Tamil Nadu declares drought
Following the suicide of 144 farmers in the state, the Tamil Nadu government has declared a drought. The country is experiencing the worst ever north-east monsoon in 140 years. This has severely affected 21 out of 32 districts in the state with Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur and Thanjavur districts being the worst hit. Along with this, the state’s reservoirs are at less than 20 percent of their capacity owing to the 62 percent of shortage in the rainfall this monsoon. It has also been reported that rice has been sown only on 7.18 lakh hectares of land as against the target of 14.5 lakh hectares.
Kerala imposes curb on water use, thanks to drought
Owing to the drought situation in the state, the government has imposed curbs on the use of water in reservoirs and has increased the review and monitoring system at the district level. Along with this, the district collectors have also been ordered to stop the release of water through canals for irrigation and keep a close tab on the water level in reservoirs. The groundwater utilisation is also being monitored and the industries have been asked to cut 75 percent of groundwater extraction.
Telangana groundwater level up by 7 metres in six months
In December 2016, the groundwater level in the state has been found at an average depth of 8.5 metres from the surface as against the average depth of 15.6 metres in May 2016. According to the state groundwater department, the groundwater level rose due to rainfall which was 19 percent in excess compared to 2015. In the Hyderabad district, the groundwater level increased from an average depth of 10.99 metres to 6.37 metres.
ONGC all set to restore ancient kunds of Varanasi
Under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) project, ONGC has taken up the task to clean and beautify the four famous kunds in Varanasi--Durga Kund, Lakshmi Kund, Sarangnath Kund and Lat Bhairav Kund--at the cost of Rs 11.46 crore. The project is in partnership with National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd. (NBCC) and Varanasi Nagar Nigam. The project works include general civil works, landscaping, beautification, construction of barriers and purification of water through anaerobic bioremediation method.
NHRC seeks compensation from Andhra’s Gandikota project
The Andhra Pradesh government has dedicated Gandikota project, which has led to the submergence of six villages of YSR Kadapa district, to the nation. Following this, the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) has alleged the release of water from Gandikota reservoir as illegal and has asked the National Human Rights Commission to immediately intervene and inquire into the matter. Along with this, NAPM has also informed that 1500 cusecs of Krishna river water is being released every day from Gandikota reservoir, which would eventually lead to the flooding of 22 other villages.
This is a roundup of important news from January 9 - 15, 2017. Also, read the policy matters this week.