Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
An initiative by using Miyawaki plantation has succeeded in developing a mini forest amid the concrete jungle in Telangana’s Ramagundam, known for blazing summers. The mining town in Peddapalli district is also known as Agnigundam (furnace) for the scorching heat it experiences every summer with the highest temperature even touching 50 degrees Celsius.
The town, known for coal mines runs by the Singareni Collieries Company Limited, also boasts of NTPC’s 2,600 MW Ramagundam Super Thermal Power Station, the largest in South India. The Miyawaki project launched by NTPC-Ramagundam early last year at its oxidation pond has developed into a dense forest with 100 per cent survival and set an ideal example of urban foresting.
The phase I&II of the project covers over 7,662 square meters with plantation of around 14,034 trees. The Miyawaki method of afforestation, pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, has revolutionized the concept of urban afforestation by turning backyards into mini-forest. Experts say this method is ideal for urban spaces where a few cents of land can be set aside to increase the green cover.
For the first time NTPC came forward to use this unique technique to develop a dense native forest in an urban area. Under Miyawaki method, dozens of native species are planted in the same area, close to each other, which ensures that the plants receive sunlight only from the top and grow upwards than sideways. It requires very little space and plants grow ten times faster, and the forest becomes maintenance-free in three years. In January last year NTPC launched the project, covering over 1,400 square metres having around 2,900 trees of 53 varieties.
Officials from district administration and forest department and hundreds of students from four NTPC township schools participated in the massive plantation. Developed in association with Peddapalli district administration and the forest department and executed by the Telangana State Forest Development Corporation Limited (TSFDCL), the project involves a scientific way of planting. After selecting a location based on soil quality, water availability and secured boundary wall, an area is dug up to 0.60 metres depth and followed by filling with various layers of rice husk, farmyard manure, cocopeat and ‘Jeeva Mutram’.
Subsequently, planting points are marked at a grid of 0.75M x 0.75M and then species of high canopy (16 varities), medium canopy (19 varieties) and low canopy (18 varieties) are planted. Zero usage of chemicals and fertilizers inspired the authorities to go for the Miyawaki technique. This ensures a cent per cent native, organic and natural plantation within a short time. These dense forests not only help retain groundwater, recharge groundwater tables and support local biodiversity but also increase the green cover and curb air pollution.
NTP’s efforts in enriching the environment through innovative technique have come in for praise from state officials, who hoped that this pilot project would encourage others to come forward. NTPC officials are closely monitoring the progress and documenting it so that it can be replicated in large scale in other areas, too. In November last year, NTPC-Ramagundam launched second phase of Miyawaki method plantation at its oxidation pond area covering 6,044 square meter area by planting around 10,684 plants of 61 varieties.
TSFDCL officials termed it as a model for others to follow. They lauded NTPC’s efforts under CSR for social development and environment protection. They believe that the growth coupled with flowers and fruits in 10 months is a boost for urban foresting. Following the success of Phase-1&II of Miyawaki plantation at its oxidation pond area, NTPC-Ramagundam recently launched Phase-III at Ganganagar park of Ramagundam Municipal Corporation (RMC).
A total of 8,003 saplings of 54 varieties were planted covering 4,176 square meter area. Belonging to RMC, the park was filled with ash and bushes and the same were removed and filled with red soil suitable for plantation. This phase has also been taken up in association with TSFDCL. The success of the two phases and the launch of the third is definitely showing a new way for urban foresting. Impressed by the work done by NTPC-Ramagundam, police in neighbouring Karimnagar district has also taken up plantations with Miyawaki method at some of their campuses in Karimnagar town. (IANS/JC)
Canadian researchers have discovered an overlooked gene that plays a major role in the development of antibodies, which help the immune system recognize and fight viruses including SARS-CoV-2, bacteria and other causes of infectious disease. The gene -- FAM72A -- facilitates production of high-quality antibodies by enabling the effect of an enzyme called AID (for Activation-Induced Deaminase), the researchers showed.
