents, since the driver may fall asleep at the wheel.

There are three varieties of SAS. Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), which is assessed and treated by ENT surgeons and could be due to problems like large tonsils, adenoids, nasal polyps, nasal allergy and deviated nasal septum. In the central type, the sleep centre in the brain is affected and is treated by neurophysicians. In the mixed type, both these factors are found.

To diagnose the problem, the patient has to undergo a test called Polysomnography. He/she has to sleep in a sleep lab while being connected to a machine. The recordings will help the doctor figure out what sleep apnea the patient suffers from. Polysomnography records blood pressure, lowest blood oxygen saturation, apenic spells, ECG changes and other changes. Other tests include dynamic MRI studies, endoscopy and CT scans.

In general the treatment for OSAS includes avoiding of alcohol, sedatives and hypnotics; weight reduction (the ideal weight is height in cm minus 100); sleeping on the side rather than on the back; removal of lesion in nose, naso pharynx, oral cavity, hypo pharynx and larynx; volumetric reduction of tissues of soft palate and base of tongue by radio frequency; uvulopalatoplasty with a cold knife or radio frequency or laser.

One method of treatment, which is not easily accepted by patients, is the use of the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. A mask is worn over the nose and mouth during sleep to aid breathing to allow air and pressure to overcome the obstruction of the airway. This helps the patient sleep well and helps overcome daytime sleepiness.

An extreme treatment option, in rare cases, is tracheostomy (making a hole into the treachea in the neck) which can be closed during the day and opened at night for obstruction-free breathing.

Chennai-Track fracture delays trains, angers passengers

Tense moments prevailed in Royapuram on Saturday when hundreds of rail passengers alighted from a train and gathered on the tracks near Royapuram railway station.

This was after train services were disrupted due to track fracture.

According to railway officials, a track fracture was found near Port Railway station.

Hence, EMU services were affected between 7.45 a.m. and 9.15 a.m. Five trains heading to Beach railway station were diverted to Moore Market Complex.


But commuters, who were unaware of the reason when trains were stopped at Royapuram railway station for a while, began getting down.

They got down on the railway tracks and the Railway Protection Force personnel had to evict them. “The trains are always late. The railways have to take appropriate action and solve this problem at the earliest,” said S.Raju, a commuter who was stranded at Royapuram Police Station.

Abdul Haleem, a resident of Washermanpet, said that at around 8 a.m., he saw hundreds of commuters standing in the railway station. “When I enquired, they said that all trains were delayed and they did not know the reason for it,” he said.

S. Majeed, another commuter, said that he was on his way to meet a friend who was leaving the city for higher studies. “I was supposed to meet him near Beach Station before 9 a.m. As I was stranded in Royapuram, I could not meet him,” he said.

Senior railway officials told that train services resumed after 9.15 a.m.

Ojha getting closer to the century mark

With a Test wickets tally of 80, Pragyan Ojha should soon be joining the select band of Indian left-am spinners who are in the 100-wicket plus club; notably Bishen Singh Bedi (266), Vinoo Mankad (162), Ravi Shastri (151) and Dileep Doshi (114).

There were a few who, in spite of being gifted, were not lucky enough to reach the three figure mark. They are Venkatapathy Raju (93), Maninder Singh (88), Bapu Nadkarni (88) and Salim Durani (75).

In all 24 players have bowled left-arm finger spin for India while the world has seen 202 in all with New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori leading with 360 wickets and followed by England’s Derek Underwood (297).

History has seen the likes of Charlie Blythe, Johnny Briggs, Hedley Verity, Alf Valentine, Tony Lock and Wilfred Rhodes dominate the scene.

Ojha’s may be a far cry from the crafty bowling of the likes of Bedi, Mankad and Durani but for the moment he has fulfilled his claim as the No. 1 left-arm spinner in home conditions.

Sixtythree of his 75 wickets before this Test had come on home pitches which obviously says that he has to prove himself in an away series; but the fact remains that he has played only four away Tests (two each in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka).

