Sunday, March 30, 2008
Another sign board in a similar state is near the water filling office at the South end of Nethaji road.
Replacing these old boards with new green colored board of reflecting type will help in travellers getting quick information while passing through Cuddalore .
Repetition of this problem can be prevented if stern action is taken against the offenders who paste posters over it. Only if this offence is considered on par with destruction of any other public property and the offenders (either the people pasting it or the people for whom the poster is printed) are punished, these type of making the town uglier could be prevented.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Remember Bhopal;Fight for Cuddalore
1000 Bhopals Photo Exhibition Launched by Kanimozhi
Renowned Tamil poetess Kanimozhi inaugurates 1000 Bhopals photo exhibition
No More Bhopals. Justice Now. - Cuddalore Online
Padayatra taken for Bhopal survivors
Cuddalore – Toxic Present; Troubled Future by Nityanand Jayaraman
Every Monday and Friday while traveling to and from Chidambaram, just to the south of Cuddalore OT, one has to pass a 3 km stretch which stinks as bad, if not worse than the bad smell one has to experience while passing the Cooum River in Chennai. But this smell is different. A combination of chemical vapors and the smell emanating from the chemical disposals from a bunch of factories along the Cuddalore-Chidambaram highway is simply unbearable. It makes one feel giddy and pass out. The most disturbing factor was the situation never changed for years. I do hear from people that it has changed a bit and that it is better now. Whatever is is the air might have been cleared. But what lies beneath the surface is more alarming and worrisome.
A recent report from the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute states that, “People living in and around a special economic zone in Cuddalore are “2,000 times more” likely to be affected by cancer than the normal population”. Now this is something that cannot be taken lightly. A few alarming statistics in the report are:
- Levels of Benzene - a chemical that causes blood cancer among children - were 125 times higher than safe levels.
- Carcinogens like chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, methylene chloride and trichloroethylene were 881, 553, 32.5 and 21.8 times respectively higher than acceptable levels.
Just look at the level of benzene. Benzene is a harmful chemical to inhale. Prolonged exposure (more than 1 year) will result in a reduction in the number of Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells and the clotting cells (Source: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/chem_profiles/benzene/health_ben.html)
Eating foods or drinking beverages containing high levels of benzene can cause the following symptoms within minutes to several hours: Vomiting, Irritation of the stomach, Dizziness, Sleepiness, Convulsions, Rapid or irregular heartbeat, Death (at very high levels) (Source: CDC).
Exposure to Chloroform may cause liver cancer. Carbon tetrachloride may cause liver and kidney malfunction and in some cases even death. Methylene chloride is known to cause lung, liver and pancreatic cancer. Trichloroethylene is carcinogenic as well.
What should be done?
- The extent of damage done should be studied.
- A water test on a number of samples from areas in and around the SIPCOT area should be done and people have to be educated on the results.
- Testing should also be done on water samples drawn from different places in Cuddalore.
Please do not pay Cuddalore and its’ citizens as a price for flawed development.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
March 23rd, 2008
Chennai, March 23 (IANS) People living in and around a special economic zone in Cuddalore are "2,000 times more" likely to be affected by cancer than the normal population, says a report prepared for the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. In a normal sample population, cancer occurs in one person in a million. But in and around the State Industries Promotion Corp of Tamil Nadu known as SIPCOT industrial park nearly 300 km south of Chennai, two in every thousand are likely to have cancer, say anti-pollution campaigners.
The Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has prepared the report.
The study confirms the decades-old complaints by local residents that pollution from the chemical factories in the park is worst at night, especially in the village of Eachangadu.
The NEERI submitted the report in August 2007 to TNPCB without any public information. It came to light after an RTI plea by the local environment watchdog, Community Environment Monitoring (CEM).
The TNPCB commissioned the NEERI study in response to a 2004 report "Gas Trouble", released by the SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors, highlighting the presence of at least 22 toxic gases in the air over SIPCOT.
