Lockdown impact: Health of water bodies improves
According to the experts, the health of the Ganga river along with its tributaries, Yamuna and Hindon, has improved significantly since the enforcement of the nationwide lockdown that has led to reduction in dumping of industrial waste into it.
The experts have recommended to validate the visible improvement with proper data and study on the level of pollution coming from the industries.
Similarly, Cauvery and its tributaries in Karnataka are regaining their decades-old status in terms of water quality, informs the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB). The lockdown has also breathed life into polluted creeks and rivers in the Mumbai region as industrial effluent and other waste that flows into them daily has reduced in volume by 50 percent. (The Economic Times, The Times of India, The Hindu)
IIT Alumni comes up with a device that can possibly fight coronavirus
Two IIT Alumnus have come up with a device, called the Airlens Minus Corona, which is a human-shaped robot that can sterilise streets and public places like hospitals, bus stops, railway stations, shopping malls. The machine discharges charged/ionised water droplets to sterilise surfaces that can potentially cause the spread of coronavirus. The duo have used the technology of optimal combination of electric energy and water atomisation techniques to induce a charge on water droplets while creating hydroxyl radicals that can oxidise and kill the coronavirus. A proposal has been submitted to the Technology Development Board (TDB) and response is awaited. (The Better India)
Odisha tribals stare at a grim future due to COVID-19 lockdown
The lockdown phase has coincided with the harvest and collection period of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) during which 10 million people in the state and nearly 275 million people across the country collect NTFPs. However, due to the COVID-19 lockdown the livelihood of these communities has been badly impacted as there are less chances of receiving the hard cash they earn. Likewise, farmers in Maharashtra and Karnataka are also staring at destruction as their produce lies rotting in the fields. Unseasonal rains, manpower shortage and lack of transport facility and buyers have spelled doom for farmers across the nation. (The Hindu, The Print)
Rainfall over the Ganga and Brahmapura river basin decreased in the last three decades: IMD
According to a study by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), rainfall received over the Ganga and Brahmaputra river basins during the Southwest Monsoon season has decreased in the last three decades. The states that have been impacted include Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. The decrease in rainfall has had a significant impact, both on the water reserves and agriculture activities, in these states. The study has attributed changes in rainfall-bearing systems for this variation observed from 1989 to 2018. (The Indian Express)
No water to wash hands for Hyderabad slums in times of Corona outbreak
Slums in Hyderabad, especially Alwal, Tarnaka, Domalguda and Secunderabad, are facing a severe water crisis, which is only compounded by the ongoing lockdown. A resident from Alwal has complained that the area did not receive drinking water for more than five days owing to the lockdown and officials haven't paid any heed to the complaints of the residents. Expressing contempt, residents have slammed calls by the Central and State governments to wash hands frequently in the absence of water for drinking and daily use. (The Hans India)
This is a roundup of important news published between March 22 - April 6, 2020. Also read policy matters this week.