Manu Moudgil

  • Around 127 people died and 300 others were injured during the severe dust and thunderstorms that shook north India on May 2. Winds touching a speed of 126 kilometres per hour brought down houses and uprooted trees, thus becoming the strongest storm in the last six years. What led to such a massive w...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 month 2 weeks agoread more
  • Scientists have developed a hydrogel from the gum of guar (cluster bean) that can increase soil moisture and help farmers save their crops in case of water scarcity.  Hydrogels are a network of polymers that can hold a large amount of water and are extensively used in diapers and sanitary napk...
    arathiposted 2 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Lippa is a small village in the Kinnaur region in Himachal Pradesh, close to Asrang wildlife sanctuary. On May 27, the village witnessed hectic activity as the gram sabha was to decide the fate of a hydroelectricity project to be constructed near the village. The project demands the water from the K...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa, all located in the west of India, have rivers belonging to several different basins. With the exception of rivers in Rajasthan that drain into the Yamuna basin, the other rivers in these states either drain into the Bay of Bengal via the peninsular basins or ...
    chicuposted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • Till about two months ago, Punjab was all about potatoes and politics. A surplus production and market crash had farmers dumping their produce on the roads. At the same time, the results of the State Assembly elections were keenly awaited. While Punjab survived the prediction of a hung Assembly, the...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • The mangrove forests of the Sundarbans are the biggest barriers against cyclones from the Bay of Bengal, saving both India and Bangladesh from irreparable damage. A UNESCO world heritage site consisting of Ramsar bird conservation area and three wildlife sanctuaries, the Sundarbans will soon see a 1...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • At the Sainj Hydroelectric Power Project in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, muck dumping sites were inadequate and damaged resulting in the muck directly flowing into the river. Nabinagar Super Thermal Power Project in Bihar had to install instruments to control air, water, noise and dust pollut...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • As bamboo trees bloomed with long wispy spikes, Loknath Nauri knew it would be a tough year. “More the density of the flowers, the more severe the drought we face,” he says. This was in March 2015 in the forests of southern Odisha. Around the same time, he saw black-hooded oriole building a nest...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • The reclusive family decides to stay indoors due to the overcast sky on a Sunday morning. The parents are seen walking down the road twice, but they dart back after noticing the visitors. The golden jackals are not known for gregariousness, at least not towards humans. The nature trail to meet these...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • Anand Sharma is probably the most famous weatherman of India today. As the director of the Dehradun centre of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in 2013, he had predicted the Uttarakhand disaster two days before the actual deluge. Had the state government heeded his warnings, the heavy damag...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • Nature is the source of much value to us every day. Yet it mostly bypasses markets, escapes pricing and defies valuation.  Consider this. A 50-year-old tree provides services like oxygen, water recycling, soil conservation and pollution control worth Rs 23 lakh. Cutting and selling it fetches ...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • The Punjab elections on February 4 will be a keenly watched triangular contest between the ruling SAD (B)-BJP alliance, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). All three groups claim to be saviours of Punjab but their manifestos don’t exude much confidence on the water and sanitation front. Th...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • Last year, a crocodile walked seven kilometres to reach Jamwa Ramgarh village near Jaipur looking for food. It had ventured out from Jamwa Ramgarh dam, which used to have around 100 of its species at one time. Since 2006, however, the dam is dry, leaving little fish or other prey for the aquatic rep...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • “Can you see the alternating bands of light and shadow in the sky?” Chattar Singh asks me. When I nod in affirmation, he continues, “This is Mogh. There are clouds where the sun is setting right now. If we get a favourable wind, these clouds will reach here and we may get rain by night. In des...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • A scarcity of something makes it special. That’s the reason why Rajasthan has always sanctified water much more than any other place in India. Low rainfall and saline groundwater turned people into great conservers who not only built beautiful and durable structures but also developed sustainable ...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • Noted environment lawyer Ritwick Dutta received the Bhagirath Prayas Samman at the recently concluded India Rivers’ Week. We catch up with him on his journey so far and how we can further expand the constituency of environment. Q. Who was your idol and what did you learn from him/her? I had no i...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 6 months agoread more
  • “I remember I need to work on that article of yours. Will do that when I get better,” Anupam ji said taking my hands in his. He had gone weak, was in a lot of pain but still took out the time to attend the inaugural day of India Rivers’ Week (IRW) last month. That he remembered a promise he ha...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 6 months agoread more
  • Deot Masih’s family has been extracting lotus root from the marshy land in his village near Gurdaspur for several decades. Delicate and crunchy, the edible roots are in high demand going as far as Srinagar in the north and Delhi in the south. Similar is the case with chestnut grown in this swamp. ...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 6 months agoread more
  • A couple of Swan boats are lying beside the library wall. The cages to keep animals and birds are rusting while weeds have taken over the compound which hosts a few swings and a restaurant. The only indication of the spot being Kanjli wetland, one of the three Ramsar sites in Punjab, is the display ...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 7 months agoread more
  • The past few months saw Karnataka and Tamil Nadu bickering over the sharing of the Cauvery water. It was the failure of the south-west monsoon that had put crops in Karnataka at risk, forcing the government to stop water supplies to Tamil Nadu. The arrival of the north-east monsoon in Tamil Nadu, ho...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 7 months agoread more

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The world may see more freak storms due to rising temperatures. Reducing pollution and protecting forests are perfect preventive measures.

