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

Siruvani water position improving

COIMBATORE: Though there has been heavy drawal of drinking water from the Siruvani Dam during the World Classical Tamil Conference (June 23-27), moderate rainfall is helping in improving the situation now, Mayor R. Venkatachalam said on Tuesday.

Rain God's blessing:Rain helps in maintaining a comfortable water level in Siruvani Dam.

There was no heavy rain in the catchments during the conference period, but whatever was given by the South West Monsoon enabled the Coimbatore Corporation draw 80 million litres a day, as against the 62 mld to 70 mld prior to the monsoon setting in, the Mayor said.

“This is why we are able to supply Siruvani water to some eastern and northern wards in the city that face shortage under the Pilloor Scheme,” he pointed out.

From 20.34 ft (as against the full reservoir level of nearly 51 ft) on June 24, the water level in the dam dipped to 19.35 ft on June 29.

“With lakhs of people visiting the conference venue, there was a huge need for drinking water,” the Mayor explained. “Now, whatever the monsoon offers will increase the level steadily as there will be less pressure on the supply front,” he said.

The Mayor also said: “We have already restored the alternate day supply. This points at the comfortable situation we are in.

Between June 24 and 29, the catchments received rainfall ranging from 3 mm to 16 mm.

The monsoon is expected to turn vigorous in the first or second week of July. There will be further improvement in the supply position,” he said.

The Mayor assured the people in the city that the last anxiety-filled summer was over.

“The Pilloor Phase II scheme will be completed before the next summer and the city will have enough water from three schemes: Siruvani, Pilloor I and Pilloor II. The Bhavani and Aliyar schemes for the suburbs will remove the pressure on these schemes,” he said.

From THE HINDU

Elephant-proof trench work along NMR stopped

Wildlife enthusiasts fear fragmentation of elephant corridor

Alternative measures to combat elephant intrusion suggested

Coimbatore: The Southern Railway authorities have called off their efforts to dig an elephant-proof trench along the Nilgiris Mountain Railway (NMR) from Kallar.

Following the killing of railway line maintenance staff recently and incidents of wild elephant herd chasing line maintenance personnel on two or three occasions, the authorities commenced the trench digging work.

This drew objection from wildlife enthusiasts stating that elephant-proof trenches would result in the fragmentation of the elephant corridor, preventing migration or movement of elephants from Coimbatore towards Sathyamangalam, Karnataka and other parts of Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve.

They pointed out that the fragmentation of the corridor and obstructions to the elephants’ movement would lead to their straying into human habitations.

The Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore Circle , R. Kannan and District Forest Officer, I. Anwardeen had a meeting with officials from Southern Railway.

It is learnt that at the meeting, alternative measures to combat the elephant intrusion were suggested.

It was also suggested that five watch towers could be erected along the NMR line to monitor the movement of herds, besides utilising the services of tribals to help the railway line staff in their maintenance work.

Southern Railway recently stopped the trench work and closed the trenches dug up in the first few days.

From THE HINDU

Kovai Courtallam gets a boost

Accommodations at Kovai Courtallam will be rented out to tourists

Tickets at District Forest Office in Coimbatore city itself by July

Kovai Courtallam

Coimbatore: To mark the World Environment Day observance and as part of the effort to plant 1 lakh saplings to commemorate the World Classical Tamil Conference, Secretary to Government for Forests, Debendranath Sarangi planted saplings along Tiruchi Road on Saturday.

The objective was to enhance greenery and compensate for the loss of trees suffered due to various development works. Officials said the drive was aimed at creating awareness among the public to contribute for the environment.

Mr. Sarangi also visited Kovai Courtallam where the Forest Department has come up with a eco-tourism project involving tribal community. The eco-tourism initiative has resulted in new tree top houses and rest houses for four families at Kovai Courtallam for accommodating and entertaining nature lovers. The participatory model of tourism promotion without compromise on conservation has resulted in tribal communities getting back Rs. 12 lakh revenue for their activities.

The tribals have started vending ice creams and pop corns to the tourist at Kovai Courtallam.

Of the proposed one lakh saplings to be planted to mark the World Classical Tamil Conference, 50 per cent would be in educational institutions. Twelve per cent would be by Corporation, eight per cent by other local bodies and ten per cent by the Highways Department. The saplings being planted on Tiruchi Road would be taken care of by the Chennai Silks in terms of watering the plants and providing them with a tree guard.

