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- AIDWA to conduct campaign against water project TNN | Jul 14, 2018, 00:27 IST
Coimbatore: Members of All India Democratic Women Association (AIDWA) will conduct a door-to-door awareness campaign across the city to educate people about the ill-effects of privatization of water supply.
“We will start the awareness campaign within a couple of days in the city,” AIDWA vice-president U Vasuki said here on Friday.
Pinpointing that the city is getting only 200MLD of water from Siruvani reservoir, she asked how it would be sufficient for providing water round-the-clock to all the households in 60 wards.
Questioning the need of giving contract to a private company for 26 years, Vasuki said that if the city corporation does not have the technology to implement such a big project, then it should have signed a contract with the company for a couple of years to obtain the technology and to train officers.
Speaking about the importance of doing background research before signing a contract with a company, she said that the company is struggling in New Delhi to distribute water to all the houses. “Not all the houses get water round-the-clock,” she said. Referring to a statement made by the company, which states that the company would determine the places that need to have public taps, she said that the government is letting to convert water from an essential product to the economic good. TNN
- Residents allege effluent leak into Nallaru river tnn | Jul 14, 2018, 00:44 IST
Tirupur: Residents have alleged that the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board did not take proper action to stop leakage of industrial effluents near Nallaru river in Angeripalayam in the city.
More than 50 textile dyeing units are functioning at Angeripalayam. The units have installed pipelines to carry industrial effluents to a common effluent treatment plant (CETP) along Nallaru river, a tributary of Noyyal river. The pipelines would often leak.
“We have noticed seepage of industrial effluents on Angeripalayam road near VK Government Higher Secondary School, and when we dig the ground, we found that one of the pipes which carry the effluents was leaking at two places,” said Palanikumar of Angeripalayam.
Despite complaining on Thursday, Tnpcb officials have not taken steps to stop the leakage, he added.
When contacted, a senior Tnpcb official said, “We have not received the complaint so far, we will look into the issue.”
- Scrap water deal with French firm: All-party meet TNN | Jul 20, 2018, 00:51 IST
File photo of N Karthik
COIMBATORE: The city corporation should scrap the contract signed with a French firm to supply drinking water to 60 wards of the civic body, an all party meeting organised by DMK demanded here on Thursday.
“The 26-year contract for water supply with Suez Projects should be cancelled immediately,” a resolution passed at the meeting said. The contract was signed without due deliberation with people’s representatives and public hearing, it said.
The meeting, chaired by Singanallur MLA and district organiser of DMK N Karthik, had representatives from Congress, MDMK, CPM, CPI, Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, Viduthalai Chirthaigal Katchi, Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, Indian Union Muslim League and several other outfits.
The parties decided to distribute pamphlets across the city against the project from July 23 and besiege the corporation office on July 31.
The meeting also discussed about the issues pertaining to the Ukkadam Flyover and rehabilitation of residents evacuated for the project. Representatives of the parties that attended the meeting would call on the district collector to discuss about the problems posed by land acquisition. “The flyover was initially proposed from Athupalam to Ukkadam. But now the plan has been changed and the bridge would start from Karumbukadai. If the flyover is constructed as per the revised plan, it will be of no use. It should be constructed from Athupalam,” the resolution said.
- Waterbodies to get a fresh lease of life Nivedha Selvam | TNN | Jul 23, 2018, 01:06 IST
Successive years of drought have brought into focus the need for restoring and rejuvenating waterbodies in the state. As part of the process, the state government has started a survey to identify dried waterbodies.
Involving the retired engineers, the state government formed the Tamil NaduResource Development Cell in May 2018. The committee is now conducting a survey in and around Chennai and in Coimbatore.
Within four months the committee will submit detailed project reports on restoration of waterbodies across the state to the state government, said R Ilangovan, vice chairman of the committee.
He was in the city to address non-governmental organizations (NGOs) during a conference on ‘rejuvenation and maintenance of water bodies’ organised jointly by Kovai Kulangal Padhukappu Amaipu, Keystone Foundation, the Nature Conservancy and Indian Institute of Human Settlements.
Apart from harvesting excess rainwater, the committee has been planning to link deficit water river basins with river basins that have surplus water, Ilangovan said. They are in the process of identifying such rivers in the state.
"One such identified deficit water body is the Kousika river," he said. They would soon identify a suitable waterbody to link with the river before recommending it to the state government.
While the lakes on the outskirts of districts are in good condition as the water is used for irrigation purposes, most of the lakes in urban areas are in a pathetic state and are filled with solid waste, building debris and industrial effluents, he said.
