IMD to stop using the term 'drought'

News this week
Affected by drought (Source: IWP Flickr Photo) Affected by drought (Source: IWP Flickr Photo)

IMD to replace the term 'drought' with 'deficient year'

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has decided to put a stop to the use of term 'drought' for poor rainfall recorded across the country and instead use the terms 'deficient year' and 'large deficient year'. A committee has also been formed for this purpose. Currently, a drought year is declared when the rainfall deficiency is 10%, and 20-40% of the nation is under drought conditions. However, per the IMD, its work is just to monitor rainfall and its deficiency and not to declare droughts as that is in the domain of the state governments.

First River Information System of India inaugurated

The Ministry of Shipping has inaugurated the first of its kind River Information System (RIS) System of India. The new system will facilitate safe and accurate navigation on National Waterway 1 on the Ganga river as it is a combination of modern tracking equipments, both hardware and software, designed to optimise traffic and transport processes in inland navigation. 

Oil India succeeds in restoring polluted water bodies through bio-remediation

Using an integrated approach of bio-remediating oil contamination in water bodies, Oil India has succeeded in lowering oil content in water bodies at drilling pits. The technology has brought down the level of oil content from 2,00,000 ppm (parts per million) to 10 ppm which is conducive for the growth of flora and fauna. The initiative is a first of its kind and was started in August last year with an aim to lower the oil content in drilling effluent pits to less than 10 ppm within six months.

Punjab makes record contribution of rice but at the cost of its reservoirs

During the 2015-16 crop season, Punjab has contributed 93.5 lakh tonnes of rice to the central pool. Though the contribution is huge, it has emptied out its reservoirs since the water required to grow this much rice is five times more than the capacity of the Gobind Sagar lake, the reservoir of the Bhakra dam. The area under rice cultivation in the state has touched 29 lakh hectares this year, despite the restriction of paddy cultivation to just 16 lakh hectares owing to the incessant extraction of water with tubewells. 

86 villages stand against the dam on Ghaggar

Thousands of residents of nearly 86 villages in Punjab are strongly opposing the proposed dam in Ghaggar river. However, the state Irrigation Department has dismissed the claims of such protest in the region. The dam that will cost Rs 66 crore, would allow the drawing of around 130 cusecs to irrigate 15,000 hectares in villages located around Rajpura and Banur towns in Patiala district. However, per the villagers, the dam would cut down the flow of water to their fields as the flow in the river is less than 400 cusecs. 

This is a roundup of important news updates from January 5 - 11, 2016. Also read last week's policy matters update.


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