Delayed by a week, monsoon to reach Kerala by June 7: IMD

News this week
Rainfall in India (Source: Varun Duta Gupta via IWP's Flickr Photos) Rainfall in India (Source: Varun Duta Gupta via IWP's Flickr Photos)

Monsoon delayed by a week, to reach Kerala by June 7: IMD

Per the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) forecast, the monsoon is likely to arrive in Kerala by June 7, a week later than normal. This has further added to the anxieties of farmers, the industry and policymakers who are already struggling with the severe water crisis. Moreover, the month of April this year has broken the global temperature record as not only was it the hottest April on record globally, it was also the seventh month in a row to have broken global temperature records making 2016 the hottest year on record.

Yet again thousands of dead fish afloat in Bengaluru's Ulsoor Lake

Last week, once again thousands of dead fish washed ashore the Ulsoor Lake, as the dissolved oxygen levels dropped below 1mg/litre against the CPCB standard of 4mg/litre. Following the incident, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has come up with a study which has revealed that the maximum cases of fish mortality in the country in the last decade have been reported from Bengaluru followed by Mysuru. The study has also stated that the mass mortality of fish in Bengaluru’s lakes are the consequence of extreme mismanagement of the city’s fragile and ecologically vital lakes and wetlands. 

Railways send Rs 4 crore bill to Latur and then withdraw it

Railways had raised a bill of Rs 4 crore to Latur District Administration for delivering 6 crore litres of water to the parched town through water trains. However, later the bill was withdrawn and the Railway Minister, who is personally monitoring the operations of the water train, has ordered the concerned authorities to continue to run the trains and not to worry about the operational expenses as it will be dealt with separately.

Himachal Government making plans to fast track hydel projects, while tribals oppose such projects

Himachal Pradesh Government has come up with a plan to fast track the hydropower projects under execution in order to harness over 13,500 MW of power. With a view to avoid delays in execution of power projects, the Government has prescribed time-lines under the HP Public Services Guarantee Act for time bound clearances and NOCs for setting up of hydropower projects. Although, the Government is wanting to commission the Kashang, Sainj and Uhal hydel projects in this financial year, tribals from Kinnaur district have shown apprehensions to the Kashang project, claiming it to be a threat to Chilgoza pine, a rare endangered tree species. 

Efforts on to help save water in sugar production

The National Sugar Institute (NSI) has developed a purification unit for treatment of wastewater from sugar industry, which has the potential to bring down the water usage to 160 litres per tonne of cane crushed as against the CPCB standard of 200 litres per tonne of cane crushed. Along with this, the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research (IISR) is also making efforts to develop new varieties of sugarcane which require less amount of water to proliferate. In fact, the institute has already developed an early maturing and high yielding variety of sugarcane, known as CoLK 94184, which could be cultivated in areas facing both drought or flood situations. 

This is a roundup of important news updates from May 10-17, 2016. Also read last week's policy matters update.

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