China operationalises one of the biggest dams on the Brahmaputra

News this week
Brahmaputra river in Tibet (Source: Luca Galuzzi via Wikipedia) Brahmaputra river in Tibet (Source: Luca Galuzzi via Wikipedia)

China's Zangmu Hydropower Project, one of the biggest dams on Brahmaputra, is operational

The 510 MW Zangmu Hydropower Project on the Brahmaputra in Tibet is now operational. The project is regarded as the highest in the world and it is just 550 km away from the Indian border. Zangmu Hydropower is a big concern for India as it might have a possible impact on the Upper Siang and Lower Subansiri projects in Arunachal Pradesh, in case the water flow in the Brahmaputra river is reduced. However, the Chinese Government has assured India that the massive project will not affect the environment or water flow in the downstream areas.

Verify village status on open defecation: Centre to states

With more number of villages declaring themselves open defecation free, the Sanitation Ministry has ordered all the State Governments to verify the status of villages/ panchayats by the end of this year. The survey has to be conducted on the basis of the guidelines issued by Centre, according to which no visible feces should be present in the village and every household and community should be using safe technology to dispose the defecate, so as to ensure no contamination of water sources. Along with this, the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan has also submitted its final report to the Prime Minister

Study says dangerous glaciers are being created in the Himalayas due to global warming

Per the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, 1,266 Chorabari lakes have been created in Uttarakhand’s Himalayan regions due to the melting of glaciers. Such a lake was responsible for the devastating flash floods of 2013 in the State. These lakes are mainly scattered between the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda river basins and have the potential to burst under the slightest provocation of weather. However, these lakes seem to have no immediate threat to human population but need to be monitored constantly.

Maharashtra declares drought in 14,708 villages 

The Maharashtra Government has declared drought in 14,708 villages in the State, with Marathwada being impacted the most. The Government has announced that the fees of school and college students of these villages will be waived, along with also waiving off one third of the electricity bill of agricultural pumps. Also, in order to raise funds for tackling drought in the region, the State Government has decided to impose a surcharge of Rs 2 on petrol and diesel and increase the VAT on liquor, cigarettes and beverages by 5 percent. 

Railway Authorites seize over 1,300 packaged drinking water bottles

The Central Railway Pune Division has cracked the whip on retailers and vendors selling packaged drinking water brands other than 'Rail Neer'. During the drive, authorities seized over 1,300 packaged drinking water bottles and slapped fines on those selling unauthorised brands. These brands not only provide substandard water but also sell expired bottles. 

This is a roundup of important news updates from October 13 - 19, 2015. Also read last week's policy matters update.

Lead image source: Luca Galuzzi via Wikipedia


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