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Sunday, February 28, 2010

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN !! INDIA BEATS PAKISTAN IN WORLD CUP HOCKEY 2010

What a match it turned out to be. 70 minutes of classic display and tension built match as India beat arch rivals Paks 4-1 on the inaugural day of Hero Honda FIH WC 2010 at New Delhi. It was indeed enthralling to see the match live on Ten sports.


Not many gave India an outside chance to win this match given the Paki domination on the field. The match was held amidst tight security and India could not have asked for a tougher start to the campaign in the 12 team format. After the Pak encounter, there would be a tough face off with Aussies.
The team led by Sandeep Singh had not been treated in the best possible manner but has a great resolve and grit as it appears. Whether it is Jose Brasa’s theories, strategies, permutations or good luck, only time would tell. Although these sides have played each other many a times, the stakes and tension is always high.


Pak has the premier drag flicker Sohail Abbas but not so tough deep defence. Our own specialist Sandeep Singh pierced Pak defence and struck twice and Prabhjot made his name written well again. It was Shivendra who drew first blood with the first goal of the match. Resuming after half time, Prabjhot’s goal made it 3-0 and later when Sohail struck to make it 1-4, the result was written all over. For one not so familiar with all the rules, today, Shivendra, Rajpal, Sandeep, Vikram Pillai, Prabhjot, Gurwinder Singh Chandi – all were impressive as also was the high class goal keeper Sreejesh Raveendran who played in the absence of first choice Adrian D Souza.


In the first match of the day, Spain beat south Africa and England beat Australia. Then came the sweetest of the victories for India over Pakistan.
I am rejoicing and pray that this goes long into this World Cup. Hoping to see a podium finish for India this time.


Regards – S Sampathkumar

Saturday, February 27, 2010

HOCKEY WORLD CUP - HOW MANY OF YOU FOLLOW THE TOURNEY

Can you identify this person connected to India ?


Everyone is watching the Indo – SA one dayers and most of them know of the IPL 3 but not many would know that prestigious World Cup is about to begin tomorrow at New Delhi. It is known as Hero Honda FIH 2010 World Cup; this is the second time that India is hosting, the previous one being at Mumbai in 1982. During the two weeks long Hockey World Cup 2010, thirty matches will be played including final. India play arch rivals Pak tomorrow.


It is our national game and a game where India was very formidable in the mid part of the last century, having won 11 Olympic medals which included eight golds. Gradually demise of the game has seen the Nation miss out the Olympic game in 2008. Sadly, we have not won a single medal in a major international competition for long now.


The performance in World cup has also been abysmal – now the Nation counts on captain Rajpal Singh, star striker Prabhjot Singh and the fleet-footed Shivendra Singh, Arjun Halappa and goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza to do noteworthy performance. India have been drawn into a tough group in Delhi, which includes Champions Trophy holders Australia, European champions England, Olympic silver medalists Spain and four time world champions Pakistan. Our best result came way back in 1975 at Kuala Lumpur with the podium topping performance. After that the best has been finishing at no. 5.  This WC will be the 12th tourney and is being held at New Delhi Dhyan Chand National Stadium from Feb 28 to Mar 13 – 2010. This should certainly promote the game but the preparations have been far from good with the sponsorship fracas turning out to be very bitter as players threatened to pull out.


Twelve teams compete in the tournament & the qualifying tournaments were held in 2009. The qualification criteria is that one each of the continental champion from five confederations and host receive an automatic berth. There are two pools which were announced by the Federation on 15th Dec 2009. In each pool, all the teams will play against each other, 3 points go the winner, one point to each team in the event of a draw. In each pool, teams are to be ranked according to the number of points each has accumulated in the competition. In Pool A are : Germany, Nederlands, Korea, Newzealand, Canada, & Argentina; in B – Australia, Spain, England, Pak, SA and India vie with each other.


The Hockey World Cup also called World championship is an international field hockey that was first conducted at Barcelona in 1971. Ten nations participated then, which grew to fourteen by 1978, and then sixteen by 2002. The 2010 Hockey World Cup, coincidentally, also features ten nations.  Pak has dominated this tournament with 4 wins and 2 runner up position. Second comes Nederlands with 3 title wins; Germany has won 2 ; India & Aussies have both claimed the trophy once. Here is a year by year account of the tournaments that went by.
The inaugural one in 1971 was won by Pak; India finished runner up. The next one at Amstelveen in 1973 was won by Nederlands with India finishing runner up again. In 1975 at Kuala Lumpur India won 2-1 against Pakistan. The 5th one at Bombay was won again by Pak with India relegated to 5th spot. The last version was in 2006 held at Mönchengladbach, where the host won beating Australia. India finished 11th.


Rob Short (Canada) is the oldest player at 37. There are 28players over 30 years old in the competition, 7 of them in the Canadian squad. Muhammad Umar Bhutta (Pakistan) is the youngest player at17. Altogether, there are 11 teenagers in the competition (4 for Pakistan, 2 for Canada and New Zealand and 1 each for Germany, The Netherlands and Spain). Paul Litjens of the Netherlands holds the record for most goals scored in a single tournament. In 1978 Litjens scored 15 goals. He is also the all time top scorer in WC history with 26 goals, Pak’s 38 goals in 1982 is the most goals by a team in a single edition.


The Indian Team : Adrian D Souza (GK), Sandeep Singh, Arjun Halappa, Prabjhor Singh, Sardar Singh, Guruwindr Singh Chandi, Deepak Thakur, Sarvanjit singh, Gurbaj singh, Tushar khandker, Rajpal singh ©, sreejesh P Raveendran (GK), Shivendra singh, Bharat, Dhananjay Mahadik, Vikram Pillay, Danish Mujtaba & Diwakar. Spaniard Jose Brasa has been appointed as the coach of the Indian hockey team. He has been contracted reportedly for $111,415 per year as remuneration while the physical trainer Terez will get $79,600.


