Kerala declares its districts drought-hit

News this week
Parched land during drought in India. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos) Parched land during drought in India. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

All 14 districts in Kerala have been declared drought-hit
After witnessing a 34 percent deficit in rainfall during the south-west monsoon, the Kerala government has declared all its 14 districts drought-hit. The districts are facing severe water scarcity; the worst affected ones are Wayanad, Thrissur, Malappuram and Pattanamittia. Also, as per the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the water levels in the dams have fallen by 40 percent from last year with Periyar and Malampuzha reservoirs being the worst hit. It has also been stated that even the 100 percent downpour in the coming two months will not be able to make up for the deficit.

Delhi suffers from acute air pollution
After Diwali, the capital has got covered in heavy smog containing harmful pollutants which are 14 to 16 times more than the amount considered safe for humans. The smog is the result of the stubble burning in the paddy fields in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh coupled with the burning of fire crackers during Diwali, emissions from vehicles and the dust from the construction sites. To bring down the air pollution, the Delhi government has decided to prohibit construction and demolition activities for five days. Primary schools have been ordered to shut down to avoid small children from being exposed to the harmful air. 

Bengaluru cuts pumping of Cauvery water by 60-65 million litres a day
From its regular quota of 1,400 MLD, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has cut the pumping of water from Cauvery river by 60 to 65 million litres of water per day (MLD) since October. The move is in preparation of handling any future emergencies arising from water shortage. The BWSSB is planning to reduce the pumping of water even further in the coming months. 

Do not take bath in Ganga river along Patna: Experts
According to experts, the Ganga's water in Bihar, especially in Patna, has the presence of bacteria and coliform much higher than the permissible limits. Discharge of untreated sewage is to be blamed for this, as only 20 percent of the total sewage generated in the city gets treated before being discharged into the river. The experts have also warned against taking bath in the river. However, as against the claims made on the river water quality, the latest report by Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) report has found the quality of the river 'satisfactory' on all parameters. 

Kolkata tap water is found to be healthier than packaged water
According to a study conducted by Jadavpur University, the water supplied by city’s municipal corporation is healthier than most of the packaged variety. The study has found that the tap water supplied by the Kolkata municipal corporation contains more minerals required by the body for healthy living and is less acidic than many varieties of packaged drinking water. However, the study has suggested that the tap water after being stored in the reservoir needs to be filtered due to the contamination that occurs in the reservoir.

This is a roundup of important news from November 1-7, 2016. Also read the policy matters this week.

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