Afforestation drive planned to mark Tamil conference

Coimbatore: The State Government has announced a massive drive to ensure greenery in Coimbatore by planting one lakh saplings. State Forest Minister N. Selvaraj is expected to launch the drive on Tuesday.

A meeting to finalise the plan of action was held on Monday, which was attended by Conservator of Forests R. Kannan, District Collector P. Umanath, Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra, and District Forest Officer I. Anwardeen. Meeting resolved to ensure fullest participation of Government departments, public, local bodies, educational institutions and non-governmental organisations to achieve 100 per cent target and to ensure highest survival rate of the saplings especially when the southwest monsoon is expected to set in soon.

Representatives of educational institutions, officers from education department (both school and higher education), representatives from Anna University, Bharathiar University, officials from Town Panchayats, Panchayats, officials from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Highways, Coimbatore Coporation, office-bearers of voluntary organisations such as Osai, Siruthuli and RAAC took part.

Authorities have planned to have reasonable but specific targets for each organisation, institution and ensure success.

The objective is to enhance the green lung space within the City, suburbs and across the district. The drive is expected to compensate the loss of trees owing to various road widening works. Officials have planned to have trees planted on either side of the arterial roads especially in pockets where there are no space constraints. The authorities discussed the modalities for ensuring the watering of the plants till the northwest monsoon brings in a substantial downpour. The project is expected to take off immediately.

From THE HINDU

Pilloor water reaches Main Service Reservoir

Coimbatore: On completion of plugging the four leaks in the Pilloor water supply scheme at Keeranatham and Saravanampatti, authorities began pumping water from Pilloor reservoir from 5 a.m. on Thursday.

The water reached the Main Service Reservoir (MSR), the first point of the Coimbatore Corporation’s water supply system around 4 p.m.

The authorities have started the third motor and the fourth motor was expected to be switched on by Thursday night.

Corporation Assistant Engineer (in charge of Pilloor Water Supply), K. Karuppasamy said that water had reached MSR.

It is expected to reach Puliakulam reservoir and Varadarajapuram reservoir at Singanallur late on Thursday night or positively in the small hours of Friday.

Water supply would begin immediately.

Areas that were due to get water supply on Wednesday would first get water, he added.

The water supply managers were confident of ensuring a streamlined supply of water to all areas in the city by Friday night or latest by Saturday morning.

From THE HINDU

To beat the heat

A vendor selling palmyrah fruits in Coimbatore. — Photo: M. Periasamy.

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

Coimbatore: Aliyar scheme helps provide water

Dependency on Siruvani Dam will come down further

COIMBATORE: As in the past, this year too the suburbs west and south of the city are not enthused by reports that the water level in the Siruvani Dam is higher than last year. This is because the municipalities and town panchayats dependent on the drinking water scheme bear the brunt of shortage in the dam, but not any surplus.

IN PROGRESS: Pipes being laid at Navavur Privu in Vadavalli Town Panchayat near the city to provide drinking water under the Bhavani Combined Drinking Water Supply Scheme. – Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

This year marks a slight change: some of the local bodies in the suburbs are not totally downcast and are hopeful that the alternative water schemes will help them manage the summer. But, the delay in completing some works is causing concern, they say.

The Kurichi and Kuniamuthur municipalities say they are comfortably placed because they are already getting water supply under the Aliyar scheme. Though more of a trial run ahead of the actual commissioning, even this has helped in bailing these local bodies out of trouble. Both of them, however, say that some more works are to be completed in order to commission the scheme.

Kavundampalayam Municipality and Vadavalli Town Panchayat too await the completion of the Bhavani scheme. These local bodies, however, are not as comfortably placed as the Kurichi and Kuniamuthur municipalities. They still depend on the Siruvani supply as works to construct water tanks and connect lines are yet to be completed under the Bhavani scheme.

The Vadavalli Town Panchayat says that though the water level in the Siruvani Dam now is higher than the one in mid-February last year, it cannot translate into an increased supply to the local body. The quota remains at 7.65 lakh litres and the frequency of supply has worsened to once in 10 days from once in four days around the same time last year.

Earlier, there were indications of supply under the new scheme beginning by the end of this month, according to sources in the town panchayat.

The delay causes concern, but there are some hints that the scheme may be completed by April. The Bhavani scheme will provide 5.5 million litres a day (mld) and may even enable daily supply in the town panchayat.Kavundampalayam gets 3.4 mld of Siruvani water and more than one mld of Pilloor water. The new scheme will provide 11 mld to it.

“We are in better times now because of the supply under the Aliyar scheme,” says Kuniamuthur Municipality Chairperson S. Thulasimani. Apart from the three mld of Siruvani water, nearly 2.5 mld of Aliyar supply is also made in the municipality.

But, the entire municipality does not get Aliyar supply. It is made once in four or five days in the core Kuniamuthur area, Sugunapuram and Idayarpalayam. Siruvani supply is also made here once in eight or nine days. The municipality claims that it supplies Siruvani water once in six or seven days to Kovaipudur and once in five days to Sundakkamuthur and Ramachettipalayam. The entire one lakh population can get better supply once the Aliyar scheme is completed.

The Kurichi Municipality also breathes easy because of the Aliyar scheme trial run. It gets 2.3 mld from Aliyar river and 3.2 mld from Siruvani Dam. A mix of both enables a supply of once a week, says Chairman of the municipality N. Prabhakaran. “Earlier, the shortage of Siruvani water forced us to supply drinking water only once a fortnight,” he says.

From THE HINDU

Coimbatore: Drinking water position comfortable

COIMBATORE: The water position in the Siruvani Dam is comfortable as of now. It is, in fact, three feet higher than the level in mid-February last year. Yet, the Coimbatore Corporation advises caution on the part of the people. Water supply officials say that the harsh part of the summer is yet to begin and that the present water level is no reason to indulge in reckless use.

The water level in the dam on Tuesday was nearly 37 ft, as against the full reservoir level of 49.35 ft. Officials point out that the level is nearly three feet higher than the ones over the last three years (2007 to 2009).

A combination of good rain and restricted supply through last year has enabled the maintaining of a comfortable level till now. The catchment and dam received 3,770 mm rain in 2007, 2,168 in 2008 and 2,925 in 2009. Though the cumulative rainfall (South West Monsoon, North-East Monsoon, summer showers and low pressure-induced) in 2009 was 845 mm less than in 2007, the water level as of February 23 is higher by two feet. The continuance of alternate day supply in the city despite the dam being full for a few months is said to be one of the major reasons behind a reasonably good storage at this point of time.

But, the consumption usually goes up during summer and this phase is yet to begin. March and April will be a real test for the local bodies’ supply tightening skills and the people’s ability to use drinking water judiciously, the officials say.

Unlike in the past, the Pilloor scheme will not come to the rescue of the western parts of the city if there is a shortage in Siruvani supply.

K.V. Prasad From THE HINDU

Environmental impact

Global warming: Students of Amrita School of Business taking out a march to create awareness on carbon emissions as part of its annual B-Fest ‘Pragati 2010’ in Coimbatore on Sunday. — Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

From THE HINDU