EVEN before the IT SEZ planned by the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot) could take shape, there seems to be a big rush for IT space among various corporates and developers in the city.

While city-based corporates like the Bannari Amman Group, Salzer group and KG group have come out with their plans on the IT front, many new commercial developers have also joined the bandwagon by getting formal SEZ approvals for their proposed projects. Coimbatore Hi-Tech Infrastructure is planning to develop an IT SEZ over 60.73 acres at Keeranatham village and Span Ventures has got formal approval for 10.5 acres IT/ITeS SEZ at Eachanari.

The state-owned Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (Tidco), is also planning an IT park in the city suburbs. Rakindo Developers, a 50-50 joint venture between Vishwatej Projects and Rakeen, UAE, along with Tidco has proposed to develop feeder township, residential and leisure facilities over 625 acres in the villages of Sundakamuthur, Perur Chettipalayam and Thithipalayam.

The group also plans to promote an IT park on 25 acres at Perur village at Chettipalayam in south Coimbatore district. Bannari Group plans to develop an IT SEZ over 78 acres at Kalapatty village in Coimbatore and has got formal approval for around 60 acres. The entire process is likely to be completed in the next few months. Salzer plans to develop 1 lakh sq.ft. IT park in association with a US-based consulting service provider while KG group has acquired around 160 acres near its existing campus at Saravanampatty for developing it as an ITES SEZ. I

According to sources in the property development business, by the end of 2009, approximately 10-15 million sq.ft, of new IT/ITeS space will enter the Coimbatore market.
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  • Corporation begins work on lake development project
    Karthik Madhavan

    An earth mover engaged in cleaning the Ukkadam Big Tank’s northern bund as part of development work.M. PeriasamyM_Periasamy Total project cost estimated at over Rs. 700 crore
    Earth movers have started rolling around the northern bund of the Ukkadam Periyakulam (Big Tank), marking the beginning of the Coimbatore Corporation’s lake development project under the Central Government-funded Smart Cities Mission.

    The development and beautification of the northern bund of the Periyakulam, the development of the southern bund of Valangulam, beneath the bridge on the Ukkadam Bypass Road and the road across the Valangulam form part of the Rs. 89 crore project, which is only the first leg of the project though. The corporation took up the development of the three lakes alone calling it ‘Quick Win’ to expedite implementation. In the second leg, the corporation will take up the remaining six lakes – Narasampathy, Krishnampathy, Selvachinthamani, Singanallur, and a few other tanks and also the development of Trichy Road, linking the water bodies.

    The corporation has estimated the total cost of the project at over Rs. 700 crore.

    At the meeting held at the corporation a couple of days ago, the representatives of the agency that designed the lake development project, Oasis Resource Management Pvt. Ltd., briefed the officials on the work in progress and made a few demands.

    The agency representatives urged the corporation to immediately constitute a coordination committee comprising its engineers from their counterparts from the State Highways Department, Tangedco, National Highways Department and Public Works Department to sort out ground level issues.

    They told the corporation officials such a committee was necessary because the work on the ground involved shifting street light poles, transmission lines, etc. They also wanted the corporation to expedite the eviction of slum dwellers living on encroached land and suggested that engineers from the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board also be included in the committee.

    Public art

    The corporation along with agencies involved in the lake development project will soon call for entries from students and architects for a public art project that they will take up. The contestants will have to send drawings or designs to adorn the space that will developed on the lake front.

    The agency representatives suggested to the corporation that a percentage of the lake development project be spent on developing public art and that a few cities selected under the Smart Cities Mission had done so. Corporation Commissioner K. Vijayakarthikeyan immediately agreed to the proposal and asked engineers and the agency representatives to get in touch with institutions in the city for students, architects to contribute to the public art project.

    Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan said that the civic body would also suitably reward those whose art work it selected.

  • Drinking water is mixed with sewage in Coimbatore’s Saibaba Colony, residents say Nivedha Selvam

    The residents said water they got was brown in colour and stank.
    | TNN | Sep 3, 2018, 17:35 IST

    COIMBATORE: Residents in Saibaba Colony here sought the immediate intervention of the Coimbatore Corporation commissioner as drinking watersupplied to them is mixed with sewage. They filed a petition to the corporation on Monday.