The photo at the start of the article is that of the coach Jose Brasa and here are photos of  Rajpal singh, Prabhjot and Arjun halappa





For the tourney, a match shall consist of a regulation time of two periods of 35 minutes each, separated by an interval of 10 minutes. The score at the end of the regulation timewill be registered by the FIH as the result of the match. Extra-Time: To establish an outright winner of a classification match for the purpose of the competition, the duration of that match shall be extended if, at the end of the regulation time, the result is a draw. After a 5-minute rest the umpires will toss a coin with the captains and the winner will have the choice of ends or possession of the ball to re-start the match. The extension of time will consist of two periods of 7½ minutes each in between which teams must change ends, without a rest period. If the score is still equal at the end of the extra-time, a penalty stroke competition will be played to establish the winner of the match.


Let us look forward to some high quality matches ending up with the saying “may the best team win’ and let that be our own National Team


All the best to ‘Team India’ for a medal finish


Regards – S Sampathkumar.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

HAZARDS OF TRANSPORTING CONTAINERS AND THE FAMOUS NORTH SOUTH DIVIDE

Every day as you travel, you see huge boxes – the containers carrying cargo. These have changed the way goods are transported. If you are in Chennai, and move towards Royapuram (the place from where the first train in South India originated), you would be overwhelmed by movement of loaded container vehicles from Chennai port plying to various CFS. The roads are already dirty flowing with heavy traffic. Quite often a hue is raised of this area being neglected whilst those in southern part of the city glow.

The North South divide is actually a socio economic and political division that exists between the wealthy developed countries, collectively known as ‘the North’ and the poor developing countries (another euphemism) of the South with the notable exception of Australia and Newzealand. The Dravidian parties used to refer to the State’s dependence on Central that ‘North is growing and South is weaning” ( வடக்கு வாழ்கிறது ; தெற்கு தேய்கிறது ) Taking a leaf out, some political leaders inside Tamilnadu started telling that the areas down south – Madurai, Ramnad and other districts are not growing. Actually, inside Chennai it is converse as North Madras is not so well developed as compared to South Chennai. Well this article has nothing to do with politics.

The heavy movement of containers in North Madras brings alongside many problems for the common man. The movement of loaded container vehicles have caused many mishaps, fatal accidents. Lorry drivers are themselves indisciplined and rash – added is the incidence (albeit very rarely) of falling containers from their groove on the vehicles - they pose not only the danger of impedence but imagine a 24 tonnes object falling down with force. You might be surprised that the actual weight in fact is much more than what one could think of.
The idea of shipping containers is a relatively simple idea that has revolutionized the transport industry. The man behind this is Malcolm Mclean. The first ship to carry containers plied between Port Newark and Houston in the USA in 1956. The first international voyage of a container ship was in 1966 between Port Elizabeth, USA and Rotterdam, Netherlands. The biggest advantage of these is saving in space and ease in handling as they come in standard size of 8 ft width, 8.6 ft / 9.6 ft height and lengths of 20 / 40 ft. Containerisation has reduced the costs and time of unloading the cargo besides protecting the valuable cargo from damage in handling and theft during the transit. The reduced time enables movement of the ship faster as they have to wait in port for lesser time. Besides the conventional dry ISO containers there are many hues such as – Insulated or thermal; Reefers; flat rack platforms, open top, tankers – to name a few.

One problem that has been plaguing the industry is the under declaration of weight resulting in overloading of the vessels. A standard TEU would have a tare weight of 2229 kgs and max cargo weight of 21727 kgs – i.e., 24000 kgs in all. The load of cargo is more of volume based and depending upon the material, the weight would vary. Some times shippers deliberately under declare the weight which at times places and ship and crew at risk. The container shipping is sector where the weight of cargo that they carry is not known to the carrier themselves. Understand that there is no requirement for containers to be weighed at a European Port before they get loaded onto a ship. The pay load weights is left to packers and consignors whose declaration is trusted and sometimes this is abused.

There have been some container shipping accidents which have resulted in Authorities considering mandatory weighing of all containers at the port of embarkation, which would reduce the risk of on deck container stack collapse enabling correction of stability and would also reduce the stress on ship’s hull.


The equipments that handle the containers are also at risk when the weight is not accurately known. It is reported that the financial losses involved through dishonest container weight declaration is staggering. In a major loss involving vessel MSC Napoli beached on Devon coast it was reported that no less than 20% of all the deck containers were over 3 tonnes heavier than their declared weights. This may partly be attributed to the absence of facility of weighing the containers inside the premises of packers and shippers but more to do with the dishonest propensity as well. The safety aspect is compromised by the over riding desire to maintain schedules and optimizing turn around time at Ports.


During Jan 2007 at English channel, the 4419 TEU encountered heavy seas and vessel was abandoned. Following the distress call, the crew went on lifeboat and were recovered by Royal Navy helicopters. Most of the containers stowed below deck had been submerged due to internal flooding within the holds and weights therefore differed significantly from those mentioned in manifest. The weight causes stress on ships hull and keel and in a trough could cause the middle of the ship to bend slightly. About 660 containers stowed on deck, which remained dry were also weighed. 137 of these were more than 3 tonnes different variant from their declared weights with the largest single difference being 20 tonnes.
For close to accurate weighments there is talk of load sensing technology developed by Lemantec Intertnational. It has the capability to assist in identifying misdeclared containers and show load eccentricity – that may also indicate improper cargo stowage. It confirms whether all twistlocks are engaged, and will detect if the container is snagged in the cell guides or still secured on a road or rail chassis, among other things. All in all, this could be analogous to the seat belt safety advance in road vehicles and may become standard within the next decade.


The standard SLAC clause would immune the carriers against knowing what is carried inside the container but it is perplexing that they seem reluctant to know the weighment as well. They are not putting themselves on risk but also endangering others arising out of possible accident, instability or derailment. Even if accuracy may not be possible, the consequences should be anticipated going by the type of cargo carried at least.


