Inauguration of Waste Management Park
A revamped Waste Management Park was inaugurated by the District Collector at Ottupattarai, Coonoor today. The facility which has been given a facelift has as well been provided with a plastic baler, an incinerator, a shredder and a compost bin to tackle the waste generated in the township.
Addressing the gathering Ms Innocent Divya stated that it is the joint responsibility of the administration and the citizenry, to ensure that refuse generated in human habitations is properly disposed in a way, that it ceases to be a threat to the environment.
Clean Coonoor will be further working on the facility to clear any backlog in the accumulated waste for the next two months or so.
Coonoor River Cleanup Campaign ; End of Phase-II
The second phase of the Coonoor River Cleanup Campaign initiated on World Rivers Day 2019, came to a successful conclusion after twenty-five days of operations.
The stretch of the stream extending from the Coonoor Bridge to the municipal slaughter house, is finally free of debris, and the stream that once flowed with an average width of twenty feet, now flows freely at fifty.
After ensuring that the river will never be clogged again, the organisation plans to start Phase-III, a manual clean-up of the bit, which extends downstream from the Coonoor Bridge to Kanni Mariamman Kovil.
The operations on this stretch will commence as soon as the monsoon blows over.
World Rivers Day 2019
This international day which celebrates the world’s waterways was utilised to kickstart the second phase of the Coonoor River Cleanup Campaign. This involves clearing up a 500 metre stretch of the upper stream that feeds the Coonoor River. The operations will be mostly mechanised involving the use of two earth movers and are expected to continue for the next 50 days or so
Later in the evening an event featuring the video launch of the Nilgiri Anthem, Namma Nilgiris (Our Nilgiris), as performed by the renowned singer Mrs Reeba Cherian was organised. The song celebrates the inclusive spirit of the Nilgiri District, and is a passionate plea to its people to preserve the serenity and beauty of these hills. It was dedicated by the singer to all environmental groups belonging to these hills in general, and to those who were trying to preserve and protect the township of Coonoor in particular.
The poem, ‘Coonoor River’s Sorrow,’ was recited by a long time resident of the town, Mrs Varda Menon the author, and a couple of factual short films were also screened by Clean Coonoor, the first dealing on the sullied state of the Coonoor River, the reasons, and possible remedial measures ; and the next on the cleaning of the middle stream, a part of the larger project of Coonoor River Cleanup Campaign.
The word ‘Shramdaan’ means a voluntary contribution involving physical effort. It is a way of helping the community and contributing to help and change the environment around for the better.
Such an exercise focussing on the removal of plastic waste strewn along a stretch of railway line between Coonoor Station and Kateri, was undertaken today. The participants numbering around forty, were railway employees, their families, and volunteers of Clean Coonoor, who between them picked up around 300 kgs of plastic litter.
Flood Relief 2019
The unprecedented heavy rains in parts of the district had wreaked havoc in parts of the district, resulting in more than 5000 people being shifted to the safety of temporary relief shelters. Clean Coonoor responded to this emergency by mobilising relief material in the form of blankets, warm clothing, food stuff, and etc. In addition it as well funded a team of volunteers from Erode, for the purpose of reaching remote parts of the Nilgiri-Wynaad, to effect temporary repairs to damaged homesteads and such.
Completion of Coonoor River Cleanup
This day happens to be the birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela. The great man was known to have once remarked, ‘After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.’
Coincidentally, 18 July as well happened to be the day, when the last bit of dirt and debris which was choking the Ganguathorai Stream of the Coonoor River, was finally removed.
Forty days have passed since the District Collector flagged of the first phase of the Coonoor River Cleanup Campaign. An initiative which involved clearing up the 1.5 km stretch of the stream which cuts through the heart of the town and flows by the municipal market. Around 12,000 tonnes had been removed with great difficulty and now a fairly clear flow has been established.
But, this isn’t the time for complacency, there are much more harder hills to climb. Priority has now to be accorded to preventive measures against unscrupulous dumpers and litterbugs. The issue of raw untreated sewage being let into the river has to be addressed. There are as well the other feeders and the main river to clean.
We at Clean Coonoor extend our heartfelt thanks to all who made this achievement possible, the many individuals, the press, the merchant community, and all others. The list is endless, and their contribution immense.We also wish the recently formed ‘River Protection Committee,’ all success in their efforts. We also thank the Municipal Health Authorities who have assured that all anti-dumping and anti-littering measures will be in place in the near future, and that the problem of sewage will soon be addressed to.
