Release Kandaleru water from July 1

State government writes to Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh has to provide 8 thousand million cubic feet of water between July and October

Officials also plan to visit Andhra Pradesh requesting discharge of Krishna water

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday wrote to Andhra Pradesh seeking release of water from the Kandaleru reservoir from July 1 to offset the depleting resources in the reservoirs that supply to Chennai.

According to sources in the Water Resources Department, Tamil Nadu requested for release of the water as per the agreement between the two States under the Krishna water supply project. Andhra Pradesh has to provide 8 thousand million cubic feet of water between July and October.

A team of WRD officials also plan to visit Andhra Pradesh requesting discharge of Krishna water. The inter-State border of Kandaleru Poondi canal received 2.87 tmcft of water between February and April this year.

Combined storage

Officials of the Chennai Metrowater said the combined storage of the four reservoirs – Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam – stood at 4.6 tmcft, which is only 43 per cent of their total capacity.

However, the Metrowater is able to manage the daily supply of 650 million litres a day with additional resources from Veeranam lake. The waterbody has 700 million cubic feet against its capacity of 1,465 mcft, which is a better storage compared to last year.

The recent showers were also favourable in reducing the evaporation loss in the reservoirs. Normally, about 30 mcft of water daily is lost due to evaporation and drawal. But, it was reduced to 20 mcft this month owing to showers, an official said.

With the available resources, the Metrowater would be able to sustain water supply till October. The release of Krishna water would help in stepping up the water storage, the official said.

K. Lakshmi – From THE HINDU

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Tamil Nadu frames separate e-waste policy

Partnership among stakeholders vital for the success of the process

Government will undertake a massive awareness programme

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu has become the first State in the country to come up with a separate e-waste policy in the country. While welcoming the move, and the policy on collection by community-based organisations (CBO), activists and organisations are awaiting specific details.

“We have taken the utmost efforts even while drafting to be as close to the national e-waste policy as possible,” Santhosh Babu, managing director, Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (ELCOT), says. The ELCOT was one of the key organisations that worked on preparing the policy for the State. The 11-12 members who were on the Board were drawn from several allied sectors were given the mandate to keep in tune with the national guidelines.

While at this point of time, the e-waste policy remains a mere document, it will be followed in the next six months with a series of government orders and a set of rules that will ensure the implementation of all the features mentioned in the policy.

Ram Ramachandran, president, All India e-waste Recyclers Association, said it was a “great start.”

But he pointed out that it would be necessary to take up collection and segregation in a careful manner. “Sometimes the value of the recovered after recycling may not be able to cover even the transportation costs,” he said. He called for a partnership among all stakeholders to make the process successful.

Abhishek Pratap, Greenpeace Toxics campaigner, said, bringing local bodies and community organisations into the collection of e-waste was welcome. He said it was important to incorporate very specific targets and for co-ordination between various bodies.

“Building an end-to-end recycling facility is a very costly proposition. So it will be better to have a few central facilities and to have different States co-operate in the process,” he said.

Dr. Santhosh Babu said that once the rules were in place, key stakeholders, who have been identified already, including manufacturers, pollution control boards, local bodies, and ELCOT, would be apprised of their roles.

Specific questions as to how extended producer responsibility would be answered and the structure of the collection and disposal chain would be ensured.

The government would also take up a massive awareness programme to tell consumers of the huge quantities of e-waste they are accumulating, and suggesting responsible means of getting rid of them.

“It is the next biggest threat, the way we see it. We are slowly, subtly, sometimes unknowingly polluting our environment with electronic goods. Citizen awareness is the first step in trying to address this problem,” Dr. Santhosh Babu added.

By Shyam Ranganathan and Ramya Kannan – From THE HINDU

Tamilnadu to set up Special Tiger Protection Force

Fully funded by the Centre and on the basis of regulations framed, using the recommendations of the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the Tamil Nadu government will set up Special Tiger Protection Force for Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

The Tamil Nadu government will establish a Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) for Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Minister for Forests N. Selvaraj announced in the Assembly on Thursday.