Read that in Australia, Queensland implemented a legislation way back in 2009 expanding the Chain of responsibility legislative provision introducing a new ‘container weight declaration; which must be completed whenever container transportation is by road. The ultimate objective of the legislation is to reduce the number of trucks carrying overweight containers. This CWD is a declaration that purports to state the weight of the freight container alongwith its contents.


Though we think that this sophisticated line of business is ethical and well regulated, it seems that there are gaping holes. Thanks for many of the inputs in this article to the TT Club & IFW – for some of the articles which are the thread to this piece of writing of mine


With regards – S Sampathkumar.

RECORDS ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN - BUT IT REQUIRES SACHIN TENDULKAR TO DO THAT

Dear (s)
 Do you remember Salil Ankola or test no. 1127 played at National Stadium, Karachi on 15th Nov 1989. That was the series captained by Krishnamachari Srikkanth when something dawned for India. If only the timing and day could do a fortune, consider this. Salil Ankola made his debut along with Sachin but ended playing a solitary test. Vivek Razdan who also made his debut during the Pak tour had a five wicket haul (5/79 at Sialkot) in one of his only two innings but ended up playing only two tests.



At Sialkot on a green and seemingly live pitch, Indians struggled against Wasim and Waqar. Vivek Razdan playing his second test match bowled a lively spell and Indians were 74 ahead. A young one, not even a major (he was 16 y & 205 days). was tested with barrage of bouncers but batted like a champion of three and a quarter hours. He was hit on the nose by Waqar was bleeding, got up, wiped away the gushing blood; though medical assistance denied kept playing eventually getting out for 57.


At Peshawar, the ODI slated on 16/12/09 was abandoned without a ball being bowled and to satiate the huge crowds a friendly match was arranged. Indians had not done great especially in Paki land and this 16 year old played, perhaps it was not an official match. Course of 18 deliveries changed everything for 53 (unbeaten) runs were made, Mushtaq Ahmed went for two huge sixers and then the great Leggie Abdul Qadir was taken 27 runs in one over – with 3 sixes in a row. Now who this little genius is !!!

Recently I read about Mongoose bat – the innovation in T20 which claims to pack unprecedented power that will give the edge and thought struck me that more records would be rewritten.


Reems have been written on this 37 year young man – who at times had received unfair criticism about his ageing, not scoring centuries in winning matches etc., For the cricket crazy nation, Sachin means so much to so many millions; he is icon, part of national pride, national consciousness; when he plays the Nation almost comes to a grinding halt. The journey that began at Sialkot way back in 1988 is streaming still. In the vast land, through every nook and corner he could stir emotions and bring smiles on the faces of millions.

He virtually owns all possible batting records ; in ODIs has scored 17598 runs with 46 centuries. A few months back at Hyderabad, Aussies amassed massive 350 and Sachin almost single handedly handled the chase scoring 175. Indians were close to victory requiring 19 off 17 – the rest choked and critics blamed him for not completing task. There was some unfair criticism that many of his hundreds had not helped the Team to win. How untrue !! – the fact is that 33 of them (out of 46) have come in winning matches.

He has amassed 13447 runs in tests with 47 centuries and more than 17500 runs in One dayers. At Gwalior, today, a barrier that has never been  breached in 2961 One day Internationals finally fell fittingly to this genius. (a small statistical revelation at the end of this story). Of them, some were 60 overs and some were 55 over affairs. The highest was 171 in 1975, 183 in 1983; 194 in 1997 & it remained for long. But yesterday, the 200 mark was breached, Sachin scored an astonishing 200 in 147 balls with 100 of them in boundary hits alone – perhaps another record of maximum four in a single ODI innings. He did not get to face many in the last 5 (9 out of 30) yet finished unbeaten with 200. This innings came against a classy attack who were ruthlessly decimated – clueless as to bowl where, varied their length, pace and did everything but kept conceding runs. Tendulya dominated each bowler. This assault left the Pretorians in disarray and the chase was never on, even for a team which successfully chased a world record 434 at Wanderers in 2006.

 
For somebody who has been playing top notch cricket for 21 years now, it is a superlative performance not only in terms of runs scored but more in display of grit, tenacity, physical and mental strength.


He had long back erased the epic 175 n.o of Kapil during his unbeaten 186 against Kiwis on 8th Nov 99; he had to retire due to cramps when he was 163 n.o at Christchurch on 8th March 2009. Langeveldt became part of history with his third delivery in the last over – a 137.4 kph delivery steered for a single to complete the double ton. After the great blitz, the victory or the margin was not the one followed by cricket lovers.



The fans were treated gleefully and the Gwalior Division Cricket Association gifted the little master a silver bat, 10 lakhs and a pavilion is to be named in his honour.


Tendulya has displayed excellent maturity and humbleness in all his acceptance speech. He dedicated this feat to the people of India and spoke thus “I don't know how to react to this. I was striking the ball and timing the ball well, it was coming on to the bat nicely. Yusuf came and changed the momentum and MS really struck the ball well; it was due to their big hitting that we were able to put up such a big score. It was only when I got closer to the score that I realised that I had an opportunity and I could take the singles to give MS the strike.


I'm enjoying my cricket. I've always played the way I felt was the right way to play, always done what I felt was good for the team. There have been times when I've made some bad decisions as a batsman, but as long as in my heart I know that whatever I'm doing for the team at that moment, I'm going to go ahead with that. It feels good that I lasted for 50 overs, a good test of my fitness. I'd like to bat another 50 overs at some stage and see that the fitness level doesn't drop."


Arguably this would rank as the best innings in 39 years of ODI cricket eclipsing the individual highest of Saeed Anwar and Charles Coventry as Sachin unfurled all shots in his repertoire taking the total past 400 mark. With a short past backward point off Charles Langeveldt, he raised his bat, took off his helmet and looked up heavenly – a land mark had been reached. There were two 100 + partnerships but they will be put to oblivion by the individual brilliance of Sachin. Back home, millions watching the match were getting restless even as Dhoni tore into Steyn hitting 17 off 49th and retaining the strike in the 50th and hammering the first ball for six. There was still time for the little master to complete the magic.