    The residents said water they got was brown in colour and stank.

    In the past six months, telecom companies had dug most of the roads in the area, including Chinasamy Street, KG Layout, Ganapathy Layout, Chindamani Nagar and Ramalingam Nagar, to lay cables. None of them had been closed till date, said former mayor R Venkatachalam.

    “Workers engaged by the telecom companies have damaged drinking water and sewer pipelines. The pipelines are damaged in more than 80 places,” he said.

    “Even though most of the reservoirs are overflowing, we have been receiving water only once in a week. The volume of water is very less because of the leakages at several points,” Venkatachalam said.

    Deputy commissioner P Gandhimadhi assured the residents immediate action.

  • Saibaba Colony residents demand drinking water Nivedha Selvam | TNN | Sep 4, 2018, 00:19 IST

    Coimbatore: Residents of Saibaba Colony on Monday sought the intervention of the city corporation commissioner to repair leaky pipelines that deliver drinking water to the locality.

    Drinking water is supplied to the area only once in 10 days because of broken pipelines, they said in a petition. “Private telecom companies had dug up Chinasamy Street, KG Layout, Ganapathy Layour, Chindamani Nagar and Ramalingam Nagar in the last six months to lay cables. In the process, they damaged several pipelines carrying drinking water and sewage at more than 80 places,” former mayor R Venkatachalam said.

    Even though the residents registered several complaints, the corporation took no action to repair the pipelines, he told TOI. “Even though most of the dams in the region are overflowing, the colony has been receiving water only once a week. We receive little water because of the leakages at several points. Moreover, the water we get is muddy and it stinks. Due to multiple leakages, sewage has been mixed with drinking water.”

    Due to incessant rain in the recent times, sludge has formed on the roads in the area, turning it into an accident-prone zone, said R Selvi , a 40-year-old differently-abled person from the colony. “When it is difficult even for a healthy person to walk on the roads, then think of the plight of differently-abled persons. I have slipped and fell down on the road multiple times,” she said.

    The residents also sought the intervention of senior corporation officials to prevent telecom companies from digging up the roads further. The companies should repair the roads and pipelines, they demanded.

    Deputy commissioner P Gandhimadhi has assured to take immediate action.


  • Residents in dark without street lights

    COIMBATORE, SEPTEMBER 04, 2018 00:00 IST
    UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 04, 2018 03:46 IST

    Absence of street light on various stretches of Sangaralinganar Road-Tagore Road makes driving difficult as the TWAD Board has dug the road to lay water pipeline.S. SIVA SARAVANANS_SIVA SARAVANAN

    Power line snapped on Sangaralinganar Road-Tagore Road due to pipeline laying work

    If it were to be a riding game that tests driving skills on computer or mobile phone, driving during the day on Sangaralinganar Road-Tagore Road will be difficulty level one.

    Riding during rain would be level two and riding during night would be the ultimate difficulty stage.

    For, the important link road that connects Mettupalayam Road to Sathyamangalam Road through Kavundampalayam to Ramakrishnapuram is fully damaged, has many trenches, mounds of earth and street lights that do not glow.

    The road damage is due to the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board laying the main water pipeline from the water tank on Sathyamangalam Road to Kavundampalayam Road.

    Residents, who spoke to The Hindu, say that they understand the damage to the road due to pipeline laying work but not the damaged street lights, especially at a time when the road condition is at its worst.

    N. Selvaraj of Nehru Avenue says that the absence of street lights and caution boards with reflective stickers makes every two-wheeler rider vulnerable to accidents. And, if they were to fall into the trenches, the consequences could be fatal.

    P. Murugesan, a resident of Elango Nagar, says he has raised in person with the Coimbatore Corporation Commissioner the road condition and the urgent need for remedial action but the civic body has done little. He has been giving petitions since November 2017.

    He says that women are the vulnerable lot as they find it difficult to negotiate the thin strips of piled up earth and invariably meet with accidents.

    K. Kandasamy of Nallampalayam says that he too has represented the problem to the Corporation officials and urged the street light maintenance contractor to replace faulty bulbs but his pleas have not had the desired response.

