Perambur park to get first musical fountain

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation is planning to install a musical fountain, the first of its kind by the civic body, at the upcoming park on the northern side of the Perambur flyover.

EAGERLY AWAITED: The proposed park near the Perambur flyover where the musical fountain will be installed. — Photo: V. Ganesan

The work is expected to be completed by the end of next month, according to Corporation officials. Tenders for the fountain would be called next week.

The estimated cost of the facility will be Rs.25 lakh.

Water from the fountain would appear as if it is dancing to recorded music. Coloured lights would be used to light up the jets.

However, no separate enclosure or seating arrangements is being created around the fountain.

Work on the park, which is being undertaken at a cost of Rs.30 lakh, is expected to get over simultaneously.

The facilities in the park, on about 50 grounds of land, include a 400-metre-long walking track, yoga stage, lawns, seating arrangements and children’s play area.

Another park, on the southern side, has already been completed with play area for children, seating arrangements and lawns and attracts over 5,000 visitors daily.

Residents have welcomed the Corporation’s decision to develop parks as there are no such facilities in the area. R.Umapathy, a resident, said some kind of system must be introduced for parking vehicles. Separate bays need to be earmarked for motorbikes and four-wheelers.

Additional policing was needed near the park to prevent anti-social elements from misusing the facility at night.

Deepa H Ramakrishnan – From THE HINDU

Vadapalani park to be opened this month

Spread over eight grounds, it is being developed at a cost of Rs.38 lakh

CHENNAI: A park being developed by the Chennai Corporation on Arcot Road, Vadapalani, will be opened this month. More parks, including the Dr. Visveswaraya Tower Park in Anna Nagar and Natesan Park in T. Nagar, which are being improved, will also be opened this month, Mayor M. Subramanian said here on Monday.

EMERGING: A view of the Vadapalani Park in Chennai on Monday. — Photo: Chennai Corporation

Deputy Chief Minister M. K. Stalin would inaugurate the parks, Mr. Subramanian said after reviewing the work in progress at the park in Vadapalani. He said the park spread over eight grounds of land was being developed at a cost of Rs.38 lakh. The amenities being provided include walkers’ path, landscape, ornamental lighting and children’s play area.

In the past three years, a total of 406 parks have been developed at a cost of Rs.30.69 crore. Work is on to improve 100 more parks. Chennai Corporation has also constructed 47 gymnasiums, 17 auditoriums and renovated 71 play grounds at a total cost of Rs.12.85 crore, he said.

From THE HINDU

Hyderabad: Zoo mates falling prey to pollution

HYDERABAD: It was in the run-up to the Bakrid festival when the city zoo lost six black bucks last November within five days. The veterinary doctors at the zoo were surprised that the animals had died due to foot and mouth disease, which is caused by a virus that had been eradicated from Andhra Pradesh many years ago. And that’s when they realised how the virus had gained entry into the zoo: illegal slaughter houses that had mushroomed around the zoo unchecked had brought cattle and sheep from neighbouring states for the festival. Officials said the epidemic was contained and thus other animals saved.

Nevertheless, of the 24 animal deaths at the Nehru Zoological Park in the last one year, 18 have died in the last three months alone. Two animals, a fox and a mouse deer, died last week. But these deaths were not due to the virus. The fox was found dead in his burrow with maggot wounds and the mouse deer died due to a rare urine retention illness.

Clearly, there are more factors leading to deaths in the zoo than just the deadly virus. When founded in 1965, the 300-acre zoo was located on the city outskirts and its animals lived in mint fresh environs. If slaughter houses around it are making unwanted donations of the foot and mouth disease virus that travels into zoo at the speed of 60 km/hour, the vehicles moving inside the zoo are ensuring a rise in pollution levels as well. In addition, many animals are reaching their longevity and their deaths are natural. In some cases, however, the animals are lonely, having been couriered from other zoos to Hyderabad, alone. And there is a crunch in the number of animal keepers, with just about 57 animal keepers for the 1,390 animals living in the zoo.

But to start with, it is pollution that is the zoo’s biggest problem. If the road outside it has become busier, dirtier than ever, with it now leading to the Shamshabad airport, the number of vehicles moving inside the zoo have also shot up, despite the entry for vehicles priced at Rs 500. Zoo authorities say that 650 vehicles enter the zoo on ‘peak days’ such as holidays and weekends. On regular days, around 300 vehicles move around the zoo premises.

