I am a US Qualified Registered Microbiologist-Medical Technologist, operating my own Clinical Lab. I have been an activist advocating consumer, civic, citizen's rights for Thirty plus years & a Frequent contributor to the letters to Editor.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

3 projects taking root-30-apr 2010

30 Apr 2010,
Gratifying to see that 3 of my campaigns taking root in some form.
It just proves patience pays. nataraj

1)Times of India 28 Apr 2010 page2:
Get set for a quiet drive on every 10th
Bangalore: In a unique initiative to curb noise pollution in the city, Mission Peace — an NGO — has decided to observe ‘No Honking Day’ on 10th of every month. This drive against the increasing noise level has been supported by Karnataka police. The initiative was unveiled by Justice Manjula Chellur, Justice K Sreedhar Rao, retired Justice A M Farooque and former Justice M F Saldahna along with DG & IGP Ajay Kumar Singh. “The mission of starting ‘No Honking Day’ is to create awareness about unnecessary use of horn and the ill-effects of noise caused by the autos. We will also try to convince the government to bring in laws to control noise pollution,’’ said Sunitha De Sousa, president of Mission Peace. “Noise pollution has to be minimized now. We must make sure that there are enough laws to help police tackle the issue,’’Justice K Sreedhar Rao said. According him, KSRTC and auto-rickshaws are among the highest contributors to the increasing noise pollution in the city. Justice Manjula Chellur said:“Creating awareness among the motorists and youth is important to reduce the noise pollution.“Our culture is to tolerate everything, including the noise pollution. But we should make sure that people don’t honk on the roads. DG&IGP Ajay Kumar Singh said: “We don’t think of others on the road. People usually resort to haphazard parking, jumping traffic signal and also cause noise pollution by excessive honking.’’ “For instance, as soon as the green light flashes in the signal and though there are vehicles in front of him, the person behind starts honking. This behaviour must change and the noise pollution has to brought down,’’ he added.

FOR NOISE-FREE ROADS: DG&IGP Ajay Kumar Singh and Justice Manjula Chellur at the launch of No Honking Day, in Bangalore on Wednesday
2) Times of India 30 Apr 2010 page 3

DON’T PANIC, rainwater harvesting is no rocket science
Jayashree Nandi TNN
Bangalore: Bangloreans, breathe easy. Rainwater harvesting is a simple process. All you have to do is channel rainwater from your roof into the groundwater, recharge or store it and use the water for non-potable purposes. As the May 27 deadline for getting rainwater harvesting (RWH) fixed is fast approaching and with the BWSSB threatening to disconnect water supply, Bangaloreans are concerned about how to get it done. It is a simple process that any trained plumber can do. Usually, rainwater from the roof is drained out through several outlets. In RWH, the idea is to connect all these outlets with pipes and get the water to fall into an underground sump or a well. The Times of India spoke to residents who have got it fixed. A MODEL HOUSE N G Kesari’s house on 17th Main, Malleswaram, is a shining example. His rooftop area is around 430 sq mtr, quite large compared to average houses. It has 12 outlets to drain out rainwater. In 2007, when his well went dry, Kesari decided to revive the well by harvesting rainwater. A R Shiva Kumar, executive secretary, Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology and principal investigator on rainwater harvesting, had surveyed his house and implemented the system for him. “Our area is 430 sq mtr and the average annual rainfall in Bangalore is 1,000 mm, so we could harvest easily up to 4,00,000 litres,” says Kesari. The 12 outlets are connected by horizontal pipes that meet at the front of the house. Two pits are dug up where the water is filtered and goes into a sand bed. Then the fully-filtered water goes into a well. “The full structure cost me around Rs 70,000. The rooftop area is big, so the cost of fixing 12 pipes is higher. The water suffices for our garden and car cleaning,” he adds. Next door, at N K Ramdas’s residence, the structure is neat. “I had called a private plumber. We have three outlets from the roof. The outlets are near the gradient where all the rainwater slopes and stores. The plumber has connected all three outlets with PVC pipes and clamps,” explains Ramdas. The water from the pipe is then let out into a well. The bottom surface of the well is not concrete but directly meets the soil and recharges it. He has also fixed a rain gauge on the roof. “After we finished work on the 16th, there was a hailstorm. On the roof, we measured 50 mm of rainfall. So we calculated that we have harvested 10,000 litres in a week,” adds Ramdas. He has been using a borewell for the garden but now the borewell will be recharged completely by rainwater harvesting. It cost him around Rs 20,000 for the total structure — Rs 9,000 for the pipes, Rs 4,500 to dig the well and put a lid, Rs 6,500 labour charges. CHEAPER OPTION M Rajamurthy who started experimenting in his own house, did it for the whole structure, including filters, with just Rs 400. He also implemented it for several houses in Mysore and Bangalore. “Earlier, I used plastic buckets. Since they don’t last long, I switched to steel buckets,” says Rajamurthy. He charges around Rs 2,250 depending on size of the house. 9916054833 HELP IS AT HAND BWSSB helpdesk: 23341652, 23348848, 23348849. WHO SHOULD DO IT? All new buildings of sital area of 1,200 square feet (30 x 40 site) and above, and existing buildings with sital area of 2,400 square feet (40 x 60) must install RWH structures on their premises.

SHOWING THE WAY: N K Ramdas and N G Kesari (below) have implemented RWH

3) Times of India 30 Apr 2010 page 5
Minister to crack the whip on errant auto drivers
Bangalore: The state transport department has chalked out a slew of measures to check the menace of autorickshaws across the state. “We will initiate steps to remove two-stroke autorickshaws which haven’t switched to LPG,’’ transport minister R Ashoka said on Thursday. 85,000 licenced autorickshaws ply in and around Bangalore, of which 60% are two-stroke ones. Details of the operation are yet to be worked out in the wake of court directions to seize non-LPG autos, the minister said. MANDATORY DIGITAL METERS With increasing complaints of tampering of mechanical fare meters and cheating by auto drivers, Ashoka said the department may make digital fare meters compulsory in all three-wheelers plying in Bangalore limits. “As a first step, we have decided to make digital meters mandatory in newly registered autos. This will be implemented within a fortnight,’’ he said. To encourage auto owners and drivers to go in for digital meters, the department will provide a subsidy of Rs 1,000 for each vehicle.

Free shuttle buses at City rly station The BMTC will soon launch free shuttle bus services from City railway station to the adjacent BMTC bus stand to prevent autorickshaw drivers from fleecing commuters. The idea is to make travelling convenient between the railway station and the bus stand, Ashoka said.


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