Erode: Three youths held with tiger skins in Tamil Nadu

Erode: Two tiger skins have been seized from two youth at a nearby village by the Special Task Force (STF) Police.

STF personnel on routine patrol at Srirangankadu area in Bhavanisagar forest range yesterday, noticed three persons standing near a car and on suspicion, questioned them. A search of the vehicle yielded one skin concealed in the boot, while another was recovered from a motorcycle parked nearby, police said.

The three were handed over to the Forest Department personnel for questioning.


Water released from Kodumudiyar dam

TIRUNELVELI: Water for ‘pisanam’ paddy cultivation was released from Kodumudiyar dam near Valliyoor on Friday.

Accompanied by PWD officials, Radhapuram MLA M. Appavu released 60 cusecs of water from the dam, which will be sustained till February 28. When water was released, the level at the dam stood at 41 feet against the maximum capacity of 52.48 feet.


Periyar Dam Water Level: Saturday, Oct 31, 2009

MADURAI: The level in the Periyar dam on Friday stood at 120.40 feet (full level 136 feet) with an inflow of 942 cusecs and a discharge of 1,200 cusecs. The level in the Vaigai dam was 61.06 feet (71 feet) with an inflow of 1,258 cusecs and a discharge of 1,660 cusecs. The combined Periyar credit stood at 5,409 mcft.

Peranai recorded 37.8 mm of rainfall followed by Uthamapalayam 18, Idayapatti 16.4, Madurai and Veerapandi 15 mm each, Tekkadi, Shanmuganadi and Vaigai dam 13 mm each, Sittampatti 9.6, Gudalur and Sothuparai dam 6 mm each, Pulipatti 5, Marudhanadi and Andipatti 4 mm each, Mettupatti 3, Periyar dam 2.4 and Thaniyamangalam 1.



Coimbatore: Students take message of waste management to the community

COIMBATORE: As an essential part of its Rs. 96-crore Integrated Solid Waste Management Project, the Coimbatore Corporation is trying to generate awareness among the people on the need for a clean city and the segregation of waste and storage in separate bins at home as an essential requirement towards that end.

While the health wing of the Corporation is also involved in the sensitisation exercise, the civic body has enlisted the services of the students to take the message of waste management, especially segregation of waste at source, to the community.

The Corporation is implementing segregation of waste at source (at houses where garbage is generated) in nine model wards: Nos. 3, 6, 16, 23, 24, 25, 43, 49 and 63.

Door-to-door collection as a pilot project has begun in all these wards. In all these, student volunteers of the National Service Scheme from colleges near the wards are being involved in generating awareness among the people.

The Corporation says that awareness creation is made mandatory under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission., under which the waste management and a number of infrastructure development schemes are to be implemented in the city. The Corporation has chosen Green Mother Trust as the consulting agency to create awareness among the public of the nine model wards on solid waste management.

Based on the requirements listed by the Corporation, the trust trains the student volunteers in carrying out the sensitisation programme.

Assistant City Health Officer R. Sumathi says the Corporation wants the message on segregation to reach every section of the community.

The student volunteers will not only give the message in the model wards, but will also take it home, she points out.

Project Head of Green Mother Trust T. Priscilla said her organisation had formed a participatory committee in all the nine model wards with the help of the Corporation’s Sanitary Inspectors who are the Nodal Officers of the committee.

The ward councillor is the head of the committee. It has as members, representatives from the residents’ association, the Corporation’s health wing and educational institutions in the locality.

These members have also been trained by the trust to regularly monitor the waste management system in their wards and submit reports to an apex committee.

Ms. Priscilla says the trust has trained the women Self- Help Groups in the model wards on solid waste management practices.

Training has also been given to sanitary workers and sanitary inspectors of the model wards, headmasters of all the Corporation schools and Corporation health workers. The trust uses methods such as puppet shows, street plays and songs to drive home the message of environment protection, segregation of waste at source waste minimisation.

