Environmentalists irked by draft CRZ notification

News this week
Coastal areas might be opened up for ecotourism and infrastructure development.
Coastal areas might be opened up for ecotourism and infrastructure development.

Environmentalists fear new CRZ rules will favour infrastructure over coastal ecosystems

Activists and environmentalists are of the opinion that the draft revised Coastal Zone Regulation Notification favour infrastructure over coastal ecosystems and livelihoods. The reduction of the definition of coastal lands by 50 metres opens up this fragile area near the coasts for infrastructure development. Activists are also highly sceptical of opening up sensitive coastal areas for eco-tourism and proposed land reclamation for commercial purposes along the coasts. 

Bengaluru’s stormwater drains continue to remain choked ahead of the monsoon

With the monsoons expected to hit the state in a couple of months, Bengaluru’s stormwater drains paint a sorry picture. Not even 50 percent of improvement and cleaning works have completed till date leaving the city wide open to flooding threats once the deluge hits. Stormwater drains require to be improved and remodelled with a greater quantity of water expected to flow through the entire system across the built city to prevent waterlogging. 

Disposing of waste becoming a huge concern in Thiruvananthapuram 

With the shutting down of the Vilappilsala waste treatment plant following local protests, disposal of solid waste is a huge cause of concern in Thiruvananthapuram. As authorities have still not zeroed in on an alternate location, waste continues to be dumped along roadsides and in water bodies. While some apartment complexes in the city manage their waste in-house, many complexes have no facilities in place, compounding the problem.

Indiscriminate disposal of sewage in waterbodies has made groundwater non-potable in many areas

With the World Resources Institute warning of shrinking reservoirs and the threat of water taps running dry, the focus has shifted to the sustainable use of water resources. India is among the largest users of groundwater and challenges such as increasing urbanisation, land use changes and indiscriminate water extraction have only made the water situation even more critical. Experts suggest the adoption of measures such as rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge to help control the rapid depletion. 

Travancore-era canal lies abandoned in Kerala

With the Kerala government keen on executing inland waterway link projects, the Travancore-era grand Anantha-Victoria-Marthandam Canal lies largely neglected despite calls for its revival from members both in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The canal was conceived in the late 1800s as a water link between Tiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari in erstwhile Travancore. Currently, the state has no plans to develop canal networks further south of Kovalam, leaving the AVM canal’s revival proposals to gather dust.

This is a roundup of important news published between April 17 and 23, 2018. Also, read policy matters this week.

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