#Floating #Lab for Floating #Islands; #Loktak #Lake

Floating Islands I have heard. But have you heard floating laboratory? earlier i had written about Loktak lake- click to read it What is common between a #deer and #dance? #Manipur

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If a report in The Hindu of March 18, 2018 on page 9 of Jacob Koshy, is to be believed then a floating laboratory three days a week, four women in white lab coats traverse the Loktak Lake of Imphal in a motorboat, Scooping flaskfuls of water for analysis.

Changes in temperature is recorded, conductivity and dissolved-oxygen in 300 sq km lake. As it happens everywhere on earth the rising urbanization and land use change over the years has seen the Loktak Lake become a dump yard for municipal waste.

I don’t blame people of Imphal, since this commercial attitude and ignorance about risks of environmental degradation is rampant all over our country.

Chennai floods is most recent example of partially man-made disaster. Few said that encroaching upon natural cooum (as it is called?? Spelling?) or water bodies interconnected with rivulets, nallahs, canals resulted in such a disaster. Run off water in rains could not go to the rivers and reach sea, caused it to be accumulated in the city.

I have read somewhere that de-silting and evicting encroachment on such water bodies has been started now.

images (7)But impact of such environmental degradation results in many such disaster. Loktak Lake of Imphal is not new to this exploitation. Residents have not woken up to this hardship faced by Loktak Lake. It is historic, Tourist interest spot, a water body, that gives shelter to ecosystem of its own, floating islands and most famous Sangai Deer. Keeping it clean and alive is responsibility of residents of images (5)Imphal.

00a50a1e42 (1)The floating islands in Loktak Lake were the full of biodiversity and ecosystem. It has sustained life for so many centuries.

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How can I blame people of Imphal? When I cannot do anything to keep clean River Goddess Mother Ganga. Fate of all such water bodies is in hands of people residing on banks.

As per the report, Rajkumari supriya a researcher at Institute of Bioresources and sustainable Development (IBSD), said her colleagues, as part of routine, first measure preliminary characteristics of the water on boat and then follow it up with more analysis at their lab. “Over there we calculate the biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, chloride test and nitrogen levels”  she said, Koshy has written in his article.

The article also cites, Dinabandhu Sahoo, director, IBSD who said “Everyone talks about carbon dioxide levels, but nitrogen pollution is a major silent threat and already there are signs of calcium anomalies in some of the mollusc and other aquatic life in the lake”.

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This is similar to the phenomenon of coral bleaching in oceans, where rising sea surface temperature cause organisms that live on corals to disengage, thereby killing the corals themselves. The model of floating laboratory ties in with large initiative by centre’s DBT to monitor health of aquatic systems in northeast.

DBT also had announced plan to have multiple boats cruising the 3500 km Brahmaputra river and collecting water samples to track its health.

I would like to add that there were reports in media about some activity in the Chinese side of Brahmaputra river water, threat emanating from those reports is also a cause of concern for safety of people along the river Brahmaputra. But such activity of checking health of water system is must for all over our country. Even similar things are required for Ganga and certainly department concern must be doing all this. I have had heard over the years about pollution of Ganga, more particularly at Kanpur. Where many tanneries functioned. But all over the bank of Ganga and Yamuna many cities burden rivers with their sewage, garbage. Imagine the river Ganga starts accumulating waste of human civilization from the tip of Himalayas, from the source itself, Gangotri as it is called.

There was another disaster at the Kedarnath temple. Amazingly the temple remained protected but all surrounding areas succumbed. People go on pilgrimage and few go on tourism activities on Himalayas. When there is human intrusion in Nature’s pure environments, they do not think that they should keep it as pure as it is. People always disturb the balance, by doing many things, such as Throwing garbage (most of it is plastic that do not degrade), contaminate water and earth (many things chemically effect either the nature’s purity or pose danger to life (aquatic or terrestrial). From Rishikesh, Haridwar, Agra, Kanpur, Allahabad then to Kashi (Varanasi), Patna, Kolkata River reaches the sea. On the way gets contamination.

Health of River or any water body is always helpful to its residents and also those who live around it.