Last but not the least, we wish to thank a large hearted individual from Hyderabad who wishes to be unnamed, for funding the entire project
World Environment Day
This year’s World Environment Day was utilised to kick start Clean Coonoor’s campaign for an unsullied Coonoor River. The event was flagged off by the District Collector in the presence of other officials, in which around 32 volunteers participated. The operations both mechanical and manual are expected to continue for the greater part of a year and a half.
Post Season Cleanup
The fag end of the season witnessed a post-season cleanup to assess the negative impacts of mass tourism, chiefly littering and plastic pollution along the ghat section of the Coonoor-Mettupalayam Highway. Volunteers of Clean Coonoor, assisted by a group of summer residents from Hyderabad who sponsored the entire event, and a few athletes attending a training camp at Coonoor, managed to pick up nearly 2-3 tonnes of litter along the nearly 24 km stretch.
The entire stretch was found to be liberally littered with packaged water and soft drink bottles, candy wrappers, multi-layer packagings, and such. A high percentile of this trash had been jettisoned from moving vehicles, but tourists alone aren’t the ones to be blamed. An equal quantity had been deliberately dumped into bushes, culverts and other convenient places which lay hidden from sight, by unscrupulous shopkeepers who run eateries and such along this stretch. Perhaps it is time that we either mend our ways or perish, for at this rate the blue mountains will soon change their hue, being besmirched with a miscellany of multicoloured plastics.
61st Annual Fruit Show
The two day 61st Annual Fruit Show held at Sim’s Park turned out to be one with a huge difference. It was was the attitude of the visitors which came as a surprise to those who had volunteered to keep the park clean during the jamboree. Littering was minimal for the public made good use of the many garbage bins. Quite a few could be seen carrying their own water, and most had come equipped with reusable crockery. Altogether the event was an entirely pleasing experience and it is hoped that next year’s proceedings will be along a similar vein.
Crowd control and traffic regulation
April 14, 16, 19 & 20
Thanks to the four day exercise in crowd control and traffic regulation initiated by Thiru Krishnamoorthy, the Deputy Superintendent of Police of Coonoor, volunteers of Clean Coonoor learnt a few things other than their regular tasks. This new activity undertaken during the Mariamman Temple festivities held here, gave us a rare insight into crowd psychology.
That not all crowds are volatile or negative in nature was the first lesson to be learnt, and the experience also thaught us to develop an empathy for an expressive crowd. The latter is wherein people gather for an active purpose which serves to integrate social functions and create temporary communities.
The last was none so well demonstrated in Coonoor and its surrounds, as its citizenry belonging to different faiths and from different walks of life, united together for one common purpose, observing this age old tradition of venerating the Mother Goddess worshipped by the ancient Tamils as the bringer of rain and thus also the bringer of prosperity.
Quoting Lennon, we may be dreamers, but perhaps someday others will join us, and the world will be as one.
World Water Day
As part of World Water Day observances, volunteers of Clean Coonoor and students of Good Shepherd International School M’ Palada, planted around 1,000 seedlings of native grass at the marsh at Yedapalli. This degraded valley bog has been adopted for rejuvenation by Clean Coonoor, under the aegis of the district administration, and was earlier planted over with another thousand seedlings on World Wetlands Day.
International Day of Forests
Clean Coonoor held a sensitisation programme about the change of the Nilgiri landscape over the last two centuries and its implications, for students of the Good Shepherd International School at M’ Palada, as part of the International Day of Forests observances.
Kulapathi Munshi Award
The prestigious ‘Kulapathi Munshi Award‘ was bestowed upon Clean Coonoor as a recognition for its services by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. It was a great honour to receive this citation from the organisation’s Chairman, Padma Vibhushan Dr. M. R. Srinivasan, nuclear scientist and mechanical engineer, who played a key role in the development of India’s nuclear power programme.
World Wetlands Day
Ninety-two volunteers including forty-seven students of Providence College for Women in Coonoor, kickstarted the planting of native tussock grass at the Ethukadavu Marsh near Yedapalli today. A joint initiative of the District Administration and Clean Coonoor, the effort to rejuvenate this degraded piece of wetland is funded through the ‘Green Tax.’
The event was held to commemorate World Wetlands Day, an international date of observance which aims at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits.
This initial planting of around half an acre, is but a part of a larger plan to cover the entire marsh which measures around 8 acres, with native vegetation in general and grass in particular, in a time bound manner. It should be recalled that this wetland is a potential alternate source of water to Coonoor town.
Felicitation by Rotary
Clean Coonoor was honoured with a certificate of appreciation from the District Governor, Mr Umar of the Rotary Club.
Ringing in the New Year, the Clean Coonoor Way – Cleaning up a culvert