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Posted on 20-Apr-2017

Plastic waste management a major concern in port city

Visakhapatnam: About 80 per cent of the 3.6 lakh metric tonnes of waste generated in the city per annum is in the form of plastic, said M Hari Narayana, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation commissioner, recently. The high calorific value of plastic in the waste generated is a worrying factor considering the fact that the city has no means to deal with plastic waste. GVMC has taken up construction of roads using plastic as binding material in 10 localities of the city.

At present, there are two effluent treatment plants in the city at MVP Colony and Old Town. GVMC has called for tenders for setting up a plastic waste recycling plant that was announced in January. "The problem with plastic waste is that it only accumulates and there is a limit to the amount of plastic that can be recycled. It is true that the GVMC is setting up a recycling plant, but to what extent can it solve the problem?" professor PVV Prasada Rao of the AU department of environmental sciences told TOI.

Professor Prasada Rao said there is lack of awareness among the public about plastic waste which is not differentiated with organic waste.
Panchagnula Ramesh, an expert in magroves and coastal environment, said, "If we take a closer look at the amount of plastic being generated in Visakhapatnam, which is a port city, it is quite alarming. Much of the plastic waste clogged in the city's rain drains flows straight into the sea whenever it rains and Vizag is still lagging behind in terms of effluent treatment plants."

Sources in the GVMC disclosed that there are issues concerning disposal of plastic waste in Visakhapatnam. Retired energy secretary for the Government of India, EAS Sarma, said, "Even the staff have a tendency to burn plastic waste on the sly whenever the supervisor is not around. For Vizag to become a smart city, we need to be more than adequately prepared to deal with solid waste, especially plastic. However, that is not being done." EAS Sarma observed that a massive awareness and educating campaign must be taken up by the GVMC to tackle plastic menace. He further said by simply banning sale of certain types of plastics is not going to help. "What is the point in banning sale of plastic covers, when they will be sold on the sly anyway? Unless there is a change in the attitude of the public, the menace will only increase," Sarma said. Plastic was banned in 2012.
Sub-standard medicines in govt hospitals Visakhapatnam: Sub-standard injections and tablets are being distributed in some of the government hospitals in the city and district, reveals the response of the district drugs control department to a Right to Information Act (RTI). RTI activist K Venkata Ramana obtained the details from the department from April 1, 2016 till date. The data reveals that KGH, Mental Care Hospital, ENT hospital have been using 'not of standard quality' (NSQ) medicines. Speaking to media persons here on Wendesday, Venkata Ramana said out of 23 samples taken by the drugs control department, five of piperacillin and tazobactum injection, thiopentozene sodium injection, multi-vitamin tablets were found not of standard quality confirmed the Kolkata and Vijayawada government drugs control laboratories.

Severe dearth of forensic medicine faculty Also, the government should give some kind of incentive and placement assurance for forensic science doctors. Visakhapatnam: Despite being a highly challenging and interesting subject, there's an acute dearth of forensic science doctors in the medical colleges and government hospitals in Andhra Pradesh. Because besides teaching in medical colleges and conducting post mortems, forensic science doctors have to work with the police and judiciary and have additional duties of attending court procedures. "The government has to create additional posts on district hospitals and community health centre (CHC) level where forensic science doctors can be absorbed rather than allowing MBBS doctors to conduct post mortems in such centres. Unless, the government takes steps to improve the work environment and provides allowances, no MBBS doctors would opt for forensic medicine and this dearth would become even more acute in future," averred Dr Chandrasekhar.

Tourists, visitors enjoy e-rickshaw rides in the evening Now you can hop on an e-rickshaw and enjoy a free ride on the Beach Road here. With an aim to popularise the eco-friendly mode of transport, a city based e-rickshaw dealer is giving tourists and visitors a feel of this smooth and compact clean energy vehicle every evening. An initiative started by Gaurav Gupta, the Andhra Pradesh dealer of the Goenka Electric Motor Vehicles (GEMV), the rides have already garnered lot of curiosity among visitors. “This is a very good initiative to promote a pollution-free transport facility. We found the ride very smooth and comfortable,” said Shalini and Meenakshi Gupta, tourists from Ludhiana, who took the free e-rickshaw ride from the Kali Temple to the VUDA Park. Goenka Electric Motor Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. is the manufacturer of e-rickshaws certified by the government-approved International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT). The e-rickshaw free rides were started 10 days ago as part of a promotional strategy following a Government Order dated March 2, 2017, passed by AP Government permitting use of e-rickshaws as a mode of public transport. Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada have two to three dealers of e-rickshaws. However, the sale of the vehicles is yet to pick up. “While there is a good market for the product, buyers are apprehensive as getting financial assistance from banks is an issue in the absence of RTO registration. We are hoping that this issue will be fixed by the govern

Breeders bet on Ongole bulls Posted on 20-Apr-2017
The pure breed of Ongole cattle (Bos indicus) has flourished on the tracts between Gundalakamma and Musi rivers for centuries. Prized possession Trainers parade their Ongole bulls at Madirala, near N.G. A well-bred pair of Ongole bulls fetches anywhere between ? 40 lakh and ? 50 lakh, says G. Sai Babu, who organises boulder pulling competition at Madiralapadu every year during summer. The State government should sponsor special cattle shows and racing events for the farmers to evince interest in rearing the bulls, they plead. “The bulls are even given tender coconut and glucose water after a energy-sapping workouts,” adds another bull trainer K. Krishna, getting ready for an absorbing contest in the temple town of Markapur.

Opinion divided over English medium in municipal schools. Government begins consultations with stakeholders on the move While the government is proposing to introduce English as a medium of instruction in municipal schools from 2017-18 academic year and has begun consultations with stakeholders, opinion is still divided on the move. The government has issued a GO for introducing English as a medium of instruction in January itself, but kept it in abeyance following opposition. With the new academic year approaching, consultations with stakeholders have begun in schools in GVMC. “The meetings with stake-holders are being conducted by the Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas and the decision of the government is awaited,” say officials. The consultations begun with Nehru Municipal School and so far eight to nine meetings were held. The process that is simultaneously going on all over the State is expected to be completed by April 23. After that reports will be sent to the government. Parents are said to be opposing the introduction of English medium in all classes at one go in high schools. They want Class X to be exempted as it would be difficult to switch over for students who have studied all along in Telugu medium as they have to face the all-important public examination. Besides, textbooks in English and Telugu media should also be provided for Classes VI to IX. At primary level, parents want both the media run parallel up to Class V, sources say qu

Chandigarh team visits GVMC Posted on 20-Apr-2017
An official delegation from Chandigarh Urban Local Body was all praise for measures taken by GVMC for beautification of the city, sanitation, development of roads and it becoming open defecation-free. Senior Deputy Mayor Rajesh Kumar Gupta, who led the delegation, said on Wednesday the effective implementation of various programmes helped the city get ranks in Swachh Bharat and smart city projects. A presentation on various programmes being implemented was made.

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