Illegal sand mining led to 193 deaths in two years, says report

Sand mining on the banks of Tapti (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Sand mining on the banks of Tapti (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Illegal sand mining operations lead to 193 deaths in two years

According to a report collated by a network of organisations working on rivers, at least 193 people have died due to illegal sand mining operations across India from January 2019 to November 15, 2020. With 95 deaths, North India observed the highest killings while South India has seen least deaths. The data, which is sourced from studies, media, field reports and government websites, shows that accidents, drowning, mine collapse and road mishaps are top contributors to the deaths. (The New Indian Express)

Multi-disciplinary technical committee recommends five technologies for drinking water and sanitation

A multi-disciplinary technical committee in the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has recommended five technologies, specifically three technologies for drinking water and two technologies for sanitation. The drinking water technologies include Grundfos AQpure, a solar energy-based water treatment plant, Janajal Water on Wheel, to deliver safe water to households and Presto Online Chlorinator, for disinfection of water. The sanitation ones are Johkasou technology, an inbuilt packaged sewage and greywater treatment system while FBTec is a site assembled decentralised sewage treatment system using fixed filter media. (Times Now)

Four Indian sites tagged as World Heritage Irrigation Structures (WHIS)

Four sites in India-- Cumbum Tank, Kurnool-Cuddapah Canal, Porumamilla Tank (Anantharaja Sagaram) in Andhra Pradesh and 490-year-old Dhamapur Lake in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district have received the World Heritage Irrigation Structure (WHIS) tag this year.

On the lines of World Heritage Sites recognised by the UNESCO, the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), a global network of irrigation, drainage, and flood management experts, annually recognises irrigation structures of international significance. Other globally recognised sites this year include four structures in China, two from Iran and three in Japan. (Hindustan Times)

After Cyclone Nivar, Tamil Nadu to brave another storm

Last week, “very severe cyclonic storm” Nivar had hit Tamil Nadu, which brought heavy rainfall and flooded several parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.  However, the cyclone did not cause any large-scale damage to life or property. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for another storm that is expected to bring heavy rains over Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In view of the storm, the fishermen have been advised not to venture out into the southeast and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal from the night of December 1. (Hindustan Times)

Amid concerns over China’s hydropower project on Brahmaputra, India plans a multipurpose reservoir

Following the announcement by China to implement hydropower exploitation in the downstream of the Brahmaputra river, India too plans to construct a multipurpose reservoir in Arunachal Pradesh, to offset the impact. The proposed 9.2 BCM ''Upper Siang'' project on the Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh will be able to take the excess load of water discharge and can even store water in case of any deficit.  As per Brahma Chellaney, a strategic affairs expert, the news is a reminder of the water wars between the two countries in addition to China’s terrestrial aggression in the Himalayas and maritime encroachments. (Outlook India)

This is a roundup of important news published between November 18 - 30, 2020. Also read policy matters this week.