Gujarat seeks financial aid of Rs 1,725 crore from the Centre for drought relief works
In the wake of droughts in several parts of the state, the Gujarat government has sought Rs 1,725 crore from the Centre to take up relief works. This year, Gujarat received just 73.87 percent of the average rainfall. So far, 3,367 villages of 51 taluka have been declared drought-affected. As per the official estimation, the state would be needing Rs 2,902 crore for carrying out relief works in affected regions. Apart from the funds available under the State Disaster Relief Fund, the state would require another Rs 1,725 crore. It has sought the aid from the Centre and is confident of receiving a positive response from the Centre on receiving the funds.
Cyclone Pethai wanes but causes widespread damages
Phethai that emerged as a severe cyclonic storm has weakened and has made its landfall on the coast of Andhra Pradesh on Monday. The cyclone has hit normal life across the state and caused the death of two people. Heavy damages to paddy and aquaculture crops have been reported in the East and West Godavari districts and Krishna district. After causing devastation in Andhra Pradesh, the cyclone moved towards Odisha coast and caused heavy rains in several parts of the state. More than 11,000 people were moved to safety zones in Odisha following the cyclone forecast.
Clean, reusable water gets wasted in Goa
Goa is able to generate nearly 20-30 MLD of treated water after processing waste from three to four sewage treatment plants (STP) in the state. However, barely five percent of this water is being utilised mainly due to perception problem while the rest is being drained into the nullahs, which eventually drains into the sea. Moreover, the transportation cost makes the treated water expensive than the potable water which is available to industries at a lower cost. At present, the only use of treated water is to release it into drains for flushing dirt accumulated in them.
Study finds high arsenic levels in Punjab's groundwater
A recent study conducted by TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS) in New Delhi in collaboration with Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and Columbia University of New York, has revealed the presence of serious levels of arsenic in Punjab's groundwater. The study which tested 13,000 wells in the state found that 25 percent of the wells had high levels of arsenic along with traces of fluoride and nitrate, raising a major public health concern. The study has suggested the installation of remediation/treatment technologies and new deep wells in the worst affected areas as a long-term solution to this crisis.
Drop in number of migratory birds in Kolkata, thanks to air and water pollution
This year Kolkata is witnessing a drop in the number of migratory birds and air pollution is considered as the main reason behind it. The birds that have died inside the Alipore Zoo premises were found to have a large number of pollutants inside their lungs. Kolkata has now become the second most polltued city in the world after New Delhi. Also, the migratory birds have stopped frequenting their usual pockets around Sarobar and Santragachi lakes owing to worsened water quality.
This is a roundup of important news published between December 11 - 18, 2018. Also read policy matters this week.