Some tributes on his 200  ::
I think if you ask Saeed Anwar, he would say he's happy that Tendulkar broke his record. The reason for his success is that he has a great respect for the game." - Aamer Sohail, Saeed Anwar's good friend and opening partner, pays a fitting tribute to the new record-holder
"He should aim for more. Maybe a Test innings of 450 or an ODI knock of 250. And then he himself wants to win next year's World Cup. There is a little boy in Tendulkar who wants to keep playing. That spirit keeps him going. It's absolutely incredible how he keeps going." - Keeping with the Mumbai ways, Sunil Gavaskar
"Come on Sachin my friend get your 200. World record to please! You deserve it… Nervous for my good friend Sachin everything crossed for you mate… Glad I'm not bowling to him today ha ha ha." - Tendulkar's old pal Shane Warne tweets his excitement as he nears the double-century
"It shows his mental and physical toughness. He's a player who does not throw away his wicket once he's set. He always places a huge price on his wicket." - Dilip Vengsarkar salutes the attributes that such a knock needs
"Sachin - the greatest ever player ever - without any doubt… I salute Sachin... World's greatest sportsman. We can see him only rise. (He is an) inspiration to us all. He is the best." - IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi waxes beyond eloquent, on his twitter page
"What an innings it was. He had come close to achieving it twice. I always felt that Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya are capable of doing that." - Kumar Sangakkara has not forgotten Tendulkar's recent dazzling form
"He is my favourite player. I had said that one day he would go on to break all batting records and now you see him scoring runs and runs." - Javed Miandad kinda saw it coming
"Whatever record is seen to be impossible to achieve, he makes it possible. That's all I can say. It seems as he's getting older, he is becoming more and more mature. No wonder Sir Donald Bradman saw himself in the way Sachin bats." - King of parsimony Bapu Nadkarni is not parsimonious with his praise.


Just as accolades continue to pour in, a woman had achieved this feat long back that too on Indian grounds. Yes, Belinda Jane Clark of NSW, Aussie is the first person to score a double century in a ODI. On 16th Dec 1997 at Mumbai Bandra ground, in Hero Honda Women’s World Cup match, she tore the Denmark attack and amassed 229 off 181 balls with 22 hits to the fence.

(Belinda with Gilly)

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

Monday, February 22, 2010

SOME BASICS - BAGGED CARGO - JUMBO BAGS

Dear (s)


This is a common sight as one travels on road. – cargo in bags transported from place to place





When goods are transported from place, a primary aspect is of packing or placing goods inside something to enable them transportable. Though there are various functions of packaging – broadly Primary, secondary and tertiary. In a way the protective function is of utmost importance as also the ease of handling. Packaging must protect the goods from loss, damage and theft and should be convenient to handle.


In day to day life, we come across so many such things – simply think of the rice in bags, the conventional ones. As you could easily discern, they are conventionally standardized ones – i.e., 50 kg bags when bought in rice market and in small quantities of 5/10/15/20 kgs for invidiuals.


The major problem involved when goods are to be transported to a far off place involving multiple handling, is that there have to be loaded individually unlike the intermodal containers or when in bulk. These would fall under the genre of breakbulk i.e., extraction of a portion of cargo from the ship or from other carrying modes.


Whilst material of value sold in exact quantities are packed in a standardized manner with precision, items of lesser value are put in to bags and then weighted. Occasionally you could also come across jumbo bags – big bags where material is kept inside. In these one bag might differ in weight and volume from the other but materially would be traded in total – price for all the bags put together.




This is a lorry carrying such cargo in jumbo bags. Here the material is barite, a mineral consisting of barium sulfate. This is mostly used as a weighting agent for drilling fluids in oil and gas exploration. Other uses are in car, electronics, TV screen, rubber and glass ceramics and paint industry. Although baryte contains a "heavy" metal (barium), it is not considered to be a toxic chemical by most governments because of its extreme insolubility.


With regards - S Sampathkumar

Friday, February 19, 2010

the beaching of "MONT" at "ALANG" ~ a sad end to a long glorious career

After my posts on ‘ship breaking’ and some terminology, have received quite a few responses from my friends appreciating me. Not many happily take interest in Marine insurance and in this parlance it mostly means Cargo insurance and Hull insurance is the privilege of a elite few. I have tried to share some little knowledge which I have learnt over the years and certainly claim no mastery over this – but lot of passion on the subject ….


Coming to ship breaking, it is reported that there is much more activity in the graveyards of the ships with recession also contribution. The cargo traffic has sunk, capacity utilization is going down as freight rates fell. As a natural corollary many more ships are heading for final yards. Another contributing factor is the missive of IMO that all single hull cargo ships will have to move to double hull and ships over 25 years will have to be phased out. For the not so well informed, double hull is a design and construction method where the bottom and sides of the ship have two complete layers of water tight hull surface. Most often this space is used as storage tank for fuel or ballast water. Double hulls are more extensively safe than double bottoms which have layers only in the bottom.

All this has meant that the cutting edge at Alang is operating sharper. Some of the Indian shipping companies have the average age on the higher side and would sell out their single hull tankers sooner. The steel market has been buoyant and the higher operational costs of the vessel makes this an option, though not the most preferred one.

With the modernization, the new vessels that touch waters now have lower valuations and operating costs than the existing ones and can beat the older cousins due to lower breakeven costs.  Not only tankers but all types of vessels including luxury liners fall under axe. An hotel ship nicknamed ‘white dolphin’ – MV Blue Monarch is reportedly sold to scrap merchants and could end up at Alang or any other Asian yard.


