Kerala floods take 38 lives, severe loss reported
On August 9, gates of Idukki Dam, an arch dam located across the Periyar river, were opened due to incessant rainfall in the region. The opening of the dam gates has caused heavy floods in the state claiming nearly 38 lives. At least 30,000 people still remain in relief camps across the state. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has termed the situation 'very serious' and has allocated an additional relief of Rs 100 crore to the state. Experts blame the destruction of ecologically-sensitive zones in the Western Ghats for the floods.
Most of Ganga water unfit for drinking and bathing, indicates CPCB map
According to a map posted on the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website, most of Ganga river water is unfit for drinking and bathing except for the stretches in Uttarakhand and a couple of places as the river enters Uttar Pradesh. The map has been created following the orders of the National Green Tribunal for displaying the fitness of the river prominently. Monitoring committees have also been set up for tackling pollution in Ganga, Yamuna, Ghaggar, Hindon and Sutlej rivers.
Monsoon yet to make its presence felt in Gujarat
While the monsoon ravages many parts of the country, Gujarat is yet to have its share of the rainfall. Kutch, east-central Gujarat and north Gujarat are reeling under a rainfall crisis even though south Gujarat and certain parts of Saurashtra have received good downpours. Due to scanty rainfall, the water level in Sardar Sarovar Dam has reduced to just two percent of its holding capacity. The situation is equally grim in the case of other major dams in the state. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in Gujarat is blaming the lack of low-pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal for deficit rainfall in various parts of the state.
One-third of India's coastline eroded in the last 26 years: Report
According to a recent report of the National Centre for Coastal Research, in the last 26 years, India has witnessed 33 percent erosion, most of which along the eastern coast facing the Bay of Bengal. At the same time, 29 percent of the surveyed coastline were shown a gain in deposits. With 63 percent of loss in the coastline, West Bengal recorded the highest erosion followed by Puducherry, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. However, a high level of accretion has been recorded in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Study finds loopholes in Rajasthan's Swachh Bharat Mission
A study conducted by Accountability Initiative and Centre for Policy Research has revealed that the gram panchayats which have been declared open defecation free in Rajasthan have limited access to toilets. Toilet constructions are found to be incomplete and there is rampant open defecation among households with toilets. The study brings to notice a hurry among authorities to declare ODF status and the lack of the authenticity in the verification process. The study has also observed that on the day of the survey, only one of the nine gram panchayats had 100 percent access to toilets and 38 percent of toilet owners defecated in the open.
This is a roundup of important news published between August 8 - 14, 2018. Also, read policy matters this week.
Lead image source: India TV