Mettur Water Level: Thursday, Nov 26, 2009

TIRUCHI: The water level in the Mettur dam stood at 90.67 feet on Wednesday against its full level of 120 feet. The inflow was 8,670 cusecs and the discharge, nil.

From THE HINDU

NewDelhi: Despite reminders, Dilli Haat flouts ban

NEW DELHI: Delhi government seems to be meeting with most resistance from its own quarters on the implementation of the ban on plastic bags. After it’s Dilli Haat now where shopkeepers have not been able to give up on plastic bags. The environment department has been writing to them on the issue but enforcement still remains a problem.

Dilli Haat, that comes under the department of tourism of the Delhi government, has been the forum for the environment department from where they have been specially promoting alternative bags. Special stalls selling jute and paper bags were also set up to encourage stall owners and consumers to switch from plastic. However, even now, plastic bags have not disappeared completely.

the Dilli Haat

Zakir Ali, manager of Dilli Haat at INA, said the place would become completely free of plastic bags by the end of the year. “We have put up boards and sent warning letters to violators but there has been a problem of enforcement. While our exhibitions have been completely plastic-free, the older artisans seem to be having a problem in being able to afford bags of alternate materials. We are trying our best to help them out,” he said, adding that a large number of people had started using jute and paper bags already.

Sources added that the department had no budget to support any subsidy on the use of alternative bags and for poor artisans coming from villages, the issue of affordability was a huge concern. “The resistance to using non-plastic bags comes not just from stall owners but also from consumers. Such bags cost about Rs 10. Consumers are habituated to taking free plastic bags and so now they are reluctant to purchase bags. A mechanism will have to be figured out wherein artisans get financial help so that they can switch over to jute, cloth or paper bags,” said an official.

Department officials said meeting was to be convened shortly in which more comprehensive methods of implementing the ban would be chalked out. “We have been writing to all heads of market places and threatening them with action if violations are found. A more strict approach needs to be adopted,” said an official.

Plastic bags were banned in the city in January this year. Those caught using or distributing plastic bags of any thickness or size will be fined a maximum of Rs 1 lakh or imprisonment of up to five years under the Environment Protection Act 1986.

From TOI

Tiruchi: Rain in district

TIRUCHI: Several parts of Tiruchi district continued to receive sporadic spells of rain on Tuesday. Tiruchi city experienced sharp showers in the morning. On Monday, Ponnaiyar Dam received some heavy rainfall and recorded the maximum of 34.46 mm of rainfall in the district during the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday. Nandhiyar Head received 20 mm of rainfall and Devimangalam 8.60 mm during the same period.

From THE HINDU

Mettur Water Level: Wednesday, Nov 25, 2009

TIRUCHI: The water level in the Mettur dam stood at 90.10 feet on Tuesday against its full level of 120 feet.

The inflow was 8,259 cusecs and the discharge, 1,000 cusecs.

From THE HINDU

Periyar Dam Water Level: Wednesday, Nov 25, 2009

MADURAI: The level in the Periyar dam on Tuesday stood at 135.70 feet (full level 136 feet) with an inflow of 1,511 cusecs and a discharge of 1,844 cusecs.

The level in the Vaigai dam was 67.62 feet (71 feet) with an inflow of 2,284 cusecs and a discharge of 2,860 cusecs.

From THE HINDU

Madurai: New irrigation tank formed near Peraiyur

MADURAI: Public Works Department has formed a new irrigation tank across the Ayyananarkoil Odai in Peraiyur taluk to provide assured irrigation for 725 acres of land in Mallapuram.

Collector N. Mathivanan has suggested to the officials to convert the Rs. 749.46-lakh project as a tourist spot with parks, seating arrangement and play equipment for children. After inspecting the tank, Mr. Mathivanan said that the tank, with a water spread area of around 15 hectares, had a storage capacity of 21.5 mcft. “So far, rainwater collected from (around 12 square km of catchment area) Western Ghats that flowed through the stream was used by farmers having lift irrigation facility. With this new tank, the irrigation will get stabilised and benefit 725 acres in Mallapuram,” he said. One yield of paddy would be ensured by the project, he added.

Stating that the greenery and surrounding mountains on three sides gave a perfect ambience for a tourist spot, he said that boating facility could be introduced as adequate storage would be available for at least six months in a year.

Gundar Basin Circle Executive Engineer S. Selvaraj said that groundwater table in the nearby wells had already been recharged. “Water level went up to nine metres (out of the maximum depth of 11 metres) in the recent rain. But, we released it, since it was the first storage since completion of construction,” he said.

Bund had been formed for a length of 1,025 metres with a weir to discharge flood flow of 4,347 cusecs. Two branch canals of 2,400 metres and 1,350 metres length and distributory canal of 1,300 metres had been constructed, Assistant Executive Engineer, M. Venkataraman, said.

Besides the tank work, the project envisages shifting of Ayyanar temple to five metres above the existing spot to prevent its submergence. Irrigation would begin from October.

From THE HINDU

Tamilnadu: Erode does well in paddy production

Increased yield attributed to System of Rice Intensification method

ERODE: In the backdrop of the disturbing news that the country will import rice for the first time in two decades, there’s some positive news as well.

Erode, an agrarian district, has been faring pretty well in paddy production and consistently at that.

In the current year, the Agriculture Department has so far brought 33,500 ha under paddy cultivation.

This is further expected go up, as the Department is yet to take in to account the cultivation in later part of the second season ‘Samba’.

On the rise: Erode district has been consistently good at paddy cultivation, though the country faces a shortage of rice. – Photo: M. Govarthan

An officer says farmers will cultivate paddy with seepage waters from Lower Bhavani Project canal and Kalingarayan Canal.

There will second cultivation in Thadapalli-Arakankottai area as well.

Once the figures are available the area under paddy is expected to be more than last year’s 48,912 ha. In 2007-08, the Department helped farmers bring 38,359 ha under the crop.

Of the 33,500 ha this year, the Department has brought 15,480 ha under the System of Rice Intensification method of cultivation.

This technique, which calls for increased spacing among paddy saplings, results in increased yield.

Figures available with the Department suggest that the increase will be as much as 1,500 kg a hectare.

The officer says the Department will be able to achieve the target of 16,400 ha for SRI for the current year once the figures for the second season are also available.

In the current year the Department projects 9,700 kg a hectare under SRI, as against an average yield of 6,540 kg from traditional cultivation practice. The officer says the Department has over the years promoted paddy cultivation by implementing a variety of Central and State governments’ schemes.

Under the Agriculture Technology Management Agency scheme, the officer says, the Department provides financial assistance to farmers to set up SRI demonstration plots.

The Department gives Rs. 4,000 a farmer for setting up the plots and it has achieved the target of setting up 138 plots across the district.

Further under the Union Government’s Integrated Cereal Development Programme the Department has set up SRI cluster.

The Government provides a subsidy for Rs. 3,000 an acre for setting up SRI clusters, with a cluster comprising 25 acres. In Erode 700 such clusters have been set up, the officer says.

These are in addition to the support the Department gives paddy farmers by supplying quality seeds at a subsidy. The initiatives the Department has taken have put Erode in a better position in the State, as in its average paddy production is higher than the State’s.

From THE HINDU