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Yellow hibiscus

Gopi had these beautiful birds collected in a wired cage. A few trees and flowery bushes, especially the red hibiscus in the background play with the eyes making one forget about the green coloured metal that made the cage. Birds of all colours were visible due to this spectacular arrangement. And this was a definite treat for the eyes whenever I visited Gopi’s place. My belief in freedom for all, won’t let me be to happy at seeing the caged bird, though!

We had this kid of the neighbour’s – Syamili who used to admire these birds. And she used to draw the birds on paper with her pencil colours. And to my fascination, the birds would sit still just so that she could complete her picture. She was very considerate about the birds too, where her drawing would not last for more than 10 minutes at a stretch. And a definite treat awaits the bird which agreed to stand still for this child artist. She would often have some piece of broken fallen fruit, sometimes mango or on other times guava that she picked up on her way from the street.

While me and Gopi would engage in the musings of the teen world viz. Cricket and science, this kid used to enjoy her company with the caged birds. Once, she used to have long conversations with the yellow bird, which was her favourite. She did the talking and to her spoken words apparently the bird was nodding or tweeting. Or was it the kid’s wild imagination! I had to check this out personally. And one day I could do that sacrificing the valuable time normally devoted to perpetual thoughts of the spellbinding universe also known as “nerd” talk.

Syamili was asking her friend, the yellow bird she had named as ‘Appu’. ” Appu, how are you today ?” . To my bewilderment a sober single twirp could be heard in reply.

She continued “Why , are you sad today ?”

Appu : ( no reply)

And I was about to rejoice on the my belief, my thought, that the twirp heard before was faux tympanic simulation

Syamili kept her colour pencils and writing pad on the ground. Some red ants which was searching for its way continued its pursuit from the damp soil onto the writing pad, only to move fast out the pad and back to the damp soil.

She said ” I believe that if I was closed in a cage like you, I would have been happy for a while. Because, I will feel safe and I would be taken care of by Gopi. I would have food and water. And I do not have to worry about finding my food. Or I would not be scared by any cats or bigger birds that may attack me , if I were a bird.”

Appu was nonchalant and seemed to look at a distance in deep thought.

” But , then after a while I would get bored, for I cannot meet any new birds like me. And I would be bored, I guess”

And there was a definite sharp tweet from Appu. Oh boy! It was as if the sound penetrated my bones.

“So I guess, now you are bored, unhappy and sad at the thought that you have no freedom to really fly”

Appu nodded ‘yes’.

“I heard Gopi is going on a tour for a week. I guess this would be a good chance for you to fly around and make new friends. May be you can return from your tour when brother Gopi also returns.”

Appu had turned its head at an angle as if in thought.

” OK ! I will ask Gopi, but I am not sure if he will let you out. You know he loves all the birds here, that is why he takes care of you very well. I am pretty sure that he would like to see you safe here all the time.”

saying this Syamili turned . At the same time Gopi was there with food for the birds, some grains and milk. The eager child wanted to feed the grains to the birds, and Gopi allowed her. Her tiny little hand would be as big as the birds themselves. And Gopi was concerned if the birds beaks would hurt her hand. The birds were delicate and enjoyed their dinner thoroughly, they all made some sound which was like a chorus music.

Syamili requested Gopi to let the birds go away for one week and come back when he returns from his trip. Gopi patted on the child’s head saying ” I am sure they won’t come back even if they try to . This is because Freedom is heavenly pleasure. And no creature would trade freedom for anything else. I feed them and take care of them . These have no meaning compared to them enjoying their own freedom. I appreciate your concern Syamili but I will not let them out. ”

“But then, have can you go on a trip and enjoy your freedom and not let them go ?”

For which Gopi replied ” I like them so much that I don’t want them to leave”.

Meanwhile, some friends had just brought in the news of a new finding of rose apple tree. And a child’s mind is so dynamic Syamili said a quick ‘bye’ to Appu and ran with the folks for her share of rose apples.

 

Next week, I was sitting at home like a caged bird, with nowhere to go. It was raining very heavily. I had not joined Gopi on his trip because it was his family’s tour. And then I had 2-3  days passing between the 3 teas that I had everyday in the morning , the brunch and the evening. Clouds parted and it was sunny for rest of the holidays. I joined the local group of Cricket gang and went to hangout with them. And the 10 -day school break just got over and I thought I should visit Gopi just before we were busy again.