    M. Krishnasamy, a former Councillor of the area, says that the Corporation should at least ensure glowing street lights to mitigate road users trouble as thousands of two-wheeler riders use the road – it serves workers from the factories in the area, school and college students, parents to drive to fetch their wards and employees with offices on either side of the road.

    Corporation officials say that around 40 street lights are not glowing as the power line got snapped during the laying of the pipeline.

    Now that the pipeline work is almost complete, the Corporation will soon replace the lights to ensure road users' safety.

  • Bad roads and poor water supply SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
    COIMBATORE, SEPTEMBER 04, 2018 00:00 IST
    UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 04, 2018 03:46 IST

    A few residents of Ward 12 (parts of Saibaba Colony) of the Coimbatore Corporation led by former Mayor R. Venkatachalam and Councillor R. Gayathri petitioned the civic body officials on Monday demanding improvement in water supply.

    The residents said in their petition that Telecom service providers undertaking cable laying work had damaged most roads, drinking water and ground water pipelines.

    In a few places the Telecom companies had also damaged underground sewer lines resulting in sewage contaminating drinking water.

    The result of damaged roads was that pedestrians were unable to walk on the roads, particularly after dusk and damaged water supply pipeline was that the residents were not getting drinking water in time. They urged the Corporation to urge the Telecom companies to immediately stop the cable-laying work, ensure equitable supply of water to residents of all streets in the ward, attend to the damages in underground sewer line to prevent contamination of drinking water and repair the damages to roads dug to lay cables.

  • Small, medium industries go green, save on energy Pratiksha.Ramkumar@timesgroup.com | Sep 5, 2018, 00:28 IST

    Many small and medium industries in the district are trying to go green. They have begun opting for measures that will help them reduce energy consumption and thus reduce their carbon footprints. Whether it is redesigning furnaces, changing compressors or just adding a small equipment to their factory, most industries have adopted various measures to save at least a couple of hundred units a day. The few units which have adopted such measures say they have seen a difference immediately.

    Bright Industries, an iron casting manufacturer in Ganesapuram, used to consume around 8,200 units a day or 2.45 lakh units a month. The company became one of the first small industries to opt for an energy audit of their unit. “They brought all their energy efficiency measuring instruments to my unit, studied our usage and gave us a few recommendations, by which we could reduce our electricity usage,” said joint managing director S Balraj. “As a first step, as per their recommendation, we bought and fitted a variable frequency drive (VFD) to our compressor, which is one of the four main electricity consumers in a foundry,” he said. “The VFD ensures that the compressor motor switches off when it is filled with air and is not in use. Earlier, even when we unload and the compressor just has air, the motor would continue running,” he added. We immediately noticed a reduction in our daily electricity consumption by 300 units.

    Another foundry based in Goldwin Signal, Sri Ramakrishna Industries, which manufactures submersible pumps, motors, gear boxes and textile machinery spares, had been running a semi-automated line since 2012. “We always had an issue of our Cupola furnace functioning 0.5% less efficient than industry standards, and thus consumed more electricity. We also burn pig iron and use refractive ceramic bricks, both non-renewable resources. Wanting to become eco-friendly we were looking for ways to reduce fossil fuel consumption,” said its vice president, operations, Gunasekar Duraisamy. “We changed the design of our Cupola which did not have a uniform flow of heat in a way that it began having a laminar flow of heat. So instead of us introducing it in one corner and making it travel, we split the chamber so the heat spread in a uniform manner,” he said. “We immediately began consuming half the amount of bricks we consumed in a month and 44 kg of coke or pig iron in a day,” he said.

    City’s renowned pump manufacturer Mahendra Pumps, with their initiatives including fitting LED lights in their foundry, saves more than Rs 2 lakh a month. “We improved the refractory lining of our furnace and added a chemical called Redux EF40L de-slagger. This cost us Rs 50,000, but we saved 23,300 kwh and Rs 1.98 lakh per month. Besides this, we added a variable frequency drive to our compressor, energy efficiency lighting in our foundry and a timer and sensor control for plant operations,” said a company official. “We have seen a sizeable drop in our energy consumption,” he said.

