Posts Tagged 'Pondicherry'

Awareness Campaign on Thin Plastics Ban

Adirai Addresses Gathering

Plastics Ban Awareness Campaign

As enforcement approaches, the Pondicherry government initiated an awareness campaign for its planned ban on the usage of thin plastics (below 50 microns).  The event was led by the Pondicherry Pollution Control Committee with the Department of Science, Technology and Environment.  Invitees reached over 1000 persons in a packed conference hall including students, teachers and concerned citizens all listening intently to government officials in their attempt for environmental improvement and change.

Initiating the program was a young 7th standard JNV student (Adirai) taking the stage. Her poetic recital on climate change, environmental destruction and plastics enthralled the audience; she left the stage to a standing ovation.  It was a speech indicating the necessity for immediate action, and its importance for her and the future generation.  With weeks remaining on the subsequent ban, awareness needs to be spread across Pondicherry to ensure effective, adequate compliance.

By Sashti Balu

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Celebrate Earth Day at Creart

Celebrate Earth Day at Creart

Celebrate Earth Day at Creart

Creart invites you to the launch of four international ec0 clothing brands to celebrate Earth Day on 18 April 2009 from 5:30pm at 53 Rue Suffren (1st floor), opposite the Alliance Francaise, in Pondicherry, South India.  You will see clothing made from organic cotton, and clothing, furniture and jewelry made from recycled materials.  You can also support Pondy Citizens’ Action Network‘s Save Our Beach campaign with the purchase of an organic T-shirt!

Benefit Dinner for PondyCAN! – 14 March 2009 at 7pm

PondyCAN Benefit Dinner

Pierre Elouard and Satsanga are hosting a benefit dinner for Pondy Citizens’ Action Network (PondyCAN!) on Saturday, March 14 at 7pm at the Satsanga Annex at 54 Labourdonnais Street.  The benefit will go to fund PondyCAN!’s efforts to bring back the beach in Pondicherry and the neighboring areas of Tamil Nadu, including Auroville.

In addition to dinner, there will be an introduction to PondyCAN!’s activities by Probir Banerjee, President of PondyCAN!, a screening of a short film:  “Save Our Beach”, musical performances (fusion, classical Brazilian, reggae) and giant puppets!

Tickets are Rs. 600.  Please join us if you are in Pondicherry.  If you cannot be at the dinner, do consider a donation for PondyCAN!’s Save Our Beach project.

Vysial Street Restoration Project receives Award of Merit 2008

Poster for Award Ceremony

Poster for Award Ceremony

14 February 2009

The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage “Award of Merit 2008” for cultural heritage conservation was awarded to the Government of Puducherry for the Vysial Street Restoration. Lieutenant Governor Govind Singh Gurjar received the award certificate from Moe Chiba, Program Officer for Culture, UNESCO, New Delhi.

Lt. Governor, Govind Singh Gurjar, speaking at the award ceremony

Lt. Governor, Govind Singh Gurjar, speaking at the award ceremony

Congratulations to INTACH, Pondicherry, for preserving a stretch of Vysial Street (Rue Calve Subbraya Chetty) between Rue de la Cathedrale (Mission Street) and Mahatma Gandhi Street in the “Tamil Town”, an area where the traditional continuous verandas (thalavaram) and semi-public benches (thinnai) have survived. Twenty traditional facades were restored and an additional four houses redesigned to fit in with the streetscape.

Vysial Streetface

Vysial Streetface

PondyCAN! Did!

Gingee Bazaar Architectural Rendering

Pondicherry Citizens Action Network (PondyCAN!) has a rather ambitious agenda: to effectuate long-range, integrated regional master planning which will preserve, restore, and enhance this once-beautiful, rapidly despoiled, utterly unique heritage town and its surrounding natural resources, and place them within a small-radius network of symbiotic economic hubs. Some of our endeavors are far more modest, however. One recent effort involved dissuading the Pondicherry Municipality from constructing a massive concrete market block at the top of the central canal which divides the French and Tamil districts of the historic Boulevard Town.

