June 2012

Giant waves flood shore temple in Mamallapuram

 June 20, 2012

CHENNAI: Giant waves, more than 12 feet high, hit the northern side of the famous shore temple at Mamallapuram, 60 km from Chennai, on Tuesday evening, leaving the heritage monument three feet deep in water. Sea water gushed inland for about 75 metres, leaving behind a pool of water.

While there were no casualties, the waves triggered memories of the 2004 tsunami when the temple town was badly hit. "Tuesday's waves were a reminder of the tsunami. We were scared when we saw the tall waves. Fortunately, all shops were closed," said V Balan, a member of the Mamallapuram Traders' Association.

Deadline for tsunami houses is July 30

 The State Project Director (tsunami), Apoorva, has directed officials to expedite rehabilitation projects on construction of houses for tsunami-hit fishermen in coastal villages in the district and hand it over to beneficiaries by July 30.

The official was reviewing progress of housing projects being executed in the district.

The district’s project implementation unit has been constructing a total of 3,556 houses under two schemes – 1,247 houses under the World Bank-funded Emergency Tsunami Reconstruction Project (ETRP) and 2,308 houses under the Central government-sponsored Rajiv Gandhi Rehabilitation Package (RGRP).

Although the work on the houses was completed within two years in other districts after tsunami, Pudukottai was the last district to take up this rehabilitation project, in January 2008. Thus, a total of 3,556 houses were taken up at a total outlay of Rs.110.30 crore in 33 packages. Each house was estimated at an expenditure of Rs.2.38 lakh with a plinth area of 325 square feet.

Work on 3 cyclone shelters to begin soon

 KOZHIKODE: The work on three cyclone shelters, planned in Kozhikode and Kannur districts under the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project, will commence soon.

Of the three cyclone shelters planned for Malabar, two will be constructed in Kozhikode and one in Kannur district. The construction of the shelters will be carried out by the Central PWD. The work on the shelter within the Vadakara municipality limits will be gin first as the municipal authorities have already allocated the land.


Plan to convert coastal areas into tourism zone draws flak

 The plan to convert vast swathes of no development zone (NDZ) in the coastal regions of Gorai, Manori and Uttan into a Tourism Development Zone has come in for severe criticism from activists, who have suggested that the belt be opened up for creation of affordable housing instead.

The Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) has written to the Chief Minister, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) commissioner and the principal secretary of the state urban development department about the ‘flawed’ policy that is currently under consideration. The MMRDA, the state government appointed Special Planning Authority for Gorai-Manori-Uttan area since 2007, has drafted the Development Plan (DP) for the coastal belt.

Asian tsunami alert systems 'pass major test'

 The 8.6 magnitude undersea quake triggered a tsunami warning in several countries. It was the first real-time test of three tsunami warning systems — in Australia, India and Indonesia — which were all developed following the 2004 Asian tsunami, which killed nearly a quarter of a million people.

They use sea erosion to line their pockets

 Published: Tuesday, Jun 12, 2012, 10:25 IST 

By M Raghuram | Agency: DNA

This year the south-west monsoon has come three days earlier than the weathermen had predicted, providing much-needed relief to coastal residents from a sweltering heat wave. But for those who transport boulders to the beaches, ostensibly to prevent sea erosion, it is bonanza time.

They have been doing this for the past 26 years with government sanction, but it has not stopped the sea erosion. On the other hand, this exercise has eroded millions of rupees from the state exchequer. Each six tonne boulder on a truck costs Rs30,000.

Experts say the coast is full of spots that are prone to seasonal beach erosion, “It is a simple process of churning of the sea. The sea for some reason shifts dunes of sand from one place to another during the monsoons and returns the same volume in the next year to the same spot. So the volume of sand lost this year returns to the same spot next year and it need not cause any alarm,” say the experts of marine geology department of Mangalore University.

Rs 45.34L compensation to cyclone hit fishermen

 Puducherry: The Puducherry government on Monday handed over Rs 45.34 lakh as financial aid to 57 fishermen of Nallavadu coastal village to enable them buy fishing boats or repair those partially damaged in Thane cyclone in December last year.

Sea erosion damages 40 houses in Kanyakumari

 More than 40 houses in Thengapattinam, Enayam, Poothurai, Thuthoor, Marthandamthurai, Mullurthurai and the surrounding coastal villages were damaged due to sea erosion following giant waves accompanied by strong wind that continued to pound the coastal areas of the district for the fourth day on Sunday.

The sea is usually rough from May to September (south west monsoon period) and the district administration is equipped to meet any eventuality.

Waves to the height of 10 to 15 feet hit the coastal areas in the western parts of the district and extensive damages were reported.

Owing to the lack of anti-sea erosion walls and groynes, sea water entered more than 100 fishermen houses in the western part of the district. The affected persons took refuge in shelters in Samathuvapuram and some went to stay with relatives after vacating the houses and removing their belongings.

“World Oceans Day” report is a warning

 A Greenpeace report released on the occasion of “World Oceans Day” on Friday warns that India may suffer a three pronged threat due to depleting fish stocks and neglect of marine conservation. The report was formally released by Basudev Acharya, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture.

Fisheries industry contributes to about two per cent of India’s GDP in addition to providing livelihood to about 15 million people. Depleting fish stocks would not only result in massive job losses but would also damage the ecology and the national GDP, the report says.

Ninety per of India’s fish resources are at or above maximum sustainable levels of exploitation. The Greenpeace findings claim convincingly contradicting the official stand that there is still scope for fish landings to increase in India despite the dangerously depleting fish stocks.

CRZ green signal for four more Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project units

 With the first two units of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) coming close to the stage of commissioning, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has received the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for starting work on the next four units (KKNPP units 3-6).

The NPCIL has to submit a schematic diagram of its outfall and technical details to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) before commencing the work.

Discussing the issue of CRZ clearance at length, the Expert Appraisal Committee of the MoEF has also asked NPCIL to carry out regular monitoring at the outfall point, especially for temperature and marine life quality.

It must also monitor all physical, chemical and biological parameters, including radioactivity, regularly. Asking for strict compliance with these three conditions, the expert appraisal committee for construction, CRZ and infrastructure development, at its 112 meeting on May 10, recommended the proposal for nuclear power plant units 3-6 for CRZ clearance.