November 2012

Beach houses standing on shaky foundation?

 VISAKHAPATNAM: The unbridled construction activity on Vizag beaches taken up to cash in on the burgeoning demand for dream homes with abreathtaking view of the Bay of Bengal, is resulting in the sea gnawing away at the beach front at an alarming rate. 

Japan suspends 35 tsunami reconstruction projects

 Japan’s government has suspended 35 projects included in a budget for reconstruction from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami after criticism the spending was not directly related to recovery from the disasters.

As much as a fourth of the ¥11.7 trillion ($148 billion) budget had been earmarked for unrelated projects, including subsidies for a contact lens factory in another region and research whaling.

No specific reason was given for each project, though Noda and other officials have vowed to cut spending not directly for reconstruction. Many of the projects in the budget were included on the pretext they might aid Japan’s economic revival.

“Some of the projects are being deferred to 2013,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters in a regular briefing. “But Prime Minister Noda said the spending really must be committed to reconstruction.”

Plea to study how CRZ norms are washed away

 Consumer and environmental activists have given a clarion call to the authorities to immediately conduct a satellite study on the coastal area of Cuddalore, stretching from Thevanampattinam to Parangipettai, to study how far the Coastal Regulatory Zone norms are violated and the consequences of sea erosion that is happening at a fast pace.

Executive secretary of the Consumer Federation - Tamil Nadu, M. Nizamudeen, and representatives of the SIPCOT Area Social and Environmental Monitoring Committee, Arulselvan and Parasuraman, told presspersons here that the untreated effluents from the existing chemical units in the SIPCOT Industrial Estate were causing severe environmental problems.

The study conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute revealed that the pollution in the SIPCOT area was far in excess of the permissible limit, posing serious health hazards, including cancer and respiratory problems.

Shifting sands: A fishing village lost to sea

By Nityanand Jayaraman

P. Jagan is a kattumaram fisherman, a trade that has changed little in centuries. Early most mornings, Jagan launches his boat through the pounding surf and paddles his way to the fishing grounds of his choice. The sea, it appears, has been kind to him.

His house, situated in a row of identical concrete houses closest to the sea, is well-lit and spacious. A washing machine, refrigerator, wide-screen TV and other assets suggest that Jagan has not done too badly for himself with just the kattumaram. As boats go, the kattumaram — with its five logs hewn from the wood of the Albizzia tree, and lashed together — is an efficient and light surf-riding, beach landing vessel. Jagan has been facing one problem, though. The beach outside his home is shrinking.

Infra projects green trend continues

 MoEF’s expert panel recommends Bandra-Versova sea link for CRZ clearance

After the Sewri-Nhava Mumbai Trans Harbour Link got a nod from an expert appraisal committee of the union of Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) last month, the committee has now recommended a coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearance for another sea link proposed for the western suburbs.

The 10-km Bandra-Versova sea link, which will be 900 metres into the sea, will be an arm of the Western Freeway — creating a ring route around Mumbai together with the under-construction Eastern Freeway.

“Now, we only need the approval of the state government’s cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure before we can go ahead with the project,” said a senior official from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).

Nilam destroys looms of over 10,000 weavers



HYDERABAD, November 10, 2012


State under the influence of a ‘trough of upper air circulation’; Nilam destroys as many as 2,180 boats and fishing nets

Jayanthi lays stress on safety protocols to address oil spill

 The Union Environment and Forests Ministry will take up with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas the issue of according systemic protocol for monitoring pipelines to prevent oil spill, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan said here on Tuesday.

Taking suo motu cognisance of a report in The Hindu on the oil spill from an ONGC pipeline destroying paddy fields for the third consecutive year in Nagapattinam, she arrived here to inspect and ascertain the facts from the farmers.

The extensive operations of the ONGC, with over 30,000 km of pipeline in the country and over 675 km in the State, must be backed by safety protocols to address issues of spills, leaks and corrosion.

“Not a single life should be lost or single acre rendered waste due to lack of safety protocols.”

Locals oppose Valiya Veli seawall plan

 Anjana George, TNN Oct 26, 2012, 03.34PM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Fishermen at Valiya Veli, a coastal village here, are in a dilemma as the government has decided to build a seawall along the coastal lines of the village. The 'Theeradesha Samrakshana Samithi' led by Poundkadavu ward councillor Jolly David has alleged that a section of employees of the irrigation department, a group of contractors and sand mafia were behind the move.

According to the fisherfolks, the seawall would impact their livelihood as they would not get enough space to dry fish and fishing nets. "Earlier, seawalls were built at Poonthura, Panathura, Beemapalli, Cheriyathura and Thazhapally. Now, the fishermen from those places come here to dry fish. How will we take our boats to the sea once the wall comes up?" said Raju Paulose, who had won the 'best fisherman of the year' award constituted by the fishing community in Thiruvananthapuram.

More funds for groyne construction

 With an objective of arresting the seawater incursion into Chinna Mudaliar Chavadi, a coastal village near here, the work on construction of groynes is going on.

The State government has already released a sum of Rs. 11 crore for the purpose, and, recently, the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, has sanctioned another Rs. 20 crore, according to P. Mohan, Rural Industries Minister.

He was speaking at a function at Thiruchitrambalam in the Vanur block on Saturday.

Mr. Mohan said that ever since Ms. Jayalalithaa had come to power in 2011, welfare assistance worth over Rs. 755 crore was given away to 44,103 beneficiaries in the Vanur block.

On the occasion, the Minister gave away monetary assistance worth Rs. 3.50 crore to 1,150 beneficiaries.

Green tribunal slams govt

 CHENNAI: The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal has come down strongly on the Tamil Nadu public works department (PWD) for not executing an order of the NGT's apex bench for safe disposal of construction debris and removal of a road near the Marina Beach.