Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Will we get back the green spread ?

Until a couple of years back the vast open ground in front of Periyar Arts College in Devanampattinam had a beautiful green spread. It was nice to see the children playing in groups, flying kites and to see cows grazing on still afternoons. This natural green spread used to be such a treat for the eyes, especially during the post monsoon season.

This changed soon after tsunami stuck the coast. Nearly one fourth of the area is filled with sand after tsunami. Off course we don't have any control over this. But what really spoiled the rest of the place in the so called 'development' .

A new hostel was built in this ground with long perimeter wall. A new road was laid to the old hostel cutting this ground into two halves.

The new hostel - built to the east of the existing hostel

New road to the old hostel

This place was also used for preparing cement concrete blocks for Government of Rajasthan's Tsunami Rehabilitation Program. Bricks prepared here were transport to various parts of the district to built houses for tsunami affected. Now the project is over. But the debris are yet to be cleared.

Construction debris left behind left behind by Avas Vikas Limited

Newest 'development' is, something like a restaurant is built covering a good portion of the ground.

Construction of new restaurant at Silver Beach

It is good to see more hostels coming up students, new recreational spots of people in town and any other kind of development. But in the mean time we should understand the importance of open spaces in urban areas, and the important role it plays in the development of a healthy community, and conserve it before we lose all.

Note: Some of the photographs were taken about an year back.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

U.S. NGO to put Cuddalore pollution problem in global limelight

U.S. NGO to put Cuddalore pollution problem in global limelight
A.V. Ragunathan
The Hindu, 24 September 2007

CUDDALORE: The Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an environmentalists' group in the U.S., has expressed solidarity with the SIPCOT Area Community Environment Monitoring Committee and the environmentalists in Cuddalore in their combat against pollution.

Voicing concern over the pollution level in the SIPCOT Industrial Estate, the Brigade has proposed to host the Cuddalore problem on its website — —to take the message to the international audience.

The Brigade will support the endeavour to check pollution and talk to the industries to keep their emission and effluent levels well within the norms, according to Melanie Lawrence and Holly Witherington, Community Organisers, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, New Orleans, U.S.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, they said that during their two-day stay in Eachankadu, Samiyarpettai and Reddiarpettai, abutting the SIPCOT Industrial Estate here, the effects of pollution made them fell sick. It was in such hazardous conditions the people were living in scores of villages surrounding the industrial estate, even while grappling with the devastations wrought by the tsunami.

She cautioned against locating pollution-causing industries, including oil refineries (one is slated to come up in Cuddalore), in coastal areas, when there was apprehension over the global warming triggering more of disasters.

Citing the post-Katrina scenario, she said a refinery in New Orleans spilled several million litres of oil, causing chaos and making the place unfit for living. This had happened despite the enactment of a plethora of laws and regulations.

About nuclear power, Ms. Lawrence said the movement against nuclear power stations in the U.S. was quite strong.

The Brigade was of the firm view that it was difficult to get rid of the nuclear waste.

For up-to-date news on SIPCOT Pollution visit

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Work on river bund road put on halt

Cuddalore underwent a massive phase of development under Gagandeepsingh Bedi's administration. River bund road linking Jawan's Bhavan and Kammianpet is one of the project initiated by him. The project is put on halt after he was transfered.

This dual purpose project will serve as an alternate route for the buses leaving Cuddalore towards Chennai and Pondicherry, apart from preventing flooding in Subrayalu Nagar and its surrounding areas.

Present Collector Rajendra Ratnoo inspected the work six months back and announced about the new proposal of building protective wall along Gedilam. There is no progress in work for almost a year now.

Though a proper road is yet to be laid, people started using the route.

Photos of the work taken last November


Saturday, October 06, 2007

People against anymore polluting industries in Cuddalore

There is a strong opposition for setting up any new polluting industries in Cuddalore SIPCOT. The chemical industries there, had already made the ground water unusable and the soil unfit for agriculture. Now the government is planning to bring more industries, ignoring the impact on the environment and thus on the health and livelihood of people in the surrounding villages.

Cuddalore Power Company (CPC) is one such industry that is planned to be set up at SPICOT. But unlike for other projects, the power project faces an unprecedented opposition from the people of SIPCOT region. Government is attempting to forcibly acquire land from the villagers. If the power company is setup thousands of people will lose their land and their livelihood.

There are reasons for all the people in Cuddalore to worry about. The planned location of the company is not far from the Cuddalore town. Once the power company starts to operate in full swing, it will emit 2,500 tonnes of fly ash a day and a huge amount of hot water will discharged into sea. Means, fly ash will add to the already polluted air and hot water discharged will make the sea in the region unfit for marine life. This will have a severe impact on fishing industry in Cuddalore.

As mentioned, CPC is just one among the polluting industry that is to come up. Apart from this, an oil refinery, a PVC plant(work has already started) and a huge textile processing plant are to come up. Environment protection organisations are doing their best to stop industries from coming up. All their effort go in vain because of lack of support from people of Cuddalore.

At this point people of Cuddalore have two choices. One, support the NGOs to keep the polluting industries out. Two, move out of Cuddalore for a safer living.

Take action now !

Take Action!
Related links:

Farmers seek White Paper on power project-The Hindu

Villagers unanimously reject power project: AIADMK team-The Hindu

Clear apprehensions over private power project: VCK-The Hindu

For up to date news on developments in SIPCOT, visit