“The noise pollution because of vehicles is definitely having an impact on the animals who are not used to this kind of atmosphere. Especially primates and herbivores are very sensitive,” said Farida Tampal, state director of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Pollution, both noise and air, may not kill animals but lowers their resistance, say experts. Tampal says that a suggestion was made to the zoo to operate more battery operated vehicles and restrict the entry of vehicles further. Given that the zoo earns an annual revenue of Rs 5 crore from its visitors, the suggestion to restrict entry of vehicles could be difficult to accept. After all, the zoo spends a lot too, Rs 11 lakh alone on the diet of the animals every month.

“I would not say that the zoo officials are negligent. But the zoo was once in an isolated place and now the traffic has compounded,” said Vasanti Wadi, secretary, People for Animals. Wadi goes on to point out another crucial issue— loneliness— that is casting a shadow on the animal’s longevity. “There are a few animals living alone. Every animal requires company,” she said, questioning why these animals were brought alone from other zoos.

Zoo officials say that acquiring animals for the zoo is a big problem, cumbersome too. “We got a giraffe from Delhi but a single one. What is the fate (of the animal),” wonders Dr M Navin Kumar, consultant with the Hyderabad zoo and also its former deputy director. The enclosures are such that two different kind of animals cannot be accommodated in one. Dr Kumar, who is also on the evaluation team of the Central Zoo Authority, says that zoos should always acquire an animal with its compatible breeding pair, which does not always happen.

Objectively speaking, the number of deaths even in the financial year 2008-09 were also 20 and this year the number has shot only by four. But that, say experts, is not the point. The fact that deaths have been clustered in a quarter is reason for concern. “There is a need for more animal keepers as well. We had 120 animal keepers in the 1980s but now we don’t even have half that number for 150 animal enclosures,” said an animal keeper at the zoo.

Experts say that the zoo’s mortality rate is the same as that of other zoological parks but admit its time its surrounding environment was cleaned to make the zoo livable for its animals.

From TOI

WWF-India Panda Festival of Environment @ Maharashtra Nature Park December 10 &11 2009

The WWF-India has been celebrating the National Environment Month that starts from 19 November. e have been conducting various competitions and workshops in the form of a festival. From 2005 we have named the festival as the ‘Panda Festival of Environment’ and have had several competitions. This year the
festival will be held on 10 & 11 December, 2009 at Maharashtra (Mahim) Nature Park, Sion (West). The theme for the festival is based on the “International Year of Astronomy” and “Alien Invasive Species”. The festival is open from morning 9.00 am to evening 5.00pm.

Remember last date to register –7 December, 2009.

The Competitions and Nature trails during the festival are free of cost for the WWF-India, enrolled Nature Clubs and Subscribers. The film screenings are free for all. The workshops have a nominal fee. World Wide Fund for Nature – India

For any queries contact , Education Officer or
Asst. Education officer on the following address.
204, National Insurance Building, Dr. D. N. Road, Mumbai – 400001
Tel. Nos. 22078105 / 22071970 / 9869183412 / 9969440476
Dr. Goldin Quadros
Ms. Gauri Gurav,
Email: wwfmumbai@yahoo.co.in / gquadros@wwfindia.net.

1. Nature Trails
2.ExhibitionofPhotographs on“InvasiveAlienSpecies” India .
shot in captivity, gardens, zoos, aquariumand any other artificial environment will not be considered or accepted.

PLEASE NOTE
personally collected within 15 days, no entry fee to or not to display, strictly remain the discretion of WWF-India. delivered personally on or before 7 December, 2009

3. FilmScreenings
Workshops( )
Entire dayactivities – openforall
Potteryworkshop10 December
Word puzzle 11 December

The nature trails will be conducted to orient people to the various aspects of the natural ecosystem & alien invasive species. The trails have been designed and separated into six different categories namely General trail, Nakshatravan trail,Birds, Insects&Butterflies,Mangroves,Medicinal plants. Trail timings are as follows- 9.00 am.; 11.00 am.; 2.00 pm; 3.30 pm. The trails will be separate for adults and children.

The trails will be free for WWF-India subscribers and Nature club members, while others will be charged Rs. 5/- per head / trail.
PhotographDimensions: 8”x10”; 10”x12” and10”x15”
Last date for acceptance of entries is7 December 2009.
Date of Exhibition10 &11 December, 2009.
Time of exhibition–9.00am. to5.00pm.

Maximum 5 photographs (prints) to be submitted per participant. Every print should have the name, address, contact number / email of the contestant.

Images from only should be submitted
Each photograph should be correctly identified, have a short but suitable caption and a mention of the place where the photograph was taken and the specification of the camera, film and exposures (if possible).
Digitally altered photographs or those the prints will be used by WWF-India, Maharashtra State Office for non-commercial awareness purpose if they are not after the festival. WWF –India will not post or
courier any photographs. The unclaimed Photographs will be used for noncommercial educational purpose only.