The ship breaking industry dangles with controversy many a times. Recently there was concern about Platinum II being granted entry for breaking as this was asbestos laden and considered toxic ship. Environmental activists have drawn the Supreme Court’s attention to what they claim are glaring lapses in allowing the 208-metre long and 23,719 gross tonnage Platinum-II anchor at Alang at the behest of the politically powerful ship-breaking industry. A central team was dispatched to Gujarat to assess the condition and contents of the ship, after activists raised concerns about a contaminated US ship being brought to Alang for demolition.
Another vessel at Alang is making waves – it is Mont, earlier known by various names as Seawise giant, Happy giant, Jahre Viking, Knock Nevis. This is the much touted ultra large crude carrier – the largest ship built in the 20th century with a volume of 260,851 Gross Registered Tons. Even in the age of superlatives, this would retain its clout as it was so huge. On land, at 485.46 metres from tip to tip, she would dwarf the once world’s tallest man-made land structure, the 424-metre Petronas tower of Malaysia. At sea she is fully 100 per cent bigger than the new breed of competing super tankers like the ill-fated Exxon Valdez.


This vessel in its present avtar as MONT has beached at a yard in Gujarat. This huge ship was once damaged in Gulf war and convered into a storage tanker in the Persian gulf in its late days. On her plying days, she had a fully laden draft of 24.6 m (81 ft), rendering it unable to navigate the English Channel, the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal when its load was up to capacity.




On its funeral voyage, it was intentionally beached at a yard in Alang in Jan 2010. upon start of cutting operations, it would give the yard the stakes to handle the largest vessel ever to be scrapped in India. Sources say that going by the size of the ship it would take nearly a year to complete the scrapping.

This somehow makes a sad news and does not give much of satisfaction to a lover of sea.

With regards

S Sampathkumar.

Disclaimer :  the photos present here are not my own ... taken from various sites - for the purposes of illustration... since it was the nascent stage of my blogging, failed to note the source.... extremely sorry.... if there is any copyright issue involved, please do mail me or post the comment - sure will have them removed.  This is not a commercial site but maintained by me out of my  passion in Marine insurance... Thanks

Added months later to the original post....

WHEN COWS WERE COMING BACK HOME - INDIAN VICTORY AT KOLKATTA

Kolkatta is a very special place for Indian cricket – against Aussies in 2001, we came back to win due to a marathon special by VVS and great display of spin bowling including a hat trick by Bhaji. Yesterday it was another good performance which enabled India retain its place in ICC ranking ladder. The fight was nerve wracking and obtained late in the day at a time when cows were returning home.


We could not get Amla out and the tail frustrated India a lot – when shadows lengthened and end was drawing closer, Morne Morkel fell to Harbajhan with just 9 balls to go for the stumps and victory achieved.


We have had 28 victories by a margin of an innings + runs – there are 16 above this; still this would rank very high coming it did against a quality opposition after having lost the First test badly.
The Innings wins



Every tour opposition would have a winner and this the 27 year old from Durban Hashim Amla stood out stranded on a fighting 123 following his first innings one and unbeaten 253 at Nagpur. In olden days, by fifth day, wicket would be a vicious turner but this time victory was hard earned and India sorely missed Zaheer. There were grave apprehensions due to the loss of more than 3 and a half on Wednesday. Wayne Parnell delayed it for long and at 264 for 9, all followers were looking to a wicket every ball – they had to wait for long for more than 20 overs. The final set displayed remarkable discipline and frustrated the bowlers before the moment of pride came.


The score card in brief for posterity would read : India 643 for 6 dec (Sehwag 165, Laxman 143*, Dhoni 132*, Tendulkar 106) beat South Africa 296 (Amla 114, Petersen 100, Zaheer 4-90, Harbhajan 3-64) and 290 (Amla 127*, Harbhajan 5-59, Mishra 3-78) by an innings and 57 runs.


The match was a remarkable display of grit as India had 98 overs to get 7 but more than 5o where played off by Amla. Mishra did bowl well and produced a special one to get AB De Villiers just before lunch. In the absence of Zaheer, Ishant sprayed a lot but preserved to get something important. Last time against Aussies, Sachin had weaved magic but could not make much impact this time.


This test win is very laudable and Indians could remember this for long.
Here are some interesting statistics.


An avid Cricket fan - S Sampathkumar

Thursday, February 18, 2010

APEX COURT ON WHETHER INSURER IS A CONSUMER WITHIN PURVIEW OF CP ACT - RECOVERY, SUBROGATION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

Justice in India should be simple, speedy and cheap,” the first PM J Nehru was quoted as saying in 1995. Decades later that largely remains a pipe dream.

Cases continue to pile up in various Courts and it was reported quoting Judiciary that even where lower trial courts disposed off nearly 20 M cases last yar, 18 million fresh cases were filed. Apart from trial courts, there are many at High Courts and many pending before the Supreme Court. Civil matters takes ages and by the time judgment is pronounced, there may not be a winner.

Here is a case which is of significance to Insurer but coming as it did years after an important amendment in the statue could prove not to be of much practical use.

The year 1986 saw enactment of a social welfare legislation - Consumer Protection Act aimed at providing better protection of the interests of consumers and paved way for establishment of consumer councils and quasi judicial authorities for settlement of disputes of consumers. Who is entitled to benefit under the statute has been the subject matter of dispute in various forums and before the Apex Court also. There was an all important amendment in Sec 2(d) of the Act in 2002 by addition of words ‘but does not include a person who avails of such services from any commercial purpose’ in the definition of consumer which excluded such persons from the purview and complaints made by such persons became not maintainable. Commercial purpose would not include use by a person of goods bought and used by him and services availed by him exclusively for the purposes of earning his livelihood by means of self-employment.


One of the founding principles of Insurance is that of ‘Subrogation’. It is the principle under which an insurer having paid a loss under a Policy becomes entitled to all the rights and remedies belonging to the insured against a third party with respect to any loss covered by the policy. This is based on two sound principles of equity :
(a) No tort-feasor should escape liability for his wrong; (b) No unjust enrichment for the injured, by recovery of compensation for the same loss, from more than one source. The doctrine of subrogation will thus enable the insurer, to step into the shoes of the assured, and enforce the rights and remedies available to the assured.