Urban lakes play an important role in recharging the ground water, climate fixation and adaptation and biodiversity of the city, the engineer said, hinting that rejuvenating urban lakes is the only way to recharge the ground water.
"We have planned to establish a model lake with negligible pollution level in the city. Based on this, other lakes will be restored," he said, adding that the committee has sought the support of NGOs to identify a lake to carry out the restoration work.
In order to restore and rejuvenate the waterbodies, we have to remove encroachments in the tank bed areas and channels and prevent dumping solid wastes in both waterbodies and storm water drainage, he said. The blockage caused by solid wastes along channels is the main reason for flooding.
It will take at least two more years to complete the underground drainage (UGD) work in the state. The committee will also work to treat industrial effluents and domestic sewage before letting it into the existing tanks.
- Former mayor seeks resurvey of disputed land TNN | Jul 24, 2018, 00:36 IST
Coimbatore: Former mayor R Venkatachalam submitted a petition to the district administration on Monday demanding that a portion of land at Kuppankonanpudur be resurveyed and reclassified as residential if not agricultural land.
He said 4.5 acres at Kuppankonanpudur in Sanganoor was handed over to farmers with pattas in 1870. But they are unable to sell the land or take loan with the document as the portion has been classified as a vehicle roadway in the Coimbatore master plan.
“This area has around 150 houses. There are records to show that the land in those survey numbers were handed over to farmers in 1840. However, during a resurvey done in 1912 it was classified as a vehicle pathway,” said Venkatachalam. “As a result, their pattas and documents became invalid. They are unable to sell their land or houses or avail a bank loan,” said Venkatachalam.
He said the residents had petitioned the corporation seeking reclassification in its records during his term as mayor.
“After the residents approached me, we passed a resolution stating that the master plan will be changed. But the district administration did not speed up the process,” he said. “Residents have been approaching the district administration repeatedly but to no avail, which is why I came in person to speak to the collector,” he added.
- With good rain, pollution in lakes likely to come down TNN | Jul 24, 2018, 00:40 IST
Coimbatore: As waste from residential areas are let out into storm water drains connected to the local water bodies, all the eight lakes in the city are highly polluted. But thanks to the incessant rain the region has been receiving,pollution level will go down, said regional manager of the Consortium for Dewats Dissemination Society Andrews Jacob.
“The pollution level usually goes up when the city receives no rainfall for two to three months,” he said.
Last year, the organization had conducted a study about the status of the water bodies in the city in connection with the lakes restoration and rejuvenation projects under the smart city mission for over six months. Explaining that the pollution level varies in water flowing into the lakes from an inlet to another, Jacob said that inlets to Periyakulam, Valankulam and Singanallur lakes are highly polluted.
“Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), the measure of organic pollution, ranges from 30mg per litre to 250mg per litre. BOD was found upto 400mg per litre on a dry day at a few inlets, which was later diluted to 250mg per litre due to rain. Since there are no industrial units around the lakes, no industrial effluents or heavy metals were found,” he told TOI.
As per the norms prescribed by the central pollution control board, the BOD of water that is let into inland surface of water should not be more than 30mg per litre for tier II and III cities. “We have recommended a treatment system to bring it down,” he said.
Restoration of the water bodies takes as much time it took to pollute them, Jacob said, hinting that the water bodies were polluted for over 30 years. Apart from recommending to decentralize the treatment process, the organisation has also recommended for enhancing and enriching biodiversity.
Acknowledging that domestic waste from households are let out in storm water drains as the underground drainage (UGD) system is still under construction, sources from the civic body said that shortly after the completion of UGD work, they would take remedial measures to prevent water pollution.
Apart from screening solid waste and setting up treatment plants, sources said that decentralised natural waste water treatment system (DEWATS), which uses biological and physical treatment process to remove both domestic and industrial affluent from the water, will be used.
“The treated water could be used for any purposes, other than drinking,” an official said.
- Dead fish set off pollution alarm in Valankulam lake
TNN | Jul 24, 2018, 23:44 IST
Coimbatore: As denizens, including environmentalists, celebrate water from Noyyal river enriching the citys water bodies, several dead fish were found floating in Valankulam lake on Tuesday.
Local fishermen had noticed the alarmingly sight on Tuesday morning. It was only after they began circulating pictures on social media did authorities get wind of it. A closer inspection revealed them to be mostly catla.
Officials who reached the spot said they could not give a probable cause until they test the fish and water in the lake. This has happened before. It could be due to any reason. We have collected water samples and the fisheries department will test the fish. The cause will be revealed only after lab tests, a public works department official said.