    At least 50 small and medium scale foundries in the district have registered with COINDIA’s energy management cell to get an energy audit done of their foundries in the last one year. While 20 companies have been audited and have begun implementing some of the recommendations, the remaining 30 are in the process of being audited. “Since I am a one-member team, it takes time to do a complete audit, give a report and then follow up on the success of the implements,” says energy manager Sivakumar. “More companies are coming forward,” he adds.

    Industrialists say it is a win-win situation because reducing electricity consumptions directly reflects as an increase in profits in their balance sheet. “We spend around Rs 1.5 lakh-Rs 2.5 lakh for each of these measures, but we make back the money in hardly one to two years, after which we see a decrease in expenses and thus an increase in profit,” said Duraisamy. “With our raw materials and product prices remaining fixed, reducing our costs of conversion is the only way to increase profits,” he said. “While our saving even 1,500 units a month looks miniscule, imagine all 500-odd foundries in the district doing the same. We can save 7.5 lakh units a month together,” he added.

  • Effluent plants told to install spl evaporator TNN | Sep 6, 2018, 00:08 IST

    Tirupur: The Tamil Nadu pollution control board (TNPCB) has directed common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) and individual effluent treatment plants (IETPs) in the district to install special salt evaporator to avoid soil pollution.

    As part of implementing the zero-liquid discharge (ZLD) norms, textile dyeing units have established CETPs and IETPs to treat industrial effluent. These plants carry out about 20 steps of filtration to recycle water and salts used in dyeing processes.

    The industry has implemented various methods to treat effluent and dispose different types of sludge including lime sludge, microorganism sludge and mixed salt sludge. Even after extracting basic components of effluent and disposing all types of sludge, sediments of contaminated salt remain in treatment plants, said a TNPCB official.

    “The plants have installed solar evaporators to make the salt sediments evaporate. But in many cases, the sediments would not be completely evaporated. These sediments erode tanks and subsequently seep into ground causing soil pollution,” the official said.

    So, the board has directed the plants to install ‘Agitated Thin Film Evaporator’ (ATFE), which is more effective in the evaporation process. “A total 18 CETPs have installed the ATFE but no IETPs have taken steps to install it. Hence, the board has given time till January 31, 2019 to complete the process,” the official added.


  • ‘Corpn has not achieved 100% source segregation of waste’ tnn | Sep 6, 2018, 00:31 IST

    Coimbatore: The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has informed the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday that the Coimbatore corporation has not achieved total source segregation of waste in all the 100 wards.

    In April 2017, the NGT directed the civic body to take all necessary steps to implement 100% source segregation.

    The civic body had then said by October-end improvements to primary collection system of solid waste management would be completed and by the end of December 2017, Coimbatore corporation will achieve 100% source segregation in all its wards.

    The TNPCB said the civic body had framed solid waste management bylaws accordingly and was continuously educating the public to segregate and store biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.

    “So far, the Coimbatore Corporation has not achieved 100% segregation of waste in all the wards,’’ the TNPCB report said.

    The board has also said that the civic body has not completed the scientific closure of old waste dumped in Vellalore garbage yard.

    The corporation had earlier said that the work on scientific closure of the legacy waste will commence in January 2018 and will be completed in six months from the date of issue of work order.

    The NGT had directed the Coimbatore Corporation to prepare a scheme for scientific closure of waste and submit a report stating the time frame in 2017.

    It had also said that no new waste should be dumped in the area till the process is over.

    In July 2017, the corporation had said it had commenced the process of shifting 1.2 lakh cubic metre waste from Vellalore yard to the sanitary landfill. The civic body had further stated that the remaining 4.8 lakh cubic metre waste will be shifted to the landfill by December 2017. Simultaneously, the corporation had assured to prepare a detailed project report for scientific closure of the waste.

    The TNPCB had then issued permission to the civic body for scientific capping of the waste dumped in the solid waste processing facility at Vellalore. “But no further progress or status report has been filed,’’ said the report submitted by the TNPCB before the NGT.

