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Live and Express


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Chennai: Are you going to bathe out of water bottles?

Chennai is always remembered for its December Carnatic music concerts and the aroma of filter coffee!

But that’s not everything Chennai is remembered for. On the bitter side, it’s remembered for its never ending water woes. And the bad news is, it just got worse, because of the expansion of the city.

recent report states that while Chennai’s current water supply is 600 million litters per day, it’s demand for water is going to grow to 1584 million litres per day in just 3 years! Urgent measures like getting ready to use the full capacity of desalination plants are going to yield very minimal results, as the demand is going to grow 2.5 times!

Chennai already has severe water shortage problem, and there’s no addition to the existing sources of water.

With a population of 8.6 million people as of January 30, 2014 (remember it was 4.3 million in 2001!), the demand is getting worse because of population explosion, immigration and urbanization. People can take pride with the fact that Chennai is growing by boundaries, and hence their real estate value is going to go up, but with no water to drink and use, the city’s existence and value is going to collapse if not now but in the near future.

In spite of Tamilnadu having many Tier 2 cities, the immigration is still happening to Chennai. Moving some Government functions and IT/BPO industries to the other Tier 2 cities will help mitigate the problem a bit. There are several logical choices like Trichy, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Erode.

Government is taking all the steps possible to take care of the water problem, but, ultimately it is in the citizens hands on how this can be mitigated.

I am not a water conservation advocate, because I know that at this scale, any amount of water conservation will not solve problem. I am not a tree planting advocate for Chennai, because (a) in Chennai, all the land has been usurped, (b) even if we start planting trees now, it will take 10 to 15 years for the trees to grow and take care of the water level – not to mention the Chennai problem of salt water mixing with underground water.

But I am going to suggest that Chennai folks stop their reproduction!  Irrespective of whatever the Government does to mitigate the situation, even, if the state capital offices and IT/BPO companies are moved to other cities, if people keep on giving birth, it is not going to help the situation.

One could stay single (or) marry but not generate babies (or) adopt instead of giving birth.

There’s still a tendency to run to fertility clinics when existing people don’t have water to drink and use, and there are children on streets with no one to take care of them.  Instead, folks should think of going to adoption centers and orphanage homes and see if they can adopt.

I am providing a few links on how individuals can act than blaming it on everyone and everything else.

As someone said, Chennai is drinking from water bottles, it won’t be far when it starts to bathe from water bottles. Now, that would be sad.

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#Gift an #Education, Make a #Life ! – #Isha Vidhya

5 months ago, #IshaVidhya applied for accreditation with #GlobalGiving, a respected online fundraising platform which partners with corporates, employees and individual donors around the world.

Isha Vidhya crossed the fundraising requirements of $5,000 from 40 donors in just 23 days to become a permanent online member partner of GlobalGiving, thanks to many general public, supporters & wellwishers worldwide. They recognize Isha Vidhya’s work in transforming the rural education landscape of #India, and especially in #Tamilnadu. With its high quality education through carefully crafted methodology to the most economically backward children, Isha Vidhya is making a signficant difference in the lives of many rural families – many of them are first generation school-goers.

The fundraising was started to fund the critical infrastructure needs of the rural school near #Dharmapuri in Tamilnadu, needs like academic material, furniture for classroom and staff, compound wall, water facilities, digital class room, etc.

IshaVidhya has obtained $10,175 in donations from 104 donors. It’s heartening to see that 13 of those donations are from #corporate employees through employee gift cards, whose companies are partners with GlobalGiving, and be able to donate to Isha Vidhya through the GlobalGiving portal.

There’s still a long way to go to reach the fundraising target of $97,750, so awareness about this good work need be made to spread the word far and wide so that many more can support this building of rural India through education.

And the good news for the existing donors is that your project Isha Vidhya is in a very good standing at GlobalGiving, in many categories including donations, no. of donors, number and quality of project reports, and frequency of donations. It is expected that IshaVidhya will soon be in the ‘Leader’ category at GlobalGiving, at which time it will be introduced to more corporates, employees, and offered more exposure opportunities.

On February 12th, 2014, between 9:00 AM USA Eastern Standard Time and 23:59 PM USA Eastern Standard Time (between Feb 12, 2014 19:30 PM Indian Standard Time and Feb 13 10:29 AM Indian Standard Time) (what would be the time at my place? : http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html), donations made to Isha Vidhya at the Global Giving portal will be matched 30% by Global Giving, upto a maximum of $1000 per donor, till the Global Giving matching funds of $75,000 run out.  This is a great opportunity for everyone to donate and show their support for Isha Vidhya’s work. The link is:

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/ishavidhya

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Which city should be the administrative capital of #Tamilnadu ?

I was just browsing the Google map of South India casually, and one thing that struck me was the geographic placement of the western and eastern ghats.

While the western ghats seem like a protective layer from the ocean entering the earth on the Kerala side, eastern ghats run suddenly through the middle and meet the western ghats near Mettupalayam. This invoked a series of thoughts in me.

I thought about the Tsunami that hit the South Eastern India in 2004. And how the water came inlands. In Chennai, I heard water had come deep inside till Mylapore households. Several coastal villages were destroyed and lives lost.

Though it was huge and unfortunate for human lives, In terms of magnitude as far as ocean is concerned, it seemed like the ocean was just licking its lips by its tongue. ‘No big deal’ it would say, ‘and wait till I really grab you like a crab holding its prey’. Now that would be really really disastrous for human lives.

If you look closely at the Google map of southern India, and especially the Tamilnadu coast and inlands, you would see that there is no protective layer of mountains on the eastern side. No stopping of water from entering deep into the land to cities like Chennai, Puducherry state, Trichy, Madurai and Tirunelveli. Don’t think water will not come that deep inside the land. It could – because the entire South East Asia starting from New Zealand through Indonesia till Burma is under seismic stress, and earthquakes are happening there on a hourly basis and huge Tsunamis are bound to happen. For more information, see this map: http://www.iris.edu/ieb/index.html?format=text&nodata=404&starttime=1970-01-01&endtime=2025-01-01&minmag=0&maxmag=10&mindepth=0&maxdepth=900&orderby=time-desc&limit=200&maxlat=12.68&minlat=9.30&maxlon=80.62&minlon=74.82&zm=8&mt=ter

The west side is arguably protected by western ghats from the ocean, and the chances of water entering huge scale into the land are less, and on the western side, there are no possibilities of large scale earthquakes, and thus less chances of Tsunamis.

This line of thinking also brought me into thinking what would be best place to live in Tamilnadu. If one has to live safe enough inland so that they are not affected by Tsunamis or the sea water level increase encroachments, it looked like the city of Erode is safest bet. Fair enough, the whole population of Tamilnadu cannot go and live in Erode, but then atleast the important aspects of running the state like administration can happen from that place – to provide emergency time care to all the other portions of the state during distress.

Erode is snuggled between western and some portion of eastern ghats so, it would be a long long time before any significant Tsunami or sea water erosion touches it. It is also next to Cauvery so sufficient water supply is there. It’s relatively close to all the three southern states of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh than Chennai – which is close only to Andhra Pradesh, which is an added advantage.  All the administrative offices, documents, safeguarding could be moved to Erode. Coimbatore is too close for comfort as it is very near the mountains.

If not today, in 50 or 100 years time, sea water is going to eat up much of the Indian south-eastern coast through Tsunamis and sea water level increase, and it would be naive to not to plan for that eventuality.