Nainital lake drying up, human activities to blame

News this week
A view of the Nainital lake. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) A view of the Nainital lake. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Nainital lake is drying up, environmentalists concerned

According to recent reports, the water level in the Nainital lake in Uttarakhand has gone down by 18 feet below normal this summer. Environmentalists blame human activities such as illegal construction, felling of trees, concretisation of the catchment area and destruction of natural springs for this fall in water levels. Experts also warn that out of 60 natural springs that recharge the lake, only 30 with alarmingly reduced water flow exist. The neglect of Sukhatal lake is also contributing to the drying up of Nainital as the former contributes more than 50 percent of the lake's recharge.

The Basai wetlands to be lost to a construction and demolition plant

The Basai wetlands near Gurgaon, known to be a birders’ paradise as they attract hundreds of winged visitors during winter, could soon be lost to a proposed construction and demolition (C&D) plant. A multinational construction firm has been granted permission to build a waste processing plant over 3.5 acres at the Basai. While bird enthusiasts point out that the plant is coming up in the wetland’s catchment area and would destroy the wetlands and scare away the birds, officials at Gurgaon municipal corporation say that it would help to process tonnes of construction debris being dumped in the Aravallis and elsewhere.

Acute water shortage and heat wave cause distress migration in Bundelkhand

Lack of functioning handpumps and the absence of any government intervention have worsened the situation in Bundelkhand where villagers have no alternative left but to drink contaminated water, exposing them to a number of health problems such as skin infections and frequent bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting. Frequent health problems have led to a considerable economic burden on the people and affected their livelihood activities. Many people are migrating to cities in search of employment.

India becomes the first country to create national plan for disaster risk reduction

India has emerged as the first and the only country so far to produce a national plan and local strategy that aim at lowering losses incurred due to natural disasters and a frontrunner in the implementation of a global plan aimed at reducing disaster losses across the world.The plan was presented at the UN 2017 Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) meeting held in Cancun, Mexico. The UN has urged other countries to take the initiative, following India's lead.

Energy efficient pump sets mandatory for new power connections in Karnataka

Installation of energy efficient pump sets will be mandatory, for both domestic and commercial purposes, to get new electricity connections in Karnataka from June 1, 2017. There are 25 lakh irrigation pump sets and 1.5 lakh drinking water supply pump sets in use currently. Directions have been issued to all urban and rural local bodies to replace the existing old pump sets installed for supplying drinking water with energy efficient ones.


This is a roundup of important news from May 23 - 28, 2017. Also, read policy matters this week.

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