Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The failure of High Range landscape project to take off in Kerala

This is a cross post from my regular blog Tahrcountry musings.( ).  I had stopped maintaining the blog Highrange Tidings, but thought this particular post from Tahrcountry Musings is worth a repost here. The matter is of great significance to High Ranges of Kerala.

The failure of High Range landscape project to take off in Kerala should act as an eye opener to planners in Kerala. It was a grandiose project conceived with very good intentions. But, in a thickly populated and highly literate state like Kerala the planners should have taken much more care before even thinking of implementing it.
The project funded by UNDP was planned in near secrecy with deliberations limited to few individuals. The interaction with local administrators lacked the urgency and empathy that was obviously needed. The local administrators were treated with disdain and supercilious attitude.
The attitude of UNDP officials also came in for criticism when they visited areas like Munnar. They had the know all attitude.Disdain and insouciance was written large in their demeanour. A furious estate manager rang me up and said" Who the bloody hell the UNDP officials think they are. They were trying to lord it over us. We do not like the attitude"
Even the wording of the project document had lot of lacunae. Sentences like an increase in protected area is expected was thrown out of context by the politicians and the bogey of taking away peoples' rights was spread by the politicians with ulterior motives. The officials concerned failed to read the danger signals in time or may be they took it lightly in their stride.
The church which has sizable followers in High Ranges also took a negative attitude. The mix of politicos and church was potent. Emotions were whipped up by interested elements with ulterior motives and their own agendas.
The failure of proper dialogue spelt the death knell of the project. Even within the departments proper dialogue was not initiated. Forest department which was the nodal agency failed miserably in this respect. When the newly appointed chief of forest forces Dr B.S Correy was asked about his comments on the project by a journalist he was frank enough to admit that he does not know anything much about the project. "It was conceived by a coterie within the forest department and they tried to implement it according to their will and pleasure". That in a nut shell explains the reasons for the failure of the project.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Discontinuing the blog

Due to paucity of time and the demands of other pressing chores I am discontinuing this blog. I will continue to maintain my other blog tahrcountry( Hop on to tahrcountry for informative posts on wildlife.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One up the arse of BSNL

Hi guys,
             Sorry about the tone and tenor of the title.There is no better way to express my ire and woe. My telephone line and internet connectivity went dead three weeks back and BSNL the provider is yet to repair it. The constant answer is cable fault. If even after 3 weeks they cannot pin point and repair the fault they should leave this job and hand over the service to private firms. Is it a deliberate ploy by interested quarters working hand in glove with private providers to destroy the BSNL ? It seems to be a real possibility

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Amazing protective properties of green tea

I am a green tea buff. I got hooked on to it from my very first sip years back in Munnar. I have initiated many to the delights of sipping green tea and I closely follow every bit of news about green tea.

It was with great pleasure that I read in journal Biology and Nature the latest on green tea. Scientists have discovered that drinking green tea could protect the brain against developing Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

The researchers from Newcastle University wanted to find out whether the protective properties of green tea were still active once the tea had been digested. They found that when green tea is digested by enzymes in the stomach, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimer's development than the undigested form of the tea. Digested compounds also had anti-cancer properties, significantly slowing down the growth of the tumour cells.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Watermelons - Yummy and Functional Fruit

    I have a weakness for watermelons. The other day I was munching delectable watermelon that my friend Ramesh from wynad had procured. After polishing off the watermelon I told Ramesh about the medicinal properties of watermelon. Ramesh was all ears and wanted me to put the info in my blog. 

So guys here it comes.    Watermelon is an excellent fruit that can ward off ill effects of prehypertension. Watermelon is the richest edible natural source of L-citrulline, which is closely related to L-arginine, the amino acid required for the formation of nitric oxide essential to the regulation of vascular tone and healthy blood pressure.   

When university of Florida researchers administered six grams of the amino acid L-citrulline/L-arginine from watermelon extract there was improved arterial function and consequently lowered aortic blood pressure in all nine of their prehypertensive subjects. Watermelon has vasodilatory effect, and this may prevent prehypertension from progressing to full-blown hypertension.   

Watermelon is also a rich source of vitamin A, B6, C, fiber, potassium and lycopene. So guys go ahead and eat watermelons when the season comes. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Declaration of 17,066.49 Acres of KDH Area as Reserve Forest

The declaration of 17,066.49 acres of KDH area as reserve forest is the best thing that could have happened in Munnar. This was a long overdue process. We congratulate Forest Minister Benoy Viswom and the officers at the top echelons of the forest department for the ceaseless efforts that they have made to make this demand from environmentalists come true. It is actions like this that are the need of the hour.

Stale things like my tree, your tree, their tree are Ok to garner attention for some time. They pale in to insignificance in the long process. It should not be the number of seedlings that matter. What matters should be the seedlings that grow on to become trees. I am sure that if all the seedlings that were planted to date had grown to become trees we would have needed dredging the Arabian Sea to find the required land. So go for quality instead of harping on clich├ęd words and sentences. 

We wish you the very best in your endeavours.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Some Random Thoughts

The increasing thrust of ecotourism in wildlife reserves makes me squirm. While the tour operators makes merry and their cash registers keep ringing, there is absolutely no mechanism to routinely monitor the negative impacts of tourism in wildlife areas. Is it a deliberate turning the face away from the facts? I doubt so.

Many policy makers think that prefixing the three letters ECO is the panacea for all the evils affecting us. Very little thought is given to implications. Why is it that we cannot have a mechanism for monitoring the reserves on a regular basis? In the mad rat race for mega bucks the eyes of the administrators seem to get blighted.

Forethought has become a rarity among our administrators. Look at the recent strike of auto workers in Kerala. It was clear as day light that a strike was round the corner with the increase in fuel prices. Instead of living in fools’ paradise and giving sermons the minister and administrators should have come up with well thought out plans. This did not happen. Many foreign tourists were put to lot of bother by the strike. Some of them even missed their flight. A state that calls itself God’s own country meted a devils own treatment to the foreign and domestic tourists.

I feel that the Indian Institute of Management should come up with a short term courses for ministers and administrators that are rooted in emergency fire fighting. The ministers and administrators seem to forget that it is the common man’s tax money that they fritter away.