The other day India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that Ojha’s role was more of keeping one end tight and allow Ravichandran Ashwin to attack, but on occasions the left-armer had reversed the roles.

It happened on Saturday when he began getting breakthroughs and finished with five scalps. He was equally adept at bowling with the new and old ball. His big wicket was of course Kevin Pietersen’s; it really pushed England back to the wall.

Ojha would appear to be India’s mainstay right through the home international season that will end with the four Test series against Australia next year.

Indian left-arm spinners have taken 1204 wickets in 475 Tests and 413 of those have contributed to a winning cause (110 Tests) with Bedi leading with 97 victims, Ojha 60 and Raju 58. Ojha’s run per over rate is also impressive at 2.76.

Speaking after the match Ojha said, “I am totally focused on my job. I think nothing much has changed in the pitch; it has just become slow.

“So it’s quite challenging and I enjoy it. The bite off the wicket that we were getting in the first innings has gone down a bit. My job is here to play and perform and as long as my team is winning I don’t care about other things which will take care of themselves.

“I think the most satisfying (part) is to get five wickets against England, especially in the first innings. I am quite satisfied with the way I bowled today. It’s a long series and I have lot of hard work to do, so it’s just a beginning.’’

Thackeray’s stature was unique: Manmohan -Shiv Sena prepares for final journey

Leaders across the political spectrum on Saturday condoled the death of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh describing him as a “consummate communicator” whose stature in Maharashtra politics was “unique.”

President Pranab Mukherjee said the nation had lost a veteran leader who worked to help the common man and whose contributions in the field of media added a different perspective to the political discourse.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley too expressed their condolences.

Dr. Singh, who called up Mr. Thackeray’s son Uddhav, appealed to the people to maintain calm and sobriety.

The interests of Maharashtra were “particulary important” for Mr. Thackeray and “he always strived to inculcate a sense of pride in its people,” the Prime Minister said.

“He founded the Shiv Sena and built the party into a formidable force in the State politics with his strong leadership. The passing away of Balasaheb will be deeply felt by his family and his followers,” he said.

Mr. Advani said Mr. Thackeray’s death left a “gaping void” in the country’s politics, which “cannot be filled. It is rare that I have seen in these 65 years of independent India a political leader who has left such a deep and abiding imprint on the country’s events as Balasaheb Thackeray. Uncompromising in his patriotism, he possessed remarkable qualities of leadership and abundance of attributes of head and heart,” he said.


Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said “Balasaheb Thackeray was an epitome of courage and valour. He was full of life. He fought like a warrior. I’ve lost someone who always guided me.”

“He was a king-maker who stayed away from the hot seat of politics. His death marks the end of an era. He had carved a niche in Indian politics. He never compromised on nationalism and was a true nationalistic leader,” he said.

Maharashtra Governor K. Shankaranarayanan said Mr. Thackeray was an institution and his death saddened the heart of every person in Maharashtra.

“He was the leader of the masses with unprecedented popularity. Balasaheb was truly an institution.”


Film actor Rajinikanth said “Thackeray was a great leader and a father figure to many including me. This is a great loss to all.” — PTI

Mumbai Staff Reporter reports:


BJP president Nitin Gadkari said, “Balasaheb’s death is a big loss for the [National Democratic] Alliance. There was no place for conspiracy in his heart. He used to speak whatever was on his mind. He followed the true legacy of Shivaji Maharaj,”

BJP national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the country had lost a great leader. “He was the tallest leader of our alliance in Maharashtra. His only aim in the alliance government was that there should be fast growth in the State. Maharashtra’s politics is orphaned without him,” he said.

“Ever since 1984 he believed that Hindutva will succeed and rise over everything else,” Mr. Javadekar stated.

“Balasaheb symbolised the support of the alliance, on which it was strongly built. It has ended today. He was a staunch Hindutvawadi. All the Hindus in the country will feel like they have lost a father figure today,” BJP leader Gopinath Munde said. Maharashtra BJP chief Sudhir Mungantiwar said Mr. Thackeray was “a father figure, a kingmaker who stayed away from power.”