There was this pleasant smell of from the red hibiscus flowers from Gopi’s garden when I took the turn to the entrance of his house. I could hear Syamili’s giggle as I entered the gate. Gopi was there playing with a puppy dog which was licking Syamili all over. And more giggles followed as the puppy played with her.

After a few exchange of pleasantries regarding the days of raining and his trip and my Cricket and his new puppy, I felt that something was missing in the background. The smell of hibiscus was somewhat stronger inside the plot. I checked to see how big the plant has become and there were undoubtedly lot of flowers ready to join the many others which have fell on the ground. And in the foreground to my surprise the bird’s cage was empty. I could not help wonder and asked Gopi what had happened? I asked if he had let the bird’s embrace their freedom. And then Gopi replied ” The birds were all dead when I returned from the trip.”  I was shocked and asked ” how and why ?”

He explained   ” There was this strip of coconut leaf hanging from a dwarf coconut tree that just about touched the bird’s cage. The ants had initially apparently come for the grains and later consumed the bird’s too. And when I returned the cage had only dead birds. And I cleaned the cage and threw all the remnants at the base of the hibiscus plant.”

I said “that is very sad, If only you had let them out . Atleast the guilt of causing their death, by capturing their freedom could have been avoided”.

With nothing more to say. I hung around with the new puppy. And left in sometime taking with me some of the hibiscus’ smell and the little girl’s innocent giggle. And at the gate when I turned to wave ‘bye’ to Gopi and Syamili , my eyes may have deceived me but I definitely saw a yellow hibiscus flower among the red.

 

PS: Adapted from True Story by Aneesh

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2016 in creativity

 

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Discovery of Panamaram Jain Temple

On the auspicious day of 18th April, 2015 our trip leader discovered the Panamaram Jain Temple, Wayanad, Kerala. This is  how it happened.

At the Pazhassi tomb, Mananthavady, Wayanad, Kerala, we had learned about the Jain temples. Some of which were very close to the place. Hence we embarked on the journey to visit the place. There were sign boards to Panamaram. And then nothing, absolute blank. This Jain Temple was listed, it was not one out of the world, mythological or folklore. But there were no directions given. We searched, asked, got frustrated and then cursed ourselves, but later determined our path with the spirit of travel. We were at Panamaram. That much was clear. But no one knew were the Jain Temple was. We asked lorry drivers, residents. We went in wrong routes 3 times. Then were around the temple for a long time, but could not find a road to it. We could smell it. And then after asking a shopkeeper at Punchavayal.

We were here at Punchavayal. We had returned to the shopkeeper who had told us the way. This time his face was unhappy and disappointed that we could not find the temple. We roamed the road that the shopkeeper pointed to. He also said first left. There was some tarring roadwork happening. We found no clue of the Jain Temple. Then as the road-roller moved, we found the un-tarred road. We thought let this be our last try. And , truly, we had discovered the Ancient Jain Temple at Panamaram after very very short drive into the “road”.

See more photos of Panamaram Jain Temple at

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153771435920299.1073741864.672120298&type=1&l=9530179a97

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Jealous Indian

Kaaviya Thalaivan is an old idea brilliantly shown in  a new way on the big screen. The jealousy of a man , how mystically it could be held for sometime and then shown with the thought of revenge, to kill, his fellow man, a brother equivalent, brought up by the same father, the same guru, the same school of drama, the same stories and incidences, only to grow the jealousy with it, to end one with the other, to end oneself in the end. The story is also projects a point of discussion for the discussion on lack of words in Indian language beautifully differentiated by the ideas of “envy” and “jealousy”.

The jealousy of  a person to another mostly involves a sense of revenge and intimidation that forces that person to hate the subject of jealousy. Why not be envious in the same instance, where there is also a possibility to be happy about the achievements of a person and appreciate it and then think why I could not be like that. This is a softer form of jealousy but without any enmity. It can also be argued that there is mild “Asooya” (jealousy in Samskrtam) that grows on and festers into the revenge-ful savage form that is associated with jealousy.The Hindi word for jealousy “Jalan” is very close to fire or burning and used so.

To be envious is a peaceful act, where one simply wishes to match the quality or skill of another. This helps to promote healthy competition. This in turn benefits both the subject of envy and the envious. This is an ideal form of emotion. But human emotions knows no bounds. There is always a wilder form. And thence comes the jealousy. Why Indian languages do not have an equivalent term form “envy” is mysterious. Are Indians by nature forced to have jealousy rather than envy. If that is so imagine such a large population dragging each other down because of this bad attitude, which later becomes a habit. It is not for joke that the story of Kerala crab (later scaled up and known as story of Indian crab was told). This is also a frequently told story in Indian speeches by teachers and politicians. Here, it is retold in my version for the record.

