Delhi to take Haryana to court over Yamuna pollution

News this week
Frothing Yamuna (Picture courtesy: The Indian Express)
Frothing Yamuna (Picture courtesy: The Indian Express)

Delhi to take Haryana to court over increased ammonia levels in Yamuna

Following the sub-optimal functioning of water-treatment plants, the Delhi government has decided to take Haryana to court over high ammonia levels in the Yamuna. The issue has cropped up six times over the last two months and Delhi argues that the issue is caused due to untreated industrial waste flowing into the river from Haryana. The treatment plants installed by Delhi Jal Board are capable of treating only 0.9 parts per million ppm of ammonia content. Levels have crossed 2 ppm, making the water untreatable and Delhi is now left staring at a water crisis.

Not possible to revive Bellandur lake before 2020: Karnataka government

The state government has categorically stated that it is not possible to revive the Bellandur lake before 2020. In the action plan submitted to the National Green Tribunal, the state had mentioned that it was impossible to undertake desilting and restoration work until the entry of sewage into the waterbody was stopped. Meanwhile, activists and residents have demanded a social audit of work done as part of the state government’s short-term measure to clean up the lake.

Total forest cover goes up by 0.2 percent: State of Forest Report 2017

The recently released 15th State of Forest Report indicates 0.2 percent increase in total forest cover. Maximum increase was observed in the Very Dense Forest category, a very welcome sign. An expansion of agro-forestry and private forestry has also been observed. The data collected from October 2015 to February 2016 has been used by the Forest Survey of India to compile this exhaustive report. Despite all this, India has not been able to achieve an overall 33 percent increase in forest area. 

To break stigma, Trichy corporation rents out sanitary complexes to house ATM centres

In a bid to break the stigma around toilets, the Trichy corporation has decided to rent out small portions of public sanitary complexes to house ATM centres. The first one has come up near the Thennur Uzhavar Sandhai and is expected to be extended to another 16 complexes. An average rent ranging between 5000 and 11,000 is expected to be generated from each of the complexes. The corporation has around 312 public toilets and 86 sanitary complexes across 65 wards in Trichy city. 

More than half of rural households still defecate out in the open

Going by the statistics from the recent national health data collected over 2015-16, despite improvement in toilet use, nearly 54 percent households in rural areas continue to defecate out in the open. The caste system and traditional beliefs about the benefits of open defecation are among the main impediments to toilet adoption in rural areas. The Swachh Bharat Mission was launched with the aim of making the country open defecation free by 2019. 

This is a roundup of important news from February 6-12, 2018. Also, read the policy matters this week.

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