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar called him a ‘fighter of a person.’ “Balasaheb is no more with us. But his contribution to the State will keep reminding us of his legacy. From the farmers of the State, and from my party, I pay my respect to him,” he said. “He criticised me with choicest words. We disagreed on many things. But otherwise he always supported the decision that needed to be made. He was a man who made fearless decisions. It is because of this that he supported the emergency, stating that the country needs to be disciplined,” Mr. Pawar said.

Ramdas Athavle of the Republican Party of India which has recently joined the saffron combine said, “He was an architect of social and political change in Maharashtra. Attempt to bring together Aambedkarwadi together with Shiv Sainiks was very progressive. We will strive to continue his legacy.”

Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam, who was first a part of the Shiv Sena, remembered Mr. Thackeray’s free editorial policy for the party organ Saamna. “He told me whatever is anti-national should not be published in Saamna. Even if I say something, you have a right to criticise it,” he said.

NCP leader Chagan Bhujbal who was also a part of the Shiv Sena said Balasaheb treated him like family. “I have lived with him and learned from him for 25 years. We have criticised each other a lot. But today, the nation has lost a great leader.”

Singers Asha Bhosale and Lata Mangeshkar called Balasaheb the ‘Pride of Marathi manoos’ “I have very good memories of him, this is a big loss to Maharashtra,” Ms. Bhosale said. “He told me recently that he is not going to live for many days now.”

“We never spoke about politics. He laughed and made us laugh. There is nobody to take care of Maharashtra now.” Ms. Mangeshkar said.

Veteran actor Dilip Kumar, who earned the ire of Mr. Thackeray after he was presented Pakistan’s highest civilian award, mourned the death of the Shiv Sena supremo.

“We are deeply grieving the passing of Balasaheb Thackeray who I always thought was not a tiger but a lion,” he tweeted.

Writer Shobha De stated that the history of Mumbai is interlinked with Balasaheb’s rise. “There is much more to him than violence that is popularly associated with him. He is credited with giving pride to Maharashtrians.”

Tribute for Mr. Thackeray also came from Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad, “I have met him personally and he treated me like a family friend. He had no hard feelings for any sport,” he said.

Mr Thackeray was known for his stand against the Pakistan cricket team.

A sea of grieving people converged since early morning on Sunday in Bandra, Mumbai, as preparations were underway for the funeral of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who passed away on Saturday afternoon.

The funeral cortege, which was expected to start from Matoshree, the residence of the Thackeray clan, was delayed in its journey to the party headquarters in Shivaji Park in Dadar, barely 7 km towards the south.

The flower bedecked truck on which a glass box carrying Thackeray’s body will wend its way from Bandra east to Dadar west via the Mahim Causeway — one of the connecting links between south Mumbai and suburbs over the Mahim Creek.

After allowing several thousands of Shiv Sainiks from all over the State to pay their last respects, the body will be taken to Shivaji Park and kept for a public “darshan” for over 200,000 people who are expected to turn up.

Mumbai police have made elaborate security arrangements by deploying 20,000 policemen, 15 companies of State Reserve Police and three companies of Rapid Action Force to deal with any situation.

Mumbai, since Saturday evening, has remained calm and peaceful as news of Thackeray’s death began to sink in.

All major roads and public places were deserted barring the odd security vehicles, some Shiv Sena activists moving around or a few delayed commuters scampering home.

Top VVIPs from all over India are expected to arrive for Thackeray’s funeral, slated at 6 p.m. Sunday evening at Shivaji Park.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan earns Rs 60.39 crore in four days

The magic of Yash Chopra's evergreen romance formula seems to be working again. Jab Tak Hai Jaan, his last directorial venture before his death, has earned Rs 60.39 crore at the domestic box office in four days of its release.

The Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif-starrer love story released on 2,500 screens on the auspicious occasion Diwali, Nov 13.

The film earned Rs 15.23 crore (Tuesday) Rs 19.54 crore (Wednesday), Rs 14.45 crore (Thursday) and Rs 11.17 crore (Friday).