    In this regard, the corporation commissioner was asked to furnish present status of scientific capping of old legacy waste. “So far the Coimbatore corporation has no completed the scientific closure of old legacy waste waste as reported,’’ said the TNPCB report.

  • Industry body calls for widening of road tnn | Sep 8, 2018, 00:37 IST

    Coimbatore: The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Coimbatore chapter, has urged the state government to convert the Coimbatore-Salem stretch of Avinashi Road into an eight-lane.

    “This will certainly ease the traffic congestion and reduce the travelling time for the vehicles,” president of ICCI, Coimbatore, V Lakshminarayanasamy said in a statement here on Friday.

    Lakshminarayanasamy said Coimbatore was one of the top 10 fastest growing cities in India with more than 50,000 small, medium and large-scale industries and textile mills.

    Coimbatore supplies over 30% of the automotive components used in the country and several companies also cater to the international markets.

    “The city has six major arterial roads and three national highways passing through. Of late, the roads particularly Trichy Road and Avinashi Road have become so congested and travelling time has substantially increased to more than 3 times which is abnormal,’’ he said in the statement.

    He said people, particularly four-wheelers and two-wheelers, find it difficult to reach their destinations especially in Avinashi Road for reaching airport to catch flights towards east and towards west to reach Coimbatore Railway Junction.

    “We appreciate the state government for taking decision to convert Trichy-Coimbatore route into six-lane. On similar lines, we suggest the state government to widen Coimbatore–Salem stretch as well,’’ he added.

  • Waste not capped scientifically tnn | Sep 8, 2018, 00:54 IST

    Coimbatore: The city corporation is yet to complete the process of scientific closure of accumulated municipal solid waste in the Vellalore dump yard. While officials claim that the process can be completed in 6 to 7 months, city-based activists differ, as nothing much was actually implemented on the ground.

    In April 2017, the National Green Tribunal directed the civic body “to prepare a complete scheme for scientific closure of the entire area and submit a report clearly stating the time frame.” The tribunal further directed the civic body not to dump any garbage till the scientific closure is completed.

    While about 1.27 lakh cubic metres of accumulated solid waste was scientifically capped about half a decade ago, the civic body had then promised to complete the disposal process within six months after commencing the work in January 2018.

    “How will the civic body completely dispose of the accumulated waste when they continue to dump 1,000 tonnes of unprocessed solid waste per day,” asked V Eswaran, state youth wing secretary of the MDMK, hinting that it is clearly a violation of NGT directions.

    Scientific capping of accumulated wastes involves establishing a layer of sand between the layers of waste before closing it with a thick layer of sand, but nothing much of that sort was being actually implemented even during the early scientific disposal, he said.

    Ideally, no more waste should be dumped over the closure, but when they continue to dump unprocessed waste over it, what is the point of closing it, asked J Daniel Jesudass, organizer of the Vellalore Dump Yard opposition committee.

    During the incessant rain, the top layer of sand shifted and the waste got exposed, he said, questioning the quality of scientific closure that is being adopted by the corporation.

    When contacted, civic body officials said about 70% of the accumulated waste was scientifically capped and the remaining waste would be capped within six to seven months.

  • Waste segregation target a long way off Nivedha Selvam | tnn | Sep 8, 2018, 00:52 IST

    Coimbatore: Walk down the streets in the city, and you just can’t miss the green rolling carts overflowing with mixed refuse. Ride along water bodies, and you see heaps of garbage, especially the plastic waste, lining the banks. This is the state of the city which is ranked 16th in the country under the Swachh Bharat programme.

    While civic body officials have assured that they have been improving the solid waste management by encouraging segregation of waste at the household level and that it is being implemented in all wards across the city, city-based activists and residents questioned their claims.

    “Why should we segregate household waste when the sanitary worker who collects it dumps everything together,” asked R Meenakshi, a resident from Ramanathapuram. She said she started to segregate waste after attending a couple of awareness programmes, but gave it up within a couple of months.

    “When the corporation does not have separate bins and carts to collect biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste separately, what is the point of insisting on source segregation, asked V Eswaran, state youth wing secretary of the MDMK.

