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Zealous volunteers clean the historic Vellalore Canal after decades.

Zealous volunteers clean the historic Vellalore Canal after decades.^^^^

A Lazy Sunday', that's how a weekend is got to be, isn't it! While many of us would have just woken up from our cozy beds, a group of people have made us all feel guilty of not doing enough for the city. These good hearted volunteers where sweating profusely and cleaning the historic Vellalore canal, which is said to have been left uncleaned for 'several' decades.

Around 150 volunteers representing various walks of life like students (both school and college), Representatives of NGOs, Representatives of NGO 'Kulangal Paadhukaapu Amaipu' swung into action this morning with zest to restore the canal. Most of the citizens of this city, apart from the locals of Vellalore are still unaware of the astounding facts about this historic Vellalore Canal.

The volunteers wore hand gloves, face mask and Calf-length rubber boots to protect themselves from the dust and infections from the trash. They formed a chain and passed on the trash from the cleaning site to the lorry.

Founder of the NGO, Kulanagal Paadhugaapu Amaipu and Organizer of this initiative, RV Manikandan shared that, 'It's dis-heartening to see the present state of this historic Vellalore Canal. During rains, this canal plays a pivotal role in re-routing water from various parts to the Vellalore lake.

But presently, this canal is clogged with tonnes of trash which goes 3-4 foot in depth. As per records, this canal has been left uncleared for several decades. Sadly, all these years the rain water which is supposedly to reach Vellalore lake through this pathway, hasn't reached the lake at all. But, instead gets mixed with drainage and sewage water and goes completely useless.

Post this cleaning drive, we are certain that the canal will be completely functional and gallons of water can be routed to the Vellalore lake during monsoonal showers. The cleaning drive would continue every weekend until the canal is restored completely'.

It is to be re-called that Manikandan has been the brain behind the cleaning drives carried at Perur, Selvachinthamani lake before a month ago. And now the team has taken up restoration of Vellalore canal. However, a humble Manikandan shares that 'It a team effort'!.

One of the volunteers, Timple Luloo shares to us that, 'This Sunday morning had a meaningful start. Though more needs to be done, we are feeling content that at least the process of cleaning has been initiated today. One full lorry of garbage including mostly plastic wastes and other household wastes were cleared today.

We thank the Corporation for supporting us by providing 20 sanitary workers and 3 lorries to fetch the trash. In today's drive we could spot many new fresh faces of Volunteers which is very encouraging and it proves that youth have understood the powerful message of social responsibility'.

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Corporation aims at 100% Waste Segregation at Source, launches campaign to reach masses.

Corporation aims at 100% Waste Segregation at Source, launches campaign to reach masses.^^^^

As the population of the city is increasing, the amount of waste generated is also increasing at a rapid pace. Reports say, on an average every home generates 500 to 1 Kg of household wastes everyday, out of which 70% are green wastes.

Waste management has become a pressing issue for the City Corporation as segregation of waste is not happening at source. It is more than tedious task for the civic body to collect all forms of trash in one go and segregate them at the dump yard using sanitary workers. Even if the existing manpower who handle collection of daily wastes from residential colonies are doubled, still the process will remain unmanageable. As it's not only tedious but also very unproductive.

Though the Corporation has been instilling the importance for segregation of wastes at source amongst the residents, there is still a large population who do not practice segregation of wastes at source. Though it's partially due to lack of knowledge, it is also the lethargic attitude of people that pulls them back from being responsible citizens.

Dry wastes and wet wastes when segregated at homes, not just saves time, money and manpower of the civic body but also aids in treating organic wastes productively without mixing other bio-degradable wastes in them. Despite training the waste collection staff to segregate wastes at source itself, without thorough support from the residents the entire process becomes extremely complicated, as it's not a viable option for the sanitary workers to segregate wastes of all homes.

In the past, Corporation has adapted different methods for disposal of wastes. Even a few years back, trash bins of different colors indicating 'Wet wastes' and Dry Wastes' were provided by the Corporation free of cost to all residents. However, the idea failed to yield results, as residents did not cope up well and moreover awareness on segregation did not reach the masses. Though the entire city is yet to cultivate the habit of segregation of wastes, there a still a decent volume of residential complexes and Wards practicing waste segregation at source flawlessly.

The Corporation has now decided to push even harder the concept of Waste Management to the citizens by running a mass campaign on June 5th, which also marks the World Environment Day. Trash bins will be provided to all residents and ahead of the day awareness campaigns will be held Ward by Ward to sensitize the citizens on responsible waste disposal. Meanwhile, Volunteers from NGOs and Corporation Officials will come up with ideas to spread this much-needed message among the masses to create a enduring change. While, segregation of wastes is still an alien term to many in the city, hopefully Corporation can create a sustainable change through this campaign.