In Loktak Lake, health of lake also effects the Phumdis or the floating islands on the lake. These islands made of mix of vegetation and soil, coalesce to form a thick mat that, for centuries, have hosted human settlements and fishing settlements. Fishing is one option for livelihood that depends on Loktak Lake, it offers food and livelihood people residing on it and near to Loktak lake.

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Floating islands gave few people to make their shelter. now since they have encroached upon the lake the space once taken over by people it is difficult to vacate it.

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Now even floating school has been established, that provides proof of the extent of encroachment in the Loktak Lake.

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CA-NA-First Floating Elementary School Opens In Manipur

The pH level of the lake as per measurements so far, varies from 6.8 to 7.2 (ideally it should be slightly below 7). Lots of things at stake, the heritage of centuries, an amazing ecosystem, a water body, the aquatic life and wildlife, Sangai Loktak Deer.

And I am more worried that our whole heritage of folk lore, folk tradition will be at risk. Always at the threat of becoming extinct. Manipur Dance and Music will be poor if Loktak Lake and Sangai deer are lost?

via What is common between a #deer and #dance? #Manipur

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Urban Local Body Municipal Council Water Tax- duty of citizen

Today I went to the Municipal Council office to pay my dues of water charges. I came to know that first I have to get verified my dues from a clerk then deposit it at counter. After that I went in search of the counter on which I have to stand in queue. There was ward-wise arrangement. There was huge crowd, people in large number were there to deposit and clear their dues. For some time now Municipal council had inserted press release in NewsPaper that 31stAugust 2016 is the last date for all residents to clear their due of taxes and fees etc.
After a long wait my turn came, the clerk wrote something on back of a receipt, and then asked me can you deposit upto December 2016? I said yes. What else I could have said. While standing I saw many things. One person on my left side was standing and he wanted to know how much is due to him. Then I asked what this receipt is for? He replied that it is receipt of taxes due on the Hotel. That hotel was a famous hotel in city. Then billing clerk entered amount paid by that person with bill number and date. After entering the data she said still tax for the last nine month is pending/due.  I was having due of almost 12 months.  But the clerk asked me to pay due upto December 2016 on the 31st August? Strange is the situation.
In the public notice it was written that if dues are not paid by 31stAugust 2016 then Municipal council will start disconnecting water supply of the defaulters. I was little bit afraid, but since I was living in a Government quarters there was little confidence that they will not cut the connection. Still as a good citizen I thought to pay my dues.
Whereas, what about that Hotel? They are earning lots of money daily. They have big property in centre of the city. They have not paid their dues to the municipal council even when the last date was announced in News Paper and many special drives were taken out to collect dues and taxes. Still that Hotel was not afraid? Neither they thought to be a good citizen. I was surprised when the clerk at the desk said still had due of 9 months.
Now the most important thing is that Is the council, which is a urban local body, courageous enough to disconnect the water connection of that Hotel on 1 September 2016?
I was standing on the next counter both the clerks were sitting next to each other but this clerk asked me can you pay upto December 2016? I thought why she asked me to do this?  Why clerk asked me about advance payment and whereas the other clerk did not ask a Hotel to pay advance tax?
When I reached the counter to pay my dues, the person sitting there said do you have Rs 20? As my due was 720/- and I gave him a 1000Rs note. He returned the note and said I don’t have the change thus I cannot accept. I was aghast with the torture. Since for more than a hour I was standing in queues and running there and there to just pay my dues and when the moment arrived to pay this person is not accepting. And in few moments he will leave for lunch. As these employees are very particular about lunch hours? That day was the last date to deposit dues due to that only I was worried. I ran to accounts section. Who knows me there? I thought let me give a try as accounts section must be having Rs 20 change.

I asked where is cashier? I was told to go to a room. I went straight to the cashier and asked him whether he has change of 100 Rupees. Meantime I told all story. I don’t know but God was kind enough since that cashier was kind enough and gave me the change of 100 rupees and I was able to submit my due of water charges.

An overview: Port Blair: how to develop few things- A & N Islands

Gateway of India was created to welcome the emperor of British Empire.

At the entrance of our home, we make RANGOLI to welcome good luck and the guests, god, etc. Thus to highlight the glory of the place, which lies in decorated entrance, we decorate it with grandeur as possible.  It gives an everlasting Impression.

