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Tamil Nadu News Papers

Creating a strong base for waste segregation

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Source : The Hindu Date : 22.06.2009

Creating a strong base for waste segregation

K.V. Prasad

Nine wards chosen to implement waste disposal measures

VALUABLE TIPS: Mayor R. Venkatachalam (second right) educates people in Ward 43 on segregation of waste.

COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore Corporation is into creating a strong base on which it can establish a system for successful segregation of waste at source (at the place of generation, namely houses or commercial establishments).

After a decade-long groping for a solution for disposal of garbage, the Corporation seems to be coming from the right direction: from the grassroots to the grandiose. It has plans to convert garbage into manure. A grander plan is to create a park over a landfill of non-biodegradable waste. But, the first task is to make the public segregate waste and store it in bins at home than throw it on the road.

Nine wards have been chosen to implement segregation of waste and the success will turn them into model zones for the rest of the city to emulate.

From the Mayor to the Councillor and from the Commissioner to the conservancy worker, the Corporation machinery is focussing on educating the public on storing biodegradable waste in green bins and the non-biodegradable waste in white bins. They are also being told that they should hand over garbage only to the conservancy workers every day.

Mayor R. Venkatachalam demonstrated segregation at Ward 43 recently in addition to the Corporation distributing the stickers with guidelines on segregation.

The ward itself seems to have prepared a plan of action over the last two years on how to set about segregation and also primary collection.

“We identified areas where bins could be placed along roads and prepared a list of streets, their length and also the number of houses and population. We are working on forming a ward committee to oversee segregation,” ward councillor N. Tamilselvi says. Every house, tea stall, hotel, marriage hall, liquor shop and other establishments that generate garbage are in the list.

“We were the first to prepare such an action plan and submit it to Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra. Corrections and improvements were made to it and similar plans were worked out for the other eight wards also,” she claims.

The aim is to make garbage collection easy for the workers also. Ground floor houses will be allocated to older workers as they may not be able to climb the stairs. Ward 43 is among the nine model wards that have a list of available and required manpower and also the availability of equipment for garbage collection.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2009 04:48

Afforestation drive hits a roadblock

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Source : The Hindu Date : 22.06.2009

Afforestation drive hits a roadblock

P. Oppili

CHENNAI: Lack of financial assistance and support from government departments has resulted in the urban afforestation programme being given the go-by in the current financial year.

Forest Department sources say in the last couple of years, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) bore 75 per cent of the expenses with the State government providing the remaining cost. Utilising the funds, the Forest Department planted saplings. However, no funds were provided for maintaining the plants.

A senior Forest official says as far as the greening programme is concerned, the Chennai Corporation and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority should provide financial assistance for implementing it. He says the department provides saplings at a nominal cost to private individuals who evince interest. Left without any funds in the current financial year, it has not raised saplings in its nurseries at Anna Nagar and Velachery.

Another official says there is an increased awareness of the need to plant saplings.But, in the absence of funds, the department is forced to say ‘no’ to tree lovers who approach its nurseries for saplings. On the condition of the 45,000 saplings planted during the last couple of years, the official says in many areas, particularly in the suburbs, resident welfare associations are providing care and attention.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2009 04:44

Impact of merging Corporation schools city pulse

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Source : The Hindu Date : 22.06.2009

Impact of merging Corporation schools city pulse

Aloysius Xavier Lopez and Meera Srinivasan

Mayor says the recent merger of 30 schools is part of the initiative to improve school education

— Photo: R.Ragu

Post-merger: This Chintadripet school is one of the Corporation schools remaining vacant.

CHENNAI: The condition of some school buildings remaining locked and unused because of the recent merger of Corporation schools has been a cause of concern among parents.

While Chennai Corporation is taking measures to achieve its target of increasing the number of students to 1.5 lakh, the enrolment in many Corporation primary schools is yet to match last year’s.

Mayor M.Subramanian said the recent merger of 30 schools was part of the initiative to improve school education. The schools would start functioning as separate entities if the number of students increased in future, he said.

An official said that the buildings which were vacant following the merger would be used for teaching yoga, creation of libraries and laboratories. However, teachers voiced concern over the possible use of the buildings for commercial purposes as the value of land of the schools concerned was said to be very high.

A total of 100 new classrooms would be built this year at a cost of Rs.5 crore, according to the Corporation Budget 2009-2010. Mr. Subramanian said there has been an increase of 10 per cent in the total number of students of Corporation schools this year.

While some Corporation schools have witnessed a rise in the number of students due to better infrastructure, some are grappling with a problem of falling number of students, said an official. The civic body recently started a drive to remove the allegedly false names of students on the rolls of some schools. This strict enforcement by the civic body has also contributed to the drop in the number of students on the rolls, according to officials.

The number reduced to less than 10 in some schools with the number of teachers more than that of the students, said the official. “Expenditure of Rs.12 lakh per school has gone waste because of the excess number of teachers,” he said.

Review conducted

In March 2009, the Corporation conducted a review of the Corporation schools and found that there was a pressing need for reform.

The recent merger of 30 Corporation schools has helped 540 students get better facilities in the new schools, said an official of the Education Department of the Chennai Corporation. A total of 93 teachers were transferred this year because of the merger.

According to the Corporation circular, over six primary schools were merged with primary schools in nearby localities. The circular dated May 29, 2009, urged headmasters to ensure that all interested students were given admission. They were also asked to ensure there were no drop-outs.

Possible causes

Officials of the civic body said lack of punctuality and commitment on the part of Corporation school teachers, relocation of people in some slums and better birth control measures in a few areas were possible factors that led to the fall in students’ enrolment of students in Class I. The Class I enrolment in some of the Corporation primary schools has not yet crossed the one-digit mark, they said.

“Parents think Corporation schools may not be good enough for their children. We offer good education and our students are doing very well,” said a Corporation school teacher on condition of anonymity.

Parents admit that the civic body has been taking measures to improve education in the city. But building classrooms alone will not suffice, said S. Karpagam, a parent.

“The people of our locality requested the Corporation a few years ago for a school building and got it built. But now they are reluctant to send their children to the Corporation school,” she said.

A section of parents are firm about moving their children to private schools. “There is a Corporation school right next to our house. Students are always shouting as there is no teacher. The school premises and toilet are extremely unhygienic,” said S. Ushanandini, a parent.

For parents of students who have had to shift to a new school after the merger, things have changed. “Earlier, the school was close by and my children did not have to be escorted. Moreover, they could come home for lunch. This school is far away and one of us has to drop them and pick them up,” says S.Thilagam, mother of class IV and class II students. “But the school is good. Even I studied there.”

Educationist V. Vasanthi Devi says it is students from underprivileged backgrounds who need more attention. “A strong regulatory mechanism to check the number of students and quality of education offered in each school is vital,” she emphasises. Posting well-qualified and adequate number of teachers is very important, she adds.

A different approach to attendance and punctuality has to be in place with the cooperation of teachers, said an official of the civic body.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2009 04:27

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