Dindigul: Drinking water being wasted

DINDIGUL: While residents in Dindigul and nearby areas have been running from pillar to post for a pot of drinking water or chasing water lorries in street corners for water, a large quantum of drinking water has been flowing like channels on several streets within municipal limits, owing to frequent breaches developed in drinking water main pipelines and the “lethargic attitude” of the municipal administration in plugging them.

Breaches developed in more than four spots in Vivekenanandha Nagar and two places on Thiruchi main road and one place on West Rath Street in the past four days.

Even today, water was flooding the road at Vivekanandha Nagar, owing to a big breach in the pipeline.

It was a common sight in several places in the town, said local residents.

Already, the Dindigul municipality had been struggling to maintain drinking water supply to several areas.

Water supply was being maintained at least once in a week to major areas and once in 10 or 12 days to high ridge areas.

Storage

People in some wards even picketed roads condemning no supply of water to their wards for the past 20 days. Even before the commencement of peak summer, storage in the Athoor dam has come down sharply.

If the mercury level increased in April and in May, Kamarajar dam in Athoor, lifeline of Dindigul, Chinnalapatti and 17 wayside villages, would be dried up. Then the supply wells around the reservoir too would not come to the rescue.

Haphazard completion of the underground drainage project was the main reason for the pathetic condition. Damage of pipelines while digging was not repaired properly, complained the local people.

When the municipality released water, weak and damaged pipes were broken, owing to heavy water pressure.

Large quantum of water drained through broken pipes. Ultimately, the residents did not get water.

The Dindigul municipality pays least attention to plug the breaches in the pipelines, alleged the local people.

Residents of Ramanathapuram and Marudhanikulam picketed R.M. Colony Main Road here on Tuesday, condemning inordinate delay in supply of water.

One bore well that met their demands too dried up. Water supply was not made for the past 15 days.

From THE HINDU

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Nagercoil: Web site on plastic ban launched

Nagercoil: The district administration has launched a web-site recently to create awareness among school and college students as well as the general public on the ban of plastic materials in the district.

The Collector, Rajendra Ratnoo, said that in the web-site there were two options where the public could click ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to express their view on whether to ban or not to ban plastics in the district.

He also appealed to the public to post their suggestions in this web-site to declare Kanyakumari as a ‘plastic free district’ at the earliest.

Four municipalities

The officials of four municipalities including Nagercoil, Padmanabhapuram, Colachel and Kuzuthurai, 56 town panchayats and 99 village panchayats were being asked to form committees in connection with creating awareness among the people about the usage of plastic items above 20 microns.

It had been decided to conduct IEC (information, education and communication) programme throughout the district.

‘We would not be able to eradicate the plastic menace within a short span. But we could minimize the usage day by day, by making use of paper or jute bags,” said the Collector.

Committed

The district administration was committed to bring in a ‘behavioral change’ among the people by creating awareness about the ill-effects of using plastics, which could be responsible for diseases as cancer.

The campaign stressing on reduced use of plastic items began in October last and other awareness programmes were conducted every month to educate the public about the evils of its usage.

It would be continued in future also, he said.

From THE HINDU

Theni: Water-starved, paddy crop dying

THENI: Paddy crop in thousands of acres in Cumbum Valley is withering owing to scorching heat and early stoppage of water from Periyar Dam.

Paddy crop in a part of Uthamapalayam and over 550 acres under the ayacut of Karungankattan Kulam, 700 acres under Vairavan Canal, 500 acres under Chinna Canal and a sizable area under 17 channels is in a bad condition, according to farmers. Veerapandi is the worst affected as the entire crop is dying.

Representatives of several farmers’ associations want immediate release of water to protect the standing crop.

K. Raju From THE HINDU

Coimbatore Corporation begins efforts to avoid water scarcity

COIMBATORE: Indications of summer-specific austerity measures relating to drinking water supply came from the Coimbatore Corporation on Wednesday after it took stock of the situation in the Siruvani and Pilloor dams.

Mayor R. Venkatachalam, Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra and officials of the Corporation and the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board took part in the stock-taking meeting. The Corporation decided to provide from Thursday 1.5 lakh litres of Siruvani water in lorries to the scarcity-hit areas under the Pilloor scheme. At the same time, the Corporation also appeared to be contemplating further staggering of supply in the Siruvani-served areas also.

From the present alternate day supply, the Siruvani areas might get water only once in four days given the pressure for equitable distribution across the city and also the possibility of water level in the Siruvani Dam plunging fast because of a harsh summer.

But, such a change, that always faced the prospects of a protest, would be first discussed with the leaders of the political parties in the Corporation Council, sources in the civic body said.

The Mayor played down the option of the once-in-four-days supply by saying that a good summer shower might help the Corporation avoid it. At the same time, he also quoted Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board officials as saying at the meeting that the water position in the Siruvani Dam now suggested that 85 million litres a day could be supplied till June. But, nothing could be certain going by only the present situation.

Siruvani had a history of a quickly plunging water level when the summer turned harsher. Therefore, once-in-four days supply could be a fallback option.

“But, right now, we are starting off with 15 lorry loads (of 9,000 litres to 10,000 litres each) of Siruvani water to four wards in the eastern section in order to offset the shortage in Pilloor supply,” the Mayor said.

This would be in addition to the lorry supply that was on for years in the eastern parts of the city.

The lorry supply would be done till April 1. Another assessment of the situation would be done at that time to decide on further staggering of Siruvani supply.