Produced by Aditya Chopra under the family banner Yash Raj Films, was Jab Tak Hai Jaanreportedly made at a budget of Rs 50 crore. Shot in exotic foreign locales, the movie witnessed a good opening in the overseas market too.

The total overseas collections turned out to be $4.75 million (Rs 26 crore). A break-up of the overseas figures - $1.30 million (Tuesday), $1.20 million (Wednesday), $1million (Thursday) and $1.25 million (Friday).

Jab Tak Hai Jaan released alongside Ajay Devgn's Son Of Sardaar, a comedy entertainer.

Bollywood condoles death of Bal Thackeray

Among a string of 'rest in peace' messages from Bollywood celebrities, following Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's death here Saturday, were emotional condolences from veterans like Amitabh Bachchan and Lata Mangeshkar. They described him as a man of grit and purity.

Several other names from the Hindi film industry, including Mahesh Bhatt, Ram Gopal Varma, Madhur Bhandarkar, Kabir Bedi and Riteish Deshmukh took to Twitter to share their sentiments on the death of the politico, who breathed his last Saturday afternoon at his residence Matoshri.

Many called him the 'tiger'.

Here's what the celebrities wrote:

Amitabh Bachchan: I sat by his bedside for hours these past few days, a prayer in my heart, watching him struggling to breathe, but fighting. Each day he continued his struggle with a grit that was baffling even for the doctors on hand. And just a couple of hours back, as I stand next to his still, peaceful, saffron draped body, it is difficult to imagine that he has left us!

Lata Mangeshkar: Today at 3:30 pm, respected Bal Thackeray left us all to tread the path to salvation. Maharashtra is orphaned today. He had been doing some great work, served the country for years and kept the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj alive in Maharashtra. The Mangeshkar family pays tribute to a soul extremely pure as Bal Thackeray. May his soul rest in peace.

Ram Gopal Varma: Can't ever forget the hug the real Sarkar gave me when he saw reel Sarkar. Balasaheb was a true epitome of power in every sense of the word.

Hema Malini: The battle is over and eternal life begins. I'm so sorry (for) the loss Shri Balasaheb's family is enduring. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Mahesh Bhatt: Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them. The memory of Bal Thackeray will live in the memory of we Mumbaikars forever.

Kabir Bedi: My condolences to the entire family of Balasaheb Thackeray. He was certainly a major influence in the politics of Maharashtra.

Karan Johar: Thoughts and prayers with the Thackeray family. RIP Balasaheb.

Madhur Bhandarkar: RIP Balasaheb. He lived with great conviction in his beliefs, which led him to be a great leader. Wish strength to his family! Balasaheb was outspoken and a sharp observer. He will deeply be missed.

Arjun Rampal: RIP Balasaheb, condolences to his family. Peace be with you and all your loved ones.

Neha Dhupia: RIP Balasaheb. Prayers and strength for the family.

Aftab Shivdasani: Another legend passes away... let's pray for the soul of Shri Balasaheb Thackeray. May the divine grant him peace. Om Sai Ram.

Siddharth: Bal Thackeray is dead. If you're not a born Maharashtrian, I don't think he would like you stealing condolences for his death from his people.

Vivek Oberoi: RIP Balasaheb - the roaring tiger of Maharashtra! Our prayers are with the Thackeray family and the millions of followers!

Smriti Irani: Maharashtracha Sher la antim pranam. RIP Saheb.

Dia Mirza: RIP Bala Saheb. Let there be peace. 45 years as leader, a phenomenon no one can ever ignore.

Riteish Deshmukh: Balasaheb was a hero. People loved him, copied him, followed him.

Ranvir Shorey: Tiger to the end. RIP, Balasaheb.

Kunal Kohli: Balasaheb will always live on. A great orator. An astute cartoonist.A voice of the people. A lion amongst men.

Ritesh Sidhwani: Maharashtra has lost its tiger. RIP Balasaheb. My condolences to the family.

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