District Forest Officer I. Anwardeen sought public and corporate participation in terms of providing tree guards and watering the saplings for ensuring their survival.

Mr. Anwardeen said that the accommodations at Kovai Courtallam would be rented out to tourists at a tariff of little over Rs 1,750 and the tourists could avail them on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and stay would be restricted only for 24 hours.

The Department would shortly ban plastic items into the Kovai Courtallam area and tourists would be provided with paper bags and cloth bags.

To avoid tourists standing in queues during week-end, the Department has planned to issue entry tickets for Kovai Courtallam at the District Forest Office in Coimbatore city itself probably from the second week of July.

From THE HINDU

Area under precision farming to increase

COIMBATORE: Area under precision farming in the State will increase by about 10,000 hectares this financial year. With this the total area under the farming technology will cross 40,000 ha.

Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam told the Assembly recently that the Government had allocated Rs. 27.37 crore to bring 8,500 ha under agriculture crops and a little more under horticulture crops.

The Government provides 50 per cent of Rs. 1.30 lakh – the cost of implementing precision farming on a hectare – as subsidy.

The reason: studies have revealed that there is a 30–50 per cent increase in yield, improvement in quality of produce, uniformity in growth and extended harvest.

According to E. Vadivel, professor at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University who supervised the implementation of the project in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts, precision farming is optimising the use of water, fertilizer and pesticide to match the growth of each crop.

A team of experts from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University implemented the project on a pilot basis on 400 hectares.

The result of the study was so good that in 2007-08 the Government brought around 12,000 hectares under precision farming.

Karthik Madhavan From THE HINDU

TNPCB calls for green cover by schools

Coimbatore: Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), Coimbatore has decided to step up the drive for enhancing green cover by schools and also to plant 10,000 saplings with the help of industries.

Effort

A release from TNPCB says that June 5 is being observed as World Environment Day where every effort is being made and plans are being finalised for enhancing green cover and to protect the nvironment by working against global warming.

Rallies

The World Environment Day is being observed since 1973. TNPCB has decided to conduct awareness rallies and poetry, essay, painting and drawing competitions for school and college students in a bid to generate awareness among the future generation.

The board will provide Rs. 1 lakh to each district for ensuring that the school students are involved in afforestation activities to enhance green cover to combat global warming.

On June 5, TNPCB along with the Forest Department and district administration is planning to plant over 10,000 saplings.

Campaign

The campaign this year would be to ensure utilisation of resources well within the limits and capacity of the Nature to generate avoiding exploitation of resources.

The campaign would also focus on the need for preventing global warming by planting saplings, utilisation of resources such as electricity and fuel with austerity measures, avoiding the use of use and throw plastic carry bags and tumblers.

The board exhorted the people of Coimbatore to take a vow on these aspects on the day to protect the Earth.

From THE HINDU

Afforestation drive begins in Coimbatore

Plans to plant one lakh saplings to mark the World Classical Tamil Conference

Coimbatore: Forest Minister N. Selvaraj on Tuesday planted saplings on Tidel Park Road at Peelamedu and commenced a drive for planting one lakh saplings in Coimbatore to mark the World Classical Tamil Conference to be held from June 23.

Education Minister K. Anbazhagan, Rural Industries Minister Pongalur N. Palanisamy, Khadi Minister M. Ramachandran and Mayor R. Venkatachalam took part.

Mr. Selvaraj later held a review meeting at the Collectorate on the measures being taken for planting the saplings. He told reporters that Siruthuli was providing 55,000 saplings, Isha Yoga 20,000 saplings and the Forest Department 10,000 saplings. All the saplings would be planted this month. At the planting stage itself, people would be motivated to ensure that the saplings survived.

The Minister also said that a committee of officials was being formed to inspect the saplings every month and ascertain their status to ensure high survival rate. The species planned for Coimbatore were from the shade bearing variety namely Vembu, Vagai and Pungan.

Mr. Selvaraj said to mark the 87 th birth day of the Chief Minister on June 3, as 8.7 lakh saplings would be planted across Tamil Nadu in co-ordination with local bodies.

With regard to man-animal conflict, he said that the government planned to restore the elephant corridors. Coimbatore had nearly 12 such corridors.

The Minister said that the Forest Department, in the last four years, had planted 3 crore saplings in forests and 38,89,000 saplings on padugai lands.

From The HINDU