K.V. Prasad From THE HINDU

Plastic ban: milk packets to be an exception

Two months after the civic body imposed a complete ban on use of plastic, the city improvement committee of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has sought the withdrawal of ban on bags used for milk supply. Meanwhile, it has proposed extending the ban on plastic used for sale of gutkha, popcorn and other products in pouches.

On December 26 last year, the PMC general body had passed a resolution seeking total ban on plastics of all sizes. The civic action helped in reduction of huge amount of plastic waste that was generated everyday. The civic administration had been seizing plastic bags used by shopkeepers, penalising them and initiating legal action against some.

“Almost every household in the city gets its milk supply in plastic bags. A ban on plastic bags used for milk supply will create inconvenience to citizens at large and introducing a system of supply of milk in bottles is not possible all of a sudden. Thus, the civic body should exempt the plastic bags used for milk supply,” said Kiran Bartakke, chairman, city improvement committee.

The proposal to this effect will now be tabled in the general body on March 19.

The proposal suggests that the ban on plastic bags for milk supply should be withdrawn. Simultaneously, the plastic pouches used for gutkha, popcorn and other products should be banned as they were causing major environmental hazards, it said.

Shiv Sena corporator Prithviraj Sutar said the plastic bags for milk supply are recycled and are not left in open to damage the environment unlike other plastic bags. The plastic manufacturers association continues to protest against the decision of the civic body. “The PMC had taken the decision without taking our opinion into consideration. The ban is not acceptable and would not succeed without our support,” said Bansilal Lunkad, president of the association, adding that it would challenge the decision legally if the civic body did not reconsider it.

Meanwhile, the civic body has undertaken the promotion of alternatives to plastic bags by deciding to support organisations that support manufacture of paper bags.

From Indian Express

Delhi: Awareness drive against use of plastic bags

To ensure complete implementation of the ban on use of plastic bags in its area, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has launched an awareness drive.

Other than holding surprise checks, the Council has also begun a campaign called ‘No to Use Plastic Bags’.

Recently, the civic agency seized 15 kg of plastic bags from shopkeepers at the Sarojini Nagar market.

With its new campaign, the NDMC plans to sensitise residents, traders and students and ask them to use jute, cloth and paper bags.

NDMC Public Health department’s Medical Officer of Health Dr P K Sharma said the drive is a continuous process to implement the ban.

“Since plastic bags were banned, we have been making surprise checks on shops and restaurants regularly as they tend to go back to using plastic bags if checks are not conducted regularly,” Dr Sharma said. The Health department is conducting the drive in Connaught Place, Netaji Nagar market, Begum Zaidi market, Moti Bagh, East Kidwai Nagar market and Sarojini Nagar market.

The Health department also issued a circular to restaurants and eating joints forbidding the use of plastic bags. Similar circulars have been issued to sanitary inspectors of all NDMC areas, resident welfare associations, market traders associations, schools, colleges, corporate houses and government and non-government organisations.

From Indian Express

China and India to Report their Global Warming Pollution Every 2 Years

Both China and India have now reaffirmed that they will report their global warming emissions every 2 years.  The framework of this was agreed in the Copenhagen Accord which outlined that every two years developing countries will report their national emissions inventories and emission reduction actions based upon internationally agreed guidelines.

And now two key players in those portions of the agreement have just reiterated to domestic audiences that they will implement this provision.  That is a very positive move which takes further international steps to address global warming as agreed in the Copenhagen Accord

China’s chief climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, highlighted before the National People’s Congress (the legislative body in China) that under the requirements of the Copenhagen Accord, China has agreed to submit an inventory report every two years to the UN Secretariat (as my colleague reported).  And Indian Minister Jairam Ramesh just announced that they will be releasing an emissions inventory for 2007 in May, to be updated every two years (as reported by The Hindu).

So why is this so important from an environmental standpoint?  One of the fundamentals of any environmental policy is a three step process of knowing:

1.Where you currently are (e.g., how good, bad, or ugly is your current environmental situation);
2.Where you want to head (e.g., what are you trying to achieve in order to solve the challenge); and
3.Where you are at various points towards your end goal – point 2 (e.g., in 2 years time are you making good progress towards your goal or not).
Creating a process to improve the assessment of progress.  Before the Copenhagen Accord, the world had an incomplete system of accountability and transparency.  All countries developed national emissions inventories and submitted “National Communications” containing summary information on national emissions, actions that the country was undertaking to reduce emissions, and reports on the country’s progress.  But these National Communications have been extremely limited for developing countries as they have been too infrequent to generate information on current trends.  For the most part, official information on developing country emissions dates back to 1994.  That is an incomplete snapshot as we know that those emissions have changed dramatically since then.  For example in 1994 China and India accounted for 14 and 4% of the world’s emissions from fossil fuels and now they account for 22 and 5%, respectively  — both country’s emissions essentially doubling over that timeframe.*

So the announcements by Chinese and Indian officials are important steps to improve the environmental assessment provisions of the international framework.  And it will add confidence to efforts to regularly assess the progress that countries are making towards their commitments recorded as a part of the Copenhagen Accord

Going into Copenhagen we effectively had official global warming emissions from developing countries reported every 15 years and now we have emissions reported every 2 years.  A point highlighted by Minister Ramesh: “The last data on emissions dates back to 1994”.

So the fact that the world didn’t have good, regularly updated, and consistent information on where key countries emissions stood and a system to regularly assess progress was a significant limitation.  But this limitation is slowly being eliminated as countries take concrete steps to implement the key provisions of the Copenhagen Accord.  China and India have now reaffirmed to important domestic audiences that they will move forward domestically with the transparency provisions – a critical cornerstone of the agreement reached in Copenhagen.

By Jake Schmidt From NRDC.org