Bellandur lake engulfed in smoke

News this week
Bellandur lake on fire. (Source: NDTV) Bellandur lake on fire. (Source: NDTV)

Yet again, Bengaluru’s lake on fire

Last week, Bellandur lake, which has been in the news for the last one year for froth and toxic fumes spilling out of it, was engulfed in fire followed by thick smoke that had caused panic among people. While Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials are being blamed for their lackadaisical attitude towards tackling the garbage menace in the lake, the environment ministry has ordered an enquiry into the incident. Along with this, notices have been issued to BBMP, Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board and other agencies to stop the dumping of garbage in the lake.

India has the highest recycling rate of PET waste: Study

According to a study conducted by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), it has been found that India has the highest recycling rate for polyethylene terephthalate or PET, a kind of plastic used for manufacturing drinking water bottles and food containers. With 90 percent recycling rate, India has outperformed countries like Japan, Europe and the US in the recycling business. Out of the 900-kilo tonnes of PET made in India every year, 65 percent is recycled at registered facilities, 15 percent in the unorganised sector and 10 percent is reused at homes.

For the first time, Maharashtra identifies wetlands in forest areas

The state forest department has identified 320 wetlands in forest areas across 25 districts using satellite imagery. It has developed brief documents detailing the demarcation. The documentation is based on provisions under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 and is done in consultation with the forest department through rapid field surveys. Maharashtra is the second state after Odisha to come up with such a document. A total of 464 wetlands have been identified in the state, out of which 320 wetlands are within forest areas, 135 outside them and nine sites do not fall under the definition of wetlands. 

Political parties fight over SYL issue in Haryana and Punjab

Haryana’s main opposition party, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has announced that its supporters will march from Ambala to the Shambhu barrier that borders Punjab on February 23 to dig the Satluj-Yamuna link canal. Following the announcement, the Punjab government has urged both the Centre and the Haryana government to take all necessary steps to prevent it from happening to avoid further tension between the states.

Kerala initiates steps to mitigate drought impact

Low rainfall and a deficient southwest monsoon have put Kerala in a drought-like situation. The water levels in the state's reservoirs and the water table have been affected. To mitigate the effects of drought, the state government has asked all district collectors to not permit the construction of borewells till May 31. Along with this, the government has also introduced a slew of measures such as rainwater harvesting, rejuvenating ponds and water bodies, protecting wetlands, monitoring water wastage and illegal connections to reduce the severity of the drought. 

This is a roundup of important news from February 14 - 20, 2017. Also, read the policy matters this week

Lead image source: Bellandur lake sets on fire via NDTV

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