Entrance to the Port Blair is via two routes through the sea and the air. That means through the airport and a sea-port.

Any Master plan of Andamans cannot do without these two ports. Airport is to be strategically located. It may be located at Chidyatapu or Wandoor or some other separate Island. If that is not possible then let us develop the existing one without disturbing the Eco fragile environs of the neighborhood.

 Some kind of cushion – GREEN cushion is to be erected to stop or to minimize the drift or thrust emancipated by the landing and taking-off of planes. These are of Both types, seen and unseen!!

Airport has to house a “Motel type of thing, where tourists can stay for night. This is particularly needed at Port Blair. Which is, not viable otherwise at Chennai or Dumdum (Kolkatta)?

I mean the infrastructure at Port Blair Airport is not adequate to handle quantum of pax. It has to be seen keeping in the view of opening of Port Blair to more airlines in future. As it is already an International Airport named as Veer Savarkar International Airport. But still International flights don’t touch down here.

Once it becomes operational as an International or as a stopover, then more and more International flights/airlines will fly in as a stopover. Chartered flights will also land.

To station big size planes necessary infrastructure is required, Say a if a 380 lands here?[not possible at present but there is no harm in dreaming or visualizing].

Suppose a plane lands with 100 pax and it remains stationed at Port Blair Airport. Tourists will stay in plane at night and go around the Port Blair during the day time. [will that be possible at Port Blair?] Why not I would say? But I don’t think the situation permits that tourists stay in plane in night, while it is stationed at the hanger or any place allotted to that charted plane to stand on Airport during its stay over period. That time I imagine that if a tourist lounge is constructed then such tourists can stay at Airport too.

With chartered planes will land lots of “human resource”. Thus the capacity of the city ought to be up-to the mark to handle this influx of such floating population. This will increase pressure on service sector. Roads, Market, Vehicles, Eatery, amusements, sports etc.

When I visit Kolkata, Chennai & Delhi the T3, IGI etc I see how huge those Airports are? Built? Siting there inside of these Airports while waiting for arrival of my planes I often see around those huge glass panels, through which lots of light do come in. In media I had read or heard few mishaps also, such as falling of few these glass panels. Risking the life of waiting/siting passengers. Few I saw had double glass panels, One is outside wall and one glass panel is inside wall, and in between is huge space.

At Kolkatta the lift is situated in-between such panels. That much space is available between these two walls of glass. I had to wait for whole one night to catch the early morning flight for Port Blair. So for whole night I had to sleep in any place if available, either on chairs or on floor itself. Many people, we Indian people do sleep on spreading bedsheet that we bring always for such purposes, especially we are traveling with families.

While sitting on reclining steel seats I was awake and always think that why not they make these spaces into some kind of small resting rooms for us passengers. They are big enough to accommodate two persons, I mean a double bed size space is there. Or even a single sized bed is made available to passengers then they will be more than happy.

There are few waiting lounges are available for passengers but they are not adequate or sufficient, Many times in 20 years of my Air Travelling experience I have found not much facility is available for us people. Often few can be accommodated in such places. If you are known to or have any connection with the people who work on airport or in airlines then only you can get. Otherwise, very few people can be accommodated in those places. They were made when very few say 40 or 50 people used to travel in airlines. But authorities have not woken up to the fact that affordability of flights has increased more and more people are now able to fly? In Indian sky.

On any day one can witness the huge crowd that stay at Airport during the night. I am really amazed that why AAI- Airport Authority Of India has kept a blind eye on such crowd. I think they still have that stigma towards common people as British used to have towards third class passengers in those times of railways.

One lady was gracious enough to accommodate us, we three, me, my wife and my 1 year old son at Kolkatta airport by giving us access to the Family dormitory. On that night I think no one was there? Few Air hostesses or few airline female crew came during late night hours, as I could see. We could not actually sleep for most of the night, as my son was weeping crying most ot times, so we took him to the toilet area, that is far from those bedding area. So that other passengers could not get disturbed.