The study mandated special reference to volatile organic compounds so that the Tamil Nadu government could take remedial action.
Several studies of air pollution around the SIPCOT industrial park found 94 chemicals in the ambient air, including 15 known as hazardous air pollutants.
In September 2004, the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on Hazardous Wastes directed the TNPCB to bring down pollution levels or shut errant industries in SIPCOT by December that year. Nothing has happened so far.
The NEERI study found that areas near Shasun Chemicals, and the village of Eachangadu, were the worst affected.
Risk levels near Asian Paints and Tagros Chemicals are also high, the report said.
According to the report, children, elderly and the infirm were the most vulnerable. NEERI attributes this to "air transport of pollutants".
Levels of Benzene - a chemical that causes blood cancer among children - were 125 times higher than safe levels.
Other carcinogens like chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, methylene chloride and trichloroethylene were 881, 553, 32.5 and 21.8 times respectively higher than acceptable levels, the NEERI report said.
NEERI says "the results are a conservative estimate" as "most of the industries are not operating to capacity on days of sampling".
"If all the industries in the study area function to the full capacity, it may be expected that concentrations of pollutants will increase three-fold," the institute told TNPCB.
In 2007, SACEM documented nine serious air pollution incidents that injured more than 150 people in the neighbourhood.
"The results confirm our worst fears - that SIPCOT is a gas chamber - and that the government has decided to sacrifice Cuddalore residents to cancer and other avoidable diseases," Nityanand Jayaraman, advisor to the Community Environmental Monitoring, said.
"The TNPCB has neither the vision nor the political will to regulate pollution," he added.
Activists point to how for almost a year now, the NEERI report has been lying with the TNPCB, but the government has taken no remedial action.
Instead, "the Tamil Nadu government is setting up more polluting units, many without proper clearances".
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
22 MARCH, 2008. CHENNAI -- SIPCOT Cuddalore residents are at least 2000 times more likely to contract cancer in their lifetimes due to their exposure to high levels of toxic gases from chemical industries in the region, according to a scientific report prepared for the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board by Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute. The study of air pollution in and around SIPCOT chemical industrial estate found 94 chemicals in the ambient air, including 15 that are known hazardous air pollutants. The study confirms decades-old complaints by local residents that pollution is worst at night, and that areas near Shasun Chemicals, and the village of Eachangadu are the worst affected. Risk levels near Asian Paints and Tagros Chemicals are also high, NEERI reports, adding that children, elderly and the infirm are most vulnerable. The report dated August 2007 was unearthed by Community Environmental Monitoring through the Right to Information Act. Samples were taken for periods varying from 10 minutes to 24 hours from within industries, residential areas in SIPCOT villages, and from Alapakkam, more than 5 km away. Even Alapakkam recorded high exposure levels. NEERI attributes this to air transport of pollutants.
Levels of Benzene – a chemical that causes blood cancer among children – were up to 125 times higher than safe levels, while other carcinogens like chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, methylene chloride and trichloroethylene were upto 881, 553, 32.5 and 21.8 times higher than acceptable levels.
The NEERI study was commissioned in response to the 2004 report "Gas Trouble" released by the SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (SACEM) highlighting the presence of at least 22 toxic gases in SIPCOT air. In September 2004, the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on Hazardous Wastes referred to Gas Trouble and directed the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board to bring down pollution levels or shut errant industries by December 2004. Till date, no concrete action has been taken by the Board, and no industries have been punished. Just in 2007, SACEM documented 9 serious air pollution incidents that injured more than 150 people.
"The results confirm our worst fears – that SIPCOT is a gas chamber – and that the Government has decided to sacrifice Cuddalore residents to cancer and other avoidable diseases," said Nityanand Jayaraman, advisor to Community Environmental Monitoring. "The TNPCB is a toothless tiger with neither the vision, nor the political will to regulate pollution."