It would be formed under a scheme fully funded by the Centre and on the basis of regulations framed, using the recommendations of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), he said, replying to a debate on the demands for grants to his department.

A senior official of the State Environment and Forests Department said it was planned to rope in tribals who had knowledge about the Reserve.

As recommended by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, Tamil Nadu government will soon form a Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) for Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. Photo: Special Arrangement

STIPULATIONS

According to the NTCA’s document on security plan for tiger reserves, each tiger reserve must have one or more special strike forces deployed on the field.

The deployment should be at locations where the force would be able to reach a given area within a reasonable amount of time to take charge of any crisis.

In most situations, a strike force is best deployed along the periphery in the Code Red Zone. This will be in response to a threat perception. The Special Tiger Protection Force should be preferably used as a strike force and deployed as such. Strike teams should carry out regular mock drills to test their level of preparedness and their response time. Their visibility will also send out a strong psychological message to poachers, the document states.

Mr. Selvaraj also announced the government’s plan to set up a rehabilitation centre at M.R. Palayam in Tiruchi district for elephants, which were orphaned or abandoned by temples and private persons or found in illegal possession of individuals.

Estimated to cost Rs.1.25 crore, it would come up on 19.7 acres.

Of the 737 anti-poaching watchers being employed by the Forest Department on temporary basis, the services of 137 watchers with 10 years’ experience would be regularised.

FLYING SQUADS

Minister for Environment T.P. M. Mohideen Khan said three flying squads, headed by Environmental Engineer (Monitoring), would be formed with the headquarters in Erode, Tirupur and Vellore districts, where dyeing and bleaching units and tanneries were located.

They would act against industrial units, which did not comply with environmental laws.

A vigilance and anti-corruption wing would be set up at the headquarters of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

Mr. Khan, who also handles Youth Welfare and Sports Development, said Rs. 3.5 crore would be required to form a world-class synthetic track in Tirunelveli, for which an additional Rs.2.16 crore had been sanctioned.

Last year, allocation of Rs.1.34 crore was made.

From THE HINDU

Anamalai Tiger Reserve re-opening today

Tirupur: The Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR), of which the Amaravathi Crocodile farm in Udumalpet is a part, will be reopened to the visitors from May 1. Official sources told reporters here that the sanctuary was closed for summer from March 16 fearing possibilities of forest fire breakouts.

The sanctuary was scheduled to be re-opened on April 15 initially but got postponed due to the continuation of dry spells in the region.

Hot conditions

Forest officials said that with relief in hot conditions over the last few days and considering the requests from the tourists, it had been decided to re-open the sanctuary on Saturday, officical sources added.

From THE HINDU

TN to take up drinking water projects worth Rs 3385 crore

The Tamil Nadu government will take up drinking water projects worth Rs 3,384.84 crore across the state. While some of the projects will be funded by foreign banks like Germany-based KFW, the remaining will be taken up along with Centre and through internal funding.

Addressing the Assembly on Monday, deputy chief minister MK Stalin said the government would implement a drinking water scheme in Vellore district at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore. The project was earlier estimated at Rs 1,400 crore. The capacity has also been revised to 270 million litres per day from 150 million litres.

The proposed scheme will have Cauvery as its water source. The project would benefit six corporations, five town panchayats and 64 villages in the district.

Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited will provide Rs 1,500 crore. Stalin said, “We are looking for funds to expedite the project.”

Similarly, the government will take up drinking water projects in Virunagar, Pudukottai, Kovilpatti, Kayalpatti, Tiruvanamallai, Pudukottai and Chennai for Rs 1,000 crore.

The state government along with the Centre will also take up water connectivity projects for 7,000 rural households with an outlay of around Rs 380.61 crore, said Stalin.

