Arunachal becomes open defecation free

News this week
A toilet constructed under SBM. (Source: IWP Flickr photos) A toilet constructed under SBM. (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Arunachal achieves the open defecation free status

Following Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh becomes the second state in the Northeast to be declared open defecation free. The state has achieved the open defecation free target one year and 10 months ahead of the national target, which is October 2, 2019. The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) received the attention in the state when the state government extended an incentive of Rs 8,000 per toilet in addition to the Centre's support of Rs 12,000, making the grant for toilet construction Rs 20,000. 

Pest outbreaks in nine states following monsoon

After short spells of heavy rains, farmers in atleast nine states--Odisha, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan--are facing severe pest attacks. Odisha has lost 180,000 hectares of rice plantation to pest attacks while Telangana and Assam have lost 1,000 and 500 hectares of paddy crop, respectively. Experts are blaming climate change, along with the indiscriminate use of pesticides for the sudden surge in pest attacks and have suggested crop rotation as a possible solution to the crisis. 

Government couldn't find reasons for Siang river turbidity

The water ministry has replied to the Lok Sabha that the exact reasons for change in turbidity of Siang river water is not yet known and the possible reason for the change is a landslide, earthquake or any other activity in the upstream region across the international border with China. Also, the officials have mentioned that their views and concerns pertaining to India's riparian rights have been communicated to Chinese authorities. While the reason for the turbidity is still not known, the water quality of the Siang river continues to remain poor.   

Centre sanctions Rs 1,250 crore for inland water transport of Assam

The union minister for road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari has announced Rs 1,250 for the overall development of inland water transport of Assam. He also directed the state government to take immediate steps to upgrade the entire network of embankments in the state. He has also launched the Rs 237-crore project named ‘Protection of Majuli Island from Flood and Erosion’. The project will be implemented by the Brahmaputra Board and is expected to be completed within a period of 18 months. 

Forest Rights Act: Tamil Nadu's perfomance worst

Tamil Nadu has performed the worst in the country towards the implementation of the Forest Rights Act. The state has failed to issue title rights to the tribal communities who are integral to the very survival and sustainability of the forest ecosystem. On the contrary, the neighbouring states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala have performed reasonably well. However, as per the state government, the process of distribution of titles has been initiated for which necessary ground work has already been carried out. 

This is a roundup of important news from December 27, 2017 - 2 January, 2018. Also, read the policy matters this week. 




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