Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Leaf-feeding beetle Zygogramma to fight against parthenium

Controlling spread of Parthenium in vacant lands has for long been a challenging task not only for officials, but even for residents in their vicinity with many of them susceptible to severe allergies.

In an novel attempt the Horticulture Department officials have left leaf-feeding beetle Zygogramma on the parthenium which has grown in large hectares of land of Linganbudhi Lake. 

The Zygogramma insect was released in the vicinity of the lake around three months ago and the insects have multiplied into thousands. These insects have been successful in eradicating pathenium in around 40 per cent of the surroundings of the Linganbudhi Lake, by eating leaves and flowers of the parthenium.

“The use of insects to control spread of parthenium is a naturally phenomenon. Spraying of pesticides destroys leaves and not seed. Meantime, pesticides makes soil toxic,” say officials.

Horticulture Department Assistant Director Balu BP Gowda informed that they collected around 40 insects found feeding on Parthenium plants growing on vacant places and left on the land of lake. The insects in a short time of 30 days have reproduce in thousands, he adds.

“Zygogramma is an accepted biological weapon to control growth of parthenium weeds. As these beetles feed on Parthenium plant it begins preventing pollination and new growth. The insects are found in the open only at certain places and will not harm other cultivated crops. Anybody can collect the insect on their own and release the same in places infested with Parthenium. So that it can be completely eradicated," he added. 

"Parthenium weeds grow and spread very quickly within no time. The insect prevents production of seeds produced by parthenium weeds by eating flowers. This helps in prevention of allergic reactions and other health hazards caused by parthenium weeds," says another official.

Interesting facts

* Parthenium Hysterophorus weed was brought to India along with PL480 Mexican wheat seeds when they were imported in 1950s.

* The Indian Institute of Horticulture Research introduced the leaf-feeding beetle Zygogramma Bicolorata (Coleoptera:Chrysomelidae) also brought from Mexico in 1983.

* Necessary permission for conducting field trials were obtained from the Plant Protection Advisors in 1984.

Mymul to encourage farmers to cultivate pasture grasses

View 200111-1418.jpg in slide show

With scarcity of water, specially during drought hit season, its a challenging task for thousands of farmers indulged in dairy farming to grow fodder and feed their livestock. Thus, Mysore Milk Union Limited is on its new venture to motivate farmers to grow drought resistance crop that is 'Pasture Grasses'.

About 15 villages are selected under the project which include drought hit villages too. Forage demonstrate in 75 acres of land at Mysore and Chamarajanagar is under progress. Central Fodder Seed Production Farm, Hesserghatta, Bangalore has distributed seeds for 150 farmers at free of cost and farmers will be demonstrating forage in 20 guntas of land under this pilot project.  


MS Lakshmi Prasad Yadav of Mymul Seeds and Fodder Unit said at present, farmers in the region are practicing cultivation of fooder grass in a scientific way, called as Hybrid Napier. This grass can be grown by farmers only those have irrigation facility, and requires good quantity of water. Whereas its not same with the pasture grass. The advantage of the forage is it can be grown even in waste land, requires less water consumption and primarily its a drought resistance crop.

"Pasture grass are high quality fodder and comprise high dry matter. Hybrid Napier has 90 per cent moisture and 10 per cent dry matter, whereas pasture grasses contain 75 per cent moisture and 25 per cent dry matter. As the grass are rich in protein, mineral, vitamins content, it can be exclusively used to feed livestock. By feeding pasture grass for milking cows, buffaloes the yield of milk production and fat contents in the milk increases. More over, farmers can obtain good profit with less expenditure,” he added.

DSC01747.JPG Subsidy
One kg of pasture seed costs about Rs 400 and 25 per cent subsidy (Rs 100) is given for farmers, who take up pasture grass cultivation. The seeds are available at Mymul Training Center situated in Alanahalli. Training are given to farmers to grow pasture grass of three varieties such as Rhodes, Guinea and panic grasses.
Mymul MD Dr Suresh Babu said plans have been made to encourage farmers in large number to switch over for cultivating pasture grass in the region.


The monsoon has brought teething problems with it

The current monsoon has brought big relief in one side, while in other side has brought with it some teething problems as well. Though people are enjoying the chill weather, and are having a big relief from sweltering heats and drinking water scarcity, lack of civic amenities daunting the citizens.

Rain water is over flowing on the tarred roads because of clogged drainages at several places. The standing water is further spoiling the already deteriorated pot-holed roads across city.

