Domestic sewerage responsible for 75-80% of water pollution in the country
Per WaterAid's assessment based on the latest data from the Ministry of Urban Development, Census 2011 and the Central Pollution Control Board, 80% of India's surface water is polluted. The report holds domestic sewerage, inadequate sanitation facilities, poor septage management and the near absence of sanitation and wastewater policy frameworks responsible for this. Also, alarmingly high levels of water pollution is leading to poor nutritional standards and poor development in children along with increasing the burden of vector borne diseases.
Monsoon and floods come hand-in-hand in india
The much-awaited southwest monsoon brings with it floods in Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Assam and Maharashtra. Floods in Assam have affected around 300,000 people, 2,000 animals and have destroyed over 9,000 hectares of crop yield. Amreli in Gujarat is the worst affected, while 70 people have died in Saurashtra. Jammu & Kashmir is also looking at floods with the Jhelum river crossing the danger mark at a few places.
Aid the Ganga clean up using a smartphone
The Water Ministry has launched the Bhuvan Ganga Mobile Application and web portal to involve the public in the Clean Ganga Mission. The app will enable the public to click and upload pictures of the sources of pollution so that further action can be taken. The app, created by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO, will help utilise geospatial and crowd-sourcing technologies to monitor pollution in the Ganga river.
Swachh Bharat Mission remains largely unimplemented in Jammu & Kashmir
Jammu & Kashmir is lagging behind by quite a bit in implementing the Swachh Bharat Mission. The Government was able to achieve only 14% of its toilet construction targets in 2014-15, even though over 50% of the households in the state are devoid of toilet facilities. The Centre granted funds worth Rs 121.52 crore to the State of which only 4% have been utilised towards the sanitation programme. Only 87 schools and 17 anganwadi centers saw toilet construction in the last year.
First Otter Conservation Reserve comes up in Karnataka
The Environment Ministry has declared the 34 km stretch downstream of the Tungabhadra riverbed in Ballari district of Karnataka as an 'Otter Conservation Reserve'. The declaration has put restrictions on any developmental projects like drinking water or hydel to come up around the river. The area is home to the Eurasian and smooth-coated otters which are being threatened by poaching, water poisoning, sand mining and discharge of untreated effluents. This is the first-time ever that a reserve to conserve otters has come up in India.
This is a roundup of important news from June 23 - 29, 2015. Also read last week's policy matters updates.