TRINet Newsletter May 2013

India's largest copper smelter in Tamil Nadu ignites toxic debate

Housewife A Puneeta was washing dishes on a foggy Saturday morning when suddenly her throat began to burn. Coughing hard and struggling to breathe, she rushed into the street to find her neighbours running, haphazardly, in panic. "First people said there was a gas leak, and then someone said Sterlite seemed to have opened up something, and that's the cause of the throat burning," said Puneeta, 32, who is married to a fisherman in this port town near the southern tip of India.

Study shows serious threat to coral reef colonies, mangrove forests in Palk Bay

A recent study taken up by a team of researchers from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Chennai, brought to light the serious threat of extinction the coral reef colonies and mangrove forests in the Palk Bay are facing. At present, only two per cent of the coral reefs survive in the area.

Kerala govt gears up for ‘grim’ drought

With scorching summer pushing Kerala to unprecedented drought, political parties on Wednesday voiced concern in the state assembly over the acute water and power crisis even as the Government said it has already taken all possible measures to tackle the “grim situation.”

Kerala set to introduce coastal shipping policy

The State has initiated steps to introduce a coastal shipping policy for the movement of goods through waters. As part of encouraging coastal transportation, he said, the government will provide incentives to users in this sector.

Adani project in Mundra has violated environmental norms, rules MoEF committee

There is incontrovertible evidence that the Adani project - port and SEZ - at Mundra in Gujarat has violated and not complied with environmental clearance conditions. The company has also bypassed environmental procedures in certain cases - says the report of a committee set up by the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) to inspect the project. The committee's report was officially presented to the Union minister of state for environment and forests, Jayanthi Natarajan, in New Delhi recently.

A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Edward L. Webb of the National University of Singapore (NUS) is calling for the global adoption of a method to identify areas that are vulnerable to sea-level rise. The method, which utilises a simple, low-cost tool, is financially and technically accessible to every country with coastal wet­lands. 

Disaster Management

China Quake Diary: A Long Journey With a Surprising End

Hitchhiking our way out of Tianquan, a small town about a 30-minute driven from Lushan – the hardscrabble county in southwestern Sichuan that was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Saturday  — we were picked up by a white Volkswagen heading in that direction. Yang Qi, a man in his early thirties, was taking food and water to the fire fighters in Lushan where he had a friend working in the relief effort – and he was in a hurry.

Global Insight: Beijing concern over volunteer aid response

In 2008, when a devastating earthquake struck China’s Sichuan province, private volunteers and hastily formed civic groups rushed into the area and played a major role in relief efforts. Within a couple of months, however, many of them were asked to leave, as the government decided it had had enough of independent groups organising relief efforts and thereby encroaching on territory that was traditionally the preserve of the state.

Chinese orders to put “positive” spin on earthquake reports

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the insistence of Chinese authorities that the media report only “positive” news stories in the aftermath of last week’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake which has claimed 193 lives in Sichuan.

India disaster relief agency not ready for calamities--audit

India's disaster relief agency suffers from "critical gaps" in its preparedness for calamities, making it largely ineffective when responding to the numerous disasters the country faces such as floods and earthquakes, a government auditor’s report has said.

Alayathi, a newsletter in Tamil, can be downloaded here
TRINet - The Resource and Information Network for the Coast, 
BEDROC, No.5, Mettu Bungalow, New Beach Road, 
Kadambadi, Nagapattinam - 611 001, India.