Gomti’s tributaries are in a dismal state, thanks to groundwater exploitation
As per an expert report, 22 out of 26 tributaries of the Gomti river have almost dried up while the remaining four are devoid of any flow.
The report further informed that the reason behind the conditions of these tributaries is excessive use of groundwater and less recharge of the underground water table. With the Gomti river not getting water from the underground sources, the water table has reached below the riverbed of the river.
The report has suggested that, for the revival of the Gomti and its tributaries, there is a need to rejuvenate around 2,000 water bodies in the river basin expanding from Pilibhit to Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh. (Hindustan Times)
Skymet predicts a normal monsoon for 2021
In its preliminary forecast for 2021, Skymet Weather, a private weather forecasting agency, has predicted that the rainfall from June to September is likely to be 103 percent of the long period average (LPA) of 88 cm based on average monsoon rain from 1961 to 2010. The forecast further informed that the northern plains, along with few parts of the northeast region, are likely to be at risk of being rain deficient through the season. Along with this, DS Pai, senior scientist, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, said in January that in a few years, India may enter an epoch of above-average monsoon rains as the monsoon transits follow epochs of around 31 years. (Hindustan Times)
UP tops in complaints on manual scavenging in the Swachhata Abhiyan app
Last year the government had launched the ‘Swachhata Abhiyan’ mobile application to send alerts about all information posted by people related to manual scavenging to the district collectors across states.
Of the complaints received from 14 states, Uttar Pradesh topped the chart with 863 complaints, followed by Maharashtra with 36 and West Bengal 30. The states have not yet responded to the notice issued by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, who had shared the complaints received through the app with the states.
Also, several districts of Uttar Pradesh continue to have insanitary latrines where illegal practice of manual scavenging are still carried out, the complaints revealed. (The Print)
Water quality of 106 Bengaluru lakes is poor: ActionAid India
According to the report published by non-government organisation ActionAid India the quality of water in 106 lakes in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts was unfit for drinking or bathing. The report has been prepared after consolidating and analysing lake sample collection findings by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) for a 24-month period between January 2019 and December 2020. Of the 1,684 samples collected by KSPCB over the last year from lakes, 1,191 samples fell under ‘D’ category, and 489 in the ‘E’ category, however, within ‘D’ class, a total of 24 lakes were found to be ‘better performing’. (The Hindu)
Nearly 12 villages in Meghalaya oppose dam on Umngot river
Residents of at least 12 villages in Meghalaya have opposed a 210 MW hydroelectric project on the Umngot rivers, considered as India’s clearest river. The villagers obstructed the officials of the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) from conducting the public hearing for the project.
As per the locals, the project, if executed, would cause irreparable losses to them as it will wipe out their areas from the tourism map, besides affecting many villages in the downstream areas dependent on the Umngot river.
This is a roundup of important news published from April 1 - 15, 2021. Also, read policy matters this week.