Once again, Indore tops in Swachh Survekshan
Indore, Ambikapur and Mysuru have topped the fourth edition of Swachh Survekshan under the Swachh Bharat Mission. In the Swachh Survekshan 2019, 4,237 urban local bodies participated with Indore winning accolade for the cleanest city; Surat for best solid waste management practices and Jabalpur for best innovation and best practices. In the new edition, the total possible marks were set at 5000 and in four categories—citizen feedback, progress level data, direct observation and a new category on certifications such as star rating of garbage free city, open defecation free—were kept with a weightage of 25 percent each.
Rejuvenation of Nambul river launched in Manipur
Under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP), the Manipur government has launched the state’s first-ever rejuvenation and conservation of Nambul river in Imphal. The river has been identified as one of the most polluted rivers in the state by the Central Pollution Control Board (CBCB) and is also a major source of pollution of Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in Northeast. The three- year project is aimed at improving Nambul river's water quality by intercepting and treating all the urban wastewater outfalls from the polluted stretch of the river by using the moving bed bioreactor technology.
Dams in Maharashtra are left with only 32 percent water stock
According to a report of the state water resources department, the dams in Maharashtra are left with only 32 percent water stock of their total storage capacity which is almost 14 percent less compared to last year. With just seven percent water stock, Aurangabad division is the worst hit. Officials have blamed erratic showers in the first few months of the monsoon season followed by long dry spells for the water crisis in the state. However, in order to meet the demand for drinking water in rural and semi-rural areas, the state government has so far deployed 2,636 tankers.
As 176 taluks reel under drought, Karnataka pushes for cloud seeding
With a drought situation looming large in the state, the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department in Karnataka have planned to enhance rainfall during the monsoon season of 2019 and 2020 with cloud seeding operations. The project, which is expected to cost Rs 50 crore each year, will be a replica of Varshadhare project taken up in the state in 2017. The department has initiated the tender process so that the cloud seeding planes could take to the skies by June 20 as it takes about two and a half months for the work order, after which another 45 days are required for various approvals.
Surface ozone destroys 21 percent wheat, six percent rice crop every year, reveals IIT-M study
According to a multi-institute study led by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), surface ozone is destroying around 22 million tonnes of India’s wheat yield and 6.5 million tonnes of rice crop every year. Power plants, vehicles, industries, and biomass burning are the source of surface ozone which enters the plant leaves and affects photosynthesis and thereby crop yields. The findings of the study are important in view of the projected rise in manmade pollution with significant impact on the Indo-Gangetic Plain which is an important agricultural region. Besides this, a decrease in crop yield will have a serious impact on the country's food security and economic growth.
This is a roundup of important news published between March 6 - 12, 2019. Also, read policy matters this week.