NSS finds only 58.2 percent of rural households have drinking water facilities within premises
The National Sample Survey (NSS) conducted between July and December 2018 reveals that only 58.2 percent of rural households in India have drinking water facilities within the premises. In urban areas, the figure was 80.7 percent. These findings are part of the report 'Drinking Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Housing Conditions in India', and show a huge divide between urban and rural India in terms of access to drinking water - a key indicator for development.
For nearly 42.9 percent of rural households, hand pumps are the principal source of drinking water. On the other hand, 40.9 percent of urban households use piped water into the dwelling as the principal source of drinking water.
(Times of India)
'Rejuvenating Ganga — a citizen’s report' released during India Rivers Week 2019
During the ongoing India Rivers Week, 'Rejuvenating Ganga — a citizen’s report' was released that analyses and maps dams, barrages and hydroelectric projects in India. At least a thousand dams on the Ganga basin are obstructing the flow of its various tributaries and adversely affecting the overall health of the river system. The report also recommended that the government must make environmental flows mandatory for the entire basin and not just the main stem of the river. (Hindustan Times)
Over 1,000 families affected as Hulimavu Lake breaches in Bengaluru
On Sunday, a breach in Hulimavu lake in south Bengaluru caused water to flood as far as 2 kilometres around the lake, consequently affecting more than 1,000 families. A preliminary probe found that the breach occurred because of some contracting work undertaken in the lake that did not take any precautionary measures, and that was carried out without a green signal from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) - the civic body that manages the lake. 300 sand truckloads were used to plug the leak. Nearly 350 families have been moved to three rehabilitation centres after the breach. (The Times of India)
Aarey update: 61 percent of trees transplanted by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRCL) found dead
For the ongoing Mumbai Metro project, the MMRCL had uprooted 1,561 trees that were obstructing the work, and transplanted these trees at 31 different locations over the years. However, a high court-appointed inspection committee has found that nearly 61 percent of the transplanted trees, mostly in Aarey colonry have died. A tree activist has pointed out that the poor survival rate of the transplanted trees is because the Metro authority did not undertake the transplantation properly. The inspection committee also visited the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) where the Metro authority claimed to have plant over 21,000 trees; the report on this is yet to be released. (The Times of India)
Check out our explainer on the recent Aarey Milk Colony protests in October in Mumbai.
Maharashtra may get its first Ramsar site
According to state forest department officials, the 800-hectare Nandur Madhyameshwar in Nashik may be be declared a Ramsar site next month. The Lonar Crater Lake in Buldhana, a 366-hectare wetland site that houses 109 bird species, is also slated to get a Ramsar tag next year. While the documentation of Lonar is underway, the paper work for Nandur Madhyameshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is completed, from the sanctuary to district, state and central level, and has been sent to the Ramsar secretariat. The Ramsar Convention provides refuge to threatened species and protects wetlands around the world. (Hindustan Times)
This is a roundup of important news published between November 19 - 25, 2019. Also read policy matters this week.