Water way to be!

Bangaloreans pushed to the brink by acute water shortage could learn a thing or two from A R Shivakumar, who has not received a water bill in the last 16 years

Rain Water Harvesting

He has not been given a water bill in the last 16 years, and the BWSSB doesn’t mind a bit. A R Shivakumar, principal researcher of Rain Water Harvesting, KSCST, and his family of four, have been meeting their daily needs with rain water for the last sixteen summers.

Shivakumar offered to take us on a tour of his eco-friendly house Sourabha, in Vijayanagar, to display his advanced rain water harvesting system that makes him completely independent of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).
Shivakumar’s wife Suma is used to his eccentricities as a scientist.

But when he suggested that they forego a BWSSB line completely, in the new house they were building in 1997, she thought it was extreme. He convinced her then that she would not have to depend on neighbours for water, and eventually ended up building the house without depending on BWSSB.

“I created a shallow reservoir at the lowest slope of my site for the water to collect and we used just that to build our house,” he says. Today, Suma says, “We have never had a dry day and neither have we depended on tankers to help us out.”
Shivakumar has a two-level roof with two overhead tanks on each level. The roof acts as a catchment area connected to the second floor tank which is in turn connected to the linked underground pumps.

“During a full season, I have 45,000 litres of water in my house which can be used for 110 days. And in the last 100 years, the time gap between two showers in Bangalore has never exceeded three months. In Bangalore, we get about 40 inches of rain and with my surface areas, that translates to about 2.3 lakh litres of water every year. As a family of four, we use about 1.8 lakh litres of water. Where is the question of shortage?” he says.

But he does have a back-up for a (non) rainy day. The excess 50,000 litres of water that is not stored by the family in any of the tanks is directed to a shallow borewell which has water within the first 30 feet.

For clean drinking water, he uses a silver sheet that is immersed in a 10 litre tank. Put it in the water for six hours and what you have is zero-bacteria drinking water available, he says.

Water supply system
* Number of over head tanks – Two of 5,000 litre capacity
* Number of underground tanks – Two of 25,000 litres and 10,000 litres capacity
* Number of  motor pumps – 3
* Number of borewells – one

Manasi Paresh Kumar – From Times Group – Bangalore Mirror

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Anaesthetic agent major contributor to global warming: Study

WASHINGTON: Inhaled anaesthetics widely used for surgery-particularly the anaesthetic desflurane – are a major contributor to global warming, according to a new study.

Dr. Susan M. Ryan of University of California and computer scientist Claus J. Nielsen of University of Oslo said that sevoflurane, isoflurane, and desflurane are recognized greenhouse gases.

Using desflurane for one hour is equivalent to 235 to 470 miles of driving.

The anaesthetics “usually are vented out of the building as medical waste gases and remain in the atmosphere for a long time,” the researchers write.

Ryan and Nielsen suggest some “simple, knowledge-based decisions” that anaesthesiologists can follow to minimize their environmental impact unless there are medical reasons to use it and avoiding unnecessarily high anaesthetic flow rates, especially with desflurane.

The study is published in the July issue of Anaesthesia & Analgesia.

From TOI

Agriculture Lands are poisoned by textile processing units

Kadaiyampatti village families’ plight

Unproductive land:Indiscriminate discharge of effluents has severely affected the agricultural activities of families in Kadaiyampatti near Bhavani. — PHOTO:M. GOVARTHAN

ERODE: The families depending on the income from agriculture in Kadaiyampatti village, near Bhavani, are slowly quitting their profession as the textile processing units in the area are poisoning their lands by discharging chemical effluents.

Huge amount of untreated effluents are being let into the cultivable land, vacant space and water carrying channels. “The effluents got stagnated on the land and percolated deep into the ground, poisoning the soil and the ground water,” people in the village point out.

The agricultural productivity has come down drastically. The soil has become unproductive.

“There is a sharp fall in the crop yield. Agriculture is no longer fetching good income for us. Already a significant number of people in the village have quit farming and started selling their lands,” K.R.Palanisamy, a farmer in the village says.

What is more bothering is that the textile processing units are buying these lands and letting out effluents into them.

“All the nearby lands are affected due to this practice,” farmers said.

Environment

“The entire environment in the village is polluted. Children and women fall ill very often. A significant number of people have already moved to Bhavani and Erode,” farmers point out. Farmers, who made repeated representations to the authorities concerned earlier, have now stopped complaining.

“There is no point in complaining as officials at the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the district administration remain mute spectators. They know that we are suffering at the hands of textile processing units. We have complained umpteen times to the Collector at the grievances redressal meeting. But still no fruitful steps have been taken up to shutdown these units,” farmers lament.

“It seems the authorities want to see all of us quit farming and give way for the textile processing units to pollute the environment more,” villagers charge.

Officials, when contacted, maintained that they were taking action against the textile processing units, which were violating the rules.

“If authorities’ shutdown a unit, the machineries are shifted to another building to start a new unit and continue to pollute the environment.

The Central and State governments should bring in an effective solution to this issue and protect the agriculture,” farmers demand.