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Swachh Bharat rankings 2017: Here are the top 100 cities ranked on cleanliness

Swachh Bharat rankings 2017: Here are the top 100 cities ranked on cleanliness^^^^

Coimbatore Rating Improved^^^^

The top two cleanest cities in India — Indore and Bhopal — are in Madhya Pradesh while Gonda in Uttar Pradesh is the dirtiest city in India, according to the Swachh Survekshan 2017 report released by the government on Thursday in New Delhi. Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced the results while presenting the award to the top ranked cities. The Ministry of Urban Development had claimed that more than 80 per cent of the 18 lakh people surveyed across 434 towns and cities had given a positive response to the impact of Swachh Bharat Mission. “Happy to announce results of SwachhSurvekshan2017 survey. I would call these results as ‘Citizens’ Verdict’ on sanitation in Urban areas!” he tweeted.

Here are the top 100 cities according to the survey that was conducted among 434 towns and cities:

1 – Indore
2- Bhopal
3 – Vishakhapatnam
4 – Surat
5 – Mysore
6 – Trichirapilly
7 – NDMC (Delhi)
8 – Navi Mumbai
9 – Tirupati
10 – Vadodara
11 – Chandigarh
12 – Ujjain
13 – Pune
14 – Ahmedabad
15 – Ambikapur
16 – Coimbatore
17 – Khargone
18 – Rajkot
19 – Vijayawada
20 – Gandhinagar
21 – Jabalpur
22 – Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (Hyderabad)
23 – Sagar
24 – Katni
25 – Navsari
26 – Vapi
27 – Gwalior
28 – Warangal
29 – Greater Mumbai
30 – Suryapet
31 – Tadi Patri
32 – Varanasi
33 – Bhavnagar
34 – Kalol
35 – Jamnagar
36 – Omkareshwar
37 – Kumbakonam
38 – Rewa
39 – Jetpur Navagadh
40 – Narasaraopeta
41 – Chas
42 – Erode
43 – Kakinada
44 – Tenali
45 – Siddhipeta
46 – Rajamundhry
47 – Shimla
48 – Ratlam
49 – Godhra
50 – Gangtok

Also read | Swachh Survekshan 2017: Indore cleanest city, Bhopal at no 2, Gonda dirtiest

51 – Singrauli
52 – Junagadh
53 – Chindwara
54 – Bhilai Nagar
55 – Sehore
56 – Shirdi
57 – Madurai
58 – Dewas
59 – Hoshangabad
60 – Bharuch
61 – Pithampur
62 – Tambaram
63 – Mangaluru
64 – Jamshedpur
65 – Karnal
66 – Dwaraka
67 – Gandhidham
68 – Tiruppur
69 – Nadiad
70 – Ongole
71 – Chittore
72 – Pimpri Chindwad
73 – Khandwa
74 – Mandsaur
75 – Satna
76 – Chandrapur
77 – Korba
78 – Betul
79 – Botad
80 – Nandyal
81 – Giridh
82 – Hosur
83 – Machilipatnam
84 – Vellankini
85 – Durg
86 – Eluru
87 – Bhimavaram
88 – Faridabad
89 – Ambarnath
90 – Panaji
91 – Hazaribagh
92 – Chattarpur
93 – Guntakal
94 – Bhubaneswar
95 – Palanpur
96 – Morbi
97 – Tadepallegudem
98 – Bhuj
99 – Mehsana
100 – Leh

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Plastic ban is effectively managed by the Coimbatore Corporation Commissioner K. Vijaykarthikeyan. Other cities in India also should give effective ban on plastic bags.

COIMBATORE: Coimbatore Corporation health officials seized nearly 375kg of banned plastic bags that were below 50 microns from 89 shops since May 1.
On March 18, the corporation passed a resolution according to which plastic bags below 50 microns were banned in the city. The corporation had warned shops owners, plastic bag manufacturers and others to Corporation commissioner K Vijayakarthikeyan passed an order under which a team of officials headed by the zonal sanitary officers will have to conduct raids every day and submit a report every Friday. "We want to stop the usage of plastic in the city. We will not only raid shops periodically but also conduct surprise checks," said Vijayakarthikeyan.
"This is not a one-time seizure. We will ensure it continues through the year. We want to completely weed out plastic bags, plates, cups and other plastic items that are below 50 microns from the city," said city health officer Santhosh Kumar.
"Every weekend, we will conduct such raids in all zones of the city," he added.
This week, the sanitary officials seized 375.5kg of plastic bags from 89 shops located on the Trichy Road, Flower Market, the Sathy Road, Ganapathy, the Saramedu Road, Thomas Street, Raja Street, Kadalaikara Lane.