Around 127 people died and 300 others were injured during the severe dust and thunderstorms that shook north India on May 2. Winds touching a speed of 126 kilometres per hour brought down houses and uprooted trees, thus becoming the strongest storm in the last six years. What led to such a massive weather event? The answer is the high temperature which, combined with other weather systems, triggered a cycle of storms which fed each other. 

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A hydrogel from cluster beans is found to increase soil moisture. It can help crops in times of drought.

Scientists have developed a hydrogel from the gum of guar (cluster bean) that can increase soil moisture and help farmers save their crops in case of water scarcity. 

Hydrogels are a network of polymers that can hold a large amount of water and are extensively used in diapers and sanitary napkins. Synthetic hydrogels are, however, not readily biodegradable and their degradation products are considered to be hazardous for the environment. 

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Villagers are making informed decisions when it comes to government projects that affect ecology. Equipped with legal knowledge, they are challenging damaging hydropower projects.

Lippa is a small village in the Kinnaur region in Himachal Pradesh, close to Asrang wildlife sanctuary. On May 27, the village witnessed hectic activity as the gram sabha was to decide the fate of a hydroelectricity project to be constructed near the village. The project demands the water from the Kerang stream be diverted for power. The project will acquire more than 17 hectares of forest land. This is unacceptable to villagers.

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In a two-part series, we look at the health of rivers across India. Here's a comprehensive assessment of the condition of rivers in the south and the west.

Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa, all located in the west of India, have rivers belonging to several different basins. With the exception of rivers in Rajasthan that drain into the Yamuna basin, the other rivers in these states either drain into the Bay of Bengal via the peninsular basins or run from the Western Ghats and into the Arabian sea.

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Despite favourable climatic conditions, the spud is a difficult crop to grow. Add to it the government’s indifference and market fluctuations, the potato kings of Punjab are having a tough time.

Till about two months ago, Punjab was all about potatoes and politics. A surplus production and market crash had farmers dumping their produce on the roads. At the same time, the results of the State Assembly elections were keenly awaited. While Punjab survived the prediction of a hung Assembly, the fate of farmers still hangs in balance. Market crashes, low international trade and climate change are all coming together to spin a tale that’s currently beyond comprehension. 

A break from wheat and rice

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A 1,320 MW power plant near mangrove forests of Sundarbans may have irreversible consequences.

The mangrove forests of the Sundarbans are the biggest barriers against cyclones from the Bay of Bengal, saving both India and Bangladesh from irreparable damage. A UNESCO world heritage site consisting of Ramsar bird conservation area and three wildlife sanctuaries, the Sundarbans will soon see a 1,320 MW thermal plant operating at Rampal, just 14 km away from its officially demarcated boundary in south Bangladesh. Environmentalists have raised an alarm about a possible impact of running a power plant near the eco-sensitive area.

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Development projects from across India are flouting environmental norms, says a recent CAG audit report

At the Sainj Hydroelectric Power Project in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, muck dumping sites were inadequate and damaged resulting in the muck directly flowing into the river. Nabinagar Super Thermal Power Project in Bihar had to install instruments to control air, water, noise and dust pollution, develop green belt and recycle treated effluent. None of this was done.

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Merging traditional way of understanding weather with science and technology can not just improve the accuracy of weather forecast but augment adaptation to climate change also.

As bamboo trees bloomed with long wispy spikes, Loknath Nauri knew it would be a tough year. “More the density of the flowers, the more severe the drought we face,” he says. This was in March 2015 in the forests of southern Odisha. Around the same time, he saw black-hooded oriole building a nest with its mouth facing west. “We get monsoon rains from the west to the east. The nest normally faces the east to avoid the shower, but this year, it was the reverse which meant there wouldn’t be much rain", Nauri says. 

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Once ravaged by the mining industry, Asola Bhatti, the only wildlife sanctuary in Delhi is a refreshing sight now with dense flora and a thriving wildlife.

The reclusive family decides to stay indoors due to the overcast sky on a Sunday morning. The parents are seen walking down the road twice, but they dart back after noticing the visitors. The golden jackals are not known for gregariousness, at least not towards humans. The nature trail to meet these canines would remain as cloudy as the sky.

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

Indian Meteorological Department is focusing on agriculture-related advisories through network expansion.

Anand Sharma is probably the most famous weatherman of India today. As the director of the Dehradun centre of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in 2013, he had predicted the Uttarakhand disaster two days before the actual deluge. Had the state government heeded his warnings, the heavy damage to life and property could have been averted.

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