Environmentalists say mass fish deaths have happened in Singanallur and Sulur lakes in the last seven years. Then also, the officials failed to find out the cause, environmentalist Mohan Raj told TOI.
They suspect water contamination with highly toxic sewage to be the reason. It has been just two weeks since fresh water from the Noyyal began flowing into the lakes, said Syed of NGO Osai. According to the marine biologists we contacted, the cause of the death can not be fresh water. The water in the lake must be contamination by a highly poisonous substance. City sewage has such substances, he said.
The latest incident is another stark reminder of the fact that the majority of the citys sewage is being let into water conservation tanks instead of being treated, environmentalists said. It is time the city corporation and government departments work to treat sewage and stop its from entering lakes, Syed added.
- To curb crimes in city, police to form 14 spl teams TNN | Jul 25, 2018, 00:12 IST
Coimbatore: The city police are to form 14 special teams to curb various crimes, including sales of lottery tickets, ganja selling, rowdyism, gambling and chain snatching. Each team will be led by a sub-inspector.
Of the 14 teams, eight special teams will work to curb sales of banned lottery tickets as well as ganja, illegal sales of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and gambling, said city police commissioner K Periaiah.
“Members of special teams would go on with their routine duty. When the designated special team for a particular crime gets information, it would conduct raid and seize illegal items. It will produce arrested people along with seized materials at respective police stations. These teams would cover both special and local laws. Their effort would help us to reduce illegal activities in the city,” said the commissioner.
He said six other special teams would focus on curbing vehicle thefts, burglaries, chain snatching incidents and to arrest chain snatchers. These teams would focus on reducing crimes in the city, he added.
Meanwhile, the city police commissioner has conducted meetings with about 15 sub-inspectors and 50 constables at his chamber for the last two days. He discussed with them about the formation of special teams and on strict implementation the special and local laws.
In the past few months, the Peelamedu police and the RS Puram police had seized more than 500kg of ganja.
- Airport expansion: GO on land acquisition likely within a month TNN | Jul 25, 2018, 00:12 IST
Coimbatore: The government order on releasing fund to acquire land for expansion of the Coimbatore airport is expected within a month, said the district revenue officer in charge of land acquisition, P Chidambaram. “We will get the fund once the GO is issued. Almost 90% of the land owners had submitted letters agreeing to handover their lands for acquisition almost five months ago. But the process had not moved forward since then,” he told TOI.
The GO is getting delayed as it has to pass through departments like revenue, transport and finance, said Chidambaram. “We are awaiting the arrival of funds to take the land acquisition process forward. While the process of preparing documents and identifying ownership of the lands is on, we will need the fund to start registering the lands,” he added.
Some landowners, who had agreed to allow their lands to be acquired, had expressed worry after they received no word from the government. They met some officials at the collectorate last week to enquire about the acquisition. “The officials said that Chennai was not sanctioning the price agreed and funds were yet to be allocated. We had agreed to their price hoping that the acquisition process will be completed fast,” a landowner said.
Almost 627 acres of land is being acquired for the expansion of the airport. About 466 acres must be acquired from private land owners. The government had fixed Rs 900/sqft for agricultural land and Rs 1,500/sqft for residential land. This is the highest compensation offered for agricultural land in Tamil Nadu.
Those who have agreed to allow their lands to be acquired are agriculturists, who own coconut farms or have kept their landholdings barren.
Once the land is acquired, one of the first works likely to be taken up by the Airports Authority of India is to expand the existing runway from 9,500 feet to 12,500 feet so it can accommodate wide-bodied aircraft. They also plan to construct a new terminal building and parking bays to accommodate the growing traffic to the airport.
- Tirupur farmer lets dyeing units dump effluents on his land
Rajasekaran RK | tnn | Jul 25, 2018, 00:27 IST
Tirupur: In a district where farmers are relentlessly fighting against pollution caused by textile dyeing units, a farmer has allowed the same dyeing units to dump industrial effluents on his land.
The issue came to light after the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) officials seized two septic tankers while they were transporting industrial effluents from a dyeing unit.
The farmer, P Palanisamy, has about one and a half acres at Aatthikadu near Mudhalipalayam Pirivu on Kangeyam Road. He has allegedly allowed septic tankers to dump industrial effluents on 0.75 acre and traces suggested that the effluent sediment could be 5ft in depth. He has charged Rs 500 per tanker. The effluents and sludge were dumped only during night hours. The land is located adjacent to abandoned stone quarries which were utilized by the Tirupur corporation for dumping municipal solid wastes.
