Storage levels dip in country's major reservoirs: Government
According to the water ministry, the total capacity of the 91 major reservoirs has been dipped by 41 percent across the country. Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have less storage while other states have recorded better water stock. On March 2, 64.55 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water was available in these reservoirs while the total capacity of the reservoirs is 157.799 BCM. This storage, however, is 132 percent of the storage reported during the corresponding period last year and 102 percent of the decadal average.
Kerala government plans to stop PepsiCo from using groundwater
In view of severe drought in the state, the Kerala government plans to take strict measures to restrict the use of groundwater by soft drink major PepsiCo in Palakkad. The State Disaster Management Authority had already issued a notice to the company to reduce consumption of groundwater by 75 percent. PepsiCo has seven bore wells and used to consume about 6.5 lakh litres per day. Following the authority’s orders, however, the company has claimed to have brought the water use down to 1.5 lakh litres per day since February 3.
India’s largest floating solar power plant installed
As part of the ‘Make In India’ initiative, NTPC has started generating 100 kWp power generation from India’s largest floating solar power plant at Kayamkulam in Kerala. The system which was installed by Swelect Energy Systems Ltd, Chennai with support from NETRA & NTPC Kayamkulam station, is an alternative to conventional ground-mounted photovoltaic systems which are land intensive. Along with this, the system has various benefits like conserving water, increased generation due to the cooling effect on the panels and requires lesser time for installation.
Late El Nino may miss India’s monsoon
The global forecasters have indicated the likelihood of El Nino developing in the second half of the year. The Indian Meteorological Department, however, has predicted that the weather pattern won’t develop until later this year. A late El Nino means that it may miss India’s monsoon season that runs from June through September. Also, last week, IMD had forecasted above-normal temperatures across India from March to May and also, the prevailing La Nina conditions will reach neutral levels during the pre-monsoon season.
Families encroaching Chennai rivers to be evicted soon
The Tamil Nadu government is preparing an action plan to evict 55,000 families that have encroached the banks of Adyar and Cooum rivers in Chennai. As per the plan, under the first phase, nearly 21,000 families will be rehabilitated from June 2017. Till March 2016, about 4,300 families have been evicted from the banks of Adyar river and the government is working on a detailed plan for the second phase.
This is a roundup of important news from March 6 - 12, 2017. Also, read the policy matters this week.