• `Clean technology' project for SMEs

  • Eco group setting up tree cover

  • Water harvesting deadline extended

  • `Clean technology' project for SMEs

    THE HINDU [7 MAY, 2002]
    By Our Staff Reporter

    BANGALORE, May 6. A five-year "clean technology" project to help the State's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be unveiled on Tuesday.

    The Swiss-funded U.S. $1.2 million project will be facilitated through UNIDO and implemented by the Karnataka Cleaner Production Centre (KCPC) here. The aim is to "reduce environmental pollution and improve the competitiveness of industries through adoption of cleaner technologies".

    In fact, the KCPC Project Coordinator, R. Srinivas, claims it is the first of its kind in the country. He told presspersons here on Monday that the project was for the automobile supply (component industry) sector. This involves related areas such as foundries, plating shops, sheet metal industry, etc.

    Studies by the KCPC and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board had shown that this sector contributed substantially to effluents. The average Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) limit for them was between 650 to 1,000 mg. Besides, these places were also very harmful to the workers' health.

    All this would be studied in the first three years, or the assessment phase. "Here we will see how adaptable the technology is; its techno-economic feasibility; the kind of credit lines (with low interest rates) available for those who go in for it, etc.," Mr. Srinivas said.

    When talks were first held with the Swiss agency, the KCPC looked at 225 units, Mr. Srinivas said.

    "Now we are corresponding with industry associations. Besides, UNIDO and the Swiss agency have guidelines for emissions. That is how we will choose the industries," he added.

    The project will be inaugurated at the Leela Palace at 11.30 a.m. in the presence of the Governor, V.S. Rama Devi, and the Forest Minister, K.H. Ranganath.


    Eco group setting up tree cover

    THE HINDU [7 MAY, 2002]
    By Our Staff Reporter

    KOZHIKODE, May 6. The Theeram Nature Conservation Society, Payyoli, near here, is in the process of setting up a tree cover or permanent nursery, with the assistance of the Social Forestry wing of the Forest Department, Koilandy range.

    Its convener, M.T. Suresh Babu, said here today that 30,000 saplings of five indigenous tree species would be planted once the monsoon sets in. The tree planting drive is carried out with the participation of local people. Women and children are involved in large numbers. Once the planting is over, the Forest Department would withdraw from the scene.

    The tree nursery is expected to provide protective cover to the coastal area against strong winds, besides providing shade.

    According to Mohan Kumar of the Koilandy range of Forest Department, the tree species that are being propagated are Casurina equisetifolia, which in local parlance is known as `kattadi', Terminalia cadapa or `badam', Calophyllum inophyllum or bamboo, and Pterocarpus marsupium or `vaga'. These local trees are believed to have many other uses besides some being oil-bearing.

    Efforts are on to regenerate tree species that are on the verge of extinction. Mr. Kumar said that trees such as `kanjiram', `pala' `mukkoothi', `aal' (peepal) and `elavu' are not found in house compounds now.

    Trees such as `pala' in addition to being a wood source, especially for the match industry, prevent damage from lightening. `Pala' and similar tree varieties are believed to be a good conductor of electromagnetic power.

    The Theeram society started its activities a decade ago with a turtle conservation programme. Earlier, the group was involved in a number of agitations against activities that degraded the environment. The group has succeeded in stalling the setting up of a tannery unit, pisciculture and prawn farming besides a toddy shop in the area. The society is also involved in planting of mangroves.

    Mr. Babu said what is heartening is the tremendous support from the local people. This has enabled the society to launch new initiatives. Today, none in the area would allow a turtle egg to be destroyed or touched. Every egg is left to hatch by the locals whether it is at Mudadai, Thikkodi, the Kodikkal beach or the adjoining areas. However, much to the constraint of the local people, sand-mining continues unabated in the area despite a High Court ban.


    Water harvesting deadline extended

    THE TIMES OF INDIA [7 MAY, 2002]

    NEW DELHI: The deadline for installing rain water harvesting structures in buildings having a plot area of over 100 square metres in south and southwest Delhi has been extended to June 30.

    The decision to extend the deadline was taken by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) on Monday. According to a CGWA official, a decision to relax the drilling norms in these two districts of Delhi, where the ground water levels are plummeting at an alarming pace, has also been taken. ‘‘We may now allow small tubewells in these places so that people can meet their drinking and domestic needs,’’ he said.

    Confusion had shrouded the issue after the deadline for installing harvesting structures expired on March 31. The CGWA had earlier warned that the ground water extraction equipment of those people who had not installed the harvesting structures by the deadline would be sealed. But for over a month after the deadline expired, no action was taken on defaulters. Many people even did not know that the deadline had really passed.

    ‘‘The issue of harvesting has become very controversial. Some blame us for being too harsh. Others say we just issue notifications and don’t act on them,’’ a Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) source said.