K Murthi, a farmer, said, We knew that Palanisamy was allowing dumping of septic tank sewage and sell the same sediment as manure. Though farmers and residents warned him, he continued to allow the dumping.
We came to know about the industrial effluent dumping only now. We fear that the effluent will soon affect the groundwater table as well as the soil, Murthi said.
He said neither farmers nor residents were aware of the illegal dumping of effluents. They were not even ready to stop the pollution.
When contacted, Palanisamy said, I used to cultivate sorghum in my land and have around 10 coconut trees. Since there was no rain, I couldnt do cultivation.
He added, I gave permission to dump sewage only to get some manure. but I have never allowed the vehicles to release dyeing effluents. Without my knowledge, they have misused the land. I have decided to prevent all the tankers from entering my land.
Tamil Nadu Vivasaigal Sangam-affiliated to AIKS vice-president S R Madhusudhanan said, It is unfortunate that a farmer has allowed his own land to get polluted. Subsequently, neighbouring lands and groundwater would also get polluted. It was because of failure of monsoon. The pollution should be stopped.
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board on Tuesday recommended criminal action against the owner of two septic tankers utilized for transporting industrial effluents and Palanisamy.
We have written to district sub-collector Swaran Kumar to take criminal action against tankers owner Krishnasamy and Palanisamy, said Tirupur north district environmental engineer K Senthil Vinayagam.
The district administration has, meanwhile, directed officials to seize a tanker used to dump chemical wastes from a coconut oil unit into Noyyal river near Kuttapalayam in Kangeyam taluk.
- Corporation evolves tariff system for 24x7 water supply project Nivedha Selvam | TNN | Updated: Jul 26, 2018, 11:52 IST
Minimal consumption charges for usage of water under the 24x7 water supplyproject would be fixed based on the size of each house in the 60 wards under the old corporation limit, commissioner of municipal administration G Prakash said in the city on Wednesday.
A fixed quantity of water would be provided to households for the minimal consumption charge which they would have to pay every month even if not a drop is consumed, he said.
The water provided to every household would be measured. Every litre of water that is consumed beyond the minimal consumption would be charged based on its volume.
SUEZ India Private Limited was studying the area and would submit its report before January 2019, based on which the civic body would bring the properties under slabs to fix the minimal consumption charges, he said.
Sovereign rights would remain with the civic body and the government. Once the charges are decided, a bylaw would be passed after getting required approvals.
"Only the minimal consumption charges would vary depending on the size of the house. The charges based on volumetric consumption would remain the same for all households," Prakash said.
The deposit amount that needs to be paid to get connections would vary based on the size of the property. Existing consumers would have to pay an additional amount that too would depend on the size of the property. Deposit amounts could be paid in instalments and they go up to 15 instalments. Prakash said that despite 70 years of Independence, only 50-60% households in the state had water connections. The aim of the project is to provide water connection to all households.
He held out an assurance that public taps would remain the city until slums are cleared. After the slums are cleared, connections would be provided to houses at concessional rates.
- State has turned water into a commodity, says CPM leader tnn | Jul 27, 2018, 01:07 IST
Coimbatore: CPM politburo member G Ramakrishnan on Thursday came down heavily on the state government for awarding 24X7 water supply scheme to a private French firm, saying “it was an insult to our engineers to say they lacked technical knowledge”.
His comments came a day after G Prakash, commissioner of municipal administration, said the contract was awarded to a private company to obtain technical and maintenance support as the civic body lacked expertise in the area.
In an apparent bid to drive home the merit of public sector players, the CMP leader said when Vardah cyclone hit Chennai and surrounding areas a couple of years ago, of all telecommunication services, only BSNL had functioned.
“Basic amenities such as sanitation, water and education should always be with the public sector and not with the private sector, which is driven by profit motive,” Ramakrishnan said, adding “How could the commissioner of municipal administration consider water on par with electricity, petrol and diesel? It is a clear violation of Article 21, which states that no one should be deprived of right to life and personal liberty.”
Pointing out that water was one of the civic amenities, the CPM leader said the civic body has now converted it into a commodity by awarding the contract to implement the 24X7 water supply scheme to a private player. “The private company will determine the price and the civic body will fix it. The state government will thus echo the policy of the private company,” he said.
Ramakrishnan also threatened to take out massive protests if the government were to fail to cancel the contract awarded to the private firm. “Opposition parties will stage a protest on July 31 against implementing the project in the present form.”
