Acute crisis of water, power and medical facilities in Nepal after earthquake

News this week
Earthquake in Nepal (Source: Krish Dulal) Earthquake in Nepal (Source: Krish Dulal)

Nepal earthquake toll exceeds 4300

Nepal was struck by the worst earthquake in 80 years on April 25 (7.9 on Richter scale). The quake has affected Kathmadu and Pokhara the most along with northern and eastern parts of India that also felt severe tremors. The death toll currently is at 4300 in Nepal while 36 people are reported to be dead in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The calamity has also triggered avalanches in Mt. Everest. Although relief efforts are on, survivors are facing acute crisis of water, power and medical facilities. 

35% probability of rainfall being below normal this monsoon: IMD

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted that there is a 35% probability for the southwest monsoon to be 7% deficient this year. The prediction has worried farmers who have already suffered the brunt of unseasonal rainfall earlier this year. Also, in an another report, IMD has mentioned that cyclonic disturbances that bring heavy rainfall have lessened over 12 decades.

Narmada erosion puts Sardar Sarovar dam in danger

Per the high-level technical experts' taskforce, large-scale erosion of the Narmada river at the left bank downstream from Bharuch has been creating a fear of change in the river's course along with a major threat to the Sardar Sarovar dam. The report has also pointed out that the bank-line has shifted to the left by 125 m (to 605 m) during the period 1990-2013. However, the report has not been able to conclude the likely implications of riverbank erosion on the dam and has suggested further studies.

West Bengal foremost in toilet construction

The state has registered the highest progress in toilet construction by building 8.47 lakh new household toilets in 2014-15, with Nadia district alone constructing more than 3.47 lakh toilets. With this, Nadia has achieved the status of an open-defecation free district, which has also been validated by UNICEF and Pratichi Trust. Apart from toilet construction, the state has also been running a continuous behavioural change campaign for the success of Mission Nirmal Bangla.

Oussudu Lake in Tamil Nadu is now a bird sanctuary 

The Tamil Nadu Government has declared the 331 hectares of wetland in Oussudu Lake's territory as a bird sanctuary. The 800 acre lake is located between the Pulicat and Point Calimere wetlands and spreads equally in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. Seven years ago, the Puducherry Government had protected the 390 acres of the lake on its side and had been insisting that Tamil Nadu do the same.

Lead Image Source: Krish Dulal via Wikimedia

This is a roundup of important news from April 21 - 27, 2015. Also read last week's policy updates.

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