Rather than address the existing pollution, the Government is setting up more polluting units, many without proper clearances. Chemplast Sanmar, which does not have complete CRZ clearance, has already commenced construction of a PVC plastic manufacturing unit. A water-intensive textile park, several power plants and an oil refinery are also planned in this region.
"Every extra day of delay condemns additional people, particularly children, to a life of agony and ill-health. If the Government is serious about tackling this problem, it should first announce that only non-polluting industries will be promoted in Cuddalore," said M. Nizamudeen of Cuddalore District Consumer Protection Organisation.
NEERI reports that the results are a conservative estimate as most of the industries were not operating to capacity on the days of sampling. "If all the industries in the study area function to the full capacity, it may be expected that concentrations of pollutants will increase three folds," NEERI says.
For more information, contact:
Nityanand Jayaraman (Advisor, CEM): 9444082401
M. Nizamudeen (CDCPO): 9443231978
SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors & Cuddalore District Consumer Protection Organisation
No. 72/7 Nethaji Road, Manjakuppam, Cuddalore 607 001
Community Environmental Monitoring (A project of The Other Media).
c/o 42A, 1st Floor, 5th Avenue, Besant Nagar, Chennai 600 090
List of Chemicals Detected with Highest Levels Recorded
Name of Chemical
Highest Level (microgram/m3)
Times above safe levels
Other Hazardous Air Pollutants found in SIPCOT air:1,3-dimethyl benzene
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Above is the rough map of the street which is situated near the Thirupadhiripuliyur Police station. For the residents of Srinivasa Pillai Street to move out, there are four exit points. With the drainage canal laying work being done in Bodi Chetty street and Sanjeevi Naidu street, the exit points 2, 3 and 4 are blocked and people find it difficult to move out only through the point 1. More than 5 weeks have passed since these ways were cut off for regular vehicular movement and the laying of culvert at these three points are yet to start.
This is the exit point 2, which connects to the Bodi Chetty street. The passage was disconnected 5 weeks back and the culvert construction is yet to start.
Elderly people and school children are the most affected and there has been many instances where children have fallen into this sewerage while crossing on the temporary narrow slab.
The exit points 3 & 4 have been disconnected for the past five weeks.
Underground Drainage work in Srinivasa Pillai Street
The mud taken out from these pits had not been cleared for the past four weeks and during rains it makes the little existing passage more slippery with two wheeler riders losing control and falling down and four wheelers getting struck up in the mud.
As the drainage is not being cleared in a regular manner for long time the level of drain water has come up resulting in sewage flowing into drainage line of one of the houses. The above picture shows mud removed from the sewerage by the resident.
A pit for constructing manhole was dug up and two cart loads of the mud dumped at this private place. Since it was not cleared and the place is needed for parking vehicles, the people themselves have taken the task of levelling the mud.
With the materials required for laying drainage pits lying haphazardly for more than a month, people are finding it difficult to use the road.
Timely intervention is needed for building these three culverts, removal of debris and moving out the mud promptly once it is dug up is highly required to avoid hindrance to the residents and users of the Srinvasa Pillai Street.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Steps will be taken to clean up the beach, says official
CUDDALORE: The Silver Beach here is losing its charm and shrinking in dimension. By its soft and white sands and easy accessibility, the beach used to be a major attraction. But of late it has become a victim of neglect and vandalism.
During monsoon the Gedilam and the Pennaiyar are in spate and drain the surpluses into the sea. In the lean season, these rivers carry mostly sullage and industrial effluents. The telltale marks of the polluted seawater can now be witnessed on the Silver Beach. The sands have turned revoltingly black and with garbage strewn all over the beach is not any better than a dumping yard.
After the dredging of the backwater, the sand expanse has been minimised, just leaving narrow space for the tourists. The row of colourful benches on the sea front was now dislodged. The swings and slides in the children’s park were all in poor shape.
