Only one out of five river basins in the country resilient to climate change: Study

Study finds, only one out of five river basins in the country can cope with climate change

According to a new study by the Indian Institute of Technology – Indore (IIT-I), only one out of five river basins in the country can withstand extreme weather events and eight out of 10 vegetation types including croplands are likely to be non-resilient under similar conditions. The study aims to identify vulnerable river basins and vegetation types since India cannot have a uniform policy to tackle the impacts of extreme weather events. The study for the first time has developed a risk-and-resilience map of Indian terrestrial ecosystems to dry conditions and has found that 20 out of 25 river basins, including Ganga, Narmada and Tapi, are non-resilient, and they will not recover under extreme climatic conditions. (The Hindustan Times)

105 out of 109 water bodies in Karnataka under CPCB, unfit for bathing

According to a recent assessment by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), water in 105 of the 109 lakes, ponds and tanks in Karnataka does not meet the primary quality criteria for outdoor bathing. Moreover, out of 435 water bodies across the country, 357 aren't upto the mark and the states which have fared poorly are Assam (29 out of 30 water bodies in poor condition), Telangana (56 of 59) and Jammu & Kashmir (25 of 28). As per CPCB, entry of sewage, dumping of garbage and industrial effluents are common reasons why most of these water bodies are polluted. (The Times of India)

Gujarat under-utilised its irrigation potential: CAG

According to the latest report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Gujarat has utilised only 19 percent of 18.88 lakh hectares of Culturable Command Area (CCA) created for irrigation purposes. Also, the report pointed out that the maximum utilisation of the CCA during any season in 2012-13 was just 18 percent and it could reach to just 19 per cent in 2016-17 which indicates sub-optimal utilisation of irrigation potential created in the state as a whole. Moreover, the auditor informed that Gujarat has spent Rs 2,122 crore between 2012-18 for the extension, renovation and modernisation (ERM) works of the existing canal systems and is still unable to minimise the gap between irrigation potential created and irrigation potential utilised. (The Indian Express)

CAG finds flaws in execution of Sainj hydropower project in Kullu

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has revealed that a delay of 29 months in the commissioning of 100 MW Sainj hydroelectric project in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh led to cost overrun of Rs 643.04 crore. The project that was scheduled to be completed by March 2015 with an estimated cost of Rs 676.29 crore was commissioned in September 2017 at a cost of Rs 1,319.33 crore. In the performance audit of the project, CAG detected flaws in the execution of project by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HHPCL) and found that the cost overrun was mainly due to time overrun, undue favour to the contractor, extra expenditure, currency fluctuation, change in design and excess deployment of staff. (The Economic Times)

Cyclones can have severe impacts on bird population: Study

A recent study on the impact of super cyclonic storm Fani on a stretch of 40 km along the Mahanadi river has revealed, that extreme weather events like cyclones can have severe impacts on bird populations of a region. The study which accessed and kept a record of the bird population before and after the cyclone that made landfall on Odisha coast on May 3, 2019, found that the