Pallikaranai, a marshland or dump yard?

Chennai: “I refuse to address Pallikaranai as a dump yard,” told K.V.R.K Thirunaranan of the Nature Trust. “Pallikaranai is an ecological biodiversity and how much ever garbage is dumped this fact will not change”

The southern region of wetland is facing an eco-restoration project worth Rs 15 crore. The much-awaited plan will take five years to complete. This project will tend the ground water table to residents living near Velachery Main Road and will increase the area for more birds to inhabit. The recently established Conservation Authority of Pallikaranai Marshlands (CAPML) has managed to clear nearly 70 encroachments near Veerathamman temple tank, Jalladampettai and various other regions at Velachery Main Road. The CAPML has restricted human trespassing in certain regions of the wetlands. M Murugan a worker at the dump yard stated that the forest authorities monitor the dump yard through the CCTV cameras to restrict poaching of birds.An Interpretation Centre run by the forest department at Pallikaranai is now open to visitors.

Mr. Thirunaranan explains the need to protect the wetland saying “These wetlands functions like a kidney of Chennai. It absorbs the flood and impure water into the sea and helps maintain the ground water level of the surrounding regions. It connects to 31 tanks for the surplus water to flow into them.”

Another Environmental Activist, Nithyanand Jayaraman suggests that various corporate encroachments has caused irreparable damage and the Sewage Treatment and Dispatching Facility is still killing the lands.

However, there is a demand for separate landfill disposal sites, recycling, and waste to energy plants in the city. The government and private companies’ contribution must be there, and the people should segregate the waste.

Cow stuck at Pallikaranai Marsh lands

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A cow lost its path and stuck in the Pallikaranai Wetland on August 15 evening. Parvathi (name changed) a resident from the Kamakoti nagar, noticed the lost cow and called the Fire Department.
The Fire Service arrived to the sight and struggled for more than four hours to rescue the cow. They managed to place it on the hard ground but unable to free it from the Marsh. Parvathi called the blue cross around 21.00 hrs. The General Manager of Blue cross Mr Dawn Williams along with eight volunteers arrived to the spot. Since, there was no light they used vehicles to illuminate the area. The cow was injured and was unable to walk. They had to use muscle power to rescue it and bring it down to blue cross’ office at Velachery.
Mr Dawn Williams suggests that the cow has a bell around its neck. The owner abandoned it. Unfortunately, due to this incident another rescue operation where a cow stuck in a well at Neelankarai passed away.

(OP- ED) Growth and Development

(Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant)

India celebrates its 67th Independence Day. Since its Independence, we have been only as a developing nation. Growth and Development is the only key to attain the “developed” status. India like other countries has deficits and scarcities. To tackle this issue we use modules or technology to bring about “Sustainable Economic Development”. The price increase in non – Renewable resources is the obvious evidence towards its exhaustion. According to the research of Mr. Martin Weitzman of Harvard University suggests that since, the earth is finite it is only natural that its physical stocks of non-Renewable resources must shrink over time. Mr. Weitzman also suggests that this is not the end of world if non – Renewable resources are exhausted. This gives growth and development a larger role to play.
Growth and Development is a time taking process. Green energy like windmills and solar energy is a good substitute. However, considering its limitations and the need of a sustainable economic development, majority would not accept these resources. Our policies has been concerning about running out exhaustible resources. It should focus on R&D (Research & Development). Tamil Nadu has been facing much power shedding due to the annual deficit of 4000 MW. Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant built to tackle this issue has faced several delays due to anti – nuclear protests. Nuclear energy has become a feared resource due to a few disasters. Fukushima nuclear disaster is taken up as an example by anti – nuclear protestors. It is crude to compare Kudankulam to Fukushima nuclear disaster because it occurred following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and lack of proper equipment safety. Kudankulam is less prone to natural disasters and the infrastructure height can withstand earthquakes and tsunami. Kudankulam plant has the capacity to produce more than 2000 MW of power that provides electricity to 200 million homes, has built in safety measures to withstand nuclear radiation leak. The concern of storing and disposing the nuclear waste was a major concern. But, due to the technological advances the nuclear waste can be reused and has developed safe methods in disposing them like Synroc, Vitrification, Ion exchange, Transmutation etc.
Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam’s lecture at IIM said that “CO {-2} emission across the country by cars running on fossil fuel was 30 billion tons a year. Therefore, we need only clean energy. Solar power is clean energy, nuclear power is clean energy and hydel power is clean energy” Mr. Kalam is satisfied by the advanced safety features of the reactors and wants to eliminate fears over the safety. Once again I reiterate that only growth and development is the only effective method for a Sustainable Economic Development.

Firefighter rescues and kills snake

Chennai

D. Kumaresan, a fire fighter from the Secretariat rescued a six-foot rat snake from a nearby office premises. He then bashes it to death by the Cooum River bank near Island Grounds.

A viral video of the incident uploaded to Facebook by Prem (Name Changed) a student from Chennai, on 2 August around 5.15 P.M, caught the eye of the Blue Cross of India (BCI).Kumaresan was bashing the snake to the ground and throwing it in the river, while Sampath Selvam another firefighter was egging Kumaresan to destroy it. The BCI preferred a formal complaint under section 428 of Indian Penal Code (Mischief by killing or maiming animal of the value of ten rupees) and sections 39 (Wild life other than vermin are to be government property), 51 and 52 (aiding and abetting to the crime) of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 at the Fort Police Station. Inspector Mr. Jagdeeshwaran refused to take the complaint on record and file a First Information Report (FIR) against Kumaresan on the ground that this issue falls under the jurisdiction of Forest Department.

Mr. Dawn Williams, the General Manager of BCI maintains, “That there is an IPC section involved in the complaint and so it is well within the jurisdiction of Fort Police Station. The Police are stonewalling to register a complaint that has enough evidence to file an FIR “.

Initially, a complaint to the Fire Department at the Secretariat turned futile. Mr. Vijay Kumar, Station Officer of the Fire Department was reluctant in taking departmental action against the unbecoming conduct of firefighter. Mr. Dawn Williams says that the captured snake being a government property, the Fire Department should have handed over the snake to the Forest Department for its safe release to its natural habitat.

The Forest Department accepted the complaint and started an investigation to file a charge sheet against the accused. Mr. David Raj the Forest Range Officer has started inquiries to find out the complete circumstances while killing the snake as the video does not give a complete picture. After authenticating the video, the Forest Department will file a charge sheet.

Disclaimer : The video contains strong animal violence. The video is recorded by a student of Chennai.

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