Local epidemiology of Dengue is defined by the genetic diversity of the circulating Dengue virus (DENV) strains. This important information is not available for the virus strains from most parts of the Indian

The Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation (KSWDC) will set up electronic toilets for women in 23 locations in the capital city. ‘She-toilets’ is a first-of-its-kind in the country, a press release said. Minister for Social Justice and Panchayats MK Muneer will launch the toilets at a function on January 29.

In the first phase, KSWDC in association with the City Corporation will install them in major city centres, tourist locations and places. The project will be rolled out in all districts subsequent phases.

The plant, to come up in about two acres, would be replicated in three other areas in the city, with the capacity of each plant to be decided later.

The State government, on Monday, made clear its intentions to go ahead with setting up modern decentralised garbage treatment plants in the city, with the sites to be at Chala, Kazhakuttam, Nemom, and Vattiyurkavu. (For the Chala plant, tenders had been issued and agreements signed). Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar and Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali, after an all-party meet on the garbage issue held at Durbar Hall here, told the media that political parties had extended their support to the government’s efforts to evolve a solution to the issue and that it had been agreed upon during the meeting that political parties would take it up as their responsibility to convince the public of the safety of the proposed plants.

Thiruvananthapuram will be declared free of open defecation

At long last, the State capital is ready for Nirmal status, by which it will join the list of districts that have been declared free of open defecation, a major challenge to State efforts to combat contagious diseases. The work to get rid of a practice, which pointed accusing fingers at even the popular concept that the State was much ahead of others when it came to public hygiene, had begun more than a year ago with efforts to ensure latrines for all families and adequate numbers of public latrines.

Pilot project to save fuel, reduce carbon dioxide emissions

As many as 200 stay-fishing boats operating from Marthandanthurai and Neerodi in Tamil Nadu and Pozhiyoor in Thiruvananthapuram may soon use solar energy to power their onboard lights and navigation and communication equipment. The Association of Deep Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen (ADSGAF) and the Bay of Bengal Programme Intergovernmental Organisation (BOBP-IGO) are gearing up for a pilot project to equip the vessels with solar panels and storage batteries. Powered by outboard engines, the stay-fishing boats with open decks have a range of 60 to 70 nautical miles and remain at sea for up to five days.

3,100 houses to be built under model fishing village project, says Minister

Ports and Fisheries Minister K. Babu said here on Thursday that work on the Valiyathura harbour would commence after the ongoing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was completed. Inaugurating the distribution of financial assistance for house construction under the Model Fishing Village project at Valiyathura, Mr. Babu said the EIA had been handed over to L&T Ramboll. The project report for the Rs.61.41-crore project was already completed and once the EIA was available, work would start without delay, he said.

Water to be collected and distributed only from licensed sources: Food Safety Commissioner

Commissioner of Food Safety Biju Prabhakar has issued a directive that henceforth, drinking water should be supplied in the State only in tanker lorries that have a Food Business Operator (FBO) licence under the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration) Regulations, 2011. He has also directed that all drinking water supply sources, other than the Kerala Water Authority, should possess an FBO licence, and water should be collected and distributed in the State only from such licensed sources. These sources should have certificates proving the safety and quality of water.

Gowriamma graciously accepted the cloth bag that Mayor K. Chandrika gave her with the hope that the city Corporation would this time keep the anti-plastic campaign alive and not abandon it mid-way.

“It is a good thing, but there is still a lot to be done,” said the vendor, who has been selling vegetables at the Palayam Market for the past 30 years. Mayor, Deputy Mayor, G. Happykumar, along with few ward councillors, traversed through the age-old market spreading the word against the use of plastic carry bags. ,” she said.

Ecologist says sustained campaign to create awareness essential

The proposed ban and boycott on plastic carry bags in the city can be a good idea, but requires proper groundwork and a sustained campaign to ensure its success, feels ecologist S. Faizi. Reacting to the concept mooted by political parties, proposing to implement the ban and boycott with government support, Mr. Faizi said the plastic ban issue was a complex one and to have it enforced overnight, though not impossible, would require preparations, including creation of awareness among the public and more importantly, ensuring availability of alternatives.

Talks on a ban and boycott on plastic carry bags invariably lead to the question, what else? Paper and cloth bags are the way forward, according to many who have long forsaken the use of plastics and embraced environment-friendly materials.

The common notion is that paper bags cannot serve the same purpose as plastic bags. Cost effective, reusable and environment friendly bags that use paper and clothes as raw material are available. They are water-resistant and strong, points out A.R. Shafeek, director, Swadeshi Grama Vikasana Kendra. The centre has been conducting training sessions in paper-bag making and has trained over thousands of volunteers, self-help group members and Kudumbasree workers.