A total of 192 star tortoises that were seized while being smuggled out of the country have found a new home in the Sathyamangalam forests.

A total of 497 tortoises were confiscated in different incidents and handed over to Arignar Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur near Chennai for rehabilitation. The Forest Department, in association with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), carried out the rehabilitation process at the zoological park for a few months.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), following the recommendation from the District Collector, has issued orders to close down and disconnect power supply for six glue factories in Pernambut for causing environment pollution by discharging untreated effluents. Collector Ajay Yadav has sternly warned industries polluting the water bodies and ground water of disconnection of power supply and closure of the unit.

According to a press release, the district administration has been continuously receiving complaints on pollution of water bodies and ground water due to discharge of effluents from glue manufacturing and leather industries operating at Pernambut..

In the grievance meet held here on Friday, Collector Ajay Yadav assured farmers that polluting units that do not conform to Zero Liquidity Discharge norms would be shut down.

Addressing farmers’ grievances, he said, “We will take measures to close down the factories discharging effluents into Palar and not complying with zero liquid discharge. I have discussed this with the chairman of Pollution Control Board.”

The Vellore unit of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam (TVS) has appealed to the government of India to roll back the Central Ground Water Regulation Bill.

In a protest organised on Monday by the members of the TVS, led by its district secretary C K Dhanapal, the farmers said classification of ground water extraction regions should not be applied for farming activities. The sangam demanded waiving of all farm loans availed of by the farmers from any banking institutions without imposing any conditions.

Meetings and awareness programmes planned

Town panchayats in and around Vaniyambadi might soon get rid of plastic bags less than 40 microns thick. The panchayats have set in motion the process to ban use of plastic in a phased manner and have been garnering support for their initiative from shop keepers, students and public through meetings and awareness programmes.

Welfare schemes being drawn up for tribals

Forest Minsiter K.T. Pachamal said the State government was making efforts to conserve forests and expand forest areas. Giving away financial assistance to several beneficiaries at the Gudiyatham Forest Range office on Tuesday, the Minister said the forest expanse had shrunk during the previous DMK government.

PMK to stage demonstration on July 9

The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) has urged the government to give up the move to acquire agricultural land for establishing an industrial cluster at Arakkonam. In a statement here on Sunday, the party founder, S. Ramadoss, pointed to the reports in circulation that the government was planning to acquire agricultural lands to establish SIPCOT (State Industries Promotion Corporation) in Arakkonam, Vellore district. The party would hold a demonstration on July 9 at Arakkonam against the move, he said.

The Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum (VCWF) has urged the State Minister for Environment to change the nomenclature of the Environment Policy as `Protection of Environment, Ecology, Biodiversity, Eco-systems, Prevention of Pollution and Enforcement of Statutory and Judicial Orders of Apex and Other Courts in India Policy’.

In a letter addressed to the Environment Minister, the honorary secretary of VCWF P.S. Subrahmanian said that the VCWF opposed the term ‘Environment Policy’ since it was very limited in its meaning, scope and definition. Therefore, the name of the policy should be changed as above.

“Beyond this, pollution will not be accepted,” Collector Ajay Yadav told leather industries on referring to the environment pollution and adverse pollution of ground water table in Vellore district.

While recognising the steps being taken by the leather industry to prevent environment pollution, he said, “I would like to be very forthright in telling you that as of now it looks like the leather industry in Vellore has taken out a war against environment pollution but let me also put the fact ahead that this awakening has been a little late.”

While even the urban areas that have power connection feel the pinch of the absence of electric supply when there is a power shutdown, one can imagine the plight of the villagers who do not have po