In several places the pot holes are completely covered with standing rain water, making it appear like a mini-puddle. There are several instances, where riders especially two-wheelers have missed balance over vehicle unaware of the depth of the pot holes. Specially, for those commute on roads for first time it will be nightmare.

Apart, this open drains filled with weeds, silt and clogged rain water has become cause of concern in several residential localities. Added to this, rampant growth of parthenium and other weeds in vacant sites located left uncared by their respective owners and also Mysore City Corporation, has become heaven for mosquitoes to breed and cause of fear among citizens with the outbreak of dengue. 

"Untarred roads, filled with pot holes has become a regular feature of the city's roads and it seems civic authorities as well as the general public have decided this is 'fate' and nothing can be done about it. Youngsters should raise voice against this and bring changes," says senior citizen VB Mukunda, expressing anger.

"The accidents rates also increases with bad roads. The concerned officials should immediately fill the pot holes and provide commuter-friendly roads first. In several places the rain water has clogged in parking places for days together, forcing commuters to park their vehicles in other places, which again results in traffic congestion," student L Sandhya.

When contact, Mysore City Corporation PG Ramesh in this regard, he was not available over phone.

Empowerment of women through scientific career

The Department of Biotechnology, University of Mysore, under the project 'The Women Scientists Scheme (WOS)' to empower women who have breaks in their career due to familial and societal reasons.

The Women Scientists Scheme has been evolved in the context, by the Department of Science and Technology for providing opportunities to women scientists and technologies between the age group of 30 to 50 years who desire to return to mainstream science and work as bench-level scientists. The department empowers women by providing them with research grants in the field of Life Sciences.

Under the scheme, women are empowered with self sustained management of research goals, besides gaining confidence in their life to be employed as long as they are delivering the quality and value added research to the scientific society.

In the same, a subject expert committee meeting on 'The Women Scientists Scheme (WOS)' was held in city from July 18 to 21. The major outcome of the meeting was to have an impact on the scientific career of the women who wish to come back to the main stream of research in life sciences.

Subject Expert Committee Member Prof Bharathi P Salimath said that women constitute an important section of the workforce. "However, the present situation of a large number of weel-qualified women who due to various circumstances have been left out of the Science and Technology activities needs to be addressed," she added.

She further said, The WOS is aimed to create opportunities for women scientists for pursuing research in basic or applied sciences in frontier areas of science and engineering, on problems of societal relevance, followed by self-employment.

The subject experts who constituted the committee to validate the scientific content of the women scientists are chosen from all over India and are the cream of academicians from life sciences background. For details contact 0821-2419879.  

Wood carving artisans switching over to other jobs

Faced with severe shortage of raw materials traditional artisans are slowly switching over to other jobs. Especially artisans involved in wood carving are facing such adversity, as they depend on Rose, Teak and Honne trees for carving. In the past wood scrap or waste wood was sold at wood depots which has been discontinued now further adding to their woes.

Mysore Handicrafts Marketing and Service Extension Centre Assistant Director P Shashidhar who admitted that artistes are switching over to other job, said that scarcity of wood has resulted in prices of raw wood going up, in turn pushing artisans to shell out more money while purchasing raw materials and thereby forcing them to sell the finished work at a higher price. With businesses are reeling under recession, the price sensitive consumer thinks twice before investing on an expensive product.

Presently there are around 3,000 registered artisans in Mysore involved in wood carving, stone carving, embroidery, bamboo work, woolen and Basket weavers, toy makers, and traditional art paintings apart from several others. But, according to sources only small figure are in the same profession.

Thousands of families who are depend on wood carving are severely affected with the non availability of wood. Fathima Banu, who is helping her husband Aslam Mohammed in wood carving for last two decades says: “The prices of raw materials has been increasing steadily for the past several years and we are finding it extremely difficult to purchase raw materials.”

Cost of transportation and labour charges have also gone up resulting in the prices of handicrafts going up, while customers think twice before purchasing', says another Artisan Mabasha, hearing his plea.

Artisan Kaleem of Mandi Mohalla says: “I want this wood carving to end with me, which has been running in our family for the past four generations. We are facing lot of hardship due to non-availability of raw materials, and lack of marketing and labour problem.