He also condemned steep hike in property tax. He said if local body elections were conducted, the state government would have received Rs 3,588 crore as per the recommendations of 14th finance commission.
- 8 high-power waste collection vans arrive to keep Ooty clean tnn | Jul 27, 2018, 01:06 IST
Udhagamandalam: Ooty municipality seems to be on an unstoppable drive to keep the city neat and tidy, befitting of a hilly retreat. It has implemented door-to-door garbage collection in all the 36 wards and added a fleet of 8 new garbage collection vans, which boasts high engine power to cope with the difficult terrain of the town.
This is besides removing at least 80 bin dumper placers from various pockets of the town. The remaining 83 garbage bins would also be removed in a phased manner, said an official source.
“Initially, we had 16 vans to handle garbage collection in the town. But the vehicles could not reach certain area as their engine power was not meant for the hilly terrain,” said C Ravi, Ooty municipal municipal engineer and commissioner incharge.
“Recently, we were allotted funds to procure 8 new vans with high engine power and a carrying capacity of 1.5 tonne waste. With this, the number of vehicles used for garbage collection has gone up to 24,” he said.
According to Ravi, the vehicles would cover all the 36 wards in Ooty town daily. Six micro composting zones have also been set up in the town and garbage collected would be send to these composting yards for further segregation.
“While plastic wastes are sent to private players for recycling, wet wastes are churned with the help of conveyer belts and thus put in the process of composting at the micro composting zones. Manure produced out of it will be distributed to farmers,” the Ooty municipal commissioner incharge told TOI.
The municipality collects on an average 9 metric tonne perishable market waste and food waste a day. During peak tourist seasons, the amount of food waste goes up by another 4-5 metric tonne. In total, the municipality collects about 38 metric tonne garbage, including plastic and other dry waste, from the town a day.
- ‘Rs 310-crore project will cleanse Noyyal river’ Rajasekaran RK | TNN | Updated: Jul 27, 2018, 12:30 IST
TIRUPUR: The Noyyal river rejuvenation project that will be implemented at a cost of Rs 310 crore will check pollution in the river, environmental minister KC Karuppannan told reporters on the sidelines of a review meeting on the project held at the collectorate on Thursday.
On a query whether there would be industrial effluents and sewage if zero liquid discharge (ZLD) and underground drainage (UGD) system is implemented properly, Karuppannan said, “Still there would be sewage from households and industrial effluents from industries like silver utensil units. The project will chip in to set up sewage treatment plants (STPs). As a result, farmers will get clean water for irrigation.”
When asked about the STP at Nanjarayankulam irrigation tank that stopped functioning several years ago and sewage water affecting the tank, the minister said, “The amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) in Nallaru river, a tributary of Noyyal, has come down.”
The state government had recently announced the river rejuvenation project, under which retaining walls and baby canals will be constructed along Noyyal , apart from pedestrian path and desilting of the water body. The project will be implemented for 14km stretch of the river — between Andipalayam and Kasipalayam — using Rs 150 crore given by the state government for 8km and rest of the fund issued by the smart city mission.
Environmental experts had earlier flayed the project saying that if water flow from the river’s catchment areas is stopped, it may affect the natural flow. Instead, industrial effluents and sewage should be collected at their sources and treated, they had suggested.
- German firm begins study on revamping water management Nivedha Selvam | TNN | Updated: Jul 28, 2018, 00:43 IST
Coimbatore: At a time when the water bodies in the city have filled due to incessant rain, a Germany-based company has launched a study for the civic body to revamp its water management system.
Under the ‘Smart Water Future India’ project funded by the German federal environment ministry, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering had signed a memorandum of understanding with the civic body about six months ago.
In the first step, the institute conducted a meeting with several organizations working for a better water management system to understand the present condition of the city, a city corporation official said. “The institute will provide technical assistance to the civic body to develop a concept for intelligent water and waste water management. We have been struggling to provide adequate drinking water and disposal of waste water. As not all the houses are connected to the sewage system and sewage treatment plants, waste water is discharged directly into the water bodies and the pollution level remains high,” he said.
The project does not fall under the purview of the 24/7 drinking water supply project and the recommendations made by the institute pertaining to drinking water will be considered after a discussion, the official said. “The company will concentrate on management and distribution of treated water, not drinking water.”
Based on an innovation network of German experts, a skill development lab would be be established in the city. The experts will recommend projects pertaining to waste water management, storm water management, solid waste management and water supply management.
The institute had also signed similar MoUs with the civic bodies of Kochi and Bhubaneswar that were selected for implementing smart city mission projects.