Category Archives: Nature

An eventful year for the seed sector in Telangana

Seed exported to a few OECD countries for the first time this year

The year that is coming to an end has been the most eventful for the seed sector of Telangana since it has seen the State taking the leadership role at the national level and also making a mark at the international level with export of seed under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) programme.

Setting the house in order first, the State government ensured timely availability of seed before the commencement of every agriculture season for the last three years, although the problem of inferior quality seed raised its head every now and then. As it had little or no powers to deal with the spurious seed issue/offenders, the State government amended an existing law bringing the subject under the purview of Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act.

Admitting that all incidents of farmers suffering losses due to spurious seed may not have been addressed, a senior officer of the Agriculture Department said: “A good beginning has been made this year by making two seed companies pay compensation to chilli farmers in Gadwal, Khammam and Warangal (Rural) districts after they suffered crop loss due to inferior quality seed”.

On the other hand, the Telangana government hosted stakeholders’ conferences on OECD seed certification twice and national meeting of public sector seed entities towards improving the quality of seed to international standards. It was decided to promote inter-State sale of seed by public sector entities to make them affordable to the farming community.

“We have mooted setting up seed export promotion council and a centre of excellence to promote seed exports through single window system to OECD countries in South and South East Asia and Africa and the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare is examining it,” Agriculture Production Commissioner C. Parthasarathi, who has been recently appointed as co-chairman of the national task force on OECD seed schemes, said when contacted.

After becoming the nodal agency for OECD seed certification for four States, Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Agency (TSSOCA) has achieved the distinction of exporting sorghum and paddy seed for the first time to Sudan, Philippines, Vietnam and Egypt. “About 17,000 qunitals seed raised with international standards in 2,271 acres in Telangana has been exported to those countries and we have plans to increase it to 50,000 quintals this year from over 6,000 acres,” Director of TSSOCA K. Keshavulu explained.

One more recognition that has come to the Telangana State seed sector this year is selection of Mr. Keshavulu as the chairman of the advisory council of the International Seed Testing Association to coordinate the international seed agencies and the seed industry. The Union Agriculture Ministry has already appointed him as the nodal officer for taking up a field-level study for the country’s membership in the Europe Equivalence.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by B. Chandrashekhar / Hyderabad – December 29th, 2017

Pattiseema Project sets another record

Hyderabad :

Pattiseema project has added another feather to its hat. Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd. (MEIL), which set a record in the execution of the Pattiseema project, has set another record by diverting 100 TMC of water from River Godavari to River Krishna through a lift system in 148 days.

Pattiseema project is a prestigious project of the AP government that has linked both Krishna and Godavari. The project was taken up to divert 80 TMC of water from Godavari and Krishna in 110 days. In this year, the project has diverted 100 TMC of water in 148 days. This is an increase of 20% over the intended usage of the project.

Official sources said Pattiseema is the only project in India to divert 100 TMC of water in one season. In this year, 98% of the acreage under river Krishna has been brought under cultivation.

“Normally, in any lift irrigation project, the pumps and motors are put to use only for three months or less every year. In Pattiseema project, all the 24 motors have been functional for the last 4 months. The 24 motors, one lakh twenty thousand hours, 159 TMC of diverted water,” a senior official of AP Irrigation department said.

Interestingly, the project was completed before time by the project contractor MEIL and subsequently entered into the Limca Book of Records for diverting 100 TMC of water this year from River Godavari to Krishna Delta. The works began on March 30, 2015 and completed the works by March 20, 2016.

Officials said Pattiseema is the first project in India to be completed on time without any budgetary enhancements. In spite of many challenges and setbacks, the government planned diligently and employed a workforce of 2,000 to complete the project. The first pump was made functional in 173 days (on 18th September 2015) and water was released.

