40% of India still rain deficit
As predicted, El Nino has gained strength in the past two months and will continue to remain strong for some more time and also might affect next year's monsoon too. Overall the country has experienced 12% of rain deficit this year, with 47% facing normal rain, 40% deficient and only 13% witnessing excess precipitation. The northern agrarian states along with Maharashtra, Telangana and parts of Andhra Pradesh were impacted the most from the deficit for the second consecutive year.
CPCB proposes to ease norms for critically polluted areas
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has proposed not to take into consideration factors such as the impact on people and eco-geological features while tagging an industrial cluster as critically polluted. Though industries have welcomed this proposal, environmentalists have criticised it as it seems that the norms are being diluted to make it easy to do business in India. CPCB has sought the views of all SPCBs, State Governments where the 43 critically polluted clusters are located, concerned central ministries, academic institutions and other stakeholders on the revision of norms.
India to publicise its climate change fight
The Government is launching an outreach campaign within India and abroad to publicise the measures it is taking to fight climate change. For the first time, India will plan and coordinate publicity of its efforts to reduce carbon dioxide pollution and slow down the global rate of temperature rise, shedding its traditional defensive approach. The outreach campaign will continue till the Paris Climate Summit in December.
Swachh Bharat Mission head quits the project
Swachh Bharat Mission has not even completed a year and Vijaylakshmi Joshi, who spearheaded the ambitious project, has taken a voluntary retirement. The reasons of her resignation are still unknown. Joshi is a 1980-batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer and has three more years left in service.
Kali river flooded with heavy metals
Per a study conducted by NEER Foundation, alarmingly high levels of lead and iron are found in the Kali river, which is also causing groundwater contamination. The water samples were collected from villages across eight districts in Uttar Pradesh. It is ironic that Kali, which is a tributary of the Ganga is in such a poor state while big clean-up plans are being made for the main river.
This is a roundup of important news updates from September 1 - 7, 2015. Also read last week's policy matters updates.