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

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150 people fined for throwing plastic bags in drains

Cracking the whip on all those throwing plastic bags in drains, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has fined nearly 150 people and collected a fine of Rs 1.32 lakh in a fortnight.

After having learnt lessons from July 26 deluge, when plastic bags had blocked drains and led to flooding in the metropolis, the civic body has formed two ‘plastic ban’ squads consisting of six people.

“We have collected a fine of Rs 1.32 lakh from 146 people who were caught throwing plastic in drains in the last 12-13 days. These people are largely hawkers and shopkeepers,” Deputy Municipal Commissioner Rajendra Bhosale told PTI here.

On June 11, Municipal Commissioner Swadhin Kshatriya had announced that anyone caught throwing plastic, thermocol and other items during monsoon will have to pay fine ranging from Rs 100-5,000.

“These cases are mostly from eastern suburbs like Kurla, Mulund, Chembur, Govandi and others followed by western suburbs and the island city,” Bhosale said.

Drain clogging had led to massive flooding on July 26, 2005 forcing the state government to contemplate banning polythene bags.

As per the Maharashtra Non-biodegradable Garbage Control Act, the minimum thickness of plastic carry bags must be 50 micron and their size should be no less than 8×12 inches.

From Hindustan Times

June, a month of unstable weather

Development of convective clouds generated in the evening, after intense heat in the day, causes rain

CHENNAI: The sun has been playing hide and seek with the clouds for the past few weeks. This month, so far, the city has received 55.8 mm of rainfall, which is more than the average of 43.3 mm in June. The rain brought down the maximum temperature from the average 36 degree Celsius to 34 degree Celsius on many days.

Under way: Stormwater drain construction in progress at Kannapar Thidal. Chennai Corporation has taken up construction of stormwater drains in several areas. — Photo: V. Ganesan

According to S.R. Ramanan, Director of Area Cyclone Warning Centre, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai has been experiencing unstable weather due to a combination of factors. The development of convective clouds generated in the evening, after intense heat in the day, causes rain, he said. The city has also been experiencing rain due to local thunderstorm activity. This weather is expected to be like this till the end of this month.

However, even a light shower has proved to be enough to result in water stagnation on several roads, including Vepery High Road, Tiruvottiyur High Road, Broadway, Ganesapuram, Valluvarkottam High Road, Sterling Road and in Choolai.

With the black topping on many roads having been removed using cold milling method for relaying, two-wheeler riders say they find it more difficult to negotiate these stretches during rain.

During the monsoon, subways including those in Ganesapuram, Vysarpadi Jeeva, near RBI, Thillai Ganga Nagar and those in T.Nagar get flooded. A flyover proposed at Ganesapuram to tide over the problem is yet to materialise.

L. Sudha, who lives off Bazullah Road in T. Nagar, said “Invariably, there is knee-deep water during the rains and we have always faced the problem of rainwater mixing with sewage.”

R. Prasad, a resident of George Town, said sewage mixing with drinking water was a major issue in many parts of north Chennai. “Even during the summer, we have sewage overflowing on the roads and at times reverse flow into buildings. Clogged drains and pumping stations that do not function properly are reasons for this. Repeated complaints have not borne fruit,” he said, adding that the situation would be worse during north-east monsoon.

The Chennai Corporation and the Chennai Metrowater are gearing up to meet challenges of inundation, blocked stormwater drains (SWD) and sewer lines and drinking water contamination.

According to senior Corporation officials, of the total 931 km of SWD, 463 km have already been desilted. Tenders have been prepared to desilt and repair 333 km of SWD and canals. Various important links in the network, including at Kellys, a SWD that cuts across Poonamallee High Road near Ripon Building and one on Tiruvottiyur High Road would be desilted. New link drains are being constructed in Nungambakkam, Ganesapuram, T. Nagar and Purasawalkam, the officials said.

The Metrowater has intensified joint patrolling with the Corporation to ensure supply of safe drinking water. It has also doubled the number of water samples collected daily for bacteriological analysis to 120. Apart from this, each day about 400 samples are taken for testing physical parameters, including total dissolved solids and 2,000 samples checked for chlorine levels, said officials.

Sewage pumping stations are also being overhauled to prevent failure of the system during monsoon owing to additional load.

Though mosquitoes are not yet a problem in the city, residents of suburban areas where spraying and fogging are hardly done find it difficult to cope with. “We cannot sleep without mosquito repellents. Whenever there are power cuts or low voltage, mosquitoes seem to come in battalions,” said Visalakshi Rajaraman of Poonamallee.

Municipalities, on their part, are trying to take up work to equip localities for the monsoon. According to a senior official of Ambattur Municipality, fogging and spraying of larvicides for mosquito control are being carried out regularly.

“We are also desilting canals to prevent logging. Localities such as Korattur, Padi and Mogappair face water stagnation as they are low-level areas,” the official said, adding that the focus would be on prevention of stagnation and conservation of rainwater.

Officials of the Madhavaram Municipality said work on an underground drainage project was on.

From THE HINDU

Laying waste

UNPROTECTED:Sewage being dumped into the field - Photo : N. Rajesh

From THE HINDU

Drinking water supply affected due to lack of coordination

Between National Highways Authority of India, Virudhunagar Municipality

VIRUDHUNAGAR: An innocuous mistake in failing to “effectively” coordinate with the National Highways Authority of India officials by the Virudhunagar municipal officials has affected drinking water supply to the local body for months together.