According to sources in Forest Department after the introduction of the new forest policy aimed at protecting and conserving forests, cutting of trees has been banned. Some of them even suggested that the artisans should come together and grow the much needed trees on interested farmer's land and later purchase from them directly on the lines of how paper mill owners are practicing.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Botanical garden to come up around Linganbudhi lake

Sate Government has sanctioned Rs 70 lakh in first phase, 
and  officials are hoping to make it attractive 
on the lines of the Lalbagh.
A botanical garden is being planned in an area stretching 15 acres surrounding the Lingambudhi lake, where around thousand different species of flowers and plants will be grown. Exotic and rare varieties
of roses, different coloured Opentia, Wasabi plants, medicinal plants will be grown.

The garden will not only improve the city's green cover, whereas will be an  educational aid to teach children in identifying different species of plants and flowers. The garden will have a modern outlook in tune with the present times and plans are there to come up with playground for children in future. Officials are hoping to make it attractive on the lines of the Lalbagh in Bangalore and develop it as one of the major tourist center.

The total estimated cost of the project is approximately around Rs 10 crore and is planned to completed in four-five phases. State Government has sanctioned Rs 70 lakh in first phase, where work on  pathways, construction of Horticulture Department's office, Gazebo, construction of artificial boating pond and road, planting of various kinds of botanical plants, sitting arrangements, borewells and others works will be taken. The place was handed over by Forest Department to Horticulture Department  in 2011.

Water Harvesting
With the huge  catchment area surrounding the lake, the Horticulture Department is planning to harvest around 50 lakh liters of water every year. Thus, Water harvesting will be implemented in five acres of land.

Horticulture Assistant Director Balu BP Gowda said the works will commence in two months time and for time being they have blocked sewage water entering the lake. “Four sewage pipelines from the neighbouring
localities of Ramakrishna Nagar, Kuvempunagar, Srirampura and other localities are let directly into lake and it has to be stopped,” he added, stating if delayed it might hinder the rain water harvesting process.

The officials have even written a letter to the Corporation in this regard seeking permanent diversion of sewage entering the lake. They have obtained permission from the Forest Department to fell 243 Eucalyptus trees in the surroundings of the lake where the garden will come up and steps have been taken to conserve around 50 coconut tree, which already exist in place.

Read all religious books under one roof

'Manvantara Samvahana Balaga Dharmika Granthalaya', a library dedicated exclusively to matters related to religion is functioning at Chamundipuram from Mysore from last three months.
A wide array of collection of religious books not just limited to Hinduism but also Christianity, Islam and other religions of the world can be witnessed here.
The library houses rare books, seven of which are said to date back more than four centuries. To name a few Vruthamala, Gurucharitra, Bhagvadgita, Mahabharatha, Kumaravasya Bharatha and others.
Entire 100 issues of our city's famous Vontikoppal Panchanga right from 1913 upto the latest 2013 can be find here. A collection of magazine named 'Saptagiri' beginning from1979, copies of Quaran in Kannada and Arabic, books on Bible and also on matters related to spiritual, like books on Ramakrishnaparamahamsa, Buddha, Ramanujacharya, Shankaracharya, Basaveshwara, Pathanjali Yoga Sutras amongst various others. The pocket Bhagvadgita housed in the library is cynosure of all eyes and measures just about 3x2.5 inches.
The intention of the Balaga members is to open the library to educate youngsters not only about our religion but also of other religions as well. The idea of opening the religious library first occurred to Balaga President Venkataram Kashyap when he was pained to see copies of Bhagavadgita and Ramanayana being thrown in the scrap for disposal. Not wasting a moment he immediately purchased the books and started hunting for other religious books. Kashyap was successful in collecting more than 1200 books, several among them are rare being out of print since decades.
Hearing about Kashyap's plans, a kind hearted couple, Sathyanarayana, a retired railway employee and his wife Lakshmi came forward and donated a portion of their house to setup the library, in memory of his first wife Madhuri who had passed away ten years ago and was a staunch devotee of God.
Kashyap claimed that this was the first in the entire State, a religious library run entirely by private individuals. The library will be opened for public between 4.30 to 6.30 pm. If any one interested to donate books for the library contacted 95385 22053.

Eco-clubs to train students to become 'Environment warriors'

A NGO foundation named 'Parisara' has come forward to educate students about the need to converse forest lands and protect wild life by setting up eco-clubs in education institutions, involving students and the faculty.

The foundation has plans to open around 22,000 eco-clubs in a phased manner and rejuvenating the existing Eco-Clubs in colleges, schools.
In the first phase, around 4000 eco-clubs will be set up in colleges, affiliated to Mysore and Mangalore Universities and government libraries. This process is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Correspondence is already underway about the formalities of setting up eco-clubs in colleges. Suitable study materials will be provided by the foundation and a eco-journal will be published every month detailing the activities of the eco-clubs.
Foundation member SK Ananthanarayana said that in two years of the college studies, students will become true environmentalists, acting as 'warriors of environment', by taking initiative to raise voice for the cause of protection of environment.

