Kerala: Pappinissery eco-tourism works launched

KANNUR: The Pappinissery Eco-Tourism Society set up to tap the tourism potential of ecologically sensitive mangroves on the banks of the Valapattanam river launched its tourism development works on Sunday.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) central committee member E.P. Jayarajan formally inaugurated the works.

Society office-bearers said that while natural beauty, environmental characteristics and traditional arts and crafts had become chief ingredients of tourism that was rapidly growing as an industry in modern times, the condition of the Valapattanam river and the neighbouring areas was pathetic.

Garbage dump

The river banks and the catchment areas were being used as a garbage dump. Development of these areas for tourism could ensure the protection of the mangroves. There were 36 types of mangroves in the area.

They said the society had plans to take up other eco-tourism initiatives too.

From THE HINDU

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Tirunelveli: Efforts to save environment not enough

Tirunelveli residents not satisfied with Corporation’s measures, says survey conducted by college students

Many concerned over pollution of Tamirabharani

Plastic ban from January 1 has reached a majority

TIRUNELVELI: Most of the residents of Tirunelveli Corporation are totally unhappy with the contribution of the local body towards improving the degrading environment of the city, according to a survey conducted by the students of Visual Communication Department of St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai.

“Sixty-seven per cent of the 3,000 public, who were contacted for this survey on ‘Environment of Tirunelveli’, have expressed dissatisfaction over the Corporation’s attitude on improving the milieu and over 91 per cent of the people have opined that the roads within the Corporation limits are in a bad shape,” said Rev. Fr. Alphonse Manickam SJ, principal, St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai, while releasing the findings of the survey here on Tuesday.

With the objective of getting the public opinion on environmental pollution by various factors, a total of 51 students met 3,000 persons from KTC Nagar, Melapalayam, Shanthi Nagar, Pettai, Suththamalli, Tirunelveli Town, Samathanapuram, Anbu Nagar, Sindhupoondurai, Meenaksipuram, Vannarpet, Palayamkottai Market, Rajendra Nagar, Koripallam and Kokkirakulam, who all agree that air pollution was more than other kinds such as water and land pollution.

Another interesting feature of this survey is that Collector M. Jayaraman’s announcement on the ban to be enforced on the polythene bags below 20 micron from January 1, 2010 has reached most of the people (74 per cent), who agree that plastic waste irreparably harm the environment.

Some of the people contacted for this survey themselves are victims of burning of plastic waste in their surroundings.

More than 86 per cent have expressed concern over the pollution of the perennial Tamirabharani owing to dumping of garbage, debris, discharge of industrial and domestic effluents, etc.

Only creation of awareness among the public, stringent enforcement of law, serious steps by the Corporation, ban on non-recyclable plastic products, growing of more trees, saving Tamirabharani from being polluted, etc., alone would improve the environment, people participated in the survey have said.

“We’ve decided to handover our students’ findings to the Collector and the Corporation administration for executing appropriate remedial measures,” said Rev. Dr. Alphonse Manickam.

Vice-Principal, SXC, Rev. Fr. Danis Ponniah SJ, Head, Department of Visual Communication, Rev. Fr. Xavier Antony SJ, Prof. Shanthi, Department of Visual Communications were present.

From THE HINDU

Nagercoil: Call to link Nambiyar river

So that surplus rainwater could be used for drinking

Nagercoil: The Pazhayar Protection Movement here has urged the Government to link the Nambiyar river with the Pazhayar River so that surplus rainwater could be utilized for drinking and irrigation purpose in Agastheeswaram and Thovalai taluks in Kanyakumari district.

The Pazhayer river production movement convener Tho Nainar said that the forum was committed to opposing globalisation, communalism and privatisation.

Steps would be taken to desilt the Pazhayar, which runs to a total length of 44 km. It once catered to the needs of farmers benefitting 16,550 acres. It started getting polluted after the municipal administration allowed sewage of the entire town to mingle with the Pazhayar.

Bushes, shrubs

Bushes and shrubs were found all along its banks and the entire river stretch has been encroached upon. He also expressed concern over exploitation of groundwater by multi-national companies. A research paper on vanished (encroached) ponds, tanks and other water bodies will be submitted at a special meeting, to be held at the earliest. He also appealed to the representatives of NGO, members of self-help groups and consumer forums attached to the Pazhayar Protection Movement to air their views and suggestions to their forum so that the famous river could be saved.

Steps should be taken to implement the proposed Nambiyaru river- Pazhayar link via Thirukurankudi (Nambiyaru) and Kodumudiyaru by connecting Panakudi and Aralvoimozhi areas through Chempakaramanputhur and Boothapandi.

He demanded cultivation of mangrove forest at Manakudi backwater area to minimise the nature’s fury.

They asked the Government to implement an underground drainage scheme in Nagercoil to prevent the Pazhayar free from any kind of pollution.

The Pazhayar Protection Movement has flayed the Nagercoil municipality for allowing sewage to flow directly into the Pazhayar river. A cross section of people has urged the Government to prepare a time-bound plan of action to renovate all water bodies in the district.

P.S. Suresh Kumar – From THE HINDU

Salem: Solid waste being dumped into river

SALEM: The indiscriminate dumping of solid waste into the Tirumanimutharu channel continues unchecked in the city, thus defeating the very purpose of implementing the river improvement project, for which the Salem Corporation has spent crores of rupees already.

The State government has sanctioned the Tirumanimutharu Channel improvement project a few years ago to ensure smooth flow of water in the channel, which is a major river turned sewer passing through the city.

Expenditure

The civic body spent over Rs. 35 crore for concrete lining of the bunds and bed of the channel under the project.