I mean huge space is available inside or near the Airport there they can provide good accommodation to passengers. They can make what is called as capsule-cabin type of hotel. It is new idea to accommodate large numbers of passengers in a small space. Packed to closest space available. Every inch of space is utilized. In normal one story they can accommodate two or three levels with small cabins. There space is available only for resting overnight. That can be prepaid. At the entrance of Airport our tickets are checked, after that passengers are left on to their own till they get boarding passes and enter the area after crossing through security check?

But accommodation we require is just after entering the Airport. That is done by showing valid Air Tickets. Since that time and till we board plane we remain somewhere inside the Airport.

At Port Blair also such capsule cabin hotel can be constructed to accommodate few passengers for overnight to start with!!!

Good ides is to make stacked columns of such cabin, mostly the ship containers, so that maximum utilization can be achieved.

NEXT is the SEA PORT

Is our Airport and the sea port is well connected? What is mode of transport? What about the public transport from Airport to the sea port? If not at present, then after 20 years it will be must.

How many passengers travel from airport to different parts of city after landing and which part is the most frequented?

What is the mode of transport they use?

Whether any PRE-PAID service is available at the PORT- Both Airport and at SeaPort?

I had experience of travelling by Sea Ship also for few years, Till I became eligible to travel by Air as per Government rules. I have very hard and bad experiences. First is if I had to take any ship then I had waste almost whole day to get inside that small gate at walled Hadoo Jetty. Whole road used to be filled with human head. After many hours we could enter that gate. Once inside then we had to secure a place to sit safely and in clean place. I mean there were lot of problems common people experience, and most often authority never imagine. But with time facilities are changing.

Mere having a big passenger waiting hall is not sufficient. The Port itself should be able to provide a small city like atmosphere. Which is possible only, when it have motel or guest accommodation with associated necessities-services for tourists. Port Blair is peculiar. Many passengers come from various islands and far off places to catch a ship bound to Chennai or Kolkatta. They had to come to Port Blair few days prior to day of journey. Now days facility of advance booking of ship tickets is made available, but earlier people used to gather few days before in city to purchase tickets.

Such people from outside of Port Blair had to stay somewhere. If any good small accommodation is available to 300 people then it is very good. Any of services if provided ONLINE so that people need not to come to Port Blair can be stopped.

Many passengers travel to other islands also. For such travels there is another type of jetty/wharf, sea port available. Such passengers if make plan beforehand, then they stay at hotels in Port Blair and take boats on their planned date.

But if passengers immediately after landing at Airport needs to catch Boats? Then?

Whether we have a tube rail between the airport and sea port having other points as well on the route?  Like from Garacharma to airport, via dairyfarm, secretariat and Chatam and the sea port or such points as decided by authority.

At Sea Port more entry channels and safe channel are to be developed for entry of ships. This is more important if we imagine any increase in frequency of ships coming to Port Blair either from mainland or inter islands.

Coming to ships, the number of ships has to be increased both for inter islands and mainland sectors.

More Big crafts(ships) are required. Some can be of Amphibian category or like HOVER CRAFT.

These vessels are required for COASTAL surveys/exercises etc done by the COAST GUARD, NAVY and also it must be with the District Administration or local administration. This can be utilized by the scientific fraternity to study the coastal related works either it can be for BIOSHIELD of mangrove etc (MS Swaminathan Foundation had also give few recommendations on making these Islands more close to nature), The Botanical, Zoological, Geological, FISHERIES and Anthropological survey of India and so on [there are so many of surveys of India]. They can use such crafts for studies including the Natural Resource Mapping etc. Then there are Pollution control boards and bodies.

OR

A craft like SAGAR KANYA which can be utilized to study the OCEAN and related studies. The underwater marine life, under water terrains, structures can also be mapped, AND I will dream that one day a ship will roam in ANDAMAN SEA to find the sources of FUEL in the sea bed, like GAS or CRUDE OIL etc.

Sea, surface, underground & Air transport need to be developed simultaneously so as to complement each other.

These are very well a part of master plan and it should not be thought that these are not part of city life. City development depends lot on its surroundings.

If a CITY knows very well about it surroundings then only it can survive better than those who don’t know their neighborhood.

Another futuristic project of my dream is Why not to have a big Sea Cruise liner? Lots of things we hear happening in Mumbai, Goa. They offer weekend cruise.

There can be a Cruise stationed at Hadoo wharf, tourists who come at Airport, after landing straightaway they go this cruise ship to start their sea voyage.