As door-to-door education is found to be an effective method, NSS volunteers from Avinashilingham University, K.G. College of Nursing and Coimbatore Medical College will play a role in the sensitisation component of the waste management project.

Nearly 500 volunteers from these colleges are being involved, she says.

Students from the medical college fanned out across five model wards in the city on Thursday where the final phase of the door-to-door collection pilot project began.

As many as 140 students from the medical college took the message of segregation to the public, along with the NSS Co-ordinators from the college R. Arun and P. Murugesan.


Mettur Water Level – Saturday, Oct 31, 2009

Water level in the Mettur Dam stood at 72.9 feet on Friday, against its full level of 120 feet.

The inflow was 7,902 cusecs and the discharge, 8,000 cusecs.


Rain brings cheers to farmers in Karur district

Life thrown out of gear as low-lying areas are inundated

KARUR: Rain lashed several parts of the district on Thursday and Friday heralding the onset of monsoon over the district and bringing cheer to the farmers. The rains also threw life out of gear for the townsmen as low-lying areas sported sheets of water spread and forcing the unaware public to reach out to their umbrellas.

It was drizzling for the major part of the two days while sudden bout of heavy downpour wetted several parts of Kulithalai and Thogamalai areas on Thursday and Friday. Karur town experienced moderate rainfall in the two days.

Farmers who were apprehensive of irrigating their standing crop heaved a sigh of relief as rains came although a bit late. Standing banana crop and the transplanted late samba in several acres in Kulithalai and Krishnarayapuram taluks would benefit from the rain.

On Friday, electrical and electronic equipment in several houses and business establishments in Sengunthapuram were damaged in lightning. On Thursday night, lightning and thunder struck four huts in the Mettumahadanapuram area near Kulithalai and the household implements in them were damaged. In Vangal near Karur, banana crop in several acres were damaged by strong gales. The sky remained overcast and drizzle continued well into Friday.


Illegal Wildlife Trade: Collective political commitment needed, say tiger experts

Equip Interpol to combat illegal trade in wildlife

KATHMANDU: Experts from the tiger range countries have called for a collective political commitment from all levels of the government to save the animals and enhancing the capacity of the Interpol and other international agencies and enforcement networks to combat illegal trade in wildlife.

Apart from the Interpol, the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Secretariat and regional wildlife enforcement agencies should be authorised to take more effective measures in controlling trafficking, the experts said coming out with a set of recommendations at the end of the four-day Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop here on Friday.

Majestic beauty: Tiger sightings have increased in the Bandipur National Park. The just-concluded Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop called for strict protection of the beast and its core breeding areas — Photo: M.A.Sriram

Announcing the plan to celebrate 2010 as year of the tiger globally to create awareness of the critical plight of the animal and enlist broad support for its conservation, the experts gave a clarion call for strict protection of the beast and its core breeding areas. They asked the tiger range countries to stop infrastructure projects in core breeding areas and appealed to financial institutions to avoid financing development projects that adversely affect critical habitats.

They recommended conservation and management of buffer zones and corridors that connect core breeding areas in tiger landscapes, empowering local communities in and around the landscapes with sustainable economic incentives, and appropriate technologies to minimise human-tiger conflict. Making core/critical habitats truly inviolate with incentive-driven, generous, participatory and voluntary relocation was also suggested.

The workshop called upon the international community to make financial commitment to support long-term behaviour change campaigns with measurable outcomes for tiger conservation in the wild. Stressing the need to reach out to the target population to reduce the demand for tiger parts, the recommendations call for intensifying regional cooperation for better management and enforcement in trans-boundary tiger landscapes.

Use of innovative and sustainable mechanisms to finance conservation, and generation of collective support to tiger range countries from the international donor community to reverse the decline of wild tigers were also suggested.

The recommendations will be presented to the Ministers of the tiger range countries who are expected to meet in Thailand in January 2010.