Adding to the woes: Drawing of water from Ondipuli water body remains suspended for months owing to technical fault. — Photo: S. James

Even as the local body is managing to supply only half of the required quantum of water to the town, it is unable to draw water from Ondipuli water body as the pipe line has been frequently bursting ever since it was re-laid by the NHAI officials over a year back.

The result: the town is losing around six lakh litres of water daily even though the erstwhile quarry site has plenty of water. “We have water for around 80-foot deep, but are not able to draw it every day,” a councillor said.

Municipal sources said that the officials of the local body failed to inform the NHAI authorities about the pipeline running along the Madurai-Tirunelveli highway for around 6 km from near the district sports stadium up to Inamreddiyapatti junction. “When the roadside was dug up for widening, the pipeline was broken. After much struggle, we made them re-lay the pipeline, which was not properly supervised by our officials,” an insider said.

“The pipeline was laid on the rocky bed without providing any sand cushion. Besides, the alignment is not proper leading to frequent bursts,” the Chairperson, K. Karthik, said. He said that the Collector, Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan, has promised to allocate Rs. 50 lakh for re-doing the work on receipt of Drought Relief Fund.

A councillor said that the Ondipuli water would have provided some relief as water was being supplied only once in 8 to 9 days. “We are not getting the due share even from the Tamiraparani combined drinking water scheme. The designed supply should be 47 lakh litres per day. But, till date it has not crossed 25 lakh litres on a single day. It is highly undependable as it sometimes fails for two or three days,” he said.

However, the Chairman said that the town was in a better position these days, when compared to supply of water once in 21 days. “We are trying to put up some water treatment plants to treat ground water drawn from borewells and wells so that residents get tastier water,” she said. The Virudhunagar Municipal Engineer said that air-valves were being fitted to prevent bursting of pipelines and he expected that continuous supply of water would be possible from February 15. Residents feel that the problem should be set right before the summer sets in.

S. Sundar From THE HINDU

Mumbai: Soon, BMC markets to go ‘plastic-free’

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to make its markets ‘plastic-free’ in a bid to encourage ban on plastic bags. The civic body wants buyers in its 92 markets across the city to turn to paper and cloth bags.

The BMC will employ women from local self help groups to manufacture paper and cloth bags that will be available for sale at the municipal markets. Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said that they expect citizens to purchase these bags and slowly stop using plastic bags. Individual vendors in these markets will stop giving plastic bags thinner than 50 microns.

“When a person buys a cloth bag, he will have a tendency to reuse it and stop asking for plastic bags all together. We are looking at this campaign as a habit-inducing exercise,” said Mhaiskar. The campaign will kickstart on January 26 in two municipal markets, Mhaiskar added.

From Indian Express

Mumbai: Municipal corporation plans to ban plastic bags

Mumbai: Adopting the post July 2005 deluge mantra of ‘Say No To Plastic Bags’, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), is in full swing against the use of plastic bags in the metropolis.

“We will take up major awareness campaign, strengthen our staff, appeal to schools and colleges not to use plastic bags, hold meetings with respective associations and zone wise officers to spread the message and workshops among others,” deputy municipal ommissioner (Special) Rajendra Bhosale told
PTI.

Plastic bags that clogged drains and led to massive flooding on July 26, 2005, led the government to implement ban on polythene bags of below 50 micron thickness.

As per the rules, the minimum thickness of plastic carry bags must be 50 microns and their size must be not less than 8×12 inches, said Bhosale.

“We will take up this campaign during Marathon as well. We have prepared caps which will be given to school students with a message – ‘Say No To Plastic Bags’. We have cotton bags with same messages,” Bhosale said.

MCGM will soon kick off awareness campaign advocating the ban and urge Mumbaikars to pledge their support for it.

“Penalties will be collected and punishments will be given to offenders. Second time offenders will have to pay a fine of Rs10,000 and then for repeat offenders imprisonment of three months. A fine of Rs25,000 will also be imposed,” Bhosale said.

MCGM said that the environmental degradation and choking of drains was largely due to an inefficient waste disposal system.

Following the orders of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, newly elected Mayor Shraddha Jadav has asked the civic body to ensure a complete ban on plastic bags.

“We will take strict and stringent action against all those who do not comply with the norms. Earlier, post the deluge, a ban was imposed on plastic bags, which was not followed by all. But we ensure this time it is done,” Jadav said.

The proposal will soon be tabled before the group leaders meeting on January 2 in the MCGM.

“The ban that was imposed earlier had failed to curb the use of plastic bags effectively. Because of which today also the plastic bags continue to choke drainage and sewer lines,” Jadhav said.

“We have support of people as they are also aware about the hazards of using plastic bags. The hawkers, shopkeepers and other dealers need to understand about it,” Jadav said.

Mayor’s office, along with MCGM, has been promoting the use of paper and cloth bags as an environment-friendly alternative.

“The cost at which a plastic bag is purchased by a dealer is from Rs 3 to 4.50 to 5 and a cost of cloth bag is some where around Rs 5 to 7, which is more or less same,” Bhosale said.

According to the civic body, a complete ban on plastic bags already exists in Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Kerala. Last week, Pune became the first city in Maharashtra to prohibit the use of plastic bags.

From PTI