`Right of Subrogation' is statutorily recognized and described in section 79 of the Marine Insurance Act, 1963. The Act specifies that when Insurer pays a partial loss, he acquires no title to the subject matter insured, but he is thereupon subrogated to all rights and remedies of the assured. Section 140 of Contract Act, 1872, deals with the principle of subrogation with reference to rights of a Surety/Guarantor. Subrogation, as an equitable assignment, is inherent, incidental and collateral to a contract of indemnity, which
occurs automatically, when the insurer settles the claim under the policy, by reimbursing the entire loss suffered by the assured.



In practice, to avoid any dispute with the assured as to the right of subrogation and extent of its rights, the insurers usually reduce the terms of subrogation into writing in the form of a Letter of Subrogation which enables and authorizes the insurer to recover the amount settled and paid by the insurer, from the third party wrong-doer as a Subrogee-cum- Attorney. When the insurer obtains an instrument from the assured on settlement of the claim, whether it will be a
deed of subrogation, or subrogation-cum-assignment, would  depend upon the intention of parties as evidenced by the wording of the document. The title or caption of the document, by itself, may not be conclusive. It is possible that the document may be styled as `subrogation' but may contain in addition an assignment in regard to the balance of the claim, in which event it will be a deed of subrogation-cum-assignment. It may be a pure and simple subrogation but may inadvertently or by way of excessive caution use words more appropriate to an assignment. If the terms clearly show that the intention was to have only a subrogation, use of the words "assign, transfer and abandon in favour of" would in the context be construed as referring to subrogation and nothing more.


With this lengthy background here is the recent judgment of Apex Court in Civil Appeal No. 5611 of 1999.


The cause of action arose due to a road accident involving goods of Cheran Spinning Mills, a manufacturer of cotton yarn. They availed a policy of insurance from National Insurance covering transit risks between the period 11.5.1995 and 10.5.1996 in respect of cotton yarn sent by them. They consigned hosiery cotton yarn of the value of Rs.7,70,948/- through the carrier “ETO” on 6.10.1995 for transportation and delivery to a consignee at Calcutta. The goods vehicle carrying the said consignment met with an accident and the consignment was completely damaged.


After conduct of survey, the Insurer settled the claim of Charan for Rs.447436/- in Feb 96. Upon receipt of payment, Charan executed Letter of Subrogation-cum-Special Power of Attorney in favour of the Insurer and they jointly filed a complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 against the Carrier before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Dindigul, claiming compensation of Rs.447,436/- with interest at 12% per annum, for deficiency in service, as the damage to the consignment was due to the negligence on the part of carrier and its servants.


It was averrred that the insurer as subrogee was the co-complainant in view of the statutory subrogation in its favour. The District Forum by its order dated 8.11.1996 allowed the complaint and directed the appellant to pay Rs.447,436/- with interest at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of accident (8.10.1995) till date of payment to the Insurer, on the basis of the subrogation. The District Forum held that the failure to deliver the consignment in sound condition was a deficiency in service, in view of the unrebutted presumption of negligence arising under sections 8 and 9 of the Carriers Act, 1865.


ETO appealed before the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Madras, challenging the said order but the same was dismissed on 2.4.1998. ETO filed a revision before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission which dismissed the revision petition by a short non-speaking order dated 19.7.1999 stating that they do not find any illegality or jurisdictional error in the order passed by the State commission, which was again challenged before the Apex Court.




In the Supreme Court, ETO resisted the complaint on the grounds:
(i) The Assured (consignor) had insured the goods against transit risk with the Insurer. Having received the claim proceeds, the consignor had no surviving claim that could be enforced against the carrier. At all events, as the Assured had transferred all its interest in the claim to the Insurer, it had no subsisting interest or enforceable right.


(ii) The Insurer did not entrust the consignment to the carrier for transportation. The appellant did not agree to provide any service to the Insurer. There was no privity of contract between the Insurer and ETO. As a result, the Insurer was not a `consumer' as defined in the Act and a complaint under the Act was not maintainable.


(iii) The letter of subrogation was executed by Charan Spinning (consignor), after the goods were damaged. This amounted to a transfer of a mere right to sue by the Assured in favour of the Insurer, which was invalid and enforceable.


(iv) There was no negligence on the part of its driver and the accident occurred due to circumstances beyond his control. The respondents did not place any evidence to prove any negligence, in spite of appellant's denial of negligence.


Leave was granted in this case on 27.9.1999 - meantime a three-Judge Bench of this Court rendered its decision in Oberai Forwarding Agency on 1.2.2000, making a distinction between `assignment' and `subrogation'. The Court held that where there is a subrogation simpliciter in favour of the insurer on account of payment of the loss and settlement of the claim of the assured, the insurer could maintain an action in the Consumer Forum in the name of the assured, who as consignor was a consumer. Court hadfurther held that when there is an assignment of the rights of the assured in favour of the insurer, the insurer as assignee cannot file a complaint under the Act, as it was  not a `consumer' under the Act. This Court held that even if the assured was a co-complainant, it would not enable the insurer to maintain a complaint under the Act, if it was an assignee of the claim.


In the present case, ETO contended that Oberai laid down the law correctly. It was submitted that what is executed in favour of the Insurer, though termed a `subrogation' is an assignment, and therefore, the Insurer was not entitled to  maintain any complaint before the Consumer forum. It was contended that once the goods entrusted to the appellant for transportation were lost/damaged, no `service' remained to be rendered or performed by the appellant as carrier; that what was assigned and transferred by the Assured to the Insurer was only the right to recover compensation for the loss and there was no question of Insurer being the beneficiary of any service, for which Charan Spinning had hired ETO and therefore such post-loss assignment of the right to recover compensation, did not result in the Insurer becoming a `consumer' under the Act.


The counsel for Charan Spinning and Insurers contended that the decision in Oberai required reconsideration on several grounds, set out in the reference order. The Court in the instant case looked at the following questions for consideration :
(a) Where the letter of subrogation executed by an assured in favour of the insurer contains, in addition to words referring to subrogation, terms which may amount to an assignment, whether the document ceases to be a subrogation and becomes an assignment?


