Bellandur lake catches fire again
A huge fire broke out in the highly polluted Bellandur lake last week, causing worry to Bengaluru residents. A strong contingent of 5,000 army jawans doused the fire in the lake. Soon after the incident, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board blamed the defence department for it alleging that the fire started from the land held by the latter. Despite several orders from the National Green Tribunal, the various agencies concerned have failed to prevent the pollution in the lake which is spread over 1,000 acres and receives 60 percent of sewage generated in the city.
Gujarat government ignores order to form state wetland authority
Although the Gujarat government constituted the state wetlands authority in May 2017, it remains only on the paper. The authority is responsible for preserving ecologically important wetlands in the state and implementing the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2016 and 2010. Since the body was formed in May 2017, nothing has progressed. Moreover, not a single meeting of the high-powered committee has been held.
New sea link to come up in Mumbai at the cost of Thane creek
The 22-km-long the Trans-Harbour Sea-Link, worth Rs 17,700 crore, is coming up in Mumbai. The sea link will connect the city to Navi Mumbai as well as to the new international airport coming up there. The bridge is going to occupy five km of mudflats in the Thane creek and would affect 38 hectares of protected mangrove forests and 8.8 hectares of forest land. To protect the remaining part of the Thane creek, however, the Maharashtra Forest Department has agreed to declare a 10-km-long stretch of mangroves and mudflats between the Vashi and Airoli creeks as protected Flamingo sanctuary.
West Bengal river unfit for bathing: Report
According to the latest State of Environment Report, it has been found that in the 17 major rivers of the state, including the Ganga, the levels of coliform bacteria are much higher than the permissible limit. The report further revealed that several stretches of the Ganga had a total coliform count ranging from one to four lakhs, making the water totally unfit for even bathing. The report has also stated that compared to 2014, all the four main rivers of north Bengal recorded a significant increase in total coliform count.
Report reveals 56 percent smart cities prone to floods
A joint report--Decoding the Monsoon Floods by the NGO, SEEDS and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED)--has revealed that nearly 56 percent of smart cities are prone to floods which are responsible for 77 percent of all disasters in India. Based on the disaster data between 2000 and 2017, the report has observed that India has a mean of 11 flood events per district over the last 18 years. The report further stated that natural sinks like wetlands, that act as a sponge against floods, had shrunk due to rapid urbanisation, leading to catastrophic results.
This is a roundup of important news from January 16 - 22, 2018. Also, read the policy matters this week.
Lead image source: Bellandur lake sets on fire via NDTV