Tag Archives: transportation

Mother of French cyclist looks for her son’s clues

“I have heard that miracles happen in India, I am hoping for one too,” says mother of French cyclist  who has been missing since December 2007.

Optimistic about finding her son, Marie-Claire Talleu, is in India on her fourth trip, “He has always been a very quiet person with a deep interest in philosophy and spirituality; he can be in a monastery or an isolated village. He might have lost his memory in an accident and it is possible that a kind family adopted him,” she said.

The avid cyclist was on a world tour when he mysteriously disappeared in December 2007 after he set foot in India. “I got suspicious when he did not open an E card that I had sent him on his birthday, on 11th Dec, a week after his arrival in India. I got really worried when we didn’t hear from him on Christmas. We have tried to track the intended cycle path towards the south of India, but something might have happen to him and he could have never left Bombay, the last known place where he was traced [back to].” The last time Marie Claire spoke to her son from Dubai airport, he was looking forward to cycling through India and going to China to meet his sister.

After four years, the mother of seven said that finding Jean is the focus of her life. “India is a big country and when I walk in the streets of Mumbai I wonder if he too walked here. I look at each Indian wondering if he/she can recognize my son. I don’t want people to forget that he disappeared.”

Marie Claire accepts that it is not an easy task to find a missing person in a country as huge as India, “However, we are making an effort to ensure that people can recognize his face and know how to reach us,” she added. Over 10,000 pamphlets have been printed and distributed and a cash reward of Rs. two lakhs for the person who helps the family find their son.

Speaking of the emotional turmoil that the couple has been through since ‘Jean vanished’ Marie said, “The first time my husband came to India he was filled with anger because this is where his son disappeared but after few days we saw how friendly and helpful the people were… we have no grudges what so ever.”

The Mumbai police filed a missing person’s complain three months after Jean landed in Mumbai. However, there have never been any confirmed leads. Despite very few serious leads and exhausted resources, Jean-Baptiste’s mother is not giving up and is planning to visit every single place that her son might have visited. “The last unknown location was the Mumbai airport and then an ATM at Goregaon. We have had a few people call up to say that they saw someone like him in Varkala and Pondicherry so we have been visiting each one of those places as well,” she said.

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is nuclear energy safe…is it inevitable?

MUMBAI: “It is natural for general public to question the safety of nuclear energy, however it will be difficult not to accept that it is a safe, clean and inevitable source of energy,” N Nagaich, Executive Director Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) said at a press conference on safety aspects of Nuclear power plants.

“The Fukushima incident gave us reasons to recheck all our safety measures and we evaluated each and every system. From the external threats of seismic activity, tsunami, airplane crash to the internal issues of over heating, termination of reaction, prevention of energy release etc we considered all the possibilities to ensure absolute safety,” Mr Nagaich said. He added that Nuclear energy projects have well-defined regulatory practices established on par with the best international standards.

Mr KC Purohit, Director NPCIL (technical) added that there continues to be concerns about nuclear energy and resistance to it because people are still not fully aware. “Compared to the average natural radiation background dose of 2,400 microsieverts per year, the radiation dose from the Indian nuclear power plants during 2010 was 0.42 to 39.6 microsieverts to persons near the plant boundaries…which is insignificant. There are layers of security and safety features at ech plant to ensure that no radiation is controlled. In Kudankulam project there is a two km boundary of the plant and there is no habitation for another two kms to further safeguard the public.”

NPCIL director-technical S A Bhardwaj said that he expected things to return to normal at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project within the few months, “We are hopeful that the safety measures will satisfy the people and the Government, paving way for the plant’s commissioning in few months.” He added that nuclear scientists would require another four months after things return to normal to commission the first 1000 MW unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP).

In October 2011, thousands of protesters and villagers living around nuclear plant blocked highways protesting against further construction work of the plant. Stating the impact on environmental and public health they demanded that the work on the plant be terminated. A Public Interest Litigation has also been filed against the government’s civil nuclear program at the Supreme Court demanding a stay of all proposed nuclear power plants till satisfactory safety measures and cost-benefit analyses are completed by independent agencies.

“We have launched awareness campaigns in and around Kudankulam informing the people on the safety aspects of the plant. We do not expect that people will accept the most modern and innovative technology without questioning it, however certain reports in the media that correlate nuclear plant and cancer cases are statistically incorrect and flawed,” Mr Bhardwaj added.

Speaking of the study conducted by an NGO ASPIRE that compared prevalence of cancer cases in 22 villages within 8 kms of the plant and three villages 54 kms form the plant, Dr. C. S. Pramesh from Tata Memorial Center (TMC) said that the study gave an incorrect picture. “No other reason for cancer was considered and no other cause was compared, also the sample size is very small hence the conclusions are statistically incorrect.” Dr Pramesh added that studies conducted amongst the employees of the power plants of the country for over 15 years showed that that while the number of cases of cancer in general public is 98.50 per lakh, the employee rate was 54.05 per lakh. Also deaths due to cancer in general population in India is 68/lakh where as it was only 29.05 amongst NPICL employees.

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Police asked to have a sense of Humour

Staff Reporter

MUMBAI: Bombay High court asked the local police to ‘have a sense of humour’ as it granted anticipatory bail to Bollywood producer Sanjay Gupta, who was booked by the police in a case of cheating a forgery for ‘copying the letterhead of Mumbai Police Commissioner’.

Justice AV Nirgude, while hearing the bail application on Wednesday, observed that the police were ‘over enthusiastic in registering the case for a mere innovative invitation. “Have you (police) lost your sense of humour? The accused has not issued the invitation with an intention to cause loss or cheat someone,” Justice AV Nirgude said.

Sanjay Gupta, Balaji Motion Pictures and Glamsham.com were booked under various sections of the IPC for forging letterhead of the city Police Commissioner in the media invites sent out by them for a press conference last week. Gupta had approached the high court after the sessions court rejected his anticipatory bail on March 5.

The bail has been granted against a bond of Rs 10,000 however, Gupta has been directed to send an apology to the commissioner of police and withdraw the invitation from websites. “As it is not in good taste you (Gupta) should apologies. You should not have used the Mumbai police seal and the Ashoka emblem in the invitation,” the court said. (

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