    Source segregation at the household level is happening, but only in a small way. Even that segregated waste is not brought separately to the dump yard, he said, explaining that only one to two tonnes of segregated waste that is generated from a few restaurants enter the dump yard.

    Following the directions of the National Green Tribunal in April 2017, the civic body promised to achieve 100% source segregation by the end of December 2017. But it’s been nine months past the deadline and nothing much has changed in the city, he added.

    Citing one of the letters submitted by the civic body to the NGT, he said the corporation had detailed that bins and push carts would be purchased at a cost of Rs 15 crore to improve waste management, but nothing was implemented.

    A lot needs to be done to create awareness among both residents and workers, said R Raveendran from Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore (RAAC), the organization in charge of implementing ‘shunya’ zero waste management project in wards 22 and 24.

    “We managed to make the residents segregate waste before disposing it, but it becomes difficult when door-to-door collection does not take place on a daily basis,” he said, pointing out that there is a manpower shortage.

    When garbage collection does not take place for a couple of days, residents are forced to dump the entire waste together in the garbage bin in their locality, he said, explaining the need to dispose of wet waste on a regular basis.

    When contacted, civic body officials said they have been working to achieve 100% source segregation and awareness is being created among the public.

    While bulk collectors were already directed to manage their own organic waste, the officials have been planning to stop collecting mixed waste from the public and it would be implemented at the earliest, the official added.

    Acknowledging the manpower shortage, the official said the shortage is due to retirement of workers and the vacancies could be filled only through tenders.

  • Take steps to curb illegal felling of tress in reserve forests: Activists tnn | Sep 8, 2018, 00:35 IST

    Udhagamandalam: Activists have voiced concerns over illegal felling of trees in Ooty north range of forests. At least 25 eucalyptus trees had been felled illegally in the past few weeks in connivance with officials of Forest Gate, Arambi and Butfire forest areas, they said.

    “Illegal tree felling is mainly taking place in isolated areas. They remove felled trees from the spot overnight. We had petitioned concerned range officer several times, but in vain,” said an activist, who didn’t want to be named.

    Activists pegged the value of felled trees at more than Rs 20 lakh. Pointing out that there was no sanction order from senior authorities for cutting trees within reserve forest areas, they said, “Senior forest department officials in Chennai should probe the issue to curtail such illegal felling of trees in future and save trees in reserve forest areas.”

    When contacted, district forest officer Sumesh Soman told TOI, “A few trees on the border areas of Forest Gate were cut after a staff quarters was damaged due to a tree fall. In Arambi forest area, a car was damaged due to tree fall. Hence, a few trees were felled. In both the cases, trees were felled based on the request from nearby villagers.”

    The district forest officer, however, declined to reveal the number of trees felled and whether permission was obtained for the same. When asked about illegal tree felling in Butfire area, the officer said he was not sure about it.

  • City corporation to repossess property leased out 54 yrs ago Nivedha Selvam | tnn | Sep 9, 2018, 00:41 IST

    Coimbatore: After 34 years of legal battle, the city corporation will finally be able to get hold of a building it owns near the VOC Park. The Madras high court has directed the civic body to initiate eviction process within eight weeks.

    In 1964, the civic body had signed a lease agreement with Alda Fowler Nursery School Trust for 20 years for the 3,436sqft building on 16,355sqft land. The trust was to pay the civic body Rs 1 per year for the property, in which a nursery school was set up.

    But the school management, which had been paying the lease amount regularly till 1984, refused to vacate the building even after the lease period got over. It also stopped paying the lease amount, a corporation official said.

    The school moved the high court after the civic body sealed the building in 2015. In a writ petition, the school management claimed that it was difficult to vacate the place as the school is functioning with 68 children and 10 staff.

    The civic body said that the school management has been running another school within 350m from the location and they could move the students to the other school.

    “We could not evict them as a civil suit was pending for more than 30 years,” the official told TOI.

    In the order dated July 30, the high court directed the corporation to evict the petitioner from the premises within a period of eight weeks and to calculate the arrears of lease amount to be paid. “The writ petitioner is to be treated as an encroacher for all purpose and the administrator is empowered to invoke the provisions under the Tamil Nadu Land Encroachment Act, 1905,” the order said.

