In the last 26 years, polluted river stretches rise from 22 to over 300
A recent report has revealed that polluted river stretches in the country have risen 14 times in the last 26 years from 22 in 1989 to 302 now. Per environmetalists, this is because the Central Pollution Control Board has failed to effectively execute clean up measures despite spending so much money. However, the pollution watchdog has defended itself by pointing out its success by vastly expanding pollution monitoring networks in the country which has been able to identify these 302 polluted river stretches.
50 dolphins found in 80 km stretch of Ganga in UP
A survey conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Ministry of Environment and Forests has counted 50 river dolphins in an 80 km stretch of the Ganga from Garhmukteshwar to Narora in Uttar Pradesh. Considering that only 2,000 river dolphins are surviving in the country, the figure represents a very high density. The stretch will now be declared as a protected area for the species. Efforts are being made to protect them and increase their population as they play an important role in cleaning the rivers.
Environmentalists oppose Kerala's way of marking eco-sensitive zones
Kerala has initiated field-level surveys to demarcate Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA) in the state based on the recommendations of the Kasturirangan Committee. Though the Committee had identified 13,108 sq km, the State has included only 8,016.27 sq km, as it is demarcating only protected forestlands while excluding farmlands. Environmentalists have refuted the State's move and alleged that the left-out areas are actually encroachments and that the Government is in no mood to evict them.
Efforts of Bihar Government bring the Ganga closer to Patna
The Ganga, which had moved 3.5 km away from its original course, has been partly brought back with a stream now flowing across the banks in Patna. It is the efforts of the State Government in bringing Ganga closer to the city by changing the course of a particular stream of the river. However, the Union Government and the Inland Waterways Authority of India who were also supposed to join hands in this effort, did not take any interest. Environmentalists believe that maintaining this pilot channel will help revive the dried up stretch of the river.
Arsenic contamination chokes the Gomti
High levels of arsenic toxicity has been found in the Gomti river in Lucknow. The contamination has exceeded twice the permissible limits set by the World Health Organisation and at one survey location, the toxicity has almost touched 8 times the standards. Apart from arsenic other heavy metals -- copper, iron and cadmium, have also been found in the river. According to researchers, the cause for such high levels of pollution is the influx of untreated sewage and agricultural runoff into the river that brings with it pesticides, fertilisers and other chemicals.
This is a roundup of important news from July 21 - 27, 2015. Also read last week's policy matters updates.