The photographs will be displayed at the exhibition during the Festival on 10 & 11 December, 2009.
There is for the participants, however the decision any particular photograph The photographs should be toWWF-India, Maharashtra State office . Submissions at the venue will not be entertained. Six documentaries based on environment will be screened during the festival open to all Entry is Rs. 100/- per workshop per participant for the WWF-India subscribers and NCI members only on prior registration. For others the charges are Rs. 125 /- per workshop per individual on prior registration only. Spot entry for every one is Rs. 150/- only per workshop per individual, subject to availability of seats. Maximum 50 participants per workshop.All workshop material & participation certificates will be provided.

Dates Workshop (Tentative schedule) Time
10 December Go Wild – Print Magic 2.00 to 4.00 pm
11 December Recycling waste in to useful Material 2.00to4.00pm
(Duration30min)Time: 11.00am-1.00pm&2.00pm-4.00pm

Pots made by the participants can be carried back along with the certificate.
Charges: Rs. 25/- for subscribers and NCI members&Rs. 50/- for others and spot registrations – an interesting 10 minutes activity, no winner will be declared and no certificate will be given. Participant completing it in given time will get a small gift from WWF-India

For More Details Download the PDF

Madurai: Rs. 3.87 crore for amenities at eco-park

To establish dancing fountain, landscaping works, amphitheatre, parking lot and garden

MADURAI: Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri, on Monday, informed that the Union Tourism Ministry had sanctioned Rs. 3.87 crore under its ‘Destination Development Scheme’ for developing an eco-park at Tirupparankundram near here.

The Ministry had released Rs. 3.1 crore as first instalment to start the project, Mr. Alagiri said adding the State Tourism Minister N. Suresh Rajan had written to him that the project would be executed by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department.

While 68 lakh tourists visited Madurai last year, around 30 lakh of them visited the Subramaniaswamy Temple at Tirupparankundram. As it is very near Madurai, developing it would attract more tourists, he said.

On temple land

This development follows a Rs. 5 crore-proposal of HR and CE Department submitted earlier to the Centre through the State Government as the land of the proposed park is owned by the Subramaniaswamy Temple.

The works to be taken up include a ‘hybrid musical dancing fountain,’ which is expected to cost Rs. 42.63 lakh, landscaping works, amphitheatre, parking lot, garden — all to be established at a cost of Rs. 26.21 lakh, and more landscaping work near the pond and cafeteria at a cost of Rs. 23.95 lakh.

A sum of Rs. 35.41 lakh would be spent to provide a compound grill and fencing around the eco-park.

In 18 months

The HR and CE Department has been directed to commission the park within 18 months and also undertake responsibility for its maintenance. The funds released would be routed through the State Tourism Department.

The HR and CE Commissioner has been asked to submit progress reports to the government through the Director of Tourism, according to an official press release.

From THE HINDU

Cuddalore: Rain, waterlogging no dampener on children here

With schools closed, they have fun at Children’s Park

CUDDALORE: Whenever it rains in Cuddalore, Children’s Park at the Silver Beach gets a beating. Even a light shower leaves the area waterlogged. Owing to intermittent rains, the park is covered is in knee-deep water. But it did not dampen the spirit of a few children who ventured into the water to climb on to the swings and glide down the slides, little realising the health hazards posed by the inclement weather.

Thanks to the closure of schools on Monday, because of rain, few children went to the park to spend their time. The inundation is due to the raised cement pathway that leads to the seafront on one side and the elevated road on the other.

IRREPRESSIBLE: The inundated children’s park at the Silver Beach in Cuddalore draws some visitors even during rain. — Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

In the absence of any drainage vent, water stagnation has become a common feature at the park. The locals feel that the problem could be tackled if a chute is constructed to empty the water into the sea.

Moreover, a few damaged playthings in the park are crying for attention as they have sharp edges and corroded metal.

The forecast of heavy rainfall for Monday has not spurred officials of the Education Department to take action. For their failure to declare holiday in advance, students and their parents as well were put to undue hardship. Only on reaching the schools in the heavy downpour did they come to know of the holiday. Those relying on public transport were the hardest hit. The hassles could have been averted had the authorities conveyed the message in advance, as their counterparts did elsewhere.

However, the declaration of holiday cheered up the students, barring a few who detested the rigour of poring over the lessons for the examinations, which too were put off

However, the rain played spoilsport because the students could play neither street cricket nor any other outdoor games.

From THE HINDU