Immunologists have known for two decades that AID is essential to produce antibodies capable of clearing infections, but the full mechanism of its effect has remained unknown. "Our findings answer the long-standing question of how AID does its work," said Alberto Martin, a professor of immunology at the University of Toronto's Temerty Faculty of Medicine. "FAM72A helps AID to promote mutations in antibody genes that are essential for the development of effective antibodies," he added.
Genetic mutations that lead to lasting changes in DNA occur through a process called mutagenesis. | Pixabay
Genetic mutations that lead to lasting changes in DNA occur through a process called mutagenesis. In the context of antibody development, mutagenesis unfolds largely through the AID-driven mechanisms called somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination -- both of which help antibodies gain the diversity and potency they need to counter a wide range of pathogens.
The results published in the journal Nature will help researchers better understand antibody development broadly, but they also have implications for cancer. Uncontrolled mutagenesis in B cells that produce antibodies is linked to B cell lymphoma, and FAM72A is present at very high levels in other cancers such as gastrointestinal, breast, lung, liver and ovarian cancers.
"Our data show that high levels of FAM72A promote mutations in antibody genes, so increased levels of FAM72A could spur cancer development, progression or drug resistance by increasing mutagenesis,a Martin said. Martin's team is now exploring those possibilities. Intriguingly, unlike other mammals, humans have four gene versions of FAM72A and their roles in cancer and antibody production are still unknown. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: researchers, cancer, mutagenesis, antibody, development, antibodies, canada, COVID
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India will set up a 50 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Odisha's Sambalpur at a total cost of Rs 301.92 crore, moving steadily towards its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024. MCL has placed a turnkey order to set-up a 50 MW solar power plant with a Chennai-based firm M/s Hild Energy Ltd, which will establish this green energy project within a timeline of 10 months, the MCL said in a statement on Saturday.
This solar plant would cater to the captive power requirement of MCL. The Central PSU had successfully set-up a 2MW solar power plant in Sambalpur in 2014. The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024 in order to become a net zero energy company, aligning itself to use cleaner forms of energy for coal production.
The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024. | Photo by Mariana Proença on Unsplash
This 50 MW solar power project will reduce CO2 emission by 91,020 tonnes per annum and carbon offsets of around 24,824 tonnes per annum, claimed the MCL. MCL is the leading production subsidiary of Coal India, having mining operations in Angul, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts of Odisha. Having achieved the highest ever capital expenditure of Rs 2,419 crore in the financial year 2020-21, the company has coal production and dispatch targets of 163 million tonnes and 182 million tonnes, respectively.
MCL was the coal mining company to introduce environment-friendly surface miner technology, which contributes over 95 per cent in coal production. As another environment-friendly initiative, the company has successfully introduced vertical rippers for blast-less over-burden removal in Hingula and Kaniha opencast projects. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: solar plant, carbon neutrality, Odisha, Sambalpur, Coal India, subsidiary, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, solar energy
As the nation celebrated the 114th birth anniversary of his father - renowned poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan - megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered his dad as he penned a heartfelt note for him. The actor took to his blog where he poured his heart out and also shared an unseen photo with his father. The image in question is from Big B's wedding in 1973, where the two are caught in a sweet moment as they look at each other.
Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his blog,
"My Father , my all .. November 27th his birth in the year 1907 .. Which makes it his 114th Anniversary .. He is in the heavens, with my Mother and they celebrate .. as do we , in thought word and deed .. (sic). But first."
He then posted the picture followed by elaborate paragraphs. The megastar wrote,
"Those rare moments when one would find himself rushing against the winds to prevent the distance between us and to close it down as soon as it can be. The day of my wedding and his expression of fulfilment to not just be in congratulation but instead to be in the face of a belief, a chime, an ultimate season of love and great passion, of the quarries of the fears and conditionings of these deprived gym routines kart ..(sic)". "This could have been unknown for long facilitating years, to give not expected versions and lastly large scale informations of the insides ; but as time passed by, as does now , they explained purposely, the values of education and similarity .. Be in peace and love .. (sic)",
the veteran actor concluded his note. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Amitabh Bachchan, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, actor, blog, birth anniversary, 114th birthday