Category Archives: Green Initiatives / Environment

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: / 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: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by R Ravikanth Reddy / Hyderabad – February 23rd, 2017

City gets its first ebus

No Smoke: The first ebus received by the Telangana RTC in Hyderabad on Thursday. | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

The next time you feel a juggernaut whiz past with nary a ‘whish’, you will feel a tingle of excitement running down your spine. That will be the sleek and silent, low-slung beauty, an ebus made by BYD Auto Industry of China.

On Wednesday, Goldstone Infratech, which is said to be the Indian distributor for the Chinese ebus-maker, offered the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) one of these, the BYD K series, a battery-operated bus with 324 KW of power.

When contacted, Executive Director for TSRTC’s Greater Hyderabad Zone A. Purushotham said they planned to run this environmental-friendly, pollution-free bus on the Jubilee Bus Station-Shamshabad airport route as a pilot project for a few days to check its efficacy.

The service is to be launched within a day or two, most likely by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

The 12-metre-long bus is a 31-seater and is low-slung with a ground clearance of 360 mm. It can run for slightly more than 180 km on a single charge over a seven-hour duration and has a charging time ranging between two and a half to three hours for the next shift. It can accelerate from 0 to 50 KMPH in about 20 seconds, powered silently by electric motors in the wheel hubs and can achieve top speed of over 96 km an hour. Enquiries about the details like power and the like with engineers revealed that the 324 KW of output was almost equivalent to the 295 horsepower that the luxury buses like the Volvo produce. “From what I have seen, it is almost like our Garuda (Volvo) buses,” said a senior engineer.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Suresh Krishnamoorthy / Hyderabad – February 10th, 2017

CITD becomes the first MSME institute to go solar

INNOVATIVE:Officials demonstrating Intelligent Dustbin, that gauges the amount of waste that falls in it, a patented product of Central Institute of Tool Design.-Photo: K.V.S. GIRI
INNOVATIVE:Officials demonstrating Intelligent Dustbin, that gauges the amount of waste that falls in it, a patented product of Central Institute of Tool Design.-Photo: K.V.S. GIRI

It will expand the solar power generation to 400 KWP in the days to come

Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) goes solar with Hyderabad-based Central Institute of Tool Design (CITD) installing a 50 KWP roof-top solar energy power plant that generates close to 250 units per day. The plant is the first to be installed in all of the 300 institutes and centres that come under the MSME.

Installation of the power plant has resulted in the institute saving Rs. 2.91 lakh every six months. The CITD is expected to expand its solar power generation to 400 KWP in the coming years. Solar power, once the plant reaches its full capacity will cover about 10 to 12 per cent of energy requirements of the institute.

The next MSME institute in the city to go for solar power is expected to be National Institute of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NIMSME), said Additional Secretary and Development Commissioner Ministry of MSME Surendranath Tripathi said at the inauguration of the plant here on Sunday.

However, other MSME institutes in Arga and Bhubaneswar are expected to install solar power plants before the NIMSME. “All of the 300 institutes in the MSME will go for solar power based on the requirement. The government has already assessed the requirement,” Mr. Tripathi told The Hindu .

Inaugurating the solar plant, Mr. Tripathi said, “The Ministry wants its institutes to be self-sufficient energy wise. The CITD has been working towards installing solar power plant much before other MSME institutes and hence it is the first in the country to get a solar power grid”. Established in 1968 the CITD is the first tool room in India. The campus offers courses to 11,000 to 12,000 students per year out of whom 300 are residential scholars.

The inaugural event also witnessed the launch of video conferencing facility for sharing live classes with sub-centres at Vijayawada, Vizag and Chennai.

CITD Principal Director Sujayat Khan informed that the institute provides four diploma courses, three Masters in Engineering courses in association with Osmania University and one M. Tech course in association with Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. “The institute also provides vocational training and job oriented software skills for Graduate Engineers and Post Graduate Engineers.

The Placement Cell facilitates campus placement for students enrolled in the Institute,” said administrator Lt. Col. N. Ravi Chowdhary. The CITD also assists close to 2,000 small and medium industries in and around Hyderabad.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – July 25th, 2016

CLP India, Suzlon tie up for solar project in Telangana

Big deal:Suzlon won solar projects of 210 MW, including the 100 MW project, in Telangana.– File photo
Big deal:Suzlon won solar projects of 210 MW, including the 100 MW project, in Telangana.– File photo

CLP India and Suzlon Group have formed a joint venture to set up a 100-MW solar project in Veltoor in Telangana State.

Under the agreement, CLP India acquired 49 per cent stake in SE Solar, a special purpose vehicle set up by Suzlon, for Rs.73.5 crore.

CLP India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CLP Holdings Ltd., listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange, has the option to acquire the balance 51 per cent, according to a statement on Monday.

The Veltoor project is expected to be commissioned by May 2017 and will be funded 80 per cent by debt and 20 per cent equity.

“We remain keen (to invest in solar) and continue to explore such projects to expand our renewable energy footprint in Telangana and across India,” said Rajiv Mishra, Managing Director, CLP India.

The company is keen to invest in solar in India to complement its wind portfolio. The Veltoor Project is its first joint venture. Suzlon Group CEO J.P.Chalasani said CLP and Suzlon had successfully collaborated in the past for wind projects and “we will continue to partner for powering a greener tomorrow.” Suzlon won solar projects of 210 MW, including the 100 MW project, in Telangana through competitive bidding process.

