Ponnamma in Madikeri from January 8

Kodava film Ponnamma will be released here on January 8, its director Richard Castelino said on Saturday.

The movie had run for seven weeks at Gonicoppa in Virajpet taluk just before monsoon picked up in the district last year. Its release was delayed in Madikeri owing to factors such as rainfall and concreting of the arterial Major Muthanna Circle-private bus stand road, he told presspersons here.

The film is produced by Sripada Movie Makers, Bangalore, Mr. Castelino, who has produced award-winning movies in Konkani and Tulu, said.

Mr. Castelino, who said that viewership of Kodava, Konkani and Tulu movies was not up to the expected levels, appealed to the State Government to enhance subsidy for regional movies from present Rs. 10 lakh to encourage film-makers to come up with more films.

He had plans to release CDs and organise shows in schools to popularise Kodava movies. “If Kodava movies are not seen in Kodagu, where else can one see them,” he said. Manu Muthappa and K.N. Vaidynath were present.

-The Hindu

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Unseasonable rainfall damages coffee crop

The Coffee Board was assessing the loss of coffee crop in the coffee growing areas of the State, including Kodagu, and the loss could be more if the cloudy weather accompanied by sporadic rains continued, a statement received from the Coffee Board said here on Saturday.

Rainfall in the last week of December 2009 had indeed affected coffee crop, the statement said, asking the Arabica and Robusta growers to take certain steps to minimise further loss. Rainfall had occurred since December 25, 2009 continuously for over five days. Nearly 30 per cent of the Arabica crop is yet to be picked and due to the rains, berries were falling down. Loss could be higher if the same weather situation continues for a few more days.

According to the press statement, both Arabica and Robusta had ripened three weeks before time this year. Growers should take steps to pick Arabica coffee from the plants as early as possible and convert them into parchment (peeling the outer cover and convert them as beans) varieties to maintain quality. If the crop was left unattended on the plants it could result in poor quality of the product, the statement said.

Similarly, Robusta coffee, which is ready for picking later than Arabica, too had ripened in many areas of the district, including 100 per cent in certain places.

But, since flower buds had already appeared on the Robusta plants, it would prevent the growers from picking coffee as up to 40 per cent of the buds are expected to flower in the first week of January. Cloudy weather could further affect the ripened berries resulting in shedding. The board advised the growers to stop picking Robusta for at least the next one week.

-The Hindu

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Former athlete angered by delay in developing stadium

 Former State champion in the long distance run events, Kalachanda U. Ravi Thammaiah, has urged the district administration to initiate action against those persons obstructing development works at the General K.S. Thimayya Stadium (District Stadium) here.

Speaking to presspersons here on Saturday, Mr. Thammaiah, who had also served as a member of the Karnataka Amateur Athletics Association from Kodagu, alleged that some persons rallying under the guise of being sports lovers, were obstructing the work of laying of a 400-metre synthetic athletic track at the stadium. He said that the rink hockey facility that had come up in one corner of the stadium and it has to be dismantled immediately. According to Mr. Thammaiah, the works for the improvement of the stadium was started during the tenure of late Chief Minister R. Gundu Rao, in the 80s. Then, it was the first district stadium to have been started in the entire State, he claimed.

However, improvement such as adding the 400-metre synthetic track, apart from creating space for other athletic events, could not be made all these years. Although funds were released for the development of the stadium, it was not utilised properly, he added. Mr. Thammaiah said sports administrator C.M. Muthaiah had suggested a detailed plan for the development of the stadium a few years ago but to no avail. A national-level hockey tournament was organised and funds collected for the improvement of the stadium in the 80s but it did not help the cause, he regretted.

A full-fledged stadium would help organise State and national-level sports meets in future, Mr. Thammaiah added, requesting the political party leaders and elected representatives not to interfere in the issue.

-The Hindu

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