Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Barricades

Barricades are used to regulate traffic and are usually placed in a direction across the traffic flow. In the above picture the barricades are clearly visible since it is seen from the side.

But for the road users it will not be clearly visible as seen in the picture below.
In Cuddalore at most of the places, these barricades are used for lane separation and are seen placed in parallel direction to the traffic. Since it is of poor visibility to the oncoming vehicle traffic, the probability of head on collision with these iron barricades are imminent. This unsafe practice is bound to endanger the life of the vehicle users especially the two wheelers.

To avoid any untoward incident these suggestions can be considered
1. The width of the barricade can be increased.
2. Reflector boards can be fixed so the visibility is increased.
3. Barricades can be replaced with horizontal reflector boards.
4. Bright coloured cones can be used.
5. Concrete lane dividers can be laid.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cuddalore Port back into life

Nagarjuna Fertilizer's urea import has brought back life to Cuddalore Port. This has created an direct employment for 2500 people and indirect employment for many more. According to The Hindu 5000 employees are involved in unloading the urea from ships into godowns at the port. The series of pictures below, and the video at end shows how urea from main ships, M.V. Bao Shun and M.V.Ziang An are brought to inner port using barges and then transported to the destination.

The barge in the picture above is used to unload the urea from ships. Though the capacity of the barge is 400 tonne, it is not loaded more than 300-350 tonnes at a time, because of the shallow water at the inner port (guess the dredging work is yet to be completed).


Excavators unload the urea from barge into trucks which are then transported to godowns.


Since, nearly 50,000 tonnes of urea is unloaded in a very short period of time, existing storage facility could not accommodate the entire bulk. The picture above shows how urea is stored in huge heaps inside the port campus.

Urea is then packed into sacks and loaded on to trucks which take them to the destination.

Trucks queuing up inside the port campus - waiting to be loaded.

video

Related links:
Historic Return - Cuddalore Online

Possibility of Cuddalore - Chennai shipping service (Maritime varsity to get Cabinet nod - The New Indian Express)

Opportunities in front of us - Cuddalore Online

Cuddalore Port to be deepened - Cuddalore Online

Untreated discharge in Gedilam river

Untreated effluent discharge by EID Parry's sugar mill at Nellikupam rarely makes news. The company discharges their waste in Gedilam which kills fishes in the river. The violation continues for decades. It is said that the company discharges huge volume especially when there is a heavy rain.


The above photos taken near Kammianpet on 02-Feb-2008 shows river water polluted by the discharge.

Related links:
Toxic waste kills Gadilam river fish - The New Indian Express
Pollution kills off fish - The Hindu

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Triumph for the residents of Anadhan Nagar

We wrote about drainage flooding houses at Anandhan Nagar ( Drainage water flooded houses in Anandhan Nagar and Anandhan Nagar gets back to normal ). In a response to the article, District Collector Mr. Rajendra Ratnoo was kind enough to invite the Residents Associations of the locality for Grievance Meeting held at Collector's Camp Office on 11-Feb-2008.

From the residents who attended the meeting, we come know that, the permanent solution put forth - raising the level of the road (which runs between the drainage ponds and Anandhan Nagar) - was accepted and sufficient fund has been allocated by the District Collector for the proposed work.

I like to share an interesting piece of information which I came to know very recently. The drainage pond in the picture below is said to be formed within last 10-15 years. Earlier it was just a low lying place where children use to play cricket. Rain water used to stagnate for a few months following and then it used to try up. But all changed when drainage from Vilvanagar Housing Board Government Quarters was directed here (It is said that, at the time of construction of Government Quarters, proper drainage system was not put in place as a 'cost cutting measure' ).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Shasun's Consignment of Suspected Hazardous Wastes Intercepted; High Drama at Police Station

Shasun's Consignment of Suspected Hazardous Wastes Intercepted; High Drama at Police Station - SACEM


Cuddalore, 23 January 2008: Alert SACEM monitors today intercepted a truck (No TN 41 Q 3772) loaded with more than 50 drums of chemicals at the busy main road of Cuddalore new town at about 6.00 pm. The monitors suspected that the chemicals carried in the truck were hazardous wastes as the drums were old and not labeled and there was a pungent nauseating odour emanating from the drums. They stopped the truck and asked for documents describing the type of waste from the driver. The driver informed them that he was carrying waste oil from Shasun to Polachi and he had no documents. The monitors immediately informed the District Collector highlighting the illegality of the transit and requesting action. The monitors also tried to inform the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board but the officers at the board office informed them that it was a festival day and that they would not attend to the incident.


