Contamination, Pollution and Quality

  • At a time when the government’s attention is steered towards the concerns of the northern rivers like the Ganga and the Yamuna, it is seldom that the polluted rivers of the south India come up for discussion. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had in its 2015 report noted that around 37,00...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 days 18 hours agoread more
  • With a total population of 1200, Sonnahallipura village in Hoskote taluk of Bangalore rural district has 250 homes. This village was chosen by the Rotary Club of Bangalore, Indiranagar to start a micro-credit programme for 10 women’s self-help groups (SHG) and a low-cost sanitary napkin manufactur...
    priyadposted 1 week 20 hours agoread more
  • Jaman Ram, a resident of Bhikia Sain, a tehsil in Uttarakhand, remembers fishing with his father in the Ramganga. “We could catch 80-100 kilograms of fish a day. That is no longer possible,” he says. Shafiq of Haldwani shares an unsettling memory of the Ramganga. As a young man on a holiday, he ...
    chicuposted 1 week 2 days agoread more
  • Lingaraj Jena is a worried man. At 86, he is one of the older fishermen in Berhampura village, an island on the Chilika lake in Odisha. Though he no longer goes for fishing due to old age, he is worried about the opening of new sea mouths; he knows it is not good news for the fishing communities he ...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 week 3 days agoread more
  • A river is a natural stream of fresh water fed by rain or melting snow during the monsoon. On its onward journey, many tributaries join in and the river and its tributaries form the drainage basin. The river collects the available runoff and groundwater discharge and flows into an ocean or a landloc...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 weeks 4 days agoread more
  • Most of Hyderabad water bodies reduced to cesspools Out of the 25 prominent water bodies in Hyderabad, 23 have failed to meet the water quality standards set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). With the presence of high levels of faecal coliform, all 23 water bodies fall below ...
    swatiposted 3 weeks 1 day agoread more
  • On Children’s Day on November 14 this year, two organisations in Odisha--Shramajeebee Sangathan (SJS), Malkangiri and Jeebika Suraksha Mancha, Kandhamal--organised a massive padayatra (street walk) in villages as an awareness drive and to mobilise communities to curb malnutrition deaths ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 weeks 5 days agoread more
  • An aerospace engineer from IIT, Kharagpur, Siddharth Agarwal could have been drawing a fancy salary like any other 25-year-old if he hadn’t followed his passion. Born and bred in Kolkata, his curiosity of life around rivers and his interest in knowing it first hand to form the right perspective of...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 weeks 6 days agoread more
  • I have objected so many times to the change in the name of Ministry of Water Resources to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. It shows where the priority of the government lies. It says that all the rivers need to be developed except the Ganga which needs ...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 month 5 days agoread more
  • Pranab Choudhury has been actively engaged with the causes of the poor and the environment for more than a decade. A senior development researcher, practitioner and a consultant at Baitarani Initiative office at Kalinga Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, he focuses on issues related to agriculture, forest,...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 month 6 days agoread more
  • Constitute a committee to monitor Ken-Betwa river link, suggests NTCA Fearing a loss of 90 sq km area of Madhya Pradesh's Panna Tiger Reserve, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has recommended constituting a committee to monitor the construction works related to Ken-Betwa river linki...
    swatiposted 1 month 2 weeks agoread more
  • After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power with Narendra Modi as the prime minister of the country on May 26, 2014, the new government initiated several key programmes with the protection of the environment in mind. One of the major programmes that gained momentum instantly was the Ganga r...
    swatiposted 1 month 3 weeks agoread more
  • The Bhoj wetland is situated in the heart of Bhopal district in Madhya Pradesh. The wetland consists of two man-made lakes--the upper lake and the lower lake. The upper lake, the oldest among large man-made lakes in central India, was created by king Bhoj in the 11th century by constructing an earth...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 month 3 weeks agoread more
  • About: Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM) is conducting a fifteen-day training programme on basic hydrogeology or groundwater science, for professionals from civil society organisations or NGOs. Details: The training is not intended to be a ‘stand alone exerc...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 month 4 weeks agoread more
  • About: IIT Madras will be conducting a round table discussion titled 'Emerging Paradigms in Water,Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) service delivery' on 23rd November, 2016. Objectives: This round table aims to deliberate and debate new paradigms in WASH service delivery among various stakeholders ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 months 2 days agoread more
  • Environment minister calls Delhi pollution 'emergency situation' NGT questioned Delhi government’s initiative to curb air pollution in the capital and slammed the neighbouring Punjab and Haryana governments over the lack of measures taken to control crop burning. Meanwhile, the SC also ...
    sabitakaushalposted 2 months 4 days agoread more
  • SC sets aside Punjab's order quashing water-sharing agreement with Haryana In a follow up to the Supreme Court ruling to set aside the Punjab government's order quashing water-sharing agreement with Haryana, all Congress party MLAs and the Punjab congress chief captain Amarinder Singh sent in their...
    sabitakaushalposted 2 months 4 days agoread more
  • Despite all the hype around Swachh Bharat Mission, the situation on the ground remains abysmal. The city of Ujjain is located on the western part of Madhya Pradesh on the Malwa Plateau and is primarily a religious tourism centre due to the Mahakal temple. The temple is not only one of the 12 jyotirl...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • More fund over the budgetary allocation sought for MGNREGADespite the highest ever budgetary allocation this year to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), the scheme is facing a shortage of funds as the demand for work is higher this year due to droughts in s...
    swatiposted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • It’s a battle that dates back to 1957. Two states of India--Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Odisha--have fought fiercely over the water of the Mahanadi they share. When Chhattisgarh was carved out of MP in 2000, it inherited both the Mahanadi and the conflict with Odisha over its water. To put things in p...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more

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Rivers turn muck in many stretches in south India calling for action before they dry up completely.