S. Ramesh – From THE HINDU

Hand over waste in bio-bags, traders told

Meetings to be held with traders at zone level

ORDERLY DISPOSAL:The Coimbatore Corporation wants traders to store waste, especially generated in meat stalls, in bio-degradable bags and then handed over to the conservancy workers of the civic body. - PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

COIMBATORE: Following up on the clean city drive, specifically for the World Classical Tamil Conference, the Corporation plans to rid the commercial areas in the city and places where shops are located in residential colonies of garbage.

The civic body has made a fresh appeal to traders to store waste only in bio-bags (biodegradable bags) and not dump it along roads, into the drainage or in open spaces such as reserved sites.

“We spoke to the traders on Thursday on the need to use the bio-bags. They were asked to store the waste in these bags and hand these over to the Corporation’s conservancy workers,” Mayor R. Venkatachalam said.

Apart from the usual garbage removal at 6 a.m. across the city, another shift at 9 a.m. would be introduced specially for the traders.

New shift

The Mayor said the shops, especially the ones that sold fish and meat, would not have much waste as early as 6 a.m. Therefore, the new shift would be introduced.

“Unless we put in place a disposal system that meets their needs, the traders also may find it difficult to adhere to the Corporation’s orders. At the same time, the traders will have to go by the system once it is in place,” the Mayor said.

“In order to spread the message wider, we plan to hold meetings with traders at the zone level, involving the Mayor, Corporation Commissioner, Deputy Mayor, Health Committee Chairman and other officials, he said.

From THE HINDU

Sandalwood, tiger parts seized

Tirupur: The forest officials seized 40 kg of sandalwood, tiger teeth and claws, horns and antlers of deer and antelope from Mavadappu settlement in the Upper Aliyar area in the district on Friday evening. Five persons, including a trader from Kerala and a Siddha practitioner from Pollachi have been arrested.

District Forest Officer K. Rajkumar told TheHindu that on a tip-off, a special task force team apprehended the trader from Mannarkad in Kerala while he was loading sandalwood in his car. Three tribals who supplied the material were also arrested. A search of the car also resulted in the seizure of the tiger parts.

From THE HINDU

Ambur municipality sends proposal to construct check dams

AMBUR: A proposal to construct check dams in three catchment areas in Ambur has been sent to the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA), Chennai.

The check dams will help in increasing groundwater level and tackle the water shortage problem in Ambur.

According to officials of the Ambur Municipality, they have proposed to construct the check dams at the catchment areas of Vannaanthurai, Aanaimedu and Nadhiseelapuram, which are also water pumping stations. Besides increasing water level by the drought season, the dams would help farmers in the surrounding areas get increased water supply for irrigation.

“The proposal has been sent to the DMA. The municipality has sent a proposal worth Rs. 6.25 crore to take up works for developing water supply at Vannaanthurai, Aanaimedu, Nadhiseelapuram, Naickeneri and Kamanuthatu,,” said municipal chairman V. Nazeer Ahmad. Meanwhile, the municipality is taking up works to construct a small retaining wall at the head work at Aanaimedu. Tenders for the works have been floated.

Drought period

“The retaining wall will save surface water coming from mountains.

A two to three-metre-high wall will save water and help in increasing water supply in three to four months before the drought period,” he added. Similarly, retaining walls would be constructed at the head works at Vannaanthurai and Nadhiseelapuram, the tenders for which would be floated soon.

From THE HINDU

Tiruchi: Proposal to create additional facilities at Grand Anicut

THANJAVUR: Public Works Department (PWD) has sent a proposal to the Central Government for developing Grand Anicut with museum and other facilities at a cost of Rs. 6.90 crores.

The proposal includes beautification of Grand Anicut Canal running across Thanjavur from Irwin bridge to Nagai Road.

Official sources told “The Hindu” that the proposal was sent on October one, 2009.

The proposal titled “Development of Kallanai (Grand Anicut) under Government of India scheme,” envisaged construction of a museum with a ground floor, first floor and second floor at a cost of Rs. 2.43 crores out of the total amount.

The ground floor will be raised with high ceiling and an aquarium.

The second floor will have a viewpoint with telescopic arrangement so that the people can see the entire Grand Anicut.

The museum will depict the meandering of the Cauvery from Coorg i.e., Thalai Cauvery till it reached the Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar.

Theme park

A children’s theme park, water sports and adventure sports will be added to the existing park.

Construction of wayside public conveniences and basic amenities will be taken up under the scheme.

Walk ways will be provided on the Vennar right bank and Cauvery lift bank.

Amenities will be provided for people to take holy dip in the Cauvery.

Bathing ghats and fleet of steps will be built with aesthetic look like the ones at Somnath Temple at Gujarath. This will be done at a cost of Rs. 87 lakhs.

Beautification of Grand Anicut canal in Thanjavur will be taken up from Irwin Bridge to Nagai Road at a cost of Rs. 1.50 crores.

Walk ways

Walk ways will be provided on both the banks of Grand Anicut in the stretch.

Proposals for converting Vennar Vettar head near Thirukattupalli have been sent to the Government.

G. Srinivasan – From THE HINDU