After Phailin, Cyclone Helen hits Andhra Pradesh coast

News this week: Cyclone Helen devastates Andhra coast, built up area in the capital replaces green spaces and packaged water unit to come up near Sambhar lake.
Cyclone Helen hit Andhra coast Source: Wikimedia Cyclone Helen hit Andhra coast Source: Wikimedia

 After Phailin, Helen devastates Andhra coast 

Two back to back cyclones have destroyed the standing crop in Andhra Pradesh. Cyclone Helen, which hit the Machilipatnam coast in Krishna district on November 18, killed seven people and destroyed paddy worth Rs 5000 crore. As per initial estimates, three lakh acres of rice were destroyed in East and West Godavari districts, 2.5 lakh acres were damaged in Krishna district besides one lakh acre of crop damaged in Visakhapatnam and Guntur districts. 

Built up area consumes green spaces in Delhi

From 1999 to 2012, built up area in the National Capital Region (NCR) has gone up by 34.6%, says a study by National Remote Sensing Centre. The study, commissioned by the NCR Planning Board, says that this concretization has happened at the expense of green areas and water bodies that have gone down by 22.5% and 5.9% respectively. The study was commissioned for the review of the NCR's Regional Plan-2021 which states that environmentally fragile and sensitive areas such as the Yamuna riverbed, wetlands, ridge areas and forest areas are being subjected to development activities, adversely affecting the land use and eco-system of the area.

Not just salt, Sambhar to provide water too

Hindustan Salts Limited and the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the production of 'Rail Neer' from Sambhar lake, the inland salt water lake near Jaipur. According to reports, the plant will use reverse osmosis technology to filter water from the lake, which will also reduce the salt production time by 3-4 months. 'Rail Neer', the bottled water brand of the Railways, would be supplied from the Sambhar plant within a 200 kms range to Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer and Sawai Madhopur.

Land sinking around Tehri dam

Residents around the 42 square km reservoir of Tehri dam live in perpetual fear of land under their houses sinking. Heavy monsoon this  year, combined with frequent landslips due to the huge reservoir, has made life and livelihood difficult in the 50 villages above the dam. People have lost fields, roads and bridges to submergence, cutting off villages from the main roads. The Tehri Hydro Development Corporation is carrying out a survey of villages reported as sinking or affected by landslips.

People protest against hydropower projects in Arunachal

Fearing loss of livelihood and submergence, people in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh protested against three hydropower projects proposed to come up on the Siang river. The projects will have a total installed capacity of 12,450 Mega watts. The height of the dams is planned at 145, 257 and 154 metres. People fear that such high dams, if breached, will wipe out the ancestral land of the indegenous people.

This is a weekly roundup of important news from November 17-23. Also read last week's policy matters updates.

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