The story of the Kerala Crab

Kerala crabs are famous as a culinary item. I found a nice photo of one here.

 

(Image courtesy: http://www.shutterstock.com)

A foreigner from Britain found the crab being loaded in a ship. This was a regularly exported item to Europe. He had come a long way from his land to find how it is that they get fresh crab. The baskets on which the crabs were loaded were not covered. And he was surprised. If it was not covered then the crabs may come out and escape. How then will the basket reach full of crabs, as he has seen in his port-town. Then the loader explained to him. “Sayippe! These are Kerala crabs. It has mindset of Keralites. If one crabs climbs to top of the basket others from inside would pull it down. Like this no crab is allowed to escape beacuse of their behaviour, and you get fresh crabs to eat.”

The British astonishment vanished from the face and now it turned red and laughed.

 

Jealousy ingrained in this form throughout a sub-continent would be a surprise to a naive mind. This is but a working principle in this beautiful land of variety.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Madman’s wish

The third story is the highlight of the capacity of mad man. Once, as usual he was sitting near a crematorium.
That was his regular place of rest for sleeping. Once it happened that the Ferocious Goddess Chudala BhadraKaali made her appearance before him. The madman very indifferently continued piling up wooden logs for the fire to fight the cold night. He shifted his left leg affected with elephantiasis near the fire.

BhadraKaali said ” Hm! Man, I am impressed by your indifferent confidence to stay at this creepy crematorium, which is my abode regularly. I accept you as my staunch devotee”

The madman listened casually.The Goddess continued “You are a class apart from the normal person who prays and asks for a boon.  Eventhough you have never asked for one even in your dreams I am elated to bless you with a favour. Hence I have made my appearance before you. Wish you well, child. Ask me anything that you want”.

The madman replied unflinchingly at the fierce figure radiating at him ” Who called you here, I am happy the way I am , leave me alone”.

Bhadrakaali said coaxingly ” It is not usual for a man to get to see my vision, may be you are unsure, I will give you sometime think about what you want and then tell me.”

The madman was getting irritated ” I told you to leave me alone!”

An intimidated Bhadrakaali said “Not so fast! Anyway I have made my appearance before you, I am not willing to go without granting you a boon. I will get rid of myself after blessing you for sure. So go ahead and speak your mind”

The madman could not but find some good enough want to satisfy this botheration. After racking his brain he said ” OK! Madam, grant me this boon. I want my elephantiasis removed from my left leg….”

The Goddess was happy about her skills about cajoling this stubborn man to ask a boon. She was happy reading his mind and was ready to remove the disease from the leg. She had her divine hands ready to issue the blessing. But..

“…and shift it to my right leg” the madman concluded his wish.

Bhadrakaali could not but accept his wish. She quickly issued the grant and vanished before feeling  unwantedly intimidated.

—–

The story ends here. The conclusive lesson emphasizes the madman’s message in his first story.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Madman and the people-killer

This is the second most famous story of Naranath Bhranthan of Parayi Pettta Panthirukulam that I would like to retell here.

The second story is about the “people-killer”. Once there were three thieves. They had a big loot and reached a quiet secluded place in the forest. They decided to split the loot into three equal parts. One for each. As they were about to split the first person said. “Anyway we have run and reached so far, we are tired to go on further, it is better to have something to eat, and then continue splitting the loot”. All agreed and the first man was busy cooking. Meanwhile the other two silently decided to kill this man after the cooking and then the loot could be split into two. This would increase the per head share. As soon as the first said that the food was ready, the other two stabbed him to death. Happy with the dead body, they proceeded to eat the food. Unfortunate, their stars were on the bad positions. They dropped and fell down dead  as they consumed the food.

