Good monsoon expected this year

News this week
Downpour in Bihar (Source: IWP Flickr Photos) Downpour in Bihar (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

Good southwest monsoon expected this year as El Nino declines

Owing to the declining El Nino condition, the Government is expecting a good monsoon this year after two long years of deficient rainfall. The states have been directed to come up with plans to boost crop acreage and and production in the Kharif season starting June. Due to the poor monsoons last year, India’s foodgrain production declined to 252.02 million tonnes in 2014-15 crop year as against the record of 265.04 million tonnes the previous year. Even this year, the output is estimated to rise only slightly to 253.16. 

Water train reaches parched Latur

Last week, the Indian Railways sent a 10-wagon water train from Miraj in Sangli district of western Maharashtra to Latur city in Marathwada. The train which covered a journey of 375 km was carrying around five lakh litres of water. As yet, six such trains have already reached Latur city and the state government is now preparing a 50-wagon water train that will carry 25 lakh litres of water. However, in order to supply 5 lakh litres everyday to Latur, the Miraj administration has reduced its own demand to 13 lakh litres. 

Not just Centre but state governments also responsible for acute water crisis

According to the data from the Centre's Rural Development Ministry, the 13 states including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Telangana that have been hit by an acute water shortage have not used funds allocated to them by the Centre for drinking water projects. The statistics have revealed that Maharashtra had Rs 322 crore of unspent central funds for drinking water, while Karnataka had Rs 200 crore unspent funds, Uttar Pradesh Rs 332 crore and Telangana around Rs 22 crore. However, Rajasthan has submitted its report detailing the expenditure of central funds while other states are yet to submit such reports. 

Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan going the Latur way, thanks to rampant groundwater extraction

Per the latest assessment of the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan consume much more groundwater than their rechargeable limit every year making them vulnerable to severe water scarcity. In Punjab and Haryana, indiscriminate use of water in agriculture is a major concern. However, the Centre is on the look out for various options to conserve water while the exact estimate of groundwater resources is being conducted through the ongoing exercise of aquifer mapping.

55 lakes in Bengaluru are staring at death according to a study

Per a study by United Way Bengaluru, 55 lakes in Bengauru along the Koramangala-Chalaghatta Valley and Vrishabhavati Valley, are staring at death owing to rampant encroachment and vanishing community support. The study, which examined 200 lakes, has categorised them into six types: the best (33); almost there (42 lakes that fall short of one or two aspects); average (16) with communities; average (25) without communities; lakes with faint hope (29) and those staring at death (55). The best lakes include Jakkur, Agara, Ulsoor, Sankey Tank, Kengeri and Nagavara, which have active communities looking after them.

This is a roundup of important news updates from April 12 - 18, 2016. Also read last week's policy matters update.

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