Deccan Herald

  • 'Evaluate eco-tourism effects scientifically'

    A Wildlife Institute of India (WII) report has stressed the need for a scientific evaluation of the effects of eco-tourism on a particular area. Presenting a paper on

  • Factory closed as 125 take ill

    At least 125 employees of a garment factory took ill after drinking contaminated water at Madanayakanahalli, Nelamangala on Monday afternoon. While four are in a critical condition, the others are reported to be stable. In this connection the Nelamangala police have received a complaint against the factory management. According to the information received, the ailing people were the employees of Embee Apparels Private Limited at Madanayakanahalli. In the afternoon they all had lunch and drank water in the factory. Half-an-hour after drinking water, they all started complaining vomiting and diahorrea. Soon the nearby primary health centre was contacted and subsequently the health department was informed about the incident. Before the ambulances could reach the factory, majority of patients were rushed to the ESI Hospital. The patients were earlier taken to the nearby primary health centre from where 94 employees were referred to the ESI Hospital, Rajaji Nagar. Four persons, who were suffering from severe dehydration, were rushed to the Lifeline Private Hospital from where they were taken to the Isolation Hospital on Old Madras Road. Sources said the sick people were diagnosed with gastroentritis (GE). Over twenty were treated at Raghavendra Nursing Home. Majority of the workers are the residents of Hoskur, Nelamangala, Lakshmipura, Hosahalli and Madanayakanahalli. On learning about the incident, former Chief Minister Yeddyurappa and former Congress MLA Narendra Babu met the patients at ESI Hospital and enquired about their health. In this connection some people lodged a complaint with the Nelamangala police against the factory management. Sources said that the officials from health department have taken samples of drinking water from the factory and sent it to the PHI for analysis. Besides stool and food samples have also been collected for lab testing. District health officer, Taluk health officer and district surveillance officers and staff are monitoring the situation at Madanayanakahalli and the ESI Hospital.

  • Attention please!

    Myristica Dactyoloides, popularly known as Ramapatre, is near-extinct and needs instant protection,writes Sandhya Hegde Almane. Myristica Dactyoloides is an indication of water sources. Myristica Dactyoloides, popularly known as Ramapatre in Kannada, is mainly found in the Western Ghats and is almost extinct. A prominent non-timber forest product species found in evergreen forests, Ramapatre is a major income generator too. In fact, people earn as much as Rs 22,000 per season from the sale of Ramapatre. Sadly, in the recent past, the branches of these trees are drying up in the forests of Bengaon, Mattighatta and Heggarani in Siddapur. Myristica Dactyoloides is one of the major non-timber forest products like garcinia gummigutta, and cinnamon. Myristica tree grows up to 15 meters in height, blossoms from March to June and fruits from October to March. The seeds of Myristica are vulnerable to temperature and humidity, while the fruit perishes very soon. Ecologically, Myristica is in a dying condition and needs immediate protection. Over extraction and the harvest of unripe fruits have endangered the survival of the species in recent days. Since unripe fruits are harvested, the branches of the trees are affected and the availability of mature fruits has decreased. About 95 per cent of fruits are harvested in the month of March. While the nutmeg and mace are dried and sold, fleshy fruits are used for pickles and sold in parts of Tamil Nadu. According to experts, fruits shouldn't be harvested early so as to lead to regeneration. They suggest that some mature fruits should be left on the trees for progeny. This fruit is also known as kadu jajika in Kannada, kattu jathikai in Tamil and pantha payin in Malayalam. Myristica malabarica and Myristica fatua are two more popular names of Myristica Dactyoloides. Now the trees are affected by a strange disease, leading to the loss of innumerable immature nuts. According to Prof R Vasudev, College of Forestry, Sirsi, Lycanidae, an insect of butterfly family, feeds on the leaves and bark of these trees, weakening them. A similar phenomenon was reported in Thirthahalli forest region three years ago. "A species, that's feared is heading the extinct way, remains only when breed cultivation is developed by resistant trees. Already, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has identified Myristica Dactyoloides as one of the about-to-be-extinct species at the international level,' revealed Mr Vasudev. In order to preserve the species, the plant is to be grown in nurseries, cultivated in home gardens and planted back in the forests. Prakruti, an NGO in Sirsi, is involved in the resource mapping of the species, raising them in nurseries and spreading awareness about the importance of the survival of the plant species among the general public through meetings and workshops.