Naranath Bhranthan came that way so the three dead bodies and the loot of gold. He ran with wild fear shouting ” People-killer, People-killer”. The village folk went crazy about this announcement. They asked him where it was. The madman showed them the way to the “People-Killer”. The village head came running and saw three dead bodies. The chief was surprised. He feared the presence of ferocious tiger or some other wild creatures that may have caused the death. Shortly, he noticed that one man was stabbed right in the heart and back, two knives, one on each side. The hot pot of rice and leaves of leftovers showed signs of cooking. He noticed that no crow tried to eat the leftover food. He sniffed at the pot to get some hint on any other animal presence. But to his surprise he smelled poison. No wonder the crows avoided it. The two men who had their leaves served with food were poisoned to death. Thus the mad man had taught the village folk that greediness for wealth was a “people-killer”.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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How he became the madman

There are three famous stories of Naranath Bhranthan that I oft remember and quote whenever I get a chance. The stories appear in the legendary Aithihyamaala, a collection of legends compiled by  Kottarathil Sankunni. The story of the madman of Naranath comes in Parayi Pettta Panthirukulam.

Here I am only retelling the story of that madman; the way I tell.

The first story is the activity of the Bhranthan. Daily he used to roll up a gigantic rock up a hill . If he started in the morning , by noon or so he could make it to the top of the hill. Once he reaches the top without a second thought he would push the rock down. The rock would reach the bottom rolling all the way on the slopes of the hill. Meanwhile, the madman would clap his hand and enjoy the fall of the rock. The myth says that people who looked at this activity perceived it as empty and a purposeless one. Such a futile work could only be done by someone who is mentally derailed. Rightly so the man was called “Bhranthan” (Mad man) and hence his  name. The message of his action could only later be decoded by the onlookers. It said of the actions of human beings which are like rolling the stone up and then pushing it down. How useless the action of humans are. Whatever the crazy mind tries is all for the downfall to reach the same old ground level, only to be repeated again in a cyclical manner again and again. The lesson from the madman reached far and wide and hence his full name. Madman of Naranath.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Vishu in Kochi, December, January 2014

This time of the season is supposed to be dry , windy, cold and just like any other, homely, in Kerala. I  happened to visit Kochi this December 2014. The time is ripe for celebration of Christmas, New Year and what not. I had high hopes to get atleast two cakes. Cakes that people eat, and not smear on faces, is available in Kochi. These are often called plum cakes, if you do not know about cakes. Some plum cakes come with icing on it. This competes with the traditional palada pradaman on the sweetiness and creaminess of it. Nowadays, since cakes are mostly used as play – thing to spread on a birthday guy’s face, the real creaminess of cakes are lost to time and trend.

The first cake I got looked like unniyappam. It was primarily cup-cake. Find the photos here.

Then there was some free time to look around and buy some groceries. I got myself out of the cosiness of home. Hit on the road, fill my nose full of dust, ear full of noise and head full of ache.

I was surprised when my mother said that it is Vishu in here now. I could get the gravity of it. Working of Low carbon emissions can blur out the sense of reality.

When my mind was more free I noticed that Kochi was hotter than Chennai this winter. Chennai was cold, windy, rainy. Kochi was .. I was sweating. I got out of the shop to have a look around. There were many kannikonna (Cassia Fistula). In full bloom it looked as if it is Vishu in Kerala. And the tree is quite famous to bring prosperity with Vishu. It blooms only during the summer near April. April 14 to be exact.

This phenomenon of Vishu at Christmas in Kerala could be considered as the merger of celebrations. May be the Vishu wants to celebrate Christmas, or vice versa. This  could be attributed to global climate change. Why else a botanical phenomenon so much revered and attached to a regional festival should happen at an unprecedented time.

It was a rare sight, a sight for thought, a thought for caught.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Simple live solutions in traffic and septage management

Dear world ,

When Government of Kerala was unable to provide adequate land for a four lane road between Edappalli & Talappadi in NH 17 the NHAI went out of the project itself. The NHAI & GoK blame each other. Just let us look what the Kenyans, strapped for money did in their two lane highways for easing traffic congestion. See the attachment. They provide an extra lane on the left side wherever there is a steep climb for the slow moving large vehicles to use. Isn’t there a lesson to learn from them in this matter. Although not a transportation expert, I was impressed by what they did here. Later I found out that in all their two lane highways, they do it!!!!!

Cut back to septage-When I was in the fourth largest town in Kenya, Nakuru, during a meeting with Local Self Government officials, I asked them what they do with their septage. They immediately replied that the septage removal is done by the municipality and the same is transferred to the Municipal Sewage Treatment Plant for further processing.
Now, please tell me, how many in the KWA or equivalent bodies in India could be responding like them?

Money and Power is of no use, if one does have the sense to use it properly.