It had already completed the execution of the first phase of the project and the second phase was under progress.

The civic body announced that it would impose fine if persons were found disposing waste into the channel. But it could not implement it.

As a result of this, the commercial establishments located near the channel keep dumping solid waste into the channel, which affects the smooth flow of water in the channel.

Citizens here suggest that the civic body should include traders as stakeholders of the project and form a committee comprising the representatives of traders to prevent the indiscriminate dumping of waste into the channel.

The civic administration can also erect a mesh on both sides of the channel to prevent the dumping of waste into the channel, they add.

If the civic body fails to take any serious action, then the channel will turn into a garbage dump and crores of tax of payers of money spent for the project will be a waste, people point out.

From THE HINDU

Chennai: Cooum project keeps hopes afloat

Public Works Department is contemplating constructing a series of check-dams on the river

CHENNAI: With the launch of the Rs.1,200-crore Cooum river beautification project, the State government is making yet another attempt at cleaning the Cooum, which has been eluding a lasting solution.

Compared to the Adyar river, the Cooum is more polluted and its problems are more complex.

WHAT IS AND WHAT WILL BE: A view of the Cooum river as it is now and (right) an artist’s depiction of the Cooum, once the beautification project is completed. — Photo: Water Resources Department - PWD

Senior officials who are associated with the project say that the government has consciously chosen the Cooum which, they feel, is more challenging and the success of this venture will quicken the process of eco-restoration of other water courses in the city.

Originating from the Cooum village in Tiruvallur district, the river meanders for 54 km in that district before reaching the limits of Chennai Corporation. For another 18 km, it travels and joins the sea near the Napier Bridge. Of the total length of 72 km, the river flows in urban and peri-urban areas for 30 km and rural areas for 42 km.

A host of factors has contributed to the Cooum problem. Intensive use of surface water upstream for agriculture, indiscriminate pumping of groundwater leading to reduced base flow in the river, formation of sand bar at the mouth of the river, discharge of untreated sewage and industrial effluents and encroachment along the banks of the river are some of them.

Conscious of the fact that some options for attacking the problem consume more time, the authorities are now focussing on one aspect – removing encroachments in the city limits and developing the areas retrieved into parks. This will ensure aesthetic appeal and utility, an official says, adding that the Chennai Corporation has been entrusted with the responsibility of developing parks.

Approximately, the total length of encroached areas is six km. The removal of encroachments is expected to be completed in a year, the official adds.

There are 9,000 families, which are enumerated by the authorities as having encroached on the banks of the river. Of them, 3,000 are covered under the resettlement and rehabilitation component of the proposed elevated corridor to be executed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The State government will have to take care of the rest.

As for other components of the project, the strengthening of sewer network and stormwater drains and augmentation of the capacity of sewage treatment plants are among them. The authorities are clear that all sewage outfalls have to be arrested. If only the secondary-treated sewage is let into the river, this will be sufficient for reviving the aquatic life, they say.

The Water Resources Department of the Public Works Department is contemplating constructing a series of check-dams on the river, which, on an average, records (at Thiruverkadu) six thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) annually. Continuous dredging at the mouth is another option being considered by the authorities.

From THE HINDU

Chennai: Eco-restoration of the Cooum is on

CHENNAI: Eco-restoration of the Cooum river here formally started on Tuesday with the Public Works Department handing over 10,000 sq m of land along its banks to the Chennai Corporation.

Participating in a function to mark the launch, Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said the first phase, including the beautification of the river, would be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs.1,200 crore.

To start with, the Corporation would beautify the banks from the St. Andrew’s Bridge to the Harris Road Bridge. The Public Works Department had removed some encroachments along the banks, particularly near Langs Garden Road in Egmore.

On completion of the work the river channel will be 30 m wide and have boat jetties. The beautified banks would have a green area at the higher flood plain, a walkway, gabion bunding, shaded areas, another green area and a plaza beside the road.

New drainage systems would be constructed at a cost of Rs.200 crore in areas through which the river flows under different local bodies. Upgradation of the existing drainage network at a cost of Rs.117 crore and restoration of the river bank at a cost of Rs.200 crore would be undertaken. Some work being carried out by the Corporation, the PWD and Chennai Metrowater under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme would form part of the first phase.

Technical assistance of private consultants who carried out restoration of the eponymous river that passes through Singapore would be availed of at the appropriate time.

The 71 waterbodies in the river’s catchment areas would be restored. Restoration of other waterways in the city was also under consideration, Mr. Stalin said.

From THE HINDU

India: State-Wise details of rivers covered under the National River Conservation Plan

    S. No.                 State

River

1

Andhra Pradesh Godavari & Musi
2 Bihar Ganga
3 Delhi Yamuna
4 Goa Mandovi
5 Gujarat Sabarmati
6 Haryana Yamuna
7 Jharkhand Damodar, Ganga & Subarnarekha
8 Karnataka Bhadra, Tungabhadra,Cauvery, Tunga & Pennar
9 Kerala Pamba
10 Madhya Pradesh Betwa, Tapti, Wainganga, Khan, Narmada, Kshipra, Beehar, Chambal & Mandakini.
11 Mahrashtra Krishna, Godavari, Tapi and Panchganga
12 Nagaland Diphu & Dhansiri
13 Orissa Brahmini & Mahanadi
14 Punjab Satluj
15 Rajasthan Chambal
16 Sikkim Rani Chu
17 Tamil Nadu Cauvery, Adyar, Cooum, Vennar, Vaigai & Tambarani
18 Uttar Pradesh Yamuna, Ganga & Gomti
19 Uttranchal Ganga
20 West Bengal

Ganga, Damodar & Mahananda

From PIB