(b) Where the insurer pays the amount of loss to the assured, whether the insurer as subrogee, can lodge a complaint under the Act, either in the name of the assured, or in the joint names of the insurer and assured as co-complainants?


(c) Where the rights of the assured in regard to the claim against the carrier/service provider are assigned in favour of the insurer under a letter of subrogation-cum- assignment, whether the insurer as the assignee can file a complaint either in its own name, or in the name of the assured, or by joining the assured as a co-complainant.


(d) Whether relief could be granted in a complaint against the carrier/service provider, in the absence of any proof of negligence?



It was held by the Court that the consignor could certainly maintain a complaint under the Act, seeking compensation for the loss, alleging negligence and deficiency in service. The fact that in pursuance of a contract of insurance, the assured had received from the  insurer, the value of the goods lost, either fully or in part does not erase or reduce the liability of the wrongdoer responsible for the loss. Therefore, the assured as a consumer, could file a complaint under the Act, even after the insurer had settled its claim in regard to the loss. In the course subrogation could be classified in to 3 broad categories : (i) subrogation by equitable assignment; (ii) subrogation by contract; & (iii) subrogation-cum- assignment.


In the first category, the subrogation is not  evidenced by any document, but is based on the insurance policy and the receipt issued by the assured acknowledging the full settlement of the claim relating to the loss. In the second category, the subrogation is evidenced by an instrument. The letter of subrogation is a contractual arrangement which crystallizes the rights of the insurer vis-`-vis the assignee. On execution of a letter of subrogation, the insurer becomes entitled to recover in terms of it, a sum not exceeding what was paid by it under the contract of insurance by suing in the name of the assured. The third category is where the assured executes a letter of subrogation-cum-assignment enabling the insurer retain the entire amount recovered (even if it is more what was paid to the assured) and giving an option to sue in the name of the assured or to sue in its own name.


In all three types of subrogation, the insurer can sue the wrongdoer in the name of the assured. This means that the insurer requests the assured to file the suit/complaint and has the option of joining as co-plaintiff. Alternatively the insurer can obtain a special power of Attorney from the assured and then to sue the wrongdoer in the name of the assured as his attorney.


If a letter of subrogation containing terms of assignment is to be treated only as an assignment by ignoring the subrogation, there may be the danger of document itself becoming invalid and unenforceable, having regard to the bar contained in section 6 of the Transfer of Property Act.


The Court also went on record that Insurance companies, statutory corporations and banks use standardized forms to cover all types of situations and circumstances and several of the clauses in such forms may be wholly inapplicable to the transaction intended to be covered by the document. Necessarily such redundant or inapplicable clauses should be ignored while trying examining the document and make sense out of it.


The Court pointed out that the use of the words "we hereby assign, transfer and abandon to you all our actionable rights, title andinterest" in the document, is in regard to rights and remedies against (1) railway administration (2) sea carriers (3) agents of sea carriers (4) port authorities (5) customs authorities and (6) persons whomsoever is liable in respect thereof. Even though, the matter relates to carriage of goods by road, the claims or remedies against a road carrier were not even mentioned. Excluding the irrelevant clauses, the document continues to be a letter of subrogation.


As rightly pointed out by the court a document should be transaction-specific. Or at least an effort should be made to delete or exclude inapplicable or irrelevant clauses. The Court opined that Computerisation and large legal departments should have enabled insurance companies, banks and financial institutions to (i) improve their documentation processes and omit unnecessary and repetitive clauses; (ii) avoid incorporation of other documents by vague references; and (iii) discontinue pasting or annexing of slips. But that is seldom done. If documents are clear,specific and self-contained, disputes and litigations will be considerably reduced.


Court also referred to the frequent misconstruction of para 23 of the decision in Oberai by some carriers. The said para does not mean that when the consignment is received by the carrier from the consignor and put it in the course of transportation, the carrier has provided the service and thereafter either ceases to be a service provider or ceases to be responsible for delivery of the goods, and that consequently, the consignor ceases to be a `consumer'. All that para 23 of Oberai meant was that in a contract for carriage of goods between the consignor (assured) and the carrier, if the consignor assigns the right to claim damages to an assignee, after the goods are lost or damaged, the assignee cannot claim to be a "consumer" under the Act. It impliedly meant that if the assignment had been done before the loss or damage to the goods, then the assignment would have been in regard to `property' and not a mere right to sue, and the assignee as consignee would be entitled to sue the carrier.


The Court held in this case that :
(a) The insurer, as subrogee, can file a complaint under the Act either in the name of the assured (as his attorney holder) or in the joint names of the assured and the insurer for recovery of the amount due from the service provider. The insurer may also request the assured to sue the wrong doer (service provider).


(b) Even if the letter of subrogation executed by the assured in favour of the insurer contains in addition to the words of subrogation, any words of assignment, the complaint would be maintainable so long as the complaint is in the name of the assured and insurer figures in the complaint only as an attorney holder or subrogee of the assured.


(c) The insurer cannot in its own name maintain a complaint before a consumer forum under the Act, even if ts right is traced to the terms of a Letter of subrogation-cum-assignment executed by the assured.


(d) Oberai is not good law insofar as it construes a Letter of subrogation-cum-assignment, as a pure and simple assignment. But to the extent it holds that an insurer lone cannot file a complaint under the Act, the decision is correct.


The punchline was that going by the amendment Act 62/2002 of the Act effective 15/3/2003 by addition of words "but does not include a person who avails of such services for any commercial purpose" in the definition of `consumer'. After the said amendment, if the service of the carrier had been availed for any commercial purpose, then the person availing the service will not be a `consumer' and consequently, complaints will not be maintainable in such cases. But the said amendment will not apply to complaints filed before the amendment.