From SIFY

Proposal of grant to Tirupur dyeing units opposed

VELLORE: The Vellore Citizens’ Welfare Forum (VCWF) has opposed the proposal of the Union government, announced in the recent budget, of a one-time grant of Rs.200 crore for dyeing industries of Tirupur to enable them solve the problem of pollution.

A resolution was adopted at an executive committee meeting of the VCWF recently.

The resolution said that the proposal was against the directions of the Supreme Court established in the writ petition no.914 of 1991 of the VCWF, namely, “polluters to pay” and “precautionary principles to be taken before establishment of industries.”

Such a grant, it said, “also violates Article 48 A of the Constitution which talks of protection and improvement of environment.”

Pointing out that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had, in his budget speech, mentioned about the ‘polluters to pay’ principle, the forum said that instead of directing the polluting industries to bring back the ecology to its original state at its cost, helping the polluting industries amounted to violation of the Article by the government itself.

The resolution further stated that the VCWF is of the firm view that the said expenditure of Rs.200 crore would not lead to the industries meeting the norms of pollution control laid down by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to the dyeing industries but, on the other hand, lead to the aggravation of the pollution problem.

The forum also opposed the decision of the Tamil Nadu government to grant Rs.120 crore as its 15 per cent share in the setting up of Common Effluent Treatment Plants for achieving the zero discharge liquid (ZDL) norm in the treatment of the effluents discharged by dyeing and bleaching units in Tirupur.

The VCWF pointed out that this is a “clear disobedience of the orders of the apex court and also the orders passed by the Green Bench of the Madras High Court in the Noyyal River Ayacutdars’ case, as reported in 1997 I Law Weekly page 275 (Madras High Court) and 2010 I Law Weekly page 1 (Supreme Court).

It said that it was the duty of the Tamil Nadu government to enforce the ‘polluter pays’ principle and ‘precautionary’ principle.

“The grant will lead the tax payers’ money to be spent on unproductive, illegal, anti-farmer and anti-people purposes,” it said.

From THE HINDU

Leaf mite infestation in rice – Methods to Control

Rice leaf mite has attained a pest status in the Cauvery deltaic regions of Tamil Nadu. Infestation starts early from the nursery till stem elongation stage.

Leaf mites feed on upper and lower surface of rice leaves. Usually they are more numerous on lower surface than upper surface.

Leaf mites are small and microscopic spider mites which pierce the leaf tissue and suck the exuding sap.

They multiply very fast under congenial conditions and damage the entire leaf portion under severe infestation.

Damage results in the appearance of yellowish brown specks which increase under severe conditions and whole leaf turns to greyish white and dries up.

Usually the initial symptoms of damage are from the periphery of the rice field and later depending upon wind speed directions the intensity of leaf area loss is manifested.

Most severe

The damage is most serious during the high temperature time with high relative humility (June – July). Entire life cycle can take 8-12 days.

Adults are sexually mature when they emerge and mate as soon as possible. Egg laying begins in 1-3 days, and singly in rows along the leaf midribs and veins. Incubation lasts 4-9 days.

This is followed by the three immature stages – larva, protonymph and deutonymph.

The mite is active and breeds throughout the year building large population during hot weather when the life cycle takes the shortest time.

Management methods

Use of chisel ploughing once in four years.

Create a rice free period by ploughing down stubbles between crops or follow rice fallow crops with pulses/green manures maize in endemic areas.

Maintaining the bunds free from weeds. Seed treatment with Pseudomonas at 10 grams/ 1kg of seeds.

Topdressing of urea with neem cake (5:1) with LCC (Leaf Colour Chart) based N and to avoid excess Nitrogen application.

Top dressing of 50 per cent potash fertilizer. Spraying of Profenophos 50 EC 1000 ml/ ha along with khadi bar soap 1.5 kg controls leaf mite.
S.M. JALALUDDIN
G. RAVI
& S. JEBARAJ

Tamil Nadu Rice Research
Institute, TNAU
Aduthurai, Tamil Nadu

From THE HINDU