The Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation has installed nine public toilets for the exclusive use of women in the city.

The new “she-toilets” have been installed at the Government Women’s College; the Women and Children Hospital, Thycaud; the Government Ayurveda College; the Veli tourist village; the Kaimanam polytechnic; the Sreekanteswaram temple, University College; the homoeopathy college, East Fort; and opposite the Hindu Prachara Sabha, Vazhuthacaud. They will start functioning by December-end, P. Kulsu, Chairperson of the corporation, said.

Refuse piles up by roadsides as government and Corporation slug it out

On December 20, 2011, when the last truckloads of garbage from the capital city rolled into the solid waste treatment plant at Vilappilsala, not many in the city thought that the next day would be any different. Harsh reality dawned the next morning. The city could not longer ‘export’ its garbage. A year later, most of the high-rises in the city have their own solid-waste treatment systems, thousands of houses have a pipe-compost facility, five schools in the city have a biogas plant each, and even the headquarters of the city Corporation will have a biogas plant up and running in less than two weeks. That is the sunny side of the story.

Alarmed by this year’s scanty rainfall and the drying up of water reserves in several parts of the State, the office of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has forwarded a recommendation to the State government to this effect.

The scarce northeast monsoon has failed to make up for the shortfall in the southwest spell during the past two years. The southwest monsoon’s share of rainfall this year was the lowest in the last seven years.

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court, on Monday, directed the State government and the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation to give it a list of the issues relating to the Vilappilsala waste treatment plant which could be gone into by the expert committee proposed by it.

The Bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A.M. Shaffique adjourned the case to January 2. The court declined the plea of the Vilappilsala Janakeeya Samara Samithi against the constitution of an expert committee.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Authority is framing the regulations for a compulsory licensing system under which a registered plant variety could be licensed to a third party for production of seeds, based on the demand from farmers.

Registrar General of the authority R.C. Agrawal said here on Tuesday that the system was designed to suit public interests. “Under the provisions of the PPVFR Act 2001, the authority can license production to a third party for a specific period of time, even if the breeder is not willing, provided there is demand from farmers and the breeder cannot produce seeds in sufficient quantity”.

The ministry of urban development has released data that states that Indians generate 115,000 million tons of municipal solid waste every day.

Unfortunately, metro cities including Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Delhi and Pune are no longer able to cope with these mountains of trash. Mumbai alone is generates over 5,500 tons of garbage every day while smaller cities are touching the 1,000 tons per day mark. The problem is equally acute across states. Lack of garbage management has driven high-end tourists away from Goa, according to the data.

Waste disposal not sole responsibility of State or Corporation’

Government should come up with scientific solutions for every region in the State that faces the problem of waste management, Opposition Leader V.S. Achuthanandan has said. He was speaking at a mass convention on City Protection organised by the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation here on Saturday. “There is no use fighting over the issue and blaming each other for the present situation that the State is facing. The government is coming with various waste treatment plants such as the one in Chalai market. Let us hope that such measures will help solve the problem,” Mr. Achuthanandan said.

Emulating the success story of the Sreekaryam market where a waste-to-energy plant set up six years ago continues to light up the entire market and the nearby street, the city Corporation is planning to set up biogas plants in the city’s markets. Such plants in addition to treating waste at source will generate electricity as well, and in Sreekaryam the plant powers 118 bulbs.

The city Corporation has initiated action against 37 persons for dumping garbage on roads in the past one week and collected a fine of Rs.22,040 from them.

During checks carried out in 88 shops during the week, Corporation officials seized banned plastic weighing 4.5 kg from 10 shops and imposed penalties. The officials also carried out checks in 29 hotels in the Corporation limits and served notice on 13 hotels where anomalies were found.

Central project was in limbo for two years

A Union government project to make Thiruvananthapuram a ‘Solar City’ is showing signs of revival. The project lay dormant for two years, until the last Corporation Council meeting. The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had decided to make Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi ‘Solar Cities’ under the 11th Five Year Plan.