In all, 2000 teachers and 80,000 students will be trained across state by the end of 2014. 22,000 lecturers and teachers as resource persons will be developed through club, who indeed can facilitate environment education and train students,” he added.

Eco-Clubs of the college consists of One President (Principal) One Vice President (Lecturer) One General Secretary (Student) and 2 Joint Secretaries (Student), 12 Executive Committee Members and 24 Student Members as an organisation.

Club activities
Key activities of club include tree planting, conducting seminars, debate, discussions, writing articles, creating awareness, providing knowledge on biodiversity. It also covers vast range of topics such as prevention of environmental pollution involving water and air, global warming, land degradation, noise pollution, waste management, rainwater harvesting, prevention of epidemic diseases, nature camps and much more.
The State government had initiated steps to open eco-clubs in 3845 Pre-University colleges in Karnataka under National Green Corpos Programme and Rs 5000 was sanction for each club. According to sources its learnt that due to lack of proper initiative and support the project never took off.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A man on a bid to break his own record

Having already made his entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for dancing non-stop for seven days, he is now planning to break his own record by dancing for 15 days at a stretch.
Unfettered by the heavy downpour and the cold breeze, 43-year-old KR Chandrakumar Nayak began dancing in front of the Palace gate and people were watching with apt interest his attempts at breaking the records. 
For every eight hours he will be taking a break of 15 minutes, and will be dancing for more than 348 hours in this 15 days. He began his dancing marathon on July 3 at 8 pm and plans to conclude on July 17. 
Interesting part of Chandrakumar is he does Bharathanatya in thumb finger. He will be performing various dance forms during his 15 day sojourn which not only include Bharathanatyam but also Kathakalli, Kuchipudi and even disco along with other Indian classical dances.
He has already set a world record in 2003 at Kanakapura and 2005 in Bangalore for dancing continuously for seven days. Being a native of Kanakapura, he learnt dance at the age of ten. He says: “My inspiration is great master of Indian Classic Guru Gopinath, who had set record dancing for 24 hours.”  
A temporary platform has been setup in front of Kote Anjaneyaswamy Temple in front of Place for his venture. A non-stop video recording of his achievement will be done which will be sent to the Guniness for verification. 
Employed in the Forest Department as second division clerk in Ramanagar, his zest for practicing arts is high. He is a devout fan of   actor late Dr.Rajkumar and dreams of making a big name in the art field.
His wife Nagaratha expressed happiness over her husband's new venture. “He barely sleeps for 3-4 hours in the day and spends the spare time practicing dance. This will be his life time achievement award. Mysore being a cultural capital he has chosen this place to set the new record,” she added.  The couple are blessed with two children Abhishek Nayak and Anusha. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fraudster sells government land, dupes MUDA

The Mysore City Corporation almost lost a huge site because of the negligence of the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) before the fraud was discovered in the nick of time.The accused Krishna had forged documents of 1.13 acres in Survey No 505 in Kesare village and sold it to one Parveez who started constructing a building when it was stopped by MCC officials. The accused had even got an NoC to sell the land from MUDA, which did not bother to find out the real owner. 

Krishna is said to be a relative of the man to whom the land originally belonged before it was acquired by the erstwhile City Improvement Trust Board (CITB) for civic purposes about 58 years ago. Finding the land vacant for many decades, the accused created fake documents and tried to sell it. 

Sources in the MCC said that after obtaining information through RTI about the land, Krishna, along with his relative Chennaiah, obtained an NoC from MUDA and got the Khata made for the land from the taluk office by producing fake documents. The property was registered in Krishna’s name in 2009.

Krishna then sold the illegal property to Parveez in 2011-12. After realising that he had been cheated, Parveez filed a suit in court, getting a permanent injunction restraining the defendant from interfering with his peaceful possession of the property. 

Revenue Assistant Commissioner R Lokanath said that when he inspected the place, he found that Parveez had occupied the land and even fenced the property that belonged to the Corporation. Upon questioning, he produced the clearances obtained from MUDA, Taluk office and even the court. 
After being alerted, MCC officials registered a land grab-cum-cheating complaint against Krishna and Parveez. They have even approached court and the case is pending.