It can be sy a week in any direction Hutbay-Little Andaman, Havelock, Neil, Little Nicobar or Car Nicobar, and Great Nicobar-Indira Point.

There are many National Parks, Biosphere Reserves and Marine parks etc. These cruise liner can travel in sea near to those few of restricted areas such as national parks without touch the coast, showcasing the natural resource or wild life or marine life etc. Without landing any footprints on those islands.

Cruise liner can come from Chennai, Kolkatta etc on a trip to emerald islands. These ships are like floating city. When that millennia happened, that I thought and told to few people that we missed this opportunity to showcase our biodiversity at International arena.

That time Katchal or Kamorta was named as famous island for sunrise of millennium in India. As was kiritbiti Islands? That time sea cruise liner could have utlised that opportunity for international tourism.

Mud Volcanos, Dugong, Barren Islands etc are few potential we can have, Even untouched forest of Great Nicobar Islands can offer opportunity, if opened for nature tourism.

For all or any kind of activity in these islands Port Blair city has to become capable to sustain increasing influx of population.

More state run of PPP mode guest houses, hotels have to be established. PBMC could also take initiative.

Along with movement of tourists, our security forces also need to be alert, strengthened. Wildlife protection force having new technological tools gadgets including communication tools are required.

Once the gates are open to welcome influx of population in garb of tourists, adventure tourism, family reunions, business trips and lots of other purposes, need of hour is to have constant vigil.

But the big question then comes as to whether these islands are capable of sustaining the pressure of this influx. That will be in form of providing the basic amenities to all inhabitants. The prominent being the WATER, food, shelter in that order of preference. The most burning problem of these islands is the availability of the fresh or sweet water.

Though the irony is that these islands are situated in Bay of Bengal surrounded by Deep Ocean but not having sweet water for its inhabitants. The shortage of water has been a perennial problem.

The water reservoirs were built long back. Not much research has been carried out to meet the requirement of water and then how to sustain or utlize RAINWATER. Often called as RAINWATER HARVESTING.

The models and the modes have been found not suitable for the local environs. Once in few buildings the outlet to collect rain water was blown away by stormy winds. And it is a fact that during the major part of the rainy season, islands bear the brunt of high speed storms.

At one place concrete structure was constructed on ground to collect rainwater but it was never put to use.

My idea was that we can use the terrain to construct rainwater harvesting structures. It means the rainwater harvested at one level will be used by the level below to it and so on.

The tanks built should be somewhat above the ground so that it can provide natural thrust or flow to the lower level by gravity.

It should be mandatory for all govt. buildings to have rainwater harvesting structures installed. Schools Govt built accommodations, community halls, market places. The local bodies must make this as habit to develop the rainwater harvesting methods.

All the hotels providing shelter to tourists must have rainwater harvesting system. All the residents having their houses built must be directed by issuing a notification to have rainwater harvesting structures in their houses. And the size must be decided on the basis of the either size of the house/structure or the number of residents.

Waste management, waste disposal is key to success. Thus City Body must have adequate technology driven waste disposal plant. No Untreated waste should go or flow into sea. It pollutes the marine life. Now a days Green concept are becoming famous. Making energy from waste, either bio-waste or human waste too. Chennai corporation utilize bio-waste to generate electricity. Why not it can be done at Port Blair?

Can we have solar cooker in Port Blair? But no, since sunny days are less in Port Blair than in mainland. When I was at Kanpur, we used the solar cooker, and it worked very well for us. It had four black boxes, in them we cooked rice, dal or boil potatoes etc.

Even if every resident try and segregate their own waste material, that can be used for composting. That will save considerable amount of pollution. But people mostly throw their garbage directly into the drains. That results in awkward situation on roads in Port Blair city, as I had seen in Junglighat, during heavy rains. Lots of garbage, plastic packets, bones, legs, pieces of meat etc flow on the road itself, as water gushes throw drains carrying garbage from upper areas of junglighat. Drains also over flows in some areas. What authorities can do? They can just request citizens to not to throw garbage in drains.

Department of Agriculture, Animal husbandry, education, industries, fisheries, health, together with the PRIs etc should make all efforts to sensitize residents.