****

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Pangu the bank; a take on language issues

We have a very peaceful situation in India were diverse cultures, languages,people exist in a single country. We are proud of that when in a debate. For, in a debate you have to put maxima of positives of whatever you are defending. In other circumstances, we tend, we become natural human beings with hard feelings.Comparisons come up, questions of superiority and sub-ordinance are argued. Then somewhere in between if we lose the heat of argument and take it on a light note, cool the ambience with a laughter, then one round of fight is considered to be over.

State bank of India is the biggest bank, they say so. They are proud of it.But it is just due to government employees and government transactions that it is big. But a fact is fact. When we come to localisation of names, SBI follows any other in places especially Tamil Nadu. Here it is the ‘Pangu‘ (when written in Tamil, it can be read as pangu), which intelligent Tamil script decoders will read as Bank. The crazy part is that the Tamil people constantly preach that other south Indian languages exist because of Tamil. Tamil is the oldest, holiest……… (add as many adjectives and objectives as you please) language. If needed it could be enforced to make use of the Tamil word for Bank, but that did not happen. And we guys, include Tamils were laughing at why the SBI calendar was reading ‘Pangu’. We laughed non stop for 5 minutes. Really seriously, funny. An orthodox Tamilian not withstanding even his language-mate ( people who speak the same language!?)  taking part in criticism sprang up. He said, “Tamilians speak the perfect English unlike other guys, especially Keralites. Tamil is the oldest language which is mother of all. The Kings of Kerala were Tamilians originally. Lord Ayyapa is Tamil, malayalees see Tamil movies, In many districts Tamilians are majority, Some of it must definitely be merged with Tamil Nadu, if not the whole of Kerala. ”

The next sentence I genuinely thought he would say “Even English originated from Tamil” (Already the Chinese link is established ! (Boddhidharman and the movie 7am Arivu ?!)

The Tamil guy on our side is proper Tamil unlike the other guy, a Chennaite, he said that he faced problems when speaking English because he has been trained in tamil. ‘ Ba’ and ‘Pa’ are same, there are three ‘la’ :- la, lla, and la (actually ‘zha’ as in Thamizh).

When the Pangu business was over we pondered over why any language should have the script to represent all humanly produce-able sounds.  If we take a refined language as Sanskrit , we cannot write Italy and read it as italy (were ‘ta’ stands out as hurdle), ‘zha’ was introduced in Hindi, but Northern guys of India struggle to pronounce. Considering all that we came to a logical conclusion that Malayalam has representation for almost all sounds, except ‘za’ as in zamindar, or zamzam the holy water.

For a language there are other considerations like it should have words to express emotions and things. English scores here. But there are multiple standards, American , British, Jamaican and what not!. Tanglish (refer Kolaveri) is another branch of  united English (the language).  Importing all the words avaliable in the world and having a script that is easily readable, that is specific sound for specific letter with no duplication or ambiguity, a language becomes better and adaptable. But putting a standard on it is like saying my english is better than yours because of so and so certification.

An hindi guy was studying technical subjects from a hindi book and I was surprised and shocked to see words like ‘padipath’ which means circuit. I had difficulty in dealing with this guy who wanted me to put everything in hindi, and excused himself that he couldn’t grasp english properly. This same guy was telling me later that in South India the usage of English in writing is wrong and he dwelled into the subtleties of the situation were ta, tha represented different sound when written in English and presented to a Southerner or Northerner. I tried to convince him that it is better to know the rule of land and then apply as required. Also, the old comedy story came to mind which I shared with him. I didn’t want to hurt specific Northerners so I omitted the name of states and said “When British ruled India thepeople had to sing the British anthem which begins as ‘God, Save the Queen”. When some ventured on and sung, it became ‘Shave the king’ instead and the other lot said ‘Same Same'(Actually they meant Shame). Listening to all these insults, the British left India and India became independent”.

The ultimate objective of any language is to facilitate communication. Those who fight over languages are tribal and barbarian. Those who see also see that there are people who use sign language and communicate and be happy and sad, the same as others do. Do you laugh at  them because their language was recently developed? because it looks odd to look at their actions? , like some old chaplin movie without any dialogue?

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Safe Sanitation in Kerala

While Government of India considers Kerala a state which has achieved 100 % sanitation and hence has excluded the state from the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), it has to be studied whether the sanitation facilities in the state is 100 % safe sanitation. There are several problems in various urban and rural areas in Kerala in the field of sanitation. The most common and critical are given below. Please note that the list is not exhaustive but only indicative.

