Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is planning to set up a state-of-the-art laboratory for examining the quality of LED lights in its Central Store. The decision comes in the wake of several complaints from citizens regarding their inferior quality.”We have been purchasing LED lights from a number of companies that deal with manufacture and supply of these lights. But the quality of the lights have been far below our expectations. We are receiving frequent complaints about such lights getting defunct within a few months of its installation. We have undertaken repair in some cases but the lights have again got out of order. So we have decided to set up a state-of-the-art laboratory for examining the quality before installing the LED lights,” a senior official of the Central Store department of the KMC said. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaThere have been cases when even after being given a fit certificate to such lights, they have gone defunct and the officials of the lighting department have been flooded with complaints from residents across the city. The official informed that the civic body has already started consulting experts on how to proceed in setting up of the laboratory, what will be the necessary equipment, how will the tests be conducted and other nitty gritty. The setting up of the laboratory will entail an investment of Rs 2.5 crore. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersMember Mayor-in-Council (Central Store) Tarak Singh has written to Mayor Firhad Hakim for giving the Central Store the permission to blacklist a noted company whose LED lights have been found to be of very inferior quality. The KMC is gradually replacing all High Pressure Sodium Vapour lamp fittings (HPSV) and Metal Halide Fittings with LED lights to bring down the level of carbon emission and at the same time reduce consumption of electricity. Lights in the civic body’s offices, health units, schools, compactor stations, markets, borough offices, ward health units, pumping stations, crematoriums will all have LED lights. The Central Store department of the KMC has a plan of setting up a chemical laboratory for assessing the quality of bleaching powder, white lime that is spread for prevention of mosquito-borne diseases.
Some three quarters of the 2.6 billion people living on less than $2 a day depend on local natural resources for their livelihoods, which are now being menaced by climate change and ecosystem degradation.“World Resources Report 2008: Roots of Resilience” was released in Barcelona, Spain, at the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).The new publication is a joint effort by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, and non-governmental organization (NGO) known as the World Research Institute.“Poverty will never be made history unless we invest in more intelligent management of the world’s nature-based assets,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director. “There are now countless models and case studies of how ecosystems can be managed to boost rural livelihoods and incomes while meeting the goal of environmental sustainability.”The report concludes that translating these models into reality requires emphasizing three key elements: ownership by the poor of local resources; the capacity of local communities to manage ecosystems competently; and creating networks to link nature-based enterprises to increase access to the economic mainstream.One example cited in the new publication is a scheme in Bangladesh to help villagers to sustainably manage fisheries and wetlands. Prior to that programme, there had been fierce competition over fishing rights, but in the eight years after its implementation, degradation of the bird and fish habitat has been reversed and a 140 per cent increase in fish catches and a 33 per cent rise in local income have been recorded.In a related development, UNEP unveiled a new “Paint for the Planet” website yesterday showcasing stand-out entries from its International Children’s Painting Competition.Five young artists from Burundi, Colombia, Malta and the United States will attend an event in New York to plead for leadership on climate change and officially open an exhibit at UN Headquarters on 23 October. 8 October 2008Increasing nature-based enterprises could simultaneously enhance incomes for the world’s rural poor and increase their resilience to economic, social and environmental threats, according to a new United Nations-backed report launched today.
An effort to bring closure to a devastated family, after the tomb of a World War II veteran was desecrated last November.Today, replica bronze Air Force wings were once again placed on the tombstone of a man who fought for our country.Kelly Botelho has the story.