The Court added that though Section 14(1)(d) of the CP Act contemplated award of  compensation to the consumer for any loss suffered by consumer due to the negligence of the opposite party (Carrier). Section 9 of Carriers Act does not lay down a preposition that a carrier will be liable even if there was no negligence on its part. On the other hand, it merely raises a presumption that when there is loss or damage or non-delivery of goods entrusted to a carrier, such loss, damage or non-delivery was due to the negligence of the carrier, its servant and agents. Thus where the consignor establishes loss or damage or non-delivery of goods, it is deemed that negligence on the part of the carrier is established. The carrier may avoid liability if it establishes that the loss, damage or non- delivery was due to an act of God or circumstances beyond its control. Section 14(1)(d) of the Act does not operate to relieve the carrier against the presumption of negligence created under Section 9 of the Carriers Act.


The Court concluded that the loss of consignment by the assured and settlement of claim by the insurer by paying Rs.4,47,436/- is established by evidence. Having regard to the presumption regarding negligence under section 9 of Carriers Act, it was not necessary for the complainants to prove further that the loss/damage was due to the negligence of the appellant or its driver. The presumption regarding negligence was not rebutted. Therefore, the District Forum was justified in allowing the complaint brought by Charan Spinning represented by the Insurer for recovery of Rs.447436/- The said order was affirmed by the State Forum and the National Forum.


The Bench stated that they found no reason to interfere with the same. The appeal was,therefore, dismissed.




THERE ARE LESSONS TO BE LEARNT FOR ALL CONCERNED.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No bus to school, students walk 10 km – sordid state of Pozhichalur, Chennai City.

Today’s news item in Times of India that for more than a month now, hundreds of students in Pozhichalur, 20 km south of Chennai, have been forced to walk to the Pallavaram government secondary school and back home, a distance of 10 km, because the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has brought down the total number of buses from 13 to just two buses every day makes a very sad reading. Pozhichalur is no dusty village – it is situated closer to the city, much closer to the Airport and was infact in news for long as this was stated to be the area where airport expansion was to take place. This place reportedly known as Pughal Chola Nallur dating back to Chola rulers famous for Agastgeeswarar and Sri Ramaanjaneya temple is closer to Pallavaram railway station on the local electric train network.

Even the existing two bus services such as 60G (Pozhichalur to Parrys Corner) and M52B (Pozhichalur to Broadway) have been converted into a ‘cut service’ for more than a month now. At present, these two buses operate from Pozhichalur to Pallavaram and Hastinapuram. There on, commuters have to board another bus at GST Road to reach the city. A few services also operated to Guduvancherry and Koyambedu from Pozhichalur. But, they were not operated regularly. Earlier, buses were operated to Broadway, Parrys Corner, Avadi, Saidapet and other places in the city from Pozhichalur. Now, the twodecades-old bus terminus in Pozhichalur wears a deserted look. Even the two buses are operated irregularly, as the time-keeper has been transferred to Chromepet.

More daunting is the reason assigned quoting sources in MTC that these rural areas do not boost the revenue of the buses. This straightaway takes away to the thought process of What Government should be doing and what should be done with profit motive !!


In a democracy it is the bounden duty of the Government to take care of its citizen which would include providing education and maintaining roads and other utilities. Can there be any argument that roads would be put and infrastructure provided only where there is revenue ?


Chennai’s economic development is tied to its port and transport infrastructure. The transportation requirement of the city residents are met by extensive public transport system. The bus service is run by the government-owned Metropolitan Transport Corporation which extends to the city and its suburbs. This service is generally considered efficient though there would be pockets which are not well connected and ill served due to paucity of services. Many of us would remember “PTC” – the Pallavan Transport Corporation as it was known earlier. PTC was established way back in 1972 with a fleet strength of 1029 buses. Then it was bifurcated into Pallavan and Dr Ambedkar Transport Corpn in 1994. Year 1997 saw their renaming as MTC Chennai division 1 & 2 then amalgamated in 2001.


The bus services have been brought down from 13 to 2 every day. The transport officials were reported to have stated that there was no revenue in these routes, roads in rural sectors are bad, often buses break down and hence the decision to avoid these areas.  The direct result is that the travellers – young and old have to wrestle for space or walk the long distance to reach their destinations. With no buses what would be the use of bus passes. This move coming as it did close to public examinations have added woes to the sorry state of affairs. Though Chennai is a metropolitan city, still there are pockets where getting to school itself is a big concession for some students whose parents are either marginal farmers or do menial jobs.

The development and maintenance of roads and infrastructure is a fundamental duty of the Government. The development of transportation is an essential factor for improving infrastructure for fuelling development of the state economy. There were times when some reputed Private companies operated bus services – known for their precision and accuracy – they were making good profits. Obviously, private players would eye for profits rather than providing service to the rural and low revenue earning areas.


Soon after independence, the nationalisation of passenger road transport in Tamilnadu commenced and Govt. took over all routes in Chennai city. In 1959, Govt exclusively owned operation in all routes exceeding 120 miles and long distance buses were introduced by State owned Transport Dept. In 1967, Govt. announced nationalisation of all routes of 120 km and above, all routes radiating from or terminating in Madras city irrespective of length and all routes in Kankakumari Dist. In 1971 Tamil Nadu Fleet Operators Stage Carriages (Acquisition) Act was enacted by which all the routes, buses, workshops and the staff of the five fleet operators owning 50 permits and above were acquired and transferred to three Transport Corporations viz. Pandiyan Roadways Corporation, Cheran Transport Corporation and Cholan Roadways Corporation. The saga of operation only by Govt has seen many court and many decisions.


It is another story that all State owned transport corporations had accumulated huge losses and many have not honoured even Court decrees passed in MACT and other forums arising out of road accidents involving transport corporation owned buses.
The Govt. has Revenue Dept which serves as the backbone of administrative set up boasts of having a defined network that runs from cities to villages reaching every family implementing all socio economic programmes of the Govt. In recent years, the Transport Corporation also acclaims to provide responsive system for the welfare of passengers by providing safe, secure, passenger comfort through efficient operations.

It is unfortunate that the common man continues to suffer.


Regards – Sampathkumar