  • Malnutrition among women migrants

    Change in their eating habits deprives women of vital nutrients. A cup of coffee sweetened by jaggery relaxes Muniyammma. With renewed energy she goes back to the field to help transport the just-harvested bundles of ragi from Kaggalipura to the threshing mills. Some 40km away, in Bangalore, Muniyamma's sister Jyothi sips a cup of coffee bought at Rs 3 from a roadside vendor. Sweetened with white sugar, the coffee allows her to take a break from carrying stones on a construction site. Because jaggery has been replaced with refined sugar, Jyothi has unknowingly deprived herself of its rich nutrients. While a kilogram of jaggery has 28 grams of mineral salts

  • Eco-tourism set to get boost in State

    The growth of tourism around protected areas, energy efficiency and waste disposal will be the focus at the seminar on 'Eco-Tourism in Karnataka: Challenges, policy and Future' to be held here on Tuesday. The seminar will also discuss partnership of eco-tourism operators in the conservation of forest and wildlife. Recommendations will be made in the presence of Parameshwarappa, who has been appointed by Planning Commission as advisor on eco-tourism. All stakeholders in eco-tourism, including the private investors, will be brought on a single platform where they can debate issues to evolve an eco-tourism policy, said Mr Tiwari. "There is a need to develop an

  • Water portal launched

    With a click of the mouse, you can obtain plenty of information on any. topic, from the internet. Knowing the English language is necessary in most cases - but not so in the case of this portal - The water portal, which is co-ordinated by Arghyam, a non profit trust headed by Rohini Nilekani, supplies information - in Kannada -on various aspects of water. It was formally launched by K Jairaj, Principal Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, here on Friday Arghyam launched the portal in January this year, and intends to launch more vernacular portals. The Kannada portal, which is totally funded by the trust to the tune of Rs one crore, is also a forum for citizens to air their views concerns and suggestions on water-related issues. The content has been developed by involving practitioners and experts in the field. The government, which has data on water and its related projects, should upload its in: formation on the new website, suggested Ms Nilekani. Interactive forum Trust CEO Sunita Nadhamuni said the website will serve as an interactive forum where discussions, debate and exchange can happen. Citizens can post questions related to water issues, which will be answered by water professionals. Jairaj said that Karnataka has to do a lot of work on accessibility of water, its quality and sustainability. Various projects to improve water supply to villages have been taken up and the government would welcome social audit of the same.

  • Rs 259 crore loan to restore water bodies

    World Bank (WB) has signed a loan agreement with Karnataka government for Rs 259 crore under the Project for Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of water bodies. World Bank (WB) has signed a loan agreement with Karnataka government for Rs 259 crore under the Project for Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of water bodies. An official release here on Wednesday said that the RRR projected was being expanded throughout the country with external assistance. The World Bank loan agreement has also been signed with Tamil Nadu for Rs 2182 crore to restore 5763 water bodies having a cultivable command area (CCA) of four lakh hectare, Andhra Pradesh for Rs. 835 crore for restoration of 3000 water bodies with a CCA of 2.5 lakh hectare. The

  • New species of fish found

    There is a good news for fish lovers, as three more species of fish have been discovered in the Western Ghats. According to a press release issued by the Marine Products Export Development Authority, (a unit of Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India), Dr Pramodh P K, the State convener (ornamental fish development) has discovered the new fish varieties. "The fish belonging to Danio, Schistura and Mesonemachelius species have been found in Agumbe region upto Seetha River,' Dr Pramodh said.

  • Development of tourism

    S N Chary The central government should concentrate on increasing infrastructure facilities. India has been, of late, promoting tourism with the slogan Incredible India. With the changes in government policies, the number of foreign tourists have increased. Over 4 million foreigners visited India during the previous year, compared to 2.2 million, five years ago. The foreign exchange earned last year was to the tune of $5.5 billion compared to $3 billion in 2002.

  • Quite shocking!

    In future, climate change is likely to be the single most significant cause of biodiversity loss, writes Sanjay Gubbi, assessing its overall impact.

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