After instructions from the District Collector the police and the TNPCB officials arrived at the spot, took the statement of the driver and finally took the vehicle under custody at about 7.00 pm as the driver failed to produce any document on the spot identifying the chemical. Upon arriving at the police station the monitors found more than 20 Shasun officials on the spot with the truck chalan and other paper work that ought to have been with the driver. It was surprising to see how quickly the police and TNPCB accepted Shasun's explanation and cleared the suspicion. According to the information submitted by the unit this was a consignment of aldehyde destined for Shasun's Pondicherry unit. Even though this statement was completely contradictory to the earlier statement of the driver given to the police and TNPCB, it was accepted as final statement without any verification. After a long debate and argument finally at about 9.00 pm the TNPCB agreed to sample the chemical to verify the claims of the unit. Even then SACEM monitors were not allowed to take a simultaneous sample. It was only after their repeated concerns of the fairness of the analysis, given their past experience with TNPCB, the District Collector finally instructed to take another sample that would be analysed independently. This sample was taken in the presence of SACEM monitors by the Tahsildar of Cuddalore Town at 9.52 pm and delivered to the District Collector's office the same night.


An official complaint requesting investigations in the case has been filed with the District Collector and TNPCB Head Quarters. Monitors are awaiting the results of the sample and further response from the authorities.

Visit http://www.sipcotcuddalore.com/ for uptodate news on pollution at SIPCOT Cuddalore.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Anandhan Nagar gets back to normal

Flood affected Anandhan Nagar is getting back to normal gradually. The situation now is far better than it was when we reported last time.

When we published Drainage water flooded houses in Anandhan Nagar article, District Administrator Mr. Rajendra Ratnoo took immediate action to pump out the flood water. As could be seen in the photo below, the situation is far better now.

More than a month after the rain, and even after pumping out the flood water, drainage still remains stagnated in some of the houses. Makeshift boats are the only way to reach some houses.


Local residents say, blocking of drainage flow at Hospital Road as one of the reason for unprecedented water level this year. I doubt if this could be the case, as this area seems to be lower than the Hospital Road.

A permanent solution is still unimaginable, as the entire area is lying low, and surrounded by drainage ponds. I wonder how permission was given to build houses in such places. Apart from Anandhan Nagar there are numerous drainage ponds located at Vallalar Nagar, Vilva Nagar and in Allagappa Nagar. The water in these ponds always remains at ground level. When there is a heavy rain or during the monsoon, the water level raises above the road.

As it could be seen in the picture below, all these ponds are covered with water hyacinth. As a long term solution is far from sight, removing the water hyacinth on a regular basis would help to keep the water level low.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Historic return

Arrival of two ships at Cuddalore Port marks an important moment in the history of the town. Cuddalore Port at Cuddalore Old Town is a natural harbor, used for more than 400 years by European settlers. The port was developed by English early in the 20th century. Earlier it was used by EID(East India Distilleries) Parry. Later after independence it was developed into a general purpose port. In 1960's and 70's the port was one of the busiest port in India, but the activity slowed down there after, and came to a complete halt on early 90's. Unavailability of cheap laborers and silt formation are considered to be the main reasons behind the fall of the port.

Cuddalore Port is now a minor port. Various proposals were made for the development of the port in the past decade. But none of them were implemented. Now the port is being deepened at the cost of Rs. 14.41 crores, with financial assistance from Asian Development Bank. Couple of weeks back two vessels carrying fertilizers arrived at the port. Once the desilting work is over, the facilities will be used in full capacity and would lead to the development of the region.