The stray dog menace is quite frightening. The leftovers such as carry bags, paper plates and other sundry items on the beach remained uncleared for days together.
A makeshift road leading to an adjoining coastal hamlet cuts into the beach and commutation through this stretch is barred with a rope. The high-mast lamps are malfunctioning and the man-made fountain has fallen into disuse.
As the sordid happenings such as drowning occur periodically the beach has become less attractive than ever.
The beautification of the beach done at huge expenditure was a short-lived affair as the tsunami washed away every thing.
Therefore, to erase the bitter memories, the then district administration acted in good time to reconstruct the whole thing with huge outlay. But now, sheer negligence and lack of civic sense have disfigured the beach.
When contacted Cuddalore Municipal commissioner Liaqath Ahmed Papa said the role of the local people was also important in the upkeep of the beach. He said steps would be taken to clean up the beach.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Our beach is undergoing a constant change due to both natural and human induced factors, which is very well visible. The river Gedilam to the south of the beach engulfs a good portion of the beach whenever there is a flood. It forms mouth joining sea almost every year which brings about a drastic change in the shape of the beach. Tsunami has brought in major changes. Many agree the beach was far more beautiful before tsunami.
Next major beautification attempt was made by Gagandeep Singh Bedi. His initiative can roughly be divided as re-tsunami beautification and post-tsunami beautification. I could remember, before tsunami, the beach had chairs laid in beautiful arrangement, were two bamboo watch towers, couple of shops which were entirely made of bamboo and a beautiful boat house. Tsunami. Devastation.
Silver Beach then saw around of beautification. New chairs, new dustbin, new boards requesting visitors to use dust bins and keep the beach clean. Some used dust bin, but beach never was clean.
The dredging activity carried out (probably to accommodate more boats which were donated by aid agencies from around the world. After tsunami, I guess the number of boats now increased by as much as three times) on the southern end of the beach, along the bank of Gedilam. This has brought in a permanent change (if anything can be permanent) in the shape of the beach. The sand scape shrunk dramatically.
Then, the 2005 flood. It is usual that Gedilam breaks into sea whenever there is flood. But this time the river the largest mouth ever seen and the flood water washed away more than half of the beach (probably the dredging activity carried out changed the regular course of the river, and facilitated the water to flow more towards north).
Then came yet another round of beautification by Gagandeep Singh Bedi. New chairs, new dustbins, new boat house and new play materials for children. The chairs and the play materials which we have in the beach today were brought up in this around of beautification.
As days pass by, these facilities becomes unusable due to constant mishandling by public. Adults use swings and multiaction play systems which supposed only for children. A broad in front of this play area reads that the facility is only for children. Not many bothers. The result is what you see in the photos below.
Photographs: Shantha Kumar
Friday, March 07, 2008
Ramkumar who is a regular contributor to Cuddalore Online, has written a letter to Southern Railways requesting new services to be introduced in Cuddalore-Salem section. He wishes to publish the letter in this blog, so that others can also write similar letters to Southern Railways (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As you may be aware, the Virudhachalam-Salem BG section has been opened for passenger traffic recently on 18th Nov. But to the disappointment of people of Cuddalore and Neyveli, not even a single Cuddalore-Salem passenger service has been introduced.
The people of the Cuddalore-Virudhachalam section were highly hopeful that atleast one Cuddalore-Salem Passenger service would be introduced. But Southern Railways have disappointed them and also have let them down.
Already, this Cuddalore-Virudhachalam section is found wanting in adequate number of services. Only one service - worth the name and also highly useful - the Cuddalore-Tiruchirappalli passenger service is running in this section presently. The people of this section were highly hopeful that they will be getting more new trains and more new connections once the Virudhachalam-Salem BG section is thrown open for traffic.
But now and even after the inauguration of Virudhachalam-Salem BG section, no new train services have been introduced in this section. There seems to be no increase in the number of train services plying in this section. Very unfortunate thing to have happened for this section.