According to a release, the pump house which is spread across an area of 7476 sq. m. is the largest in Asia. The project pumps 240 cusecs of water through 24 pumps. After the completion of the project, the pumps have been operational for 1.2 lakh hours till now. This means that each pump has been operational for 5000 hours without any hurdles. The pumps were successful in diverting 4 TMC of water in 93 days in the first year (2015), 55.6 TMC of water in 137 days in 2016, and 148 TMC of water till now in 2017.

Irrigation officials said this year, the farmers of Krishna Delta received water to their farmlands in the beginning of July. This has never happened in the past.

These farmers sowed their paddy crops in the months of October and November every year due to water scarcity. They incurred heavy losses when their crops were inundated during the monsoons and other calamities. After the completion of the Pattisam project, the farmers have started receiving water on time. As a result, they are reaping the benefits of a good harvest without any obstacles. The officials from irrigation and water resources department are able to ascertain the actual reason behind such abundant harvests.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Hyderabad News> Civic News / by Koridi Mahesh / TNN / November 16th, 2017

It’s time to say goodbye to Kodurupaka

A villager expressing his pain of leaving the village through a wall writing on his ancestral house in Kodurupaka village. | Photo Credit: By K M Dayashankar

SRSP waters forces villagers to bid an emotional farewell to their ancestral homes

“Feeling so sad to leave my sweet home” is written on the wall of a house in Kodurupaka village of Vemulawada mandal in Rajanna-Sircilla district, which is submerged under the Mid Manair Reservoir (MMR) project.

Incidentally, Kodurupaka is the native village of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s in-laws.

An eerie silence prevails over the village which now has only empty structures without roof, doors or windows. The villagers could be seen packing their belongings to move to their allocated Relief and Rehabilitation (R&R) colonies on the Karimnagar-Vemulawada road.

Empty shells

“This house, was a home to my grandfather, my father and I and my kids. We are leaving it as it would be submerged under the MMR project. While going we are taking away the roof, doors and windows,” said B. Shankar, a former MPP in emotionally choked voice. He has since moved to Karimnagar town with his belongings and is building a new house in the R&R colony, which does not even have basic infrastructure.

As the MMR neared completion and crest gates were being fixed, the Irrigation Department authorities decided to store at least five TMCFT of water in the reservoir. But, the project oustees refused to leave their homes during the Dasara and Diwali festivals when the SRSP waters were released from the flood flow canal into the MMR.

At that time, the Irrigation and Revenue officials urged the villagers to vacate the village as the MMR would be filled with 10 TMCFT of water against its storage capacity of 26 TMCFT.

2BHK dreams

With the water entering the village, the villagers had no option but to leave their ancestral homes. Hurriedly, they shifted to Vemulawada, Sircilla and adjoining villages and also Karimnagar town and took shelter there as they had not built their houses in the allocated R&R colonies.

When asked why they did not build houses, the villagers said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao during his maiden visit to Vemulawada temple town in June 2015 had announced that the government would construct double-bedroom houses for MMR land oustees at a cost of ₹5.4 lakh each.

“We hoped that the CM’s promise would materialise, but in vain. Now, we are struggling to build new houses in R&R colonies,” complained Venkataiah of Kodurupaka village.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> City> Hyderabad / by K.M. Dayashankar / Rajanna-Sircilla – November 04th, 2017

Ancient Gond wells yield water all year

Perennially full: The kantam well of Kanchanpalli in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. S. Harpal Singh

In arid Asifabad, a ‘kui’ dug over a century ago still fills the needs of the tribals of Kanchanpalli

The water shortage in what was undivided Adilabad district is of comparatively recent origin, if one looks at the evidence of a few surviving open wells, which are over a century old. It makes it clear that the residents of the area, mainly people of tribal origin, like the Raj Gonds, who live between the Penganga and the Godavari, had a close connect with natural resources.

These wells, known locally as ‘kui,’ yield water through the year, even in high altitude areas. One example is the well called kantam (perennially full), in Kanchanpalli village, in the Lingapur mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. It serves the needs of 80 families and over 100 heads of cattle. “It never dries up,” says Athram Bheem Rao, the 62-year-old inheritor of the Gond Raja title.

