More than 1000 people dead in three months in India due to heavy rains
According to the National Emergency Response Centre, since May 28, 1400 people have died in India from rain and flood-related incidents. With the highest number of fatalities, Kerala floods accounted for 488 deaths due to drowning, landslides, fallen houses and lightning strikes. Uttar Pradesh recorded the second-highest number of fatalities at 254, followed by West Bengal, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Even the Northeast is bearing the brunt of rains and floods. In Assam alone, 11.47 lakh people have been affected by rain-related incidents.
After floods, Kerala under threat of rat fever
Following the death of 12 people in flood-hit Kerala due to leptospirosis or rat fever, the state government has issued a high alert to maintain extra vigil. Leptospirosis is transmitted from animals to humans and people are at a higher risk of it during floods. Kozhikode has reported the maximum number of cases and people in flood-hit areas are advised to take a course of doxycycline. Since August, 372 confirmed cases of rat fever have emerged in Kerala while there are 719 suspected cases.
Maharashtra's five water bodies heavily polluted: MPCB
According to a water quality analysis done by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), five water bodies in Maharashtra contain "heavily polluted" water with Mumbai's Mithi river being one of them. Under the National Water Monitoring Programme, the pollution control board monitored the water quality at 250 locations including rivers, sea coasts and creeks, drains, dams and wells in Pune, Mumbai, Thane and Nagpur. The analysis revealed that 139 of these sites had non-polluted water, 28 sites contained polluted water, and five were heavily polluted.
Northeast gets flooded as China releases water into the Siang river
China has released water into the Siang river after it received heavy rainfall reported worst in 50 years. Before the release of 9,020 cumecs of water from Tsangpo into the Indian portion of Brahmaputra which affected nearly 1,000 families along the Siang river, a flood alert was issued to Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya. Locals have been advised to keep away from low-lying areas and not to venture into the Siang river.
ADB approves $620 million loan for water projects in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a $375 million loan agreement with the Madhya Pradesh government for the state irrigation efficiency improvement project. The project aims to develop 1,25,000 hectares of new, highly efficient and climate resilient irrigation networks and improve water use efficiency in more than 400 villages. Along with this, the ADB has approved $245 million loan for West Bengal, to provide safe, sustainable, and inclusive drinking water service in the state. The project is expected to benefit about 1.65 million people in the state affected by arsenic, fluoride and salinity.
This is a roundup of important news published between August 29 - September 4, 2018. Also, read policy matters this week.