Destruction of river and mangroves blamed for Mumbai floods
On August 29, Mumbai received 298 mm of rain within a nine-hour period which paralysed the city and caused five deaths. The inability to tackle the flood waters has been attributed to the authorities' failure in improving the city's drainage system. Also, the satellite maps of the city have revealed that unbridled development has led to the encroachment of city's mangroves. The maps have also shown that the Mithi river, the natural storm water drain of Mumbai, has become a veritable sewer, choked with domestic and industrial waste.
Open defecation behind encephalitis in Gorakhpur
Gorakhpur has been using countryside hand pump khichwa or chapa that pulls groundwater from a depth of just 10 feet unlike the India Mark-II hand pumps that need 20-25-metre-deep boring. The groundwater at high levels is prone to contamination due to seepage of faeces and urine and according to the Census 2011, open defecation in encephalitis-affected districts is high. Even the state chief minister Yogi Adityanath has admitted that open defecation and unhygienic conditions are causing encephalitis in the region.
CWC signs MoU with NITS for dam safety
The Central Water Commission (CWC) has signed MoUs with NIT Calicut and NIT Rourkela to support dam rehabilitation efforts of various implementing agencies and the CWC. The water ministry has involved academic and research institutes for capacity building in the areas of dam safety through World Bank-assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP). The aim of the project is to strengthen the testing laboratories, enhance analytical capabilities, facilitate exposure visits to best global institutions and on-ground exposure to dam safety concerns.
Garbage collapsed at Delhi's Ghazipur landfill site claims two lives
Tonnes of garbage collapsed at the Ghazipur landfill site recently claiming two lives. The site which has been polluting air, water and soil since 1984 was supposed to be shut in 2008. The dumping ground holds 130 lakh tonnes of solid waste. As per the municipal engineer, the site was running out of space and rains, fire and excessive pressure collectively brought down a small chunk of the Delhi's garbage mountain.
Karnataka has no plans to denotify dried up lakes
The state government has decided to drop the idea of denotifying dried lakes in the state and is examining a proposal to amend section 68 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act of 1964 that allowed using dried lakes for other public purposes. Chief minister Siddaramaiah has written to the state governor in this regard and has also assured him that he is committed towards the conservation of lakes for the current and future generations.
This is a roundup of important news from August 29 - September 5, 2017. Also, read the policy matters this week.
Lead image source: Flickr photos