The sides of the rectangular kui are lined with teak logs, and at the top, thinner logs provide a secure place for the person drawing water to stand. A boom at the side, rather like those one would see at a railway crossing, lowers a pot or bucket attached to a rope into the well.

The water drawn is poured into a hollowed-out log, which pipes it into another hollow log. This collection method ensures that any silt that comes up settles at the bottom. After taking the water, the locals leave the lower log full for animals to drink.

The Gond people say that the water level in this well increases whenever there is rainfall in the catchment areas of the Kadem, a stream about 15 kilometres away. This indicates that an underground stream connects the two; the Gonds call this subterranean stream the Satganga.

Only a handful of such kuis still remain functional. One other can be found on the road between Chinna Dhoba and Seetagondi village, Sirpur mandal.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by S Harpal Singh / Adilabad – May 08th, 2017

Techie who extols benefits of organic milk

Maintaining purity The organic farm set up by Kotesh Mukkamala. | Photo Credit: Arranged

Techie sets up farm not just to supply milk, but also to breed the best bovines

Just like his love for IT profession, his passion for organic milk is unadulterated. He doesn’t want to milk profits from his supply, but purely believes in maintaining the purity of nature’s gift to mankind.

No wonder this IT professional with a comfortable job in the United States has set up an organic farm not just for supplying healthy and unadulterated milk but also to breed the best bovine in the country. “To maintain purity we grow fodder on the 9 acres farm on the outskirts of the city for the 150 animals consisting of 70 cows and 80 buffaloes,” says Kotesh Mukkamala, an IT professional in the USA.

On the eight acres of the 9 acres land, he cultivates green fodder recommended by NG Ranga University to feed the animals year round. The remaining acre is used for housing cattle, staff and other infrastructure. As the grass grown in the cities is produced in the drainage segregation area and is infested with synthetics and human waste here only ground and rain water is used. Cultivation is pesticide and chemical fertiliser-free. Diet of the animals is balanced with the right quantities of protein and fodder.

His passion is also driven by the growing craze for organic milk in cities. Kotesh’s Organics Dairy currently services about 300 plus customers supplying 500 plus litres a day. Importantly, milk is delivered within two hours of milking and it never undergoes any processing.

Interestingly, lot of IT and data is used in enhancing the milking capacity of the animals and maintaining quality. “We have established data points and capture mechanisms at various levels like recording milk production patterns during different months, patterns of cattle coming in to heat during different seasons, onset of diseases and they are effectively tackled.

Mr. Kotesh says he has Murrah breed buffaloes procured from several villages in Haryana, the Jaffrabadi breed buffaloes from areas around Bhavnagar in Gujarat. The Holstein cows are from the Kolar area apart from the Ongole cows, Kankrejs, Holsteins, Girs, Ratis, Punganoors, Jerseys, Khillaris and Shahiwals.

After his success with milk, Kotesh wants to get into the breeding domain and supply the best quality semen from the top bulls breed with proper data collection and proven records. “The goal is to supply quality semen doses at optimal pricing to the farmers and help improve the average yield of animals across the country by at least 20% in the next 5 years. This would help make quality milk affordable and available to the poorest of the poor. The plan would encompass training the farmers on the best practices.”

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by R Ravikanth Reddy / Hyderabad – February 23rd, 2017

Radio Kisan Diwas celebrated at AIR

or farmers: Visitors taking a look at old radio sets at the AIR office in Adilabad on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: S. HARPAL SINGH;S. HARPAL SINGH – S_ HARPAL SINGH

All India Radio, Adilabad, celebrated Radio Kisan Diwas on Wednesday, the date on which it started the ‘Kisan Vani’ programme. Agriculture came to be the central theme of the programme, and its manifestation in local ethos was showcased as part of the celebration.

While the Adivasi Thotti troupe of Pendur Tukaramsang a Gondi folk song in which gods order a Gond king to cultivate millets, the local Burrakatha troupe sang songs related to agriculture.