1. Common facility for collection, treatment and safe disposal of domestic effluents.

Sewer systems are seen only in the cities of Trivandrum and parts of Cochin. Even in Trivandrum the sewer system is available only within the old city limits. Areas south east of Karamana, west of Vallakadavu, north of Airport, Kowdiar and Kesavadasapuram are not covered by the sewer system. The domestic effluents so collected are used for farming purpose near Valiathura which was acceptable technology at the time of installation of the system (about 70 years ago). A new treatment plant using modern technology is being set up at present. In Cochin, where there are two treatment plants in operation (one at Elamkulam and the second near KINCO jetty near High Court junction) only a part of the city is covered by the sewer system. Very interestingly, Vyttila, Elamkulam and Kadavanthra areas, close to the oldest treatment plant in the state are still not covered by the sewer system. The treatment systems installed are supposed to be of high quality yielding treated effluent of acceptable quality fit for discharge in to the backwaters. The third of the sewer systems is for Guruvayur Municipal area laid about 20 years back but not yet commissioned due to the absence of the treatment plant. Thus it can be seen that the entire state is depending on Septic Tank-Soak Pit systems for treatment and disposal of domestic effluents. Multi storey apartment complexes are exceptions, thanks to the initiative by Kerala State Pollution Control Board to insist on them having their own plants for treatment of the effluents to acceptable quality before disposal by means of Soak Pits. It may be of interest to note that Bureau of Indian Standards never suggested Soak Pits as means of disposal but has recommended only dispersion trenches (Seepage Beds) in IS: 2470 Part II. The only code in south Asia which suggests Soak Pits is Sri Lankan Code (SLS: 745) although the same code gives Seepage Beds as an alternative.

2. Construction of Septic Tanks

It has been observed that most of the Septic Tanks constructed whether in rural areas or urban areas are not as per IS Code (IS 2470: Part I). Even many of the qualified and practicing Architects are not even aware of such an IS Code. Further, in many households, Septic Tanks are constructed without any impermeable floor making them Soak Pits in the technical sense. In localities where the water table is generally high, an ‘overflow pipe’ is found to be provided at the outlet of the Septic Tank directly feeding a canal or a drain or a water body.

3. Use of Soak Pits

Soak Pits in water logged/high water table areas are generally provided with an ‘overflow pipe’ is found to be provided at the outlet of the Septic Tank directly feeding a canal or a drain or a water body. This is being done without taking in to consideration the fact the drains are designed only for collection and transport of storm water.

4. Septic Tank Sludge

Even in multi storey apartment complexes having treatments, use of a Septic Tank or similar anaerobic reactors is a necessity for primary anaerobic treatment of sewage and all such reactors will require periodical removal of sludge. While public or local bodies satisfy themselves by putting up notices or forming ‘action councils’ against indiscriminate disposal of Septic Tank sludge, there is no proper direction to the users as to how to dispose off the same. The ground reality is that there is actually no method of safely treating and disposing the sludge available in the state. In the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, wherever there is a Municipal Sewage Treatment Plant, the plant will accept such sludge at a fee of ₹ 200/- per load (approximately 3000 L). However, the local bodies there are not strict with the movement of Septic sludge and hence the owners of gulpers prefer dumping the material in a nearby water body in many cases.

5. Safe Drinking Water

Safe drinking water is actually a rare commodity in the water rich state of Kerala. There several Water Treatment Plants installed and operated by Kerala Water Authority. However, that supply and demand do not match even by 50 %.

It could of interest to note that there are some small towns in South Asia which take initiatives in tackling such problems in ways acceptable in social, legal and technical sense. Just two examples are given below.

One is Musiri in Trichy district Tamil Nadu. The town has facility for collection, transport and treatment of Septic Tank sludge. The town has a very good composting plant for Solid Waste Treatment. The treated sludge is mixed with compost and the result is better quality manure.

The second small town is Balangoda in Ratnapura district, Sri Lanka. They went one upon Musiri by charging a higher price for the manure containing treated sludge than the plain compost. The latter is priced at LKR 8/- while the former is priced at LKR 7/-.

Now, to the key question-If even small towns in Tamil Nadu or Sri Lanka can do many things in this direction, why not in Kerala? Here comes the critical question- Who will initiate all these?

 

 

Courtesy: “TSC”

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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