The power purchase agreements (PPAs) were signed in February.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by N. Ravi Kumar / Hyderabad – June 21st, 2016

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

Growth can’t be at the cost of natural heritage


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: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Hyderabad / Asaduddin Owaisi / May 26th, 2016

A heritage structure waiting to be recognised

Nostalgic:Kanaka Rajubai (right) recalling her association with anthropologist Christopher von Furer-Haimendorf during the 1940s at Marlavai village in Adilabad district.— Photo: S. Harpal Singh
Nostalgic:Kanaka Rajubai (right) recalling her association with anthropologist Christopher von Furer-Haimendorf during the 1940s at Marlavai village in Adilabad district.— Photo: S. Harpal Singh

An open well at Marlavai village is connected to legendary anthropologist Christopher von Furer-Haimendorf, who conducted anthropological studies here

“You don’t stumble upon your heritage. It’s there, just waiting to be explored and shared,” opined famous Canadian singer Jamie Royal Robertson aka Robbie Robertson, apparently while talking about the importance of heritage.

In the currently parched tribal heartland of Adilabad district, at Marlavai village in Jainoor mandal to be precise, an abandoned open well is waiting to be rediscovered, repaired and recognised as a heritage structure. The open well is connected to legendary anthropologist Christopher von Furer-Haimendorf, who conducted anthropological studies here and designed the Land Transfer Regulation to protect Adivasis from exploitation, during his stay in the village between 1941 and 1949.

Deputed by the Nizam of Hyderabad to look into the problems of Adivasis of Adilabad, especially Raj Gonds, Haimendorf, in his capacity as Advisor to the Nizam on Backward Classes and Tribal Affairs, chose Marlavai to establish his permanent camp on the invitation of Lachu Patel, an articulate Gond from the village, according to Hyderabad-based social anthropologist Urmila Pingle. “It was Lachu Patel who had assured Haimendorf that Marlavai had a good well with sufficient water,” she wrote in her paper titled ‘C.von.Furer-Haimendorf: Half a century of his imprint on tribal welfare in Andhra Pradesh’.

“The Adilabad highlands had water scarcity even in those days, and the open well of which Lachu Patel talked about belonged to late Kanaka Hannu, one of two Gonds who emerged as teachers from the Teacher Training School which the anthropologist established at Marlavai,” said Kanaka Ambaji Rao, the president of Haimendorf Youth Organisation at Marlavai. “All the families in the village supplied water to the Haimendorfs twice daily by turn,” he added. “The couple were given three or four pots of water in the morning and evening, but they had their bath once in three or four days only. They washed their own clothes and linen,” recalled nonagenarian Rajubai, the wife of Hannu master, about the life of the anthropologist couple at her village. “The well was in use until 1986,” recalled Soyam Raju, a farmer from the same village. “It was nevertheless used sparingly as the government had dug an open well in 1962,” he added.

“Though dilapidated, the well located about 200 metre from the village needs to be repaired. It can even be put to use as the level of water in it is about 10 feet deep at this time,” the farmer suggested.

source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Telangana / by S. Harpal Singh / Marlavai(Adilabad Dist.) – May 09th, 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.

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Hyderabad / PTI / May 09th, 2016

At Malkanoor, farmers reap the benefits of dairy farming

Even as acute drought conditions in the State are forcing migration of farm labour in search of employment, this village in Bheemadevarapalli mandal has set an example by overcoming drought by taking to dairy sector as an alternate source of income.

An upland village sans irrigation sources, Mulkanoor has become a role model in the cooperative movement since 1956 with the launch of the Mulkanoor Cooperative Rural Bank and Marketing Society and has farmers who have overcome drought, thanks to the dairy units.

A majority of the population here, comprising about 10,000 people, took to dairy in the past two years to mitigate drought and are reaping the benefits. They supply over 1,500 litres of milk a day to the cooperative dairy and Karimnagar dairy. Besides, some hundreds of litres of milk per day are consumed locally, for a healthy life.

“I was unable to raise any crop on my three acres of land as the well got dried up due to drought since the last two years. I bought two milch animals by taking loan from the cooperative bank and am earning Rs. 200 per day by selling milk after covering input costs of fodder and cattle feed. My animals have stopped my migration from village and I am leading a comfortable life, says Chitkuri Yadagiri, happily.

“The dairy units are a ray of hope for farmers throughout the year. It protects the farmer during the drought and otherwise also by providing nutritious milk and manure,” says Bollampalli Swaroopa, who is rearing a milch animal, that fetches her daily income of Rs. 100 to Rs. 150. Recollecting the olden days where the dairy units were part of agriculture, she called upon farmers to take up dairy units for regular source of income even if there is no drought.

Village sarpanch Vanga Ravi proudly said there was no migration of labour ever since the dairy units have come up. He said farmers had taken to fodder cultivation with available water sources and reaping the benefits. Mulkanoor Cooperative Rural Bank chairman and former legislator A. Praveen Reddy said: We encourage farmers to take up dairy units by providing financial assistance as additional income generating source. Incidentally, they are a hit with farmers repaying the loans too.”

There has been no migration of labour ever since the dairy units have come up / Vanga Ravi, Village sarpanch.

source: / The Hindi / Home> National> Telangana / by K.M. Dayashankar / Mulkanoor (Karimnagar Dist) – May 06th, 2016