Government focusing on Ganga clean-up and not its rejuvenation: Environmentalists
The India Rivers Week 2018 was held in New Delhi with 'Can India Rejuvenate Ganga' as the theme. During the event, environmentalists claimed that as many as 940 dams, barrages and weirs have been built on the Ganga river and these were restricting its flow and hindering its rejuvenation. The experts stated that the government is addressing the issue of sewage waste in the river while there is a need to improve the river flow for its rejuvenation. This year at the India Rivers week, Arun Tiwari and Vishwanath Srikantaiah have won accolades for their exemplary work in the water sector.
IMD gets equipped with Impact Based Forecasting Approach
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is now equipped with a new technique named 'Impact Based Forecasting Approach' which will help authorities minutely monitor the impact of rainfall and assess the rise of water level in rivers and reservoirs in advance. The new technique can show pre-event scenario which may help the authorities in making real-time decisions. With the increase in extreme events due to climate change, the forecasting approach will be helpful in future for any situation such as Kerala floods that had occurred in August this year.
Maharashtra farmers stand up for their rights
Over 20,000 tribal farmers from across Maharashtra marched to Azad Maidan in Mumbai on November 22, 2018 protesting the inordinate delay by the state government in declaring a drought. The delay will have cascading effects on relief benefits for farmers. Moreover, the tribal farmers have their names missing from the land ownership titles making them ineligible for availing any relief from the government. This is the third mass farmer protest in the state in a year. The first took place in March for farm loan waiver followed by another protest in July by dairy farmers for a hike in milk prices.
SAIL's mining activity: Severe health problems reported in two villages in Jharkhand
Mining activity by the public sector Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is making the lives tough for the residents of Binua and Chiria villages located near the Chiria mines in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. The air in the area and the Hamsagadha river, the only source of water for these villages, have been polluted due to the mining activities. Moreover, heaps of mining dust seeps into the agricultural lands in the area, turning the fields infertile. Authorities have turned a blind eye to the apathy of residents for whom health issues like diarrhoea and skin ailments have become common.
River activists and farmers oppose the tower project on Cauvery river
The Karnataka ministers have proposed to construct a 125-ft tower on the government land near the Krishna Raja Sagar dam as a tourist attraction. The plan, however, has been opposed by the river activists and farmer leaders from Mandya region. As per the activists, the tower project will only weaken the dam which needs to be repaired. Some farmer leaders also see the proposal as an attempt to grab the lands of people.
This is a roundup of important news published between November 19 - 25, 2018. Also read policy matters this week.