Centre calls Kerala floods a 'calamity of severe nature'
News this week
22 Aug 2018
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A house submerged in water during floods in Kerala. (Source: Ranjithsiji via Wikimedia commons)

Kerala floods: Death toll rises to 373

The floods in Kerala have taken away nearly 400 lives and have displaced around 1.2 million people. The Centre has classified the flood fury as a calamity of severe nature even though the state had pitched it as a national disaster. Reviewing the flood situation in Kerala, the Prime Minister has announced an immediate financial assistance of Rs 500 crore to the state. The state has also received financial aid of Rs 700 crore from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for reconstruction efforts. 

Proposal to set up water aerodrome on Chilika lake gets into trouble

On August 12, the civil aviation ministry gave in-principal approval to set up water aerodrome in various states while identifying Chilika lake in Odisha and Sabarmati riverfront and Sardar Sarovar dam in Gujarat for implementing the first phase of the project. However, the decision has been opposed by environmental activists and fishermen in Odisha, who fear that setting up a water aerodrome on Chilika lake will endanger the livelihood and lives of over two lakh people across 150 villages who directly and indirectly depend on the rich marine resources of the lake. Taking note of the potential risk to the lake, the fishermen have urged chief minister Naveen Patnaik to immediately intervene in the matter.

Over a 100 hydropower projects to get terminated in Arunachal 

Days after terminating 15 projects with a total generating capacity of 1,586.4 MW, the Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to terminate 100 more hydropower projects allotted to various private developers. These projects have been facing delays in implementation with some being stalled for almost a decade. The reason behind the delay is the regulatory changes, such as the introduction of basin study, from the environment ministry. In order to accomplish the Centre’s 50,000 MW hydropower initiative, the state government had approved more than 150 hydropower projects in the last one decade.  

India gets its first real-time tsunami prediction system

The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), an institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, has developed a system that can predict risk to coastal areas in real time. As of now, India uses earthquake information to provide the coastal forecast of expected tsunami arrival times. With the development of the new system, however, India will become the first nation to predict tsunami warnings in real time.   

Good news for Mumbai as lakes reach 90 percent capacity

The combined water stock of the seven lakesModak Sagar, Tulsi, Vihar, Tansa, Upper Vaitarna, Middle Vaitarna and Bhatsathat provide water to Mumbai has reached 12.94 lakh million litres. To ensure no water cuts, Mumbai needs a storage of 14.47 lakh million litres by October 1. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Mumbai has forecasted good rains in the coming days for the city and the civic officials are hopeful that all seven lakes will reach their full capacity. 

This is a roundup of important news published between August 15 - 21, 2018. Also, read policy matters this week.

Lead image source: Ranjithsiji via Wikimedia commons


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