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Tamil Nadu News Papers

Caution against high concentration of fluoride in drinking water

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Source : The Hindu Date : 10.06.2009

Caution against high concentration of fluoride in drinking water

Staff Reporter

Workshop blames it on mismanagement of surface and groundwater resources

— Photo: R.Shivaji Rao

NOTE OF CAUTION: MAWS Department secretary Niranjan Mardi releases a handbook on fluoride and its impact on health at a workshop organised by TWAD Board in Chennai on Tuesday. (From left) Executive director of FR and RDF A.K.Susheela, TWAD Board’s joint Managing Director Supriya Sahu and Chief of UNICEF office (TN and Kerala) Satish Kumar are in the picture.

CHENNAI: Mismanagement of surface and groundwater resources has led to high concentration of fluoride in drinking water. Convergence of efforts of the various stakeholders was essential to mitigate its serious impact on public health, speakers stressed at a workshop in the city on Tuesday.

Inaugurating the two-day workshop on ‘Fluoride in drinking water and its impact on public health’ organised by Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board (TWAD), Secretary to Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department Niranjan Mardi said that 10 districts in the State, particularly Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts, were fluoride-endemic.

“High fluoride content would have debilitating effect not only on bones and dental structure but also on the entire body. Continued effort of people from inter-related fields such as water analysts and doctors is necessary to tackle the issue apart from involvement of the society,” he said.

On the Hogenakkal water supply scheme, Mr. Mardi said bids were being evaluated. Cost-effective solutions such as installation of filters to remove fluoride in schools and villages have been proposed for fluorosis mitigation as part of the project.

He also released a handbook on fluoride and its impact on health during the occasion.

TWAD Board’s joint managing director and project director Supriya Sahu said students and teachers in the affected areas would be educated on fluoride contamination in water and intake of nutritious diet to combat fluorosis.

In a bid to address the problem with a multi-disciplinary approach, the workshop intended to train TWAD Board engineers, hydro geologists about identifying the symptoms of fluoride contamination and its health hazards. This would help them design new water supply projects according to the needs of specific area.

Chief of the UNICEF office (Tamil Nadu and Kerala) Satish Kumar said that only a small percentage of the groundwater resource was being used for drinking water purposes. With overexploitation of available resources, more places in the State would face water crisis as extraction far exceeds replenishment.

Though fluorisis was not a fatal disease, there is no cure for the ailment as of now. Early diagnosis and awareness about diet rich in calcium and vitamins would help in preventing it.

Executive Director of Fluorosis Research and Rural Development Foundation, Delhi, A. K. Susheela, said the training would impart fundamental information about the disease and how to face the challenges.

On Wednesday, nearly 50 doctors would participate in the deliberations.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 15:21

Rs. 61.50 lakh for providing amenities

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Source : The Hindu Date : 10.06.2009

Rs. 61.50 lakh for providing amenities

Staff Reporter

ARIYALUR: Varadarajanpettai town panchayat in the district has been chosen for implementing the ‘Anaithu Peruratchi Anna Marumalarchi Thittam at an expenditure of Rs. 61.50 lakh during 2009-10.

Making this announcement at a review meeting on Monday, the District Collector, Anil Meshram, said that works on construction of roads with storm water drainage, erecting Compact Fluorescent Lamps, digging of borewells, desilting of tanks, laying cement roads, and creating bus shelters would be undertaken in the town panchayat under the scheme.

Further, priority would be accorded for the town panchayat as regards works undertaken by various departments and in allocation of funds for improving the basic amenities. Buildings would be constructed with PWD funds and medical camps would be organised by the Health department. Likewise, new schools would be started through the Education department, the Collector said, adding that the libraries, sports and recreation facilities, drinking water facilities would also be provided.

Senior officials including the Project Director of District Rural Development Agency R. Venkatachalam and Assistant Director – Panchayats, Tiruvengadam took part in the meeting.

Earlier, during the weekly grievance redressal session, members of the public handed over 209 petitions to the Collector. Most of them pertained to requests for relief for disabled, patta conversion, old age pension. The Collector directed officials concerned to act promptly on the petitions.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 14:03

Tambaram Municipality steps up drive against encroachments

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Source : The Hindu Date : 10.06.2009

Tambaram Municipality steps up drive against encroachments

Special Correspondent

Crackdown on illegal and unauthorised structures in full swing

— Photo: A.Muralitharan

Action apace: An earth-mover of Tambaram Municipality demolishing encroachments on Tuesday.

TAMBARAM: Tambaram Municipality has stepped up its drive against encroachments in West Tambaram, particularly in market areas and important commercial streets.

Since Friday, officials of the local body have been cracking down on illegal and unauthorised structures. It was initially believed to be an act against temporary structures that the local body brings down during its routine drive.

The encroachment drive has now entered its fifth day, making it one of the most intensive drives against unauthorised structures in the recent past. While owners of petty shops and bigger commercial establishments alleged that that the local body’s action only reflected its vindictive attitude, municipal authorities denied the charge.

They clarified they were acting on several complaints from the general public and also on instructions from the State government to crack the whip on unauthorised structures.

Municipal authorities over the past few days have been bringing down the unauthorised projections, shops and permanent buildings on Muthurangam Street and the main market area in the Duraiswamy Reddiar open market and on Abdul Razzaq Street.

“There is no justification for the sudden and unjustified action from engineering, town planning or sanitary authorities of the municipality,” said K. Ramesh, one of the hundreds of workers in the West Tambaram market.

Municipal authorities said they were initiating the crackdown as the problem of encroachments had assumed such large proportions that even the common public were unable to walk around freely either on Shanmugham Road or through the fish, poultry and vegetable markets around Abdul Razzaq Street.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 13:58

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