Cyclone Titli devastates Odisha and Andhra Pradesh
Cyclone Titli causes severe damage to agriculture, roads and housing infrastructure in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. The cyclone has taken 15 lives and affected 60 lakh people in Odisha, especially in Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts. In Andhra Pradesh, the cyclone wreaked havoc in the north coastal region including Srikakulam and Vizinagaram districts. While Titli occurred in the Bay of Bengal, another cyclone Luban has been reported in the Arabian Sea which has moved towards Yemen and South Oman Coasts.
Environmental activist G.D. Agarwal dies during hunger strike
Former Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) professor G.D. Agarwal, popularly known as Swami Gyanswarup Sanand, died on October 11 while on a hunger strike for a free-flowing Ganga river. The 86-year-old environmental activist was on the 112th day of his hunger strike for a total ban on quarrying and stone crushing on the Ganga riverbed and scrapping of all hydel projects on the river in Uttarakhand. Agarwal had previously gone on fasting in 2009 and 2013 for the protection of the Ganga river.
UN reports a loss of $79.5 billion due to climate-related disasters in the last 20 years
The United Nations report, the Economic Losses, Poverty and Disasters 1998-2017, has highlighted that at least 91 percent of all major disasters recorded from 1988 to 2017 were climate-related and India is among five countries after the US, China, Japan and Puerto Rico, which have witnessed the greatest economic losses due to climate-related disasters. The report has also observed that floods account for 43.4 percent of such disasters followed by droughts.
India to soon have primary data for environmental parameters
In January 2019, India will kick off the first ever National Environment Survey (NES) from 55 districts across 24 states and three union territories. Through a grid-based approach, the survey will collect comprehensive data on various environmental parameters such as air, water, soil quality, e-waste, forest and wildlife, flora and fauna, wetlands, lakes and rivers. Currently, secondary data is available for most of these parameters but with the completion of the first set of the survey, the country will be equipped with primary data which will help fill the gaps in the existing data.
Navi Mumbai brimming with water, no water cuts planned for the coming year
The municipal authorities of Navi Mumbai have announced that they have no plans of water cut this year owing to Morbe dam having its full capacity. The dam, located near Khalapur in Raigad district, received good rainfall at the beginning of the monsoon and it overflowed in the first week of August. This is the second consecutive year that the dam, the primary source of Navi Mumbai's water supply, has overflowed and the residents will not be facing water cuts.
This is a roundup of important news published between October 10 - 15, 2018. Also read policy matters this week.