Mazhapolima wins accolades for offering sustainable solution to overcome water scarcity
The community-based government programme, Mazhapolima in Thrissur district in Kerala has received the Danish Water Air Food Award 2018 for offering a sustainable solution to overcome water scarcity. The programme was initiated in 2008 with a focus on recharging groundwater wells using rainwater harvested from rooftops. The success of the scheme lies in its affordability. Mazhapolima requires the beneficiary to pay only 25 percent of the cost of constructing the well-recharge structure while the remaining funds are borne by the state government.
Issue of forest rights gains prominence in Chhattisgarh, MP polls
With polls starting in Chhattisgarh, organisations working for tribals’ forest rights have sent a people’s manifesto to all the political parties highlighting the promises made towards empowering the tribal and forest-dwelling communities. As per the data analysed by Vasundhara, a Bhubaneshwar-based non-profit working with the tribal communities, under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), only 50 percent of the potential area has been granted to the communities. Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh, where only 20 percent of the potential rights under FRA have been recognised, organisations have sent their FRA-related demands to major political parties.
Cyclone Gaja to make landfall in Tamil Nadu
According to India Meteorological Department, cyclone Gaja is expected to make landfall in Tamil Nadu between Cuddalore and Pamban on November 15. As predicted, the sea conditions over the southwest and the adjoining west-central and southeast Bay of Bengal are likely to become very high today and fishermen have been warned to not venture into the deep sea. A yellow alert has been issued for north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts which signifies that the local administration needs to remain updated about the situation.
Toxic smog envelops over 41 cities on the day after Diwali
As per the government data, nearly 41 cities, mostly in the north and central India, experienced 'poor' to 'severe' air quality on November 8, 2018, a day after Diwali. Moreover, the Air Quality Index (AQI) bulletin recorded seven cities including Noida, Faridabad, Patna and Lucknow as having worse air than Delhi. Despite the Supreme Court ban, nearly five million kilogrammes of firecrackers were estimated to have been burnt in Delhi on Diwali this year. As against the standard of 60 µg/m3, the AQI plunged to 390 in Delhi on the day after Diwali.
Three teams to conduct census of Gangetic dolphin in Bihar
Three teams of experts from Zoological Survey of India, Wildlife Trust of India and Vikramshila Biodiversity Research and Education Centre (VBREC), Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University will conduct a comprehensive drive to count the number of endangered Gangetic dolphins in Bihar. The census will begin from November 18 and will be done along the 1,000 km of the Ganga river and its two major tributaries, Gandak and Ghaghra in Bihar. The three teams will be conducting the exercise in their respective zones in a coordinated manner so as to minimise the possibility of duplication in the count.
This is a roundup of important news published between November 7 - 13, 2018. Also read policy matters this week.