Ken-Betwa river link to take away 10% of MP's Panna Tiger Reserve
The proposed Ken-Betwa river interlinking project has been appraised for forest clearance as it involves the diversion of nearly 6,000 hectares of the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. The Reserve is spread over 54,266 hectares and is home to 24 tigers but with the coming of the project, nearly 10% will be taken away. As per a former standing committee member of the National Board for Wildlife, the Ken-Betwa project will not only be disastrous for tigers in the region but will also have a severe impact on the critically endangered gharial found in the Ken river.
International Rivers launches online database showing the health of the world's rivers
International Rivers, a non-profit organisation, has launched an interactive online database that illustrates the impact of dams on the health of the world's rivers. The database has used Google Earth technology to map around 6,000 dams across 50 major river basins of the world. According to International Rivers, the database can be used to understand river basin fragmentation due to the construction of dams and how decades of dam-construction have affected biodiversity and water quality of the region.
Double whammy for Uttar Pradesh this monsoon
This year the monsoon has caused dual problems of flood and drought in Uttar Pradesh. While the 12 districts in Western and and Eastern UP are experiencing drought-like situation, several districts along the Indo-Nepal border are coming out of floods. So far the eastern and western districts have recorded 40% less rainfall compared to last year, which has also led to a reduction in paddy cultivation and sugarcane acreage in the state this year.
Government plans to review the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan
The Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation has released the draft action plan for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which has been distributed to the State Governments for further discussion. The Government will also be reviewing the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan scheme, launched by the earlier Government, and the factors that caused its failure. In order to eradicate open defecation, the Government is all set to evolve strategies for speedy implementation of Swacch Bharat Abhiyan by 2019.
Modi Goverment to soon come up with the 'Jal Shuddhi' Mission
The Centre is making plans to soon launch the 'Jal Shuddhi' programme that will aim to provide clean and pure drinking water to more than 21,000 habitations in the next three years. Under the programme, the Government plans to install community water purifiers in villages affected by contaminated water. The proposal of the project, worth Rs 3600 crore, has been sent to the Prime Minister's Office for further consideration.
This is a weekly roundup of important news from August 25-31, 2014. Also read last week's policy matters updates.
Lead image source: Shannon via Wikipedia