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City Corporation to introduce sensor-based pay and use toilets in Gandhipuram and Racecourse

City Corporation to introduce sensor-based pay and use toilets in Gandhipuram and Racecourse^^^^

Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation has installed four sensor-based pay- and -use toilets in the busy Gandhipuram and Racecourse areas, which would be thrown open to public utility soon.

Set up at a total outlay of Rs.24 lakhs, these state -of- the -art toilets for both sexes would have many new features including stainless steel enclosures and sensor- based flushing mechanism after each use

The sensors would let in the user only when there is water in the tank and the user has to feed the coin before using the toilet. "The Corporation is yet to decide on the rates for the pay and use toilets. But it would be nominal" said a Corporation official.

“The toilets which are attached to 25-liter tanks is installed at the cost of Rs.6 lakhs each. The pay and use toilets would come into use as the civic body is giving final touches to the pilot project. The toilets would be operated by 600-watt motors for its operations.” Corporation officials said.

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Ranking cleanliness in India Read more at:

Ranking cleanliness in India

Indore, according to the rankings released by the Ministry of Urban Development on May 4, is the cleanest city in the country. This is despite the absence of a solid waste processing facility or waste segregation at source in the city. Indore is not an aberration; most of the top 50 cities featured in the Swachh Survekshan rankings have a similar story. Worse, cities with good waste management practices feature really low in the annual rankings. "The ranking of some of the cities surprises me because I have visited them and they do not have much to show except that there is no litter on the streets," says Bharati Chaturvedi of environmental non-profit Chintan. Experts say flawed parameters have marred the rankings. The government invited 500 cities that are enrolled under the AMRUT scheme to participate in the rankings, of which 434 participated. AMRUT was launched in June 2015 to establish the infrastructure that will ensure robust sewerage networks and water supply for urban transformation. In last year's survey, only 73 cities were ranked. The ranking awards weightage on the basis of six heads: municipal solid waste collection and transportation (40 per cent weightage), processing and disposal (20 per cent weightage), condition of public and community toilets and open defecation (30 per cent weightage), and capacity building and behaviour change (10 per cent weightage). The cities have been marked on a scale of 2,000 points, of which 900 points is allocated on the basis of answers submitted by the municipal bodies. Another 500 points have been allocated to be awarded by a team of assessors who have physically inspected the cities. The remaining 600 points have been allocated according to citizen feedback collected through telephonic conversations and questionnaires submitted online and on a mobile application. The central problem The maximum weightage has been given to procedures for waste collection and transportation, but the parameters favour a centralised model, where the emphasis is on treating waste away from the source. As a result, Indore, with an effective door-to-door collection system, scored the maximum 360 points, while Bhopal, the second cleanest city, received 352 points. Meanwhile, Alleppey, which follows a decentralised system where waste segregation and processing starts at the household level, earned just 91 points, which is much lower than the average score cities received under this category (224 points). Ironically, decentralised collection system is cheaper and more environment-friendly than the centralised model. Still, just five out of the top 50 cities—Pune, Suryapet, Coimbatore, Ambikapur, Mysuru—partially follow the approach. Cities that follow a centralised system spend over 70 per cent of their budget solely on collection and transportation. "Indore spends Rs 110cr a year on their door-to-door waste collection," says Asad Warsi, a consultant with the Indore Municipal Corporation. Alleppey, on the other hand, has cut down its collection and transportation cost from Rs 40 lakh per month to just Rs 40,000 by adopting a decentralised model. The centralised model also has a higher carbon footprint. Bhopal, for instance, transports its waste to the lone processing site that is situated 16 km from the city. In a decentralised model, the amount of waste collected is substantially lesser, which reduces the number of trips waste trucks have to make every day. The number of trips made by municipal trucks to processing units in a day can serve as a useful parameter for the ranking. What should have been adopted: The rankings do not award points for segregation at source, which is mandatory under the Solid Waste Management Rules (SWM), 2016. All households in Alleppey segregate their waste and use the wet waste for compost. This leaves only the dry waste, which is collected on specific days of the week. Meanwhile, Indore introduced segregation at source in January this year. "It is currently practised by 10 per cent of the households," says the SPCB official from the state. The scheme also overlooks the importance of transporting the waste in segregated compartments. In Indore, for example, the municipal trucks have separate compartments for different kinds of waste, but they still carry mixed waste. "The survey is penalising cities that are investing money in making