Bihar, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh among least developed

News this week - Central government declares development index, Maharashtra drought ends and one-fifth of the country's STPs don't work.
Poverty in India Source: Wikipedia Poverty in India Source: Wikipedia

Bihar, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh among least developed

A new government report has put the states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh under the category of 'least developed states'. The Raghuram Rajan committee, set up by finance minister P. Chidambaram to determine the extent of development and allocation of central financial assistance to states has put Goa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the category of 'most developed states'. The states categorised as 'relatively developed' include Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Haryana. The committee used the criteria of poverty ratio and per capita consumption to arrive at its conclusions. As per its calculations, Bihar will get 12.04% of the total funds allocated while UP, at 16.41%, will get the largest share.

Maharashtra drought finally ends

With good rainfall in the last monsoon month, the drought in Maharashtra is finally over. According to government officials, cattle shelters in Pune, Satara, Solapur and Sangli districts, set up to feed cattle let loose by people during drought, have been closed and tanks that were dry for two decades have filled up. In the worst drought in 30 years, 10,000 villages in Maharashtra were hit by drinking water scarcity and all reservoirs reached their dead storage level.

One-fifth of the country's Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) not operational: CPCB

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, 30 STPs funded by the Central government are not operational while another 28 are not performing properly. CPCB surveyed 152 STPs set up under the Environment Ministry's National River Conservation Plan out of which nine are under construction. As against the collective sewage treatment capacity of 4716 million liters per day (MLD) of these plants, only about 3126 MLD sewage is being treated presently even as the rest is released directly into the ground or into drainage channels.

Activists demanding permanent jobs arrested in Singrauli

Local people employed as daily wage labour in Reliance's power plant project in Madhya Pradesh's Singrauli district were arrested this week for planning a protest against the company. Sati Prasad Razak, the leader of the Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP)-affected people and labour union was arrested late at night when he and some others were planning a mass protest against the company. Even as they demanded permanent jobs recently, all local labour were removed from their daily wage work at the Sasan UMPP and labour from other states were brought in as replacements.

Rain Gods smile this time

This monsoon, India received 4% more rainfall than usual. The Indian Meteorological Department recorded an average of 864 mm rainfall as compared to 829 mm that is considered normal. One-third of the country received more than normal rainfall while there was deficit to the tune of 28% in the eastern states of Bihar, Jharkhand and all the Northeastern states. The Southwest monsoon has now withdrawn from northern and western India.

This is a weekly roundup of important news from September 22-29. Also read last week's  policy matters updates.

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