At a time when the government’s attention is steered towards the concerns of the northern rivers like the Ganga and the Yamuna, it is seldom that the polluted rivers of the south India come up for discussion. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had in its 2015 report noted that around 37,000 million litres per day (MLD) of untreated sewage water flows into the rivers across the country.

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A village near Bengaluru sets an example of wastewater use by innovatively using the reject water from a community RO plant installed to eliminate fluoride contamination.

With a total population of 1200, Sonnahallipura village in Hoskote taluk of Bangalore rural district has 250 homes. This village was chosen by the Rotary Club of Bangalore, Indiranagar to start a micro-credit programme for 10 women’s self-help groups (SHG) and a low-cost sanitary napkin manufacturing unit.  

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Fish species are rapidly disappearing from Himalayan rivers. Dams are not the reason. Human activity is.

Jaman Ram, a resident of Bhikia Sain, a tehsil in Uttarakhand, remembers fishing with his father in the Ramganga. “We could catch 80-100 kilograms of fish a day. That is no longer possible,” he says. Shafiq of Haldwani shares an unsettling memory of the Ramganga. As a young man on a holiday, he was paddling in the river near Marchula when the rock he was standing on shifted. Thinking he was standing on a loose boulder, he stepped away from it only to see the “rock” glide away. It was a large “goonch”, a fish mighty enough to support a man on its back.

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The opening of sea mouths in the Chilika is increasing the salinity of the lake, affecting the fish population and the livelihood of the fishing communities.

Lingaraj Jena is a worried man. At 86, he is one of the older fishermen in Berhampura village, an island on the Chilika lake in Odisha. Though he no longer goes for fishing due to old age, he is worried about the opening of new sea mouths; he knows it is not good news for the fishing communities he is a part of that depend on the Chilika for their livelihood. If the government did not act on the people's concern urgently, he believes it could spell doom to the fisherfolk.

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The increasing pollution and the decrease in river water flow have made revival of rivers a non-negotiable need today. The solution is in cleaning the rivers--not in parts but as a whole.

A river is a natural stream of fresh water fed by rain or melting snow during the monsoon. On its onward journey, many tributaries join in and the river and its tributaries form the drainage basin. The river collects the available runoff and groundwater discharge and flows into an ocean or a landlocked water body at the end of its journey. A perennial river is a living ecosystem, an essential component of the natural hydrological cycle and its continuous flow is an inbuilt character of its health.

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Most of Hyderabad water bodies reduced to cesspools

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India has the highest number of stunted children worldwide. Not just toilet numbers, but poor toilet use and hygiene behaviour too need urgent redressal at the policy level to reduce stunting.

On Children’s Day on November 14 this year, two organisations in Odisha--Shramajeebee Sangathan (SJS), Malkangiri and Jeebika Suraksha Mancha, Kandhamal--organised a massive padayatra (street walk) in villages as an awareness drive and to mobilise communities to curb malnutrition deaths among children below five years of age in the region.

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A walk along the Ganga is all it takes to get a better perspective on the river and its deteriorating ecosystem. Here’s an attempt at it.

An aerospace engineer from IIT, Kharagpur, Siddharth Agarwal could have been drawing a fancy salary like any other 25-year-old if he hadn’t followed his passion. Born and bred in Kolkata, his curiosity of life around rivers and his interest in knowing it first hand to form the right perspective of it inspired him to undertake a 3000-km walk upstream of Ganga as a part of Veditum India Foundation's moving upstream project that is working to document and dynamically map India's rivers.

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Environment lawyer Ritwick Dutta talks about the highs and lows of the new river Ganga notification and how environmentalists can use it to make an impact.

I have objected so many times to the change in the name of Ministry of Water Resources to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. It shows where the priority of the government lies. It says that all the rivers need to be developed except the Ganga which needs to be rejuvenated. Even the minister has openly said that Ganga will have a separate policy than other rivers. I feel every river is unique as it has geographical, historical, socio-cultural and economic importance.

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The river basin of Baitarani is facing many challenges in these changing times. Initiatives are on to protect it.

Pranab Choudhury has been actively engaged with the causes of the poor and the environment for more than a decade. A senior development researcher, practitioner and a consultant at Baitarani Initiative office at Kalinga Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, he focuses on issues related to agriculture, forest, environment and water sector in India and South Asia. 

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