March 2012

India’s coastal states joined together for long term ICZM planning

 Report by bureau; Bhubaneswar: The Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) in Odisha, State Project Management Unit, in collaboration with the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) organized a two days national workshop on "ICZM Planning" from Friday, March 16, 2012. Under the aegis of the World Bank assisted Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Project representatives of almost all the coastal states of the country including Andaman & Nicobar Islands congregated in the workshop to prepare a long term ICZM Planning for their respective states. 

The two day workshop was inaugurated by Sri Debi Prasad Mishra, Hon’ble Forest & Environment Minister, Govt of Odisha at Hotel New Marrion, Bhubaneswar.  The key personnel from three states Gujrat, West Bengal and Odisha, currently implementing the ICZM Project participated in the workshop.

Integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) is a planning and management process which aims to balance multiple human activities and demands on coastal space and resources with the protection of dynamic and vulnerable coastal systems ensuring the maintenance of the functions and services which they provide.

Constructions along lake under the scanner

 Nearly 15 apartment projects, both upcoming and completed, on the banks of the Chilavannur lake are under the scanner of the Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority (KSCZMA) for violating the Environment Protection Act and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.

The authority has asked the Kochi Corporation to immediately issue stop memo to all the ongoing projects in the area coming up in violation of the provisions under the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011.

The list of violators includes leading names in the real estate sector, it is reliably learnt.

UT lacks arm to fight disasters

 PUDUCHERRY: Two months after cyclone Thane ravaged through Puducherry, the administration is yet to learn lessons on how to handle an emergency situation.

The Disaster Management Wing of the Union Territory administration is virtually headless, powerless and penniless.

Except for renaming the revenue department as Department of Revenue and Disaster Management (DRDM), no separate manpower or adequate equipment has been provided. DRDM has no proper structure or resources to function now, according to official sources.

Free paddy, pulse kits for cyclone-hit ryots

 Distribution of free paddy and pulse kits under the State government's special rehabilitation programme to the cyclone ‘Thane'-affected farmers began in Cuddalore district on Tuesday.

K. Veera Raghava Rao, Additional Collector and Project Director (Thane rehabilitation), distributed the kits in the presence of Collector Rajendra Ratnoo, Joint Director (Agriculture) M. Radhakrishnan and Personal Assistant (Agriculture) to Collector R. Asokan at a simple function held here.

Mr. Ratnoo told reporters that a of 9,000 paddy kits, each worth Rs. 650 and totalling Rs. 58.50 lakh, and pulse kits numbering 1,94,324, each worth Rs. 840 and amounting to Rs. 16.32 crore, would be given to farmers all over the district.

Each paddy kit contains 20 kg of paddy seeds, two packets (200 gm each) of bio-fertilizers and 500 ml of pesticide, and each pulse kit contains eight kg of horse-gram and two packets of bio-fertilizers.

VAO held on graft charge

 Village Administrative Officer of Melaparithikudi in Kattumannarkoil block was arrested on Tuesday on charges of taking bribe for releasing relief amount to a cyclone-affected farmer.

Inspector V.V. Thirumal, Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, Cuddalore, told The Hindu that Asaithambi, a farmer at Melaparithikudi, suffered damage to his crops on 10 acres in the cyclone.

For getting relief, he approached VAO M. Veeramani (55) and after verifications, the latter put the estimated crop losses at Rs 41,600. After the amount was sanctioned, the VAO asked Asaithambi to pay him Rs 10,000 for releasing the relief.

Cable operators seek Rs. 8 crore as cyclone relief

 The Tamil Nadu Cable Television Operators' General Welfare Association has said that operators in Cuddalore and Villupuram districts suffered losses to the tune of Rs. 8 crore owing to cyclone Thane. Therefore, the State government ought to give them suitable relief for their revival.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, P. Sakilan, president and G. Damodharan, general secretary of the Association, said a study team of the Association had estimated cyclone losses suffered by operators in Cuddalore district at Rs. 4.21 crore and their counterparts in Villupuram at Rs 3.75 crore.

For instance, in Cuddalore alone, optic fibre cable to a distance of 225 km ought to be replaced, besides carrying out repairs to their equipment and civil structures housing them.

Court wants experts to survey work on cyclone-affected road

 The Madras High Court has directed the Director of Indian Institute of Technology-Madras to nominate three experts who should survey the Vridhachalam-Ulundurpet-Villupuram Road and submit a report on the quality of the work completed by contractors till date. Till the report is submitted, the sum should not be disbursed to the contractors.

The First Bench of Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam passed the interim order on an appeal against a single Judge's order. Originally, V. Devagi of Kalpattu village in Villupuram district had filed a writ petition aggrieved by the “illegal action” of the Divisional Engineer (Regular), Highways Department, Villupuram, in not conducting the tender process for laying the roads in Villupuram district out of the funds allotted by the Tamil Nadu government for restoring roads affected by cyclone ‘Thane' in December last year. A single Judge dismissed the petition.

The appellant alleged that only two contractors had participated in 15 different works pertaining to the road.

DNA investigations: Kudankulam plant fails to meet safety regulations

 Published: Friday, Mar 2, 2012, 9:30 IST | Updated: Friday, Mar 2, 2012, 14:43 IST 

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) had placed several conditions for fresh water requirements of the Kudankulam Power Nuclear Plant (KKNPP) but many of these conditions have not been met raising questions over the plant’s safety in case of a disaster.

As per AERB guidelines, there should be an alternative source of water all the time and storage of 60,000 cubic metres of water in the island should be built before KKNPP starts functioning. None of those conditions has been met. Fresh water is the primary coolant for nuclear reactors. Reactors cannot operate without it.

In Kudankulam there is no alternative source of water, which was one of the pre-requisites laid down by AERB in 1989 while sanctioning the project, as per documents in the possession of DNA. When the issue was raised by activists, government said that another source of water is not required as desalination plants are sufficient to meet requirements.

‘Mandwa mangroves under threat’

 MUMBAI: The Mandwa of Agneepath was notorious for cocaine production and the evil empire of the film's chief villain, Kancha Cheena. These days, the real Mandwa-though far removed from the island shown in the film-is also embroiled in a controversy. A proposed luxury township on 200 acres at Mandwa in Alibaug has come under the scanner after the Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG) has complained to the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) about large-scale destruction of mangroves. 

India's disaster management skills praised




India's disaster management capabilities have come up for all-round praise from renowned tsunami and global warming specialist, Dr Tad Murty.

“I would place India's disaster management skills and response mechanism among the top 10 in the world,” Dr Murty, who is on a visit here, told Business Line.