Ecology and Environment

  • Signs of mustard aphid, a key pest of the mustard crop appeared predictably in November last year in Dinesh’s farm. Drifting across the open green fields, it landed on the tender leaves of the mustard crop. “It sets in November during the flowering and pod bearing stage of the crop and lasts til...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 days 3 hours agoread more
  • Spanning over 1,165 sq km, the Chilika Lake is Asia’s largest saltwater lake. Over 200,000 fishers and 400,000 farmers depend on the lake for their livelihood. But what makes this lake stand out is its biodiversity.Over a million migratory birds winter here, making it a bird watcher’s paradise i...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 days 7 hours agoread more
  • “There is a special type of black ant that is visible just before and during heavy rains. They start coming out in large numbers with their eggs in their mouths and only travel in a straight line, like a railway track,” says Chandrika Mahato when asked how he predicts rains and floods. Like a nu...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 weeks 2 days 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 2 weeks 2 days agoread more
  • NOCs for running tubewells must for Punjab industries  To address the issue of depleting groundwater in the state, the Central Groundwater Authority (CGWA) has ordered industries in Punjab to take no objection certificates (NOCs) for the already existing tubewells inside the units. As per...
    swatiposted 2 weeks 3 days agoread more
  • In the first hour of our field work in Malkaram--another village in peri-urban Hyderabad--for the project Ensuring Water Security in Metropolitan Hyderabad, one thing became very evident. This village is much poorer than our other study villages--Mallampet, Kokapet and Adibatla. There was no de...
    arathiposted 2 weeks 4 days agoread more
  • Rampura, situated in Bulandshahr district in western Uttar Pradesh, is one of the 1,200 villages on the banks of the 300-km long East Kali, a tributary of the Ganges. The river is named after goddess Kali who, according to the Hindu mythology, is fierce and fights evil by ingesting it. Till the 198...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 weeks 6 days agoread more
  • Forest panel clears Ken-Betwa river link The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has given the go-ahead to the Ken-Betwa river link project while ignoring environmental concerns due to the diversion of around 5,500 hectares of Panna national reserve forestland that will also threaten endangered species...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 weeks 3 days agoread more
  • Nainital lake is drying up, environmentalists concerned According to recent reports, the water level in the Nainital lake in Uttarakhand has gone down by 18 feet below normal this summer. Environmentalists blame human activities such as illegal construction, felling of trees, concretisation of the ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 weeks 3 days agoread more
  • Pune has a story similar to many other cities in India that grew exponentially without much warning. The unplanned development hit the water resources badly, increasing the city’s dependence on groundwater. Now, the city experiences water scarcity every year, even when the monsoons have been plent...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 weeks 6 days agoread more
  • When torrential downpour submerged thousands of villages and claimed about 300 lives in Jammu & Kashmir in September 2014, loss of wetlands was cited as one of the reasons that aggravated the impact of the natural disaster. Wetlands are areas where the water level is close to the surface of the ...
    arathiposted 4 weeks 1 day agoread more
  • A tiger takes a stroll outside the reserve area, breeds on forest patches and looks out for waterholes, all under the curious eyes of visitors. This footage is from Tadoba, a popular tiger habitat in Chandrapur, Maharashtra that draws a lot of domestic and foreign tourists these days. The number of ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 month 1 day agoread more
  • Rs 5000 fine on those dumping waste on Yamuna floodplains The National Green Tribunal has banned open defecation and dumping of waste on the floodplains of the Yamuna river in Delhi. Along with this, the tribunal has also ordered a compensation of Rs 5,000 on those found violating the order. Additi...
    swatiposted 1 month 1 day agoread more
  • Audit reveals poor quality of water in UP rivers The CAG audit report for the year 2015-16 has revealed that the quality of water in major rivers and water bodies in Uttar Pradesh is not as per the government norms. The primary reason for the poor water quality is inadequate sewage and industrial e...
    swatiposted 1 month 1 day agoread more
  • Every study village of the project, Ensuring Water Security in Metropolitan Hyderabad, has a different situation and a different story to say about the informal water market. However, the most pertinent question remains partially answered: Are informal water tankers good or bad? In order to be able ...
    arathiposted 1 month 2 days agoread more
  • A group of Indian, Chinese, and Canadian scientists has developed transgenic rice that gives high yield even under severe water deficit. The new rice variety has been developed by transferring a gene from a common plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, into a variety of Indian rice called samba mahsuri. This ...
    arathiposted 1 month 5 days agoread more
  • Kokapet, one of the study villages for the project ‘Ensuring Water Security in Metropolitan Hyderabad’, was the first village that we visited for field work. Even though we refer to them as ‘villages’, there was very little that we found village-like here. It’s a truly peri-urban site with...
    arathiposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • Mallampet is a village in Quthbullapur Mandal. It is located about 5–6 km from the municipal boundaries of the Hyderabad city. Like many other villages, Mallampet too has witnessed the disappearance of its lakes, but not all of them are from natural causes. A close study of the political nexus has...
    arathiposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • Oil spill in Ennore has highly impacted the zone between Ennore and Marina beach According to a report of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) on the oil spill in Ennore from the collision of two cargo ships, the flora and fauna of the region are recovering slowly after th...
    swatiposted 1 month 2 weeks agoread more
  • Following Ganga and Yamuna, Narmada river also gets living entity status The Madhya Pradesh cabinet has passed a resolution declaring Narmada river as a living entity in order to control pollution, illegal mining on the river banks and to save the river from depletion. The conservation programme fo...
    swatiposted 1 month 2 weeks agoread more