This section is lying completely idle for most part of the day and night. Only one passenger service is running in this section. What is the point in making so much expenditure to convert the section from MG to BG and keeping it idle without operating adequate number of passenger services ?
We humbly request SR with folded hands to utilise this section more effeciently by introducing and operating more number of train services. The present Cuddalore-Trichy passenger is highly/heavily patronised by the people of this section.
One more Cuddalore-Salem Passenger should be introduced. After all, was not there a Cuddalore-Salem passenger service running when the Cuddalore-Salem section was in Metre Gauge ? That being the case, why is SR so much reluctant/hesitant to restore the Cuddalore-Salem passenger service in Broad Gauge ?
Why is not SR showing any interest in running more trains in this Cuddalore-Virudhachalam section. SR is originating many services from all nearby towns like Villupuram, Pondicherry,Virudhachalam and Mayiladuthurai. SR is not able to start services only from Cuddalore; clear neglect of cuddalore and also partisan attitude towards Cuddalore.
Again, we humbly request SR with folded hands to kindly consider our this request. Please give a favourable reply and also please take steps to add more new services to the Cuddalore-Virudhachalam section like outlined above. This section carries only one passenger service currently and this section is found wanting in adequate number of passenger services.
Hope SR will pay serious attention to our request and also to the Cuddalore-Virudhachalam section.
Eagerly Awaiting SR's positive reply.
Many Thanks and Humble Regards,
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
During the drainage line construction municipal water pipe lines are badly damaged, and no proper replacements are made in most cases. As a result water keeps leaking for for months and sometimes year together. In even worser cases drainage mixes with the drinking water.
The picture below shows the drainage construction work at Bodi Chetty Street in Thirupadhiripuliyur. Just two years back a drainage line constructed in this place. Now a new line is being built demolishing the old one. I don't understand the purpose behind this. I fact none of the residents of the street does.
This street is one of the oldest streets in the town. The drainage level is raised (probably because the road level is going to be raised). Old houses in this street will go below the road level. When there is a rain, water from road will flow into drainage line and from drainage lines into these houses.
Drinking water in Cuddalore - Cuddalore Online
Monday, March 03, 2008
Cuddalore, February 14, 2008 -- Living up to its reputation of being a repeat environmental offender, the common effluent collection and forwarding facility CUSECS sprung a leak near the Thamaraikulam (Lotus Pond) of Karaikadu. The leak occurred within an inspection tank built over CUSECS pipelines. The inspection tank was filled to overflowing with toxic effluents that entered the pond and enclosed the area where a public drinking water tap is located.
The District Environmental Engineer of Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board was available on site. He left after a septic tank cleaning tanker truck pumped in the effluents and carried it to an undisclosed location, and after fresh earth was spread over the flooded area. No clean-up was conducted and no information is available as to where the tanker truck disposed of the effluents. CUSECS officials said the effluents had spilled from an old pipe that is currently not being used full story>>
Shasun Suffers Tummy Upset; Spews Bad Odour, Black Smoke - SIPCOTCuddalore.com
Cuddalore, February 25, 2008 -- At 3 p.m. on 24 February, and 4 a.m. on 25 February, SACEM recorded incidents of serious air pollution by Shasun Chemicals. SACEM observers photographed black smoke emanating from Shasun, accompanied by an intense smell of pesticides in the air. Early on 25 February, SACEM monitors also observed black smoke from Tantech and SPIC full story>>
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Earlier competitions were held at panchayat level, then at block level. The winners at block level are made to participate in district level meet. Athletes and teams which won at district level will make into the State Level competitions.
At district level Parangipattai Block won the the overall championship. And this is the only block which participated the events with proper sports wear.
Let us hopes these event will be conducted every year without any break.
District-level sports meet - The Hindu
District-level sports contests held - The Hindu
Rural talents come to fore at sports competitions - The Hindu