Telangana Grameena Bank, Adilabad, regional manager P.R.V. Ramchander Rao spoke about his experiences. The AIR felicitated progressive farmers, including those who take up organic farming, from Adilabad and neighbouring districts. The farmers too spoke about their experiences.

Millet food prepared by Ram Babu of Hyderabad and the exhibition of old radio sets, however, became the centre of attraction. Mr. Babu is an expert in millet food and its correlation with Ayurveda and the human body.

Scientists from Adilabad Agriculture Research Station, Kisan Vikas Kendra, District Agriculture Advisory, and Transfer of Technology Centre attended the programme. AIR Adilabad deputy director Sumanaspati Reddy and deputy director of Vijaya Dairy Madhusudan also participated.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by Special Correspondent / Adilabad – February 15th, 2017

Historic tank to come back to life

Tourist spot:Collector Yogitha Rana and MLA Bigala Ganesh Gupta inspecting the locations around Raghunathalayam, in Nizamabad on Sunday.– Photo: K.V. RAMANA
Tourist spot:Collector Yogitha Rana and MLA Bigala Ganesh Gupta inspecting the locations around Raghunathalayam, in Nizamabad on Sunday.– Photo: K.V. RAMANA

Raghunathalayam atop the Quilla Indur in Nizamabad will be developed to attract devotees

The Raghunathalayam, atop the Quilla Indur dating back to the 10th century, will be developed to attract devotees from across the State as part of the Mission Kakatiya works undertaken at Boddemma cheruvu abutting the Quilla. A park would be built on three acres, and 12 acres would be allocated to the Kendriya Vidyalaya coming up nearby, according to MLA Bigala Ganesh Gupta.

Mr. Gupta, who inspected the works on Sunday to give shape to the tank as a mini tank bund, told reporters that an action plan would be prepared with proposal of funds required to develop the historic location. Collector Yogitha Rana and Joint Collector A. Ravinder Reddy, who accompanied the MLA, said that a detailed survey would be conducted to know about government land available around it.

They said that Quilla Indur and the Boddemma cheruvu would become important public recreational spots for the residents of the district headquarter town in the coming months. The government had sanctioned Rs. 6.28 crore and works were launched under the second phase of the Mission Kakatiya project. The bund strengthening work is almost complete.

Plantations and railings on both sides of the bund, as well as parks, would come up as part of the project. The 4.5-kilometre bund would be raised on a height of 8 metres with the same width, enabling passersby to move freely on it. Benches would be put up too. Nizamsagar main canal, which brings water into the tank and is one of the drinking water sources of the town, would also be strengthened with revetment.

“I request the government to revise the original plan as the amount sanctioned initially would not be sufficient to complete all works,” the MLA said.

Since it is meant for drinking water purpose, the only one sluice that exists for the tank may be removed. There is no clarity on it, but locals want it to continue. Raghunathalayam irrigation tank gradually became a drinking water source, with the ayacut under it having disappeared with the expansion of the city.

The tank is one of the major centres where Bathukamma is hosted during the nine-day celebrations. The tank will provide a panoramic view with lush green surroundings if water fills to the brim this monsoon.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Telangana / by P. Ram Mohan / Nizamabad – June 13th, 2016

Telangana chief secretary reviews plans for fish prasadam at Hyderabad

Hyderabad :

The state government is making all arrangements for the distribution of ‘fish prasadam’ for asthama patients in the city.

At a review meeting on the arrangements for the fish prasadam at the Secretariat here on Thursday, chief secretary Rajiv Sharma instructed the officials to install CCTVs, provide proper lighting, erect strong barricades and temporary sheds for patients, more counters and provision of adequate water tankers for storing fishlings.

The fish prasadam will be distributed at Exhibition Grounds on June 8 and 9 in the city. Security will be provided to Bathini Harinath Goud family. The chief secretary also stressed on maintenance of sanitation, garbage clearance, regular cleaning with bleaching powder.

