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Corporation embarks on greening programme

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The Hindu      28.08.2014  

Corporation embarks on greening programme

Corporation officials planting saplings at Sivanthakulam in Tuticorin on Tuesday.— Photo : N. Rajesh
Corporation officials planting saplings at Sivanthakulam in Tuticorin on Tuesday.— Photo : N. Rajesh

The Tuticorin Corporation has embarked on a programme to increase greenery to maintain an eco-friendly environment. As part of the initiative, 20 saplings were planted in front of the corporation school on the Sivanthakulam Road here on Tuesday.

A team led by Pradeep V. Krishnakumar, City Health Officer, Tuticorin Corporation, and V. Hariganesh, Sanitary Inspector, planted saplings with protective shields.

Dr. Krishnakumar said afforestation would increase rainfall in drought-affected areas. “Our responsibility does not end with planting saplings, but watering the saplings every day is essential and people should bear it in mind,” he said.

If people came forward to grow trees such as ‘neem’, ‘pungai’, ‘banyan’ and other shade-tolerant species, the corporation would provide the saplings free of cost, he noted. The resident welfare associations of Muthammal Colony, Caldwell Colony and other areas of ward 34 had volunteered to plant a considerable number of saplings, he said. The objective was not only to cultivate more trees but also to weed out thorny shrub (Prosopis juliflora), which caused depletion of groundwater table.

Mr. Hariganesh said 3,000 tree saplings were planted last year.


Councillors to show the way by using cloth bags

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The Hindu      28.08.2014  

Councillors to show the way by using cloth bags

Elected representatives of the 16 town panchayats in Vellore district are set to show the way to the public on avoiding use of polythene bags.

In a step towards reducing plastic use, particularly plastic bags less than 40 microns, the Department of Town Panchayats has given cloth bags to chairpersons, vice chairpersons and councillors of town panchayats in the district.

The ill effects of using plastic have been printed on the cloth bags such as it reduces groundwater levels, causes death when cattle consume plastic bags and burning of plastic causes 52 kinds diseases.

At a meeting held on Wednesday, S.M. Malayaman Thirumudikari, assistant director of Town Panchayats, Vellore, said they were taking several steps to avoid use of plastic bags.

“First, the elected representatives should stop using plastic bags. If we follow this, then others will follow suit,” he said.

He asked the representatives to start the initiative at their homes and then spread the message among the public.

“We can reduce plastic use by conducting checks but this needs behavioural change in the people,” he noted.

While garbage segregation and collection was almost 100 per cent from commercial establishments, the problem persisted at the door-to-door level.

“People do not segregate garbage at their homes. Though workers collect the garbage from houses, people tend to dump remaining garbage on the roads later. This dirties the streets. The elected representatives should tell the people in their town panchayats to dispose garbage properly,” he added.

Doing well

Sholinghur, Panapakkam and Alangayam town panchayats were doing well in solid waste management, he said, adding,

“Another six town panchayats will be covered in the solid waste management project during 2014-15. We will work to bring all the town panchayats under the project.”

Collector R. Nanthagopal, who handed over the bags to the representatives, said that town panchayats were doing well in plastic management.

“However, there are several municipalities in Vellore and they should also concentrate more on municipal solid waste management,” he said.

He pointed out to how plastic bags were a huge problem to both cities and villages.


Report tabled on removal of concrete

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The Hindu       07.08.2014 

Report tabled on removal of concrete

Cement around tree trunks removed on over six roads: civic body

The Chennai Corporation has left pavement tiles, removed as part of measures for doing away with concrete around trees, on the platforms itself.

R. Nagendran, expert member of National Green Tribunal (NGT), Southern Bench, made the observation on Wednesday during the hearing of a case filed by P. Edwin Wilson, of Purasawalkam, on the removal of concrete around trees on the city roads.

In June, the NGT’s vacation bench, comprising judicial member P. Jyothimani and expert member G.K. Pandey, directed the Corporation to remove concrete laid around trees along the roads, within a week.

The order was aimed at allowing better percolation of water and growth of trees. The petitioner stated that it had become a common sight to see trees along the road being choked by tar or cement laid around them.

Concretising the base would also weaken avenue trees, posing a threat to the safety of road users, he said.

On Wednesday, the Corporation’s counsel submitted an ‘action taken’ report to the bench comprising judicial member M. Chockalingam and expert member R. Nagendran.

The civic body said it had instructed all its zonal officers to remove concrete and bitumen laid within one meter of trees.

The report stated that cement concrete covering tree trunks was removed from trees on over six roads, including Balfour Road, Luz Avenue and Kilpauk Garden Road. The space was then filled with gravel and sand to allow percolation of water.

“Action is being taken to remove all signboards, advertisement boards and wires on trees,” the report stated. The Corporation is also conducting a study on the health of avenue trees and public trees by engaging an expert agency that will submit a report to the NGT.

The counsel for the petitioner pointed out that concrete was still present beneath the gravel. The case has been adjourned to September 23.

Corporation’s counsel submitted an ‘action taken’ report to the NGT, Southern Bench

Report states action is being taken to remove boards and wires, too


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