people more responsible rather than in collection and transportation," says M Prem, ward councillor, Alleppey municipality. Heap of waste Waste processing and disposal have been given 180 points, but even here the parameters favour cities which follow a centralised model and practise secondary segregation of waste, common in cities that do not have segregation at source. No wonder, the urban body in Indore scored full points for processing and disposal (180), followed by Mysuru (174) and New Delhi Municipal Corporation (133). The points awarded to Alleppey (17) and Thiruvananthapuram (8) remained low. The flaw in the parameters means that Indore scores high despite not having even a single waste processing unit. The city, at present, dumps almost its entire waste—over 1,000 tonnes per day—without any treatment. It has commissioned a Waste to Energy plant with a capacity of 1,000 TPD. "As reported by the Indore Municipal Corporation, around 200 tonnes per day of the existing landfill waste is being handled by a private company. However, there is no treatment of the daily waste that is generated," says the SPCB official. Meanwhile, Panaji, which ranks 90th, received a score of 157 despite its "five-point segregation model". Households segregate waste at source into five different categories, wet waste is composted by the Residents' Welfare Associations, and the dry recyclable waste is further segregated into 30 different categories in a Material Recovery Facility. This efficient system cost the city 23 points. "The methodology says 23 points will be awarded to cities that use plastic to make roads. But we send it to industry, which is better. We can do it because we segregate our waste properly," says a senior official from the Panaji municipal corporation. In fact, not a single city in Kerala features in the top 250, despite the fact that most process the wet waste at the community level. "The state is pushing for treatment at the source. As a result, we have been given scores as low as 9 points for processing and disposal," says V Nikhilesh Paliath, a local activist advocating for green protocols in the state. The ranking system favours cities that first collect mixed waste and then spend a fortune segregating and processing it at the secondary level over cities which segregate and process at the community level. What should have been adopted: The methodology should have ideally adopted a paradigm that incentivised cities with the refuse, reuse, recycle, recover and reduce approach. There is also no mention of the informal sector, which plays a significant role in recycling. "The informal sector manages over 60 per cent of the recyclable waste," says Shashi Pandit, All India Kabadi Majdoor Mahasangh. The ranking system should also have discouraged the use of landfills, which is the least preferred option, according to the SWM rules. Still over 90 per cent of Indian cities with functional collection systems dispose of their waste in landfills that are usually unsanitary, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. Problems galore The methodology awards 90 points for capacity building and behaviour change, which is monitored by the number and size of hoardings put up to sensitise people about sanitation and by the print and digital campaigns carried out by the urban local bodies to promote sensitising programmes. While Vizag bagged 90 points, Bhopal 87 and Indore 85; cities in Kerala, which generally discourage the use of big hoardings because they cannot be reused, hardly received any points. Kozhikode and Alleppey received zero points, while Thiruvananthapuram got 1 point. Cities also expressed dissatisfaction with the way the Quality Control of India assessors carried out their job and the malfunctioning of the mobile app used by over 3.7 million citizens for feedback. "Usually a team of three assessors visited a city, and they would only have enough time to go through government documents rather than go on-site inspections," says an official with the Mysuru urban local body. This is understandable because the surveys were carried out by 471 assessors who visited over 17,500 locations in January and February. "Panaji city lost points on citizen feedback because the name was changed to Goa in February and the votes were not counted," says the official. Shibu Nair, programme director of Zero Waste at Thanal, a non-profit based in Kerala, highlights another fundamental predicament—giving cities like Indore full points in waste collection and transportation indicates that according to the government, no improvement is required. "But cities can improve on all the parameters," says he. In fact, experts warn that the long-term impact of the rankings will be an endorsement of the unsustainable centralised waste management systems. "Cities, where municipal corporations are trying to involve communities, will give up because their efforts are being penalised," says Nair.

Read more at:

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3,000 kg banned plastic material seized

3,000 kg banned plastic material seized^^^^

Corporation officials today seized 3,000 kg of plastic materials below 50 micron from various shops in Central zone of the City Corporation, during raids.

Raids were conduced in retail and wholesale shops on R.G. Street and Thomas Street and materials such as cups, carry bags made of plastic below 50 micron, which were banned in the city from May 1. The value of the seizure was Rs.3.75 lakh, an official release said.

A fine of Rs. 6,000 was collected from shop keepers for violating the rules and they were advised to use eco-friendly bags in future.
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