The Public Works Department had designed and sent-for-bid an architecturally abominable, two-story, air conditioned, concrete structure to house the few dozen ragamuffin vendors who sell fruit, vegetables, flowers, and fish on what is now a patch of tree-shaded dirt ground at the same site. The PWD plan would have accommodated 120 vendors in a bloated footprint extending street-to-street-to-street-to-street, with neither footpaths nor parking areas. It would have visually and physically have choked on of the area’s few remaining open spaces.

Working with architects from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Pondy CAN! made a detailed study of the project and developed a new design for the proposed structure. With the help of our Legislative Assembly Member, we lobbied hard for the new plan, which incorporated open-walled, tiled-roofed, vernacular architecture and systems for recycling, collection of organic waste for composting, public toilets, and other public hygiene improvements. Our plan accommodates 60 vendors, physically separating the fish mongers from the fruit and vegetable sellers and providing segregated veg and non-veg wash facilities.

And we won!

The Government of Pondicherry has just announced that the new Gingee Bazaar, built according to our design, will commence construction next month.

Continue reading ‘PondyCAN! Did!’

Mired in Garbage

Garbage dumped in Thengaithittu

Garbage being burned in Thengaithittu. Photo by T. Singaraveluo, The Hindu

The residents of Thengaithittu and Uppalam villages have been living with the pollution, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss of illegally dumped garbage in and around the Thengaithittu River and along the main road leading to Thengaithittu for years. An article in today’s Hindu quotes the Municipal Councillor for Ward 39 in Thengaithittu saying:

“Vehicles of both private contractors and the municipality dump the garbage here. The site allotted for garbage dumping is at Karuvadikuppam, but they do not go there owing to the distance factor.”

Pleas to local government authorities to stop the dumping have gone unheeded. The article, by Serena Josephine M, titled “No end to garbage dumping here” reports:

…the officials said it was unauthorised dumping of garbage and private contractors were doing it without the knowledge of the authorities. “We had issued strict instructions to the private contractors not to dump the garbage at Thengaithittu. But they dispose of the garbage during nights,” an official said.

Ah, what can a government do when its own contractors break the law?  And if it is done during the night, how can the government know about it?

Residents have filed complaints, stopped trucks, and even raised money to clean up the mess last year, but the dumping continues. Government officials offer a solution when a Rs. 47 crore (approximately US$ 11 million) proposal for an “integrated solid waste management project” submitted by the Puducherry (Pondicherry) government is approved by the Central government.

No point enforcing the law until you have a more permanent solution in place no matter how long it takes, eh?  Who can blame the contractors for taking shortcuts at the expense of the citizens?  After all, they can save so much more money if they don’t have to drive all the way to the legal dump at Karuvadikuppam.  What’s a little smell, ruined wetland habitat, loss of biodiversity, and mosquito-borne diseases?

PondyCAN’s Aurofilio Schiavina Interviewed on Auroville Radio

Aurofilio Schiavina, a member of PondyCAN, was interviewed by Auroville Radio on 16 May 2008 regarding the consultation meet on “Water Management Through Integrated Planning and Regional Collaboration” held at Town Hall on 15 May. Aurofilio’s comments make up the first part of the report.

A Passion for the Environment
Written by Radio Team
Friday, 16 May 2008
Dr Anand - Secretary of Ministry of Urban Development In today’s English news an interview with Aurofilio is presented; he speaks about his passion for the environment and how that gets him into various involvements.

To download the news click here or in the picture.

For a more personal interview with Aurofilio, in Italian, French and English, listen to the program below.

Eclettico Aurofilio
Written by Radio Team
Friday, 16 May 2008
Aurofilio Chi e’ nato per primo ad Auroville? In questa parte dell’intervista in italiano Aurofilio sfata la leggenda.
En Français, il nous parle de ses multiples activitées dont l’eau, la 3D et l’écologie.
And in English Aurofilio tells us about the difficulty of having so many poles of attractions and how he arrives to integrate them.
To listen (per ascoltare) click the logo play.

To download (per scaricare) cliquer ici .

Happy listening…