    As there is no district branch library in the centre of the city and a library, which was functioning next to the Officers Club building, was converted as a special court after the 1998 bomb blast, the corporation has proposed to construct a library on the property after the school is removed.

    The corporation will conduct the eviction after studying the court order and holding a meeting on Monday, town planning officer S Ravichandran said.

  • Six parks renovated, but residents want basic amenities first TNN | Sep 10, 2018, 00:40 IST

    Coimbatore: Residents of Kalapatti are fuming against the city corporation for its move to set up parks spending several lakhs when the very same residential areas do not have proper roads.

    The residents condemned the civic body for failing to provide clean drinking water on regular basis and repair the damaged roads when it has pooled in Rs 4.21crore to renovate six community parks - one each in Cheran Managar in ward 32, Maharaja Nagar in ward 36, PLS Nagar in ward 35, Elango Nagar in ward 34, VKL Nagar in ward 2 and Srinivasa Nagar in ward 42.

    These parks are renovated under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transmission (AMRUT) scheme and five out of six parks has costed more than Rs 70 lakh for establishment, according to the civic body officials.

    When do not have safe roads, then what is the point of having a grand park? questioned K Lakshmiganth, a resident of Nehru Nagar in Kalapatti, adding that the condition of roads has gone from bad to worse in the last three months.

    “To lay drinking water pipelines, the corporation has cut almost all the roads in region just a few weeks before the start of rainfall. Soon, after the rainfall started, the workers stopped the work without even bothering to close the dug roads,” he added.

    Due to the continuous rainfall, the entire roads had turned into sludge and it has become slippery. There was not a single day, in the recent times, when no accident was reported, said S Suganya, another resident, recalling the numerous instances when tires of two-wheelers had struck in sludge.

    Pinpointing the heaps of debris that were mounted at the end of lanes, she said that those were debris of road cutting and the workers had not created it till date despite raising several complaints.

    “Have the civic body assumed that we would be happy taking leisurely walks at parks after dusk when we have been struggling to drive in the roads since dawn,” the residents questioned.

    With the numerous road cuts either to lay water pipelines or Under Ground Sewage (UGD) lines, most of the existing pipelines were damaged and we have been receiving only contaminated water, said P Mahalingam, a resident from Peelamedu, adding that it’s been days when they had received clean water.

    “The corporation should concentrate on fixing the water leakage and addressing the water contamination issue before spending crores of rupees for renovating the parks,” he added.

    When contacted the officials at civic body, they said that they have been, immediately, been addressing problems related to water. The civic body has started the road repair works across the city and soon, all the roads would be either repaired or laid new.


  • Illegal tree felling, shifting of wooden logs stopped in Ooty reserve forest TNN | Sep 10, 2018, 00:51 IST

    Udhagamandalam: A day after TOI reported about felling of at least 25 eucalyptus trees worth over Rs 20 lakh allegedly with the connivance of forest department officials in the district, the cutting down of trees and shifting of wooden logs were stopped at Forest Gate, Arambi and Butfire reserve forest areas on Saturday.

    Speaking to TOI here on Sunday, chief conservator of forests Deepak Srivastava said a clear-cut instruction had been given to the district forest officer, Nilgiris division, to not cut trees on a blanket order in reserved areas.

    “Given the gravity of the situation, I will inspect the forest areas on Monday and the Nilgiris DFO is solely accountable for every inch of the wooden log cut,” he added

    In a rejoinder to the TOI report, district forest officer Suresh Soman on Saturday said the forest range officer had cut the trees based on an order no. 5527/2018/L issued by him to cut 30 trees in the above said localities as the trees posed danger to people there. But it was noticed that at least 30 trees on the roadside in the Forest Gate area were cut from the base while around 30 trees were cut randomly in Butfire area. In Arambi forest area, at least 10-15 trees were cut randomly.

    “The DFO had been instructed to chop off only the branches of trees posing danger so that the intensity of the wind on the trees would be reduced. Now, having issued a blanket order to cut trees, Soman must justify his act,” said Srivastava.

    According to Srivastava, all the cut wood logs will go to TANTEA as per an internal agreement between the forest department and TANTEA.