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Posted on 20-Apr-2017

Vizag to use BARC tech for water purification.
Visakhapatnam: With a focus on providing clean water, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is to provide its in-house membrane technologies for water purification to residents of the relief and rehabiliation colony at Atchutapuram in the district. As part of the project, the BARC Technology Display and Dissemination Centre (BTDDC) in association with Gitam University is planning to train volunteers in Atchutapuram on utilising membrane technologies developed by BARC and supplying them to households in the area.

Volunteers will be trained on three main technologies including ultrafiltration membrane technology, charged nano-filtration membrane technology and reverse osmosis membrane technology.

The ultrafiltration (UF) membrane technology removes turbidity and microbial contamination from water and at the same time UF coupled with physicochemical processes, removes arsenic and iron. Also, charged nano-filtration membrane technology removes heavy metals and hardness in addition to contaminants removed by the UF process, whereas the reverse osmosis membrane technology produces fresh water from seawater or brackish water.

Speaking to TOI, BTDDC coordinator N Lakshmana Das said, "We are initially focussing on training volunteers in the R&R Colony at Atchutapuram. The training will be for nearly one week to 10 days. We have already conducted a survey on the persons who can be trained to use these technologies and turn them into entrepreneurs." He said nearly 40 litres of water for drinking can be processed per day by using the technology.

Explaining the advantage of the process, he said, "Normally, the water purification technologies available in the commercial segment are very costly and we expect the membrane technology to cost very less in comparison."

"These technologies also do not require power for them to work and this will be a huge advantage. There is no chemical added in the process and these technologies will help removal of almost 99.9% of the bacteria," he said. Incidentally, following a question raised by Anakapalle MP M Srinivasa Rao in the Lok Sabha recently, minister of state for personnel, pubic grievances and pensions Jitendra Singh said, "BARC has the capability to deploy suitable membrane technologies for safe drinking water for Achutapuram and Anakapalle. BTDDC has been set up at Gitam University, Dibbapalem, Visakhapatnam for conducting awareness and training programmes in villages for deploying membrane based water purification technologies developed by BARC."
Naidu to dedicate farm ponds to nation on his birthday. This year, the government proposes to construct another six lakh farm ponds towards the target of 10 lakh ponds. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will dedicate 3.41 lakh farm ponds constructed across the State on Thursday, which incidentally happens to be his birthday. The Chief Minister was addressing a teleconference with public representatives, water users associations and officials on ‘neeru-pragati’ on Wednesday. The target should be to increase the ground water level to 11 metres and also increase the area of cultivation to one crore acres. “The slogan should be janam udyaminchali, bhugarbha jalalu penchali (people must take the lead, increase ground water level).” The State would be drought-free once the 10 lakh ponds were built.

Three-phase power supply to rural units on the cards. The government of Andhra Pradesh is contemplating extending three-phase power supply to rural industries by segregating feeders at an approximate cost of ?4,000 crore, thereby promote micro and cottage industries in a big way. Reliability indexThe reliability index of the power supply has also improved significantly due to the prompt monitoring of interruptions using the System Average Interruption Duration and System Average Interruption Frequency Indices, Mr. Jain said. Principal Secretary (Energy and I&I) Ajay Jain said that the utilities were fully geared up to meet the growing power demand and have successfully supplied 55, 610 Million Units (MU) in FY 2016-17, which was 11% higher than the energy supplied in 2015-16. Ambitious plans: The ?4,000-crore project is to promote micro and cottage industries in the State. The meeting was attended by AP-Genco MD and AP-Transco CMD K. Vijayanand, Advisor to Energy Department, K. Ranganatham and CMDs of eastern and southern discoms M.M.

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

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

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