Saturday, November 19, 2011

Missed news

I am posting some news which I missed as it happened.

TN got most thermal plant nods - Express News Service
Gokul Chandrasekar
Last Updated : 23 Sep 2011 09:22:41 AM IST

CHENNAI: Pointing out that about 50,000 acres of forest land was allotted for mining and power projects, the study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment revealed that Tamil Nadu was granted the most clearances for thermal power plants-37.

“In the mad rush to improve power availability in the state, the government is actually forgetting the lessons that the tsunami taught us,” says environmental activist Shweta Narayanan. “The entire state coastline is dotted by power plant proposals, a recipe for disaster,” says Narayanan. As if this wasn’t enough, a present proposal for a Chemical SEZ and allied power plants in coastal Tamil Nadu has been formulated in a manner that the park engulfs entire Pichavaram— the second largest mangrove forest in the world.

“The 11th and 12th Five Year Plans together target a capacity addition of 150,000 MW of power. However, in the past five years, the environment ministry has granted clearance for an astounding 210,000 MW of thermal power capacity, in other words, 60,000 MW more than what has been proposed till 2017,” said Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Directorof CSE.

Cos to pay for pollution study - The Times of India
TNN Jan 1, 2011, 03.06am IST

CHENNAI: At least 13 paint, pharma and chemical units at the SIPCOT industrial complex in Cuddalore have been directed by the Madras high court to pay Rs 1 lakh each for a survey on pollution levels in the locality.

A division bench, comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and D Hariparanthaman, passing interim orders on a public interest writ petition, asked the companies to deposit the amount to the credit of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) within a week.

Residents turn their ire against oil firm - The Hindu

Special Correspondent

About 200 residents squatted on Cuddalore-Chidambaram road

They demanded due compensation to families of the deceased and injured

CUDDALORE: Residents of Thiruchopuram and Nanjalingampettai on Tuesday turned their ire against a private oil company by holding it responsible for the death of four girl students in the road accident that occurred at Semmanguppam near here on Monday.

About 200 residents squatted on Cuddalore-Chidambaram road at Semmanguppam, blocking the traffic for about an hour in the morning. They urged the oil company to give due compensation to the families of the deceased and injured students.

They also impounded three vehicles carrying employees of the company and refused to let go until the company apologised to the villagers for the accident and come out with due compensation package.

Meanwhile, a section of them went to Periakuppam (where the oil company is located) to voice their protest.

When the security personnel did not allow them inside, they pelted stones and damaged glass panes.

They also broke the windscreen of an ambulance parked on the company premises. A spokesperson of the residents said that it was due to the recklessness of the driver of the vehicle contracted by the company that the accident took place, killing the four and injuring 31 others.

The spokesperson alleged that even though the company knew fully well that it was one of the vehicles engaged by the company that caused the accident, the company did not take any efforts to arrange for ambulances to take the injured to the hospital.

It was the local people and the passers-by who took the injured in a private bus to the hospital. The company management remained indifferent to the tragedy and never expressed condolence to the bereaved families nor did it send any of its representatives to the government hospital to enquire about the condition of the injured, the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, Revenue Divisional Officer Murugesan and Deputy Superintendent of Police Pandian reached the spot and held talks with the protestors to assuage their feelings.

The company sources said that none of the vehicles owned by the company was involved in the accident.

It was the vehicle hired by a sub-contractor of the company that met with the accident while transporting the employees of the former to the company premises.

Coastal community hit by sea erosion - The Hindu

A.V. Ragunathan

Capital dredging, redesigning of harbour among suggestions put forth

CUDDALORE: A significant part of the coastal area at Chinnamudaliarchavadi in Villupuram has been lost to the sea. According to a conservative estimate, at least 200 acres of land along the 10-km coastal stretch, off East Coast Road, has been gobbled up owing to sea incursion or sea erosion.

According to a study by Pondicherry Citizens Action Network (PCAC) in coordination with Federation for People's Rights, the 80-m-wide beach at Chinnamudaliarchavadi and two rows of fishermen tenements have vanished.

President of the PCAC Probir Banerjee told The Hindu that the study attributed this factor to two reasons: inconsistent dredging at the Puducherry harbour and construction of groynes. These structures had caused devastations along the Puducherry and Villupuram coast.

Sea incursion had become almost a common phenomenon, uprooting trees and pulling down the habitations of the fishermen, particularly on the Villupuram side.

The water aquifer had become saline thus spoiling the groundwater for a stretch of four km inland.

Mr. Banerjee said that the territorial government had spent Rs.20 crore on putting up these structures to safeguard the welfare of 150 fishermen.

But wittingly or unwittingly it had caused permanent loss of livelihood to 7,000 other families.

Social, economic costs

Had the harbour been properly dredged at an estimated cost of Rs.3 crore a year, things would not have come to such a pass. The environment, social and economic costs of this lapse were quite enormous and irreparable.

Mr. Banerjee said that the natural resources were the assets of the country but the way these were plundered was a cause for concern. If the trend was not reversed, over a period, the GDP (gross domestic product) would register a negative growth.

He noted that though the governments of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were said to have reached an understanding to tackle the issue jointly, no progress was yet achieved on this front.

Therefore, the PCAC and the Federation for People's Rights, had appealed to the Union Ministry for Environment to find a permanent solution to the issue in coordination with Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments.

They had also suggested the following measures: sand bypass system (a form of dredging) must be activated, capital dredging should be done and the harbour ought to be re-designed.

Fishermen apprised

Mr. Banerjee on Saturday apprised the fishermen, social organisations and consumer activists on the impending threat posed by the proposal to set up a clutch of private ports along the Cuddalore coast.

M. Nizamudeen of the Consumer Federation-Tamil Nadu said representatives of the SIPCOT Local Community Monitoring, Tamil Nadu Meenavar Peravai, Meenavar Viduthalai Vengaigal, Tamil Nadu Meenavar Padhukappu Iyakkam, Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) attended the session in which satellite pictures were presented to demonstrate the gravity of the problem.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Activists urge government to abandon Kudankulam project - The Hindu

Activists urge government to abandon Kudankulam project
Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE, November 8, 2011

Environmentalists and consumer activists staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate here on Monday clamouring for abandonment of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

Members of the Consumer Federation-Tamil Nadu, SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors and the People Movement Against Nuclear Power participated in it.

Executive secretary of the Consumer Federation M. Nizamudeen said that India should draw a lesson from the nuclear power plant disasters occurred elsewhere in the world and the recent being the Fukushima plant in Japan that was devastated by the tsunami and caused untold misery to the people there.


There was no second opinion over the fact that electricity generation ought to be augmented to meet the increasing demand. But considering the fact that nuclear power plants had the potential to wreak long-term havoc on humanity, marine life and on the living beings on the earth the best option available was to jettison such projects and to tap safe and clean sources of energy.