40% people in the National capital live in houses not connected to sewerage network
According to the Census 2011, two in every five houses in Delhi are not connected to the sewerage network. 73% people in Northeast Delhi live in houses that use septic tanks or open drains for disposal of wastewater while 40% people in South Delhi do not have proper drainage. Only in Central Delhi, which is home to ministers and contains government buildings, is there a proper drainage network in place. According to the National Capital Region Planning Board, 65% of the urban population of Delhi was covered under sewerage network in 2001, which declined to 55% in 2011.
A weakened Lehar crossed Andhra coast peacefully
Cyclone Lehar, a third in line expected to hit the Andhra Pradesh coast last week after Phailin and Helen, weakened considerably before forming a depression in the sea and crossing the coastline. Lehar, which was predicted to be as severe as Phailin with a wind speed of 200 kms per hour, crossed the coastline at 30-40 kms per hour only. According to scientists, winds blowing from central India, the low winter temperature of water near the coast and wind shear resulted in Lehar weakening. More than 45,000 people were evacuated from Machillipatnam, where the cyclone was to hit the coast.
Fearing erosion, farmers in Tripura sell land
Facing soil erosion and the resultant loss in agriculture, farmers in the north-eastern state of Tripura have been selling land at low prices. As a result, brick kilns abound along the 10 rivers in the State where very few stood a decade ago. A major reason for the erosion is the changing course of rivers in the State. Over 40 villages have disappeared in one river valley alone. The phenomenon started in the 1980s when the State Government constructed embankments as part of flood control measures.
Salt pans render drinking water unpotable in Tuticorin
Salt pans dug on the riverbed of the Vembar river in Tuticorin have rendered the district's groundwater saline. The river, which is the drinking water source to villages in Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts, has many encroachments on its floodplains. Salt pans in over 12 acres of land are operating without proper clearances on the Vembar riverbed. Environment activists have written to the District Collector to take action against these salt pans that have changed the river course and thus pose danger of flooding to the agricultural land on the other side of the river.
Common effluent treatment plants in Maharashtra exceed standards
A weekly inspection conducted by the State Pollution Control Board has found only seven out of 23 common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) functioning in the state. Environment standards include Biological Oxygen Demand, pH and Chemical Oxygen Demand. The Pollution Control Board is required to conduct weekly inspection of all CETPs after the Bombay High Court order of November last year. The Court order was in response to a petition that asked the Court to ban all new industries in the State till the CETPs start functioning properly.
This is a weekly roundup of important news from November 24-30. Also read last week's policy matters updates.