NGOs plan to campaign for removal of silt from Siruvani Dam; say it reduces storage capacity

On World Environment Day on Tuesday, about 8,000 people from all walks of life took part in three-km walk from Mani School to VOC Park in the city to express their resolve to protect the Earth.

The walk, titled ‘Nizhal Thedi Nadai' and organised jointly by 30 non-Governmental organisations, attracted students from 30 schools, 10 colleges, four research institutions and several private companies.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Hema Karunagaran flagged off the rally and emphasised concerted efforts to protect the environment. Besides the walkers, there were some participants who cycled along, with the youngest among them being Kimaaya, a class three student. The cyclists wanted to stress less use of motor vehicles in order to reduce pollution.

“Using bicycles will reduce pollution. It also gives you an opportunity to exercise and keep fit,” said R. Shanthini, a home maker.

The students pledged their support to prevent destruction and pollution of the soil, atmosphere, water bodies and plants. They handed out green umbrellas, which symbolised a green cover.

“The rally would cause a big impact on students to keep their classrooms and the environment clean, save water and grow more trees,” R. Balasubramanium, a 69-year-old teacher.

Chinmaya Vidyalaya students H. Saumya, R. Keerthanaa and G.Apsara urged the people of Coimbatore to avoid using plastic bags and instead use more eco- friendly products that can be recycled. The organisers of the event said that this year, their plan was to campaign for increasing the storage capacity of Siruvani Dam.

The capacity had been reduced by a huge amount of silt that had accumulated over decades since the dam and the water scheme had been commissioned.

In a drive organised by The Hindu and Flower Garden (a showroom of artificial flowers), handbills with environment protection message were distributed along with saplings to motorists at four traffic signals in the city.

The drive was launched by District Environment Engineer of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board K. Kamaraj at the R.S. Puram signal in the presence of Director of the Flower Garden V. Ganesh.

Saplings were distributed at the signals at Lakshmi Mills Junction, Lawley Road Junction and Gandhipuram also. Flower Garden offered to provide saplings free of cost to people who visited their showroom on East T.V. Swamy Road in R.S. Puram for one month from Tuesday.

Institutions, organisations and individuals can get the saplings free of cost, Mr. Ganesh said.

The Department of Environmental Engineering of Park College of Technology and Environment Care Group of Park institutions jointly organised an environmental awareness programme to mark the Environment Day.

The institutions declared that they would create a Green Zone from Karumathampatty to Kaniyur.

Chief Executive Officer of Park Group of Institutions R. Anusha said the services of experts had been enlisted to accomplish this task. Students were given action plans.

The work to be carried out includes creating plastic- and garbage-free areas, providing clean drinking water facilities, planting trees and generating environmental awareness among villagers.

Adwaithlakshmi Group and Titan Paints and Chemicals have pledged to plant saplings in all the group companies throughout the year.

Managing Director of the group, Ravi Sam planted a sapling on Tuesday to mark the launch of the drive. The staff would plant saplings on the group premises and also at their houses.

Cummins' Dealership at Coimbatore and Maniranjan Diesel Sales and Services, organised a free pollution under control check camp for two and four wheelers and also commercial vehicles.

S. Rajagopalan, Head Marketing of Cummins' Dealership, took part in the drive.

The organisation said it checked the condition of the engine of vehicles and emission level on National Highway 47.

(with inputs from Sarah Samson)

More In: Coimbatore