July 2012

Tsunami mock drill held

 Hundreds of residents of Fort Kochi area participated in the tsunami mock drill that was staged at the Fort Kochi beach on Thursday.

The exercise started with an official announcing that a tsunami alert has been received at the Revenue Divisional Office. The official gave the alert call through a hand-held public announcement system at 4.05 p.m. With the announcement of the evacuation being made, trained volunteers and various law enforcing agencies sprung into action for evacuating people from the shores of the beach and nearby areas.

A pregnant woman was carried in a stretcher to a waiting ambulance even as hundreds of others moved to safe places on receiving the alert. City police, Fire and Rescue Service, Indian Cost Guard, State Health Department and Revenue officials led the evacuation process.

Goa to formulate coastal zone management plan

Panaji, Jul 24 (PTI) Goa government will formulate an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP) in consultation with ocean research agency, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). Department of Science, Technology and Environment in its performance budget tabled on the floor of the House during the ongoing session has said that ICZMP as per new CRZ notification, 2011 needs to be formulated. As per the CRZ notification 2011, certain specific provisions have been made for Goa, which include mapping khazan areas, mangroves, sand dunes and others which is required to be completed, it said. "It is proposed to undertake an ICZMP for the coastal stretches of Goa with the assistance of NIO as a nodal agency," the budget document said. The NIO is based in Goa. The state government has also proposed to undertake intensive biodiversity mapping of the riverine ecosystems to identify such hotspots for conservation projects. Total budget of Rs 65 lakh has been provided for the formulation of ICZMP and mapping, the document said. PTI RPS

India: Illegal Sand Dredging at Mochemaad Causes Major Concerns

 The Times of India reports that a resort in Sindhdurga has complained to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) of illegal sand dredging in the Mochemaad creek that has destroyed the mangroves.

In its complaint the resort management has pointed out that illegal sand dredging had destroyed the sand dunes, and thereby the mangroves in the area.

According to The Times of India, the illegal sand dredging had led to erosion of land and also affected agricultural land. It warned that the flora and fauna of the area would be destroyed.

Horticulture Commissioner visits cyclone-hit cashew groves

 Commissioner of Horticulture and Plantation Crops Santhosh Babu held a review meeting with the officials here today to ascertain the rehabilitation works being carried out in cyclone Thane-affected farms.

The officials in charge of Cuddalore and Villupuram districts gave an elaborate account to the Commissioner on the steps taken for removing the uprooted trees, and how the affected lands were being readied for raising fresh crops.

District Collector Rajendra Ratnoo and Additional Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao, who is the Project Officer, Project (Thane) Management Unit, Deputy Directors of Horticulture Rajendran and Raju were present on the occasion.

Later, the Commissioner visited the cashew groves of Kuppusamy and Venkatachalam at Meliruppu in Panruti block.

Centre okays A&N proposal for compensation to A&N Tsunami-hit

 Press Trust of India / Port Blair July 16, 2012, 18:35

The Centre has approved the proposal of the Andaman and Nicobar Administration to pay compensation at the rate of Rs. 9.39 lakh per hectare to those whose land got submerged in the Dec 2004 tsunami.

Official sources said the affected farmers have been asked to apply in the format stipulated by revenue department for payment of compensation and can directly apply to the Deputy Commissioner of South Andaman and Deputy Commissioner of Nicobar District as deemed fit.

MARG port to scale up support for fisher folk, farmers, SHGs

 The MARG Karaikal port, under its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, has proposed to scale up its ‘Knowledge Connectivity for Rural Empowerment’ programme in technical partnership with M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation.

The project was launched to provide knowledge and advisory support to select groups of farmers, fisher folk, and SHGs. The project is essentially a take-off from the MSSRF’s existing resource support through its Village Resource Centres (VRC) .

The programme entailed a selection of 300 groups – 100 each of farmers, fisher folk and SHGs – and is based on the criterions of ownership of mobile phones and willingness for disseminating information to a subgroup.

Sea weather forecast on radio

 Labour Minister Shibu Baby John, on Sunday, inaugurated a programme which provides daily marine weather forecasts for seagoing fishermen in Kollam district. The forecast will be broadcast thrice a day through Radio Benziger, a Kollam-based community radio station. In his address, Mr. John said he would strive to extend this ‘unique initiative’ across the State. Kollam Bishop Stanley Roman delivered the benedictory address and Mayor Prasanna Earnest spoke.

The broadcast, the first of its kind in the country, is expected to benefit at least 20,000 fishermen of the district and several migrant fishermen operating from the harbours of Tangasseri, Shakthikulangara and Neendakara in addition to several minor fish landing sites along the Kollam coast.

John Thekkayyam, the architect of the programme, said that in spite of having a 7,500-kilometre coastline and a marine fisher folk population of 3.57 million spread across more than 3,000 marine fishing villages in the country, there was no regular marine weather broadcast for fishermen.

Fishermen to get new houses

 KOZHIKODE: The keys of the last batch of 71 houses, constructed under the Tsunami Rehabilitation Fund, will be handed over to the beneficiaries by revenue minister Adoor Prakash on Saturday. The houses are located at Chengottukavu in Koyilandy and Azhiyur in Vadakara. The Kerala State Housing Board had constructed 211 houses for the homeless fishermen in the district. C K Nanu MLA will preside over the function.

The project is expected to put an end to the recurring misery of the fisherfolk during monsoon as the violent seas claim their houses year after year. The new houses are built in safe areas removed from the sea.

Coastal areas of Bengal to be revamped

 KOLKATA: The Digha Shankarpur Development Authority is working on several plans to develop the civic infrastructure of the coastal areas of Digha, Shankarpur and other places.