As many as 110 special RTC buses would be operated from bus stands and railway stations to the exhibition grounds for the convenience of the patients. Usually over a lakh people from across the country attend the event.

source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Telangana / by Express News Service / May 27th, 2016

Growth can’t be at the cost of natural heritage

Hyderabad:

The KBR Park is known for its bio-diversity and wildlife. Spread over 400 acres, it is a virtual forest in the midst of a burgeoning metropolis, home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna. It is a part of Hyderabad’s over 400-year-old heritage – which includes gardens, lakes and its cosmopolitan culture.

Originally known as Chiran Palace, the park was the residence of Prince Mukarram Jah and was later rechristened after former chief minister Kasu Brahmananda Reddy after its acquisition under the Urban Land Ceiling Act.

Till the late 1990s, I remember, the KBR Park was surrounded by a nine-kilometre compound wall. This wall was demolished when the then TDP government in united AP began road widening around the park, and NTR Trust Bhavan and a cancer hospital of NTR family came up nearby.

This was the first blow dealt to the park, a mini-Deccan ecosystem.

It is true that the city has grown manifold in the last six decades.

As an economic hub, Hyderabad has great potential to become a global city. It needs a massive step-up in its civic infrastructure to cater to the burgeoning population. An upgradation of road network and better traffic management are key elements of de velopment plans envisaged for this sprawling city .

For this, government has drawn up the Strategic Road Development Program to meet the longterm needs of the city.

However, while taking up these works, the government has to ensure that the eco-system of KBR Park remains unaffected as it is the city’s natural heritage.True, development of civic infrastructure is the need of the hour.

But equally imperative is the preservation of this natural habitat in the midst of urban sprawl.I would urge the authorities to ensure that the eco-system of this natural heritage be preserved, not harmed in any way .

Without eating into land spaces of the park, the authorities need to work out alternative proposals for the six multi-level grade separators to be constructed at six junctions around KBR Park.

Already , disappearance of gardens and lakes from this city over the decades has turned it into a tropical hotbed. Every successive summer seems to make the city hotter with soaring temperatures.

We definitely need better roads and junctions and traffic management but not at the cost of our natural, cultural and architectural heritage. KBR Park and all other green spaces in the city must be preserved to make Hyderabad a liveable city again.

(The author is MIM president and Lok Sabha MP)

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News Home> City> Hyderabad / Asaduddin Owaisi / May 26th, 2016

Hyderabad to host conference on India’s COP21 commitments

Hyderabad :

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has been selected by the United States Department of State to organise a conference focused on implementing India’s COP21 commitments to be held here on June 24-25.

The conference, ‘Future Is Now: India from COP21 to Reality’, would include international experts and practitioners, environmental NGOs, in-country development organisations, finance experts, Indian companies and philanthropic organisations as well as India’s top national and state decision-makers, a media statement from the U S Consulate General Hyderabad said.

“The participants will explore India’s key climate change issues and opportunities in light of India’s Paris commitments,” it said.

ISC is partnering with the Center for Environment and Development to present the conference, which will feature Indian and US experts on topics such as clean energy, energy efficiency, climate finance, resilience, climate mitigation, air pollution and waste reduction, the statement said.

The Department of State’s Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Desai Biswal, was quoted as saying, “India is a vital player in addressing climate change and we look forward to increasing our partnership to expand clean energy deployment and access.”

Steve Nicholas, Vice President of Urban Programs at ISC, said, “The Paris Agreement is an incredibly important opportunity to reduce emissions and implement green development projects in India. Connecting US and Indian leaders to each other is critical because those professional relationships will continue to pay dividends.”

“We’re honoured to be working with our colleagues in India to understand their challenges, share what we’ve learned, and talk about what’s possible,” he said.

Conference participants, who may include leaders from local government, industry, NGOs, academics, and national government officials, would have the opportunity to connect with their peers and share challenges, solutions and resources, the statement added.

RS NRB SRY
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News Home> City> Hyderabad / PTI / May 09th, 2016