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While several studies confirm that GM crops can have serious impact on the safety of both humans and environment, the government is going ahead with GM mustard.

Signs of mustard aphid, a key pest of the mustard crop appeared predictably in November last year in Dinesh’s farm. Drifting across the open green fields, it landed on the tender leaves of the mustard crop. “It sets in November during the flowering and pod bearing stage of the crop and lasts till January. It hits our crop yields substantially--often by as much as three quarters--sending the jitters among farmers,” says Dinesh, a farmer in Bharatpur in the eastern plain zone of Rajasthan.

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The Chilika Lake is Asia’s largest saltwater lake known for its biodiversity. The video, Going the Chilika Way provides insight into the importance of investing in nature and improving biodiversity.

Spanning over 1,165 sq km, the Chilika Lake is Asia’s largest saltwater lake. Over 200,000 fishers and 400,000 farmers depend on the lake for their livelihood. But what makes this lake stand out is its biodiversity.Over a million migratory birds winter here, making it a bird watcher’s paradise in India. The fact that the lake also happens to be the biggest breeding ground for flamingos in the world might also have something to do with its spectacle.

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A study from Bihar shows that official flood prediction systems are inadequate and can be improved by integrating local knowledge into it.

“There is a special type of black ant that is visible just before and during heavy rains. They start coming out in large numbers with their eggs in their mouths and only travel in a straight line, like a railway track,” says Chandrika Mahato when asked how he predicts rains and floods. Like a number of people living in the floodplains of the Gandaki river in the West Champaran district of Bihar, Mahato is a keen observer of nature and can predict weather events.

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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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Policy matters this week

NOCs for running tubewells must for Punjab industries 

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Villages in peri-urban Hyderabad rely on various informal water sources for their daily needs.

In the first hour of our field work in Malkaram--another village in peri-urban Hyderabad--for the project Ensuring Water Security in Metropolitan Hyderabad, one thing became very evident. This village is much poorer than our other study villages--Mallampet, Kokapet and Adibatla. There was no development in or around the area. This was also probably the reason why there was no informal water selling activity in this village.

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The water of East Kali is heavily polluted. It would hopefully change with the NGT taking notice of it.

Rampura, situated in Bulandshahr district in western Uttar Pradesh, is one of the 1,200 villages on the banks of the 300-km long East Kali, a tributary of the Ganges. The river is named after goddess Kali who, according to the Hindu mythology, is fierce and fights evil by ingesting it.

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Policy matters this week

Forest panel clears Ken-Betwa river link

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News this week

Nainital lake is drying up, environmentalists concerned

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Pune citizens come together to save their water resources, show ways to use water sustainably.

Pune has a story similar to many other cities in India that grew exponentially without much warning. The unplanned development hit the water resources badly, increasing the city’s dependence on groundwater. Now, the city experiences water scarcity every year, even when the monsoons have been plentiful. Although the authorities have assured the citizens of adequate water storage in the dams and fewer water cuts this year, long-term, sustainable solutions still evade all political discourses.

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