Ritual is to commemorate the visit of the goddess

A group of fisherman folk have left for Kodungalloour to take part in the ‘Bharani’ festival and to pay obeisance to the presiding deity of the temple there.The century-old ritual is to commemorate the mythological visit here by the goddess.

As many as 212 fisher-folk, including 98 elderly women, residing around the Sri Kurumba Bhagavathi temple near the Kasaragod beach locality left their homes in a country-made boat to reach the temple town on Monday to take part in the “Bharani” festival held in the Malayalam month of ‘Meenam.’In relation to the previous years’ tally of 416 fisher-folk, including 150 women, visiting the shrine from here, this year the number has come down owing to financial crunch, K. Chthrangan, 40, son of Kumaran, who had been undertaking the visit since he was five without break, told.

Mr. Chithrangan said the dedicated visit was to commemorate the mythological visit here of the goddess during her trip to the north zone.Being a “Malanadan” (Malayalee) girl, the goddess, who could not comprehend the Tulu language when she reached Mangalore, made a hasty retreat to the south after visiting the sea shore here.

Ritual to continue

 

The residents, who were believed to have been afflicted with measles, found their disease vanished in no time after the visit of the goddess. Since then, the fishermen folk from here undertook regular visits to Kodungalloor to take part in the festivities, he said, adding the generation next would sure continue the tradition.The “Araya” (fishermen) communities visiting Kodungalloor usually got special reception at the shrine, he said.

Structure suits climatic conditions

The Regional Gas Management Centre of the Gas Authority of India (GAIL) in Kochi has been given a three-star rating by Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) for its environment-friendly features.

The building is compact and structurally safe for Seismic Zone IV conditions and it features the use of efficient air-conditioning system and LED lighting in the interior, photovoltaic street lights and a rainwater harvesting system. Fly ash bricks have been used and there is application of recycled factory made green materials, GAIL sources said.The building at Kalamassery has been designed to suit the climatic conditions in Kochi and has a total covered area of 3,000 sq m. The remaining area of 3,039 sq m will be be constructed later.

The external walls of the building are slightly tapered outward from its base floor to reduce the impact of harsh rays of sun falling directly on the surface of the walls. Double skin structural glazing and insulated aluminium composite panels have been used to avoid penetration of heat through radiation into the building. This has reduced the burden on air-conditioning during the summer months.

 

The design has also achieved maximum design efficiency by way of spatial arrangements of office areas.The sources said the most visible impact was the reduction in energy consumption. The Regional Gas Management Centre building is spread over 3,000 sq m area and the average monthly expenditure for electricity is less than Rs. 1.5 lakh.

Simi Stephen and Anu Smith emerge winners in The Hindu MetroPlus ‘Heels on Wheels’ contest

Zooming past twisty streets and historic landmarks in search of answers to cryptic clues, they acquainted themselves with the city from a much different angle.Even the sweltering heat did not deter these intrepid women riders from criss-crossing the city as part of Maruti Suzuki - The Hindu MetroPlus ‘Heels on Wheels All Women Treasure Hunt Car Ride’ held here on Sunday. The adventure game, which was flagged off from Crowne Plaza, saw the participants — in 75 teams of two — taking off in cars and cracking clues to reach the finishing line.The ride was flagged off by Ajay Kumar, senior manager, sales, Maruti Suzuki, from Hotel Crowne Plaza at 9.45 a.m.

Balancing speed with composure, the teams covered around 40 km in the city on two routes — Fort Kochi and Kakkanad — and found answers in new and old landmarks and two Maruti Suzuki showrooms to complete the race.Finally, the team of Simi Stephen and Anu Smith emerged the winner, while the duo of Shyla Eapen and R.S. Renu became runners-up. The team of Sona Smith and Lashmi K.B. finished third.

Big prizes

While the event brought in fun for the participants, the first three winning teams had massive prizes to take home. The first prize carried a cash award of Rs. 25,000, while the first and second runners-up were presented cheques for Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 10,000 respectively.

Excited over the win, Simi Stephen said the event was full of fun and frolic. “This was our third appearance in the event, and it is getting better every year. It was really thrilling to work around potential clues and make instant decisions, all this while negotiating narrow lanes and anticipating the next clue,” she added.

From searching for forgotten landmarks to hints at unknown locations, the clues sent everyone helter-skelter. The participants, though glad that the hunt spanned areas they were familiar with, were left equally embarrassed as they had not noticed the little things in their neighbourhood.It took the teams a combination of word power, knowledge, and team power to come up with the answer - ‘REFRESH’, a word denoting the refreshed look of The Hindu .

 

Besides the treasure hunt, the participants were also judged on their outfits, and the duo of Renjini Menon and Chitra were selected as the best dressed team.Convening at Crowne Plaza in the afternoon, some participants got up on stage to exhibit their talents. Giving away the prizes, actor Unni Mukundan applauded the spirit of the participants.“You have all done an amazing work. Even the hot sun could not deter you from going in pursuit of completing the task. I wish more powers to you,” the actor said to a huge round of applause.

