Not enough rain, Bihar stares at drought

News this week
Parched land during drought in India. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos) Parched land during drought in India. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

All districts but three in Bihar experience drought

While lakes overflow in Mumbai and Kerala gets 22 percent excess rain, Bihar stares at a drought. With a 48 percent rain deficit, as many as 35 out of 38 districts in Bihar are experiencing drought. The only districts to have received average rainfall are Banka, Madhubani and West Champaran. The state government will be assessing the situation later this month to take a call on whether a drought needs to be declared or not. Till then it is readying itself with contingency plans in the event of a drought and mulling the option of asking farmers to cultivate crops that consume less water.  

Karnataka releases 80,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu

The Karnataka government has released around 80,000 cusecs of water from Krishna Raja Sagara dam to Tamil Nadu. Karnataka had experienced drought conditions last year but due to sufficient rainfall this year, the state's dams located at Cauvery basin are brimming with water. The last time such heavy inflow was noticed was in the year 1992-93. The water released from Karnataka has helped increase the water level of Tamil Nadu's Mettur dam and after six years of crop failures and drought, its gates have been opened to release water for samba cultivation. 

Water quality poor in Bengaluru's rejuvenated lakes: IISC Report

A recent report by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has revealed that the rejuvenated Kalkere, spread over 105 acres, has been receiving inflow from a nearby sewage treatment plant. Kalkere joins lakes in the Hebbal valley, a series of 37 lakes on the north and eastern peripheries. Out of these 37 lakes, 20 lakes have been rejuvenated. However, only three of them have got good quality water. As per the report, the main reason behind the poor quality water in these lakes is lack of maintenance

Groundwater around Hindon river unfit for drinking: CPCB

As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report, the groundwater around the Hindon river has been found unsafe for drinking. The survey, conducted in seven districts through which the Hindon river or its distributaries pass, has found that the groundwater in Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur and Shamli contain high levels of fluoride, sulphate, oil and grease and heavy metals. The major culprit for this is contamination from the growing number of polluting factories around the river. 

PET bottles in Maharashtra will now have buyback value

To comply with new regulations and help check plastic littering, top beverage makers including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Bisleri have initiated printing a buyback value on all PET (plastic) bottles sold in Maharashtra. Now, the consumers can return the empty plastic bottles and get paid for it. Most companies have kept the buyback value for PET bottles at Rs 15 per kg and Rs 5 per kg for shrink wrap. However, as per some industry officials, the buyback system is not foolproof. 

This is a roundup of important news published between July 16 - 23, 2018. Also, read policy matters this week.


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