Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Outdated information on Cuddalore website

Outdated information on Cuddalore website - Deccan Chronicle

September 15th, 2009
By Our Correspondent

Cuddalore, Sept.14: At a time when the Tamil Nadu government is striving to take the benefits of IT to the rural masses to ensure hassle-free and transparent services, the official website of the Cuddalore district administration is lagging behind. Just log on to www.cuddalore.tn.nic.in and you find that important information pertaining to politics and bureaucracy has not been updated in the past few months.

Who represents the Cuddalore Lok Sabha constituency? According to the website, it is Mr K. Venkatapathy and not Congress MP K.S. Azhagiri. Similarly, the Chidambaram MP is Mr E. Ponnuswamy and not Mr Thol. Thirumavalavan. Not only politics but also bureaucracy is hit by thistime freeze. Though the former superintendent of police Pradeep Kumar has been transferred as SP to Ramanathapuram district, he still retains his post in the telephone directory. This is not all. A few district-level officials who have retired from service till retain their posts on the website. Though Cuddalore is one among the 16 districts in the state which have implemented the online system of filing petitions for redressal of public grievances, important statistical information on various departments on the website have not been updated much to the dismay of the public. Interestingly, more information is available on the Internet on Cuddalore than the official website.

Sources NIC, on condition of anonymity, told Deccan Chronicle that the site was not updated, as officials are not willing to provide information on the changes in the departments. "Though we remind them to provide information at least once a month, they do not bother to update us," they said.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Large portion of Cuddalore will be under water in 50-100 years

India launching major project to study climate change (Lead) - ThaiIndian

By Soudhriti Bhabani
Kolkata, Sep 6 (IANS) At least 220 Indian scientists and 127 research organisations are joining hands for a massive study to monitor climate change in different parts of the country. Climate change in India has led to a rise in sea levels while storm surges in coastal areas have also become a major concern for environmental authorities.

According to Ministry of Environment and Forests officials, the report of their study will be released in November next year.

“We’ve seen that the shoreline across the country is getting affected due to the sea-level rise. Erosion is going to take place and it will cause a major damage and human displacement in the coastal parts of the Bay of Bengal,” said Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services director S.S.C. Shenoi.

“In Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu) also a large portion of land is likely to go under water in next 50-100 years,” he said.

Despite only about six percent of the global tropical cyclones affecting the coastal areas along the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, intensity of cyclonic storms has gone up, said S.K. Dube, professor at the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences of the Indian Institute of Technology - Delhi (IIT-Delhi).

“Storm surge has also become a major cause for concern in several coastal areas along the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. We have noticed that the intensity of cyclonic storms has increased though only 5-6 percent of global tropical cyclones affect these two areas. It’s also because of climate change,” Dube said.

The climate study will enable the scientists to gauge the changing aspects of the environment properly.

“This will be the first comprehensive scientific climate assessment study carried out in different regions of the country. India has to build its own capacity to study what is happening to our ecology,” Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh told a recent South Asian seminar on climate change organised by the Delhi-based green body Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in the capital.

The minister said: “So far, our knowledge of climate change in the country is mostly impressionistic and not robust. With the climate study being carried out in various places — including glacial retreat in the Himalayan region and the sea-level rise in coastal states of India — we’ll be able to gauge the changing aspects of our environment properly.”

Some state governments have also been asked to prepare their own climate action plans focussing on environmental changes.

Talking about research collaboration, Ramesh said India could always enter into technology development and transfer activities with foreign nations especially on the subject of the climate change survey.

Ramesh said India was also on its way to launching its own satellite to monitor atmospheric greenhouse gases.

(Soudhriti Bhabani can be contacted at soudhriti.b@ians.in)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Closure order issued to units evokes a mixed response

Closure order issued to units evokes a mixed response - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

Two units in SIPCOT estate ordered closed for air pollution

CUDDALORE: The closure orders issued by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to two units in the SIPCOT Industrial Estate here have evoked a mixed response.

According to a statement from D. Sekar, District Environmental Engineer, TNPCB, Cuddalore, the air survey was conducted in the vicinity of the units -- Shasun Chemicals and Drugs Ltd and Tagros Chemicals India Ltd -- had revealed presence of carcinogenic volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the ambient air.

As the units had failed to implement adequate pollution control measures and safeguard public health and environment, direction for their closure and stoppage of power supply were issued under Section 31-A of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981. The power supply was disconnected the same evening.

A group of residents from Kudikadu staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate here on Monday endorsing the action of the TNPCB and calling for the permanent closure of the units.

They claimed that the untreated effluents from these units were causing severe air pollution and also affecting the quality of groundwater, thereby posing health hazards. They urged the authorities to safeguard the welfare of people living in the surrounding areas.

Even while they were raising slogans against the units, another group of people led by R. Sridhar of the SIPCOT CITU staged a counter agitation.

Mr Sridhar said the closure of the units would affect the livelihood of many persons. He pointed out that of 30 units initially established in the industrial estate, 20 had closed down for various reasons. The authorities must strictly enforce pollution control norms and allow the units to function within the parameters.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

TNPCB serves closure notice to Cuddalore plant of Shasun Chemicals

TNPCB serves closure notice to Cuddalore plant of Shasun Chemicals

Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai

The pharma major, Shasun Chemicals and Drugs Ltd, has been served a notice by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) asking it to shut down the company's plant located in the SIPCOT Industrial Estate in Cuddalore for not taking any measures to contain pollution, according to D Shekhar, district environment officer, Cuddalore.

The electricity connection to the unit was disconnected on Friday night after a series of failed talks with the district administration on the closure issue.

He said the plant of Shasun at the SIPCOT is more than 20 years old. It has been emitting Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and foul odour into air, which have created health problems in the area. He said the department got complaints from the public and some social organizations regarding this. Raising the same issue, the TNPCB has also given another closure notice to a pesticide manufacturing company operating in the same locality.

According to sources in the TNPCB, the Shasun was given a show cause notice two months ago, but the reply the company provided was not satisfactory. "Following which we had to take action to check the emissions," the sources said.

When sources at the Chennai office of the Shasun Chemicals refused to respond to queries from Pharmabiz, people in their Mumbai office said they are sorting out the issues to find an immediate solution. "Our Cuddalore Unit has received a closure notice from the TNPCB. We are in talks with the concerned authorities for speedy solution," they told this correspondent.

Emission level of VOC and foul odor from both the units (Shasun and Tagore Chemicals) in the area were found to be far in excess of the approved limit. According to sources, it caused unbearable stench in the area, giving rise to strong objection from the residents and other NGOs. The officer said the study conducted by the Pollution Control Board has proved that the Units failed to keep the odor level with in their limit. The district officer asserted that only after the companies come out with crystal clear evidence to contain the emission, they would be further allowed to operate.

A study of air pollution conducted by the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, in and around SIPCOT Chemical Industrial Estate, revealed that there were 94 chemicals in the ambient air, including 15 that were known hazardo
us air pollutants. The report also estimates that 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.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.

Closure notice served on two SIPCOT units

Closure notice served on two SIPCOT units - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE: The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has served “closure notice” on a pharmaceutical unit and a pesticide unit located in the SIPCOT Industrial Estate here for causing atmospheric pollution.

TNPCB sources told The Hindu that as a preliminary step, power supply to Shasun Chemicals and Drugs Ltd. (a pharmaceutical company), and, Tagros Chemicals Ltd. (a generic pesticide manufacturer) was cut on Friday.

Emission level of volatile organic compound (VOC) from both the units was found to be far in excess of the approved limit. It caused unbearable stench in the area, giving rise to strong objection from the residents and a spate of complaints from passers by.

A study conducted by the TNPCB also proved that the two units failed to keep odour level within the limit and did not contain pollution. Therefore, show cause notices were served on the units as to why action should not be taken against them.

As the companies had not come out with verifiable action in this direction, closure notices were issued.

The sources said that only after the companies proved beyond doubt that they had contained the emission, they would be allowed to operate.