Drive to link Adhar, phone and bank account numbers

The district administration’s drive for expanding the initiative to link the three important identities of every individual (Adhar, mobile phone and bank account numbers) highlighting present and future facilities including digital transactions, digital locker, and fingerprint-based payment system is yielding positive results, especially among college students.

If the initial response is any indication, TriD drive, as the campaign launched by the District e-Governance Society (DeGS) to get the three identity numbers of an individual linked is known, is getting good support from college students. The Chinmaya Mission Women’s College here that has 1,600 students is 100% TriD-enabled now and many other colleges will soon achieve that status.

The highlights of the TriD campaign appear to have made easy appeal to the youngsters, given the immediate and future benefits from that.“A major facility ensured by the linking of the three identity numbers is fingerprint-based payment system that is going to be the next generation system to replace cashless payments used by debit and credit cards and other facilities,” said District Collector Mir Mohammed Ali, who is also chairman of the DeGs. The shopkeeper uses a fingerprint sensor and connects it to the customer’s mobile phone to receive money from the customer’s bank account by entering Aadhar number, he told The Hindu . Kannur is the first district in the State and second in the country to launch the fingerprint-based payment system, the first being Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh. In Kannur, the Kerala Gramin Bank has launched the system.

Facilities

 

The TriD-enabling will also offer other facilities such as digital locker, a cloud-based system, available in digilocker.gov.in, which, among other things, allows it user to safeguard government issued certificates and documents to be permanently kept there in the digital format. The facility also allows digital Aadhar that could be carried and shown from mobile app, making physical carrying of the Aadhar redundant. Mobile and Aadhar number e-Sign facility using one-time PIN is also among the benefits of TriD. According to Mr. Ali, two or three years down the line these facilities would be part of every day life of most of the people.

One lakh saplings to be planted under ‘Green Cover for Kochi’ programme

With an eye on earning carbon credit for Kochi, the civic administration will undertake mass planting of saplings in the city. The programme, titled ‘Green Cover for Kochi’, is one of the initiatives announced in the annual Budget of the corporation presented on Saturday. One lake saplings will be planted under the programme.The project, for which Deputy Mayor T.J. Vinod has earmarked Rs. 10 lakh, will be implemented with the support of residents associations, Forest Department, and educational institutions.‘One Individual-One Tree’ is another campaign that exhorts residents to plant at least one sapling each in the city.

Again, the civic body is pinning hope on residents associations and educational institutions for implementing the programme. The budgetary support for the initiative will be Rs. 5 lakh.Though the corporation has not been successful in enforcing rainwater harvesting in houses and other buildings, the Budget makes it mandatory for all buildings with area of 2,000 sq.ft and above.Besides, bio-gas and solar water heating units will be made mandatory for houses, the Budget says. The civic body has promised 10% tax rebate for such houses. The rebate can be taken up in consultation with the State government.Meanwhile, the corporation has decided to continue its campaign for setting up bio-gas units in city households in the next financial year too.An allocation of Rs. 40 lakh will be utilised for setting up such units.In yet another initiative, the Budget proposed documentation of public wells, ponds, and other waterbodies in the city and steps for improving the quality of drinking water available in ponds and other waterbodies. The financial allocation for the project is Rs. 10 lakh.

 

A conservation programme for Mangalavanam, titled ‘Mangalavanam Restoration Programme’, has been proposed in the Budget. The project will be implemented as part of the Smart City project, and the civic body will spend Rs. 25 lakh on it.A project for linking solar power generated from panels installed at houses to the power grid has also been envisaged in the Budget. An exhibition centre featuring solar power projects and allied areas will be established.

Perumbavoor case spurs club to build house for a poor family

In the wake of the rape and murder of a law student in her ramshackle hut at Perumbavoor in April last year, a club in Thalassery decided to build houses for those staying in unsafe dwelling units.

The first house constructed at Moozhikkara, near Kodiyeri, by Kiwis Club was handed over to the beneficiaries by Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan at a function here on Sunday. The initiative was appropriately titled ‘Aniyathikkoru Veedu’ (a home for sister).The club, which is involved in social welfare activities of the region, built the house for the four-member family of Suresh Babu, who is paralysed and bedridden.The key was received by Bavitha, daughter of Suresh Babu.

“The house at Moozhikkara is the first of our initiatives to construct houses for families living in unsecured dwelling places,” said club secretary Mohammed Nourif. The club plans to construct 20 such houses, he added.The 540-sq ft house comprising two bedrooms, a hall, and a kitchen was built on the plot where the family of Suresh Babu lived in a shed-like structure with a plastic sheet as roof.

‘Organic home’

 

The house was designed by architects of De-Earth, a Kozhikode-based architecture firm which specialises in eco-responsive housing projects. Sheetal Sameer of De-Earth said the house was eco-friendly and low-cost. Laterite stones and mud blocks were used for the construction of the ‘organic home.’The club, with a membership of 3,000 persons at Thalassery, collects donations from members, including those working in the Gulf countries for humanitarian activities. A few years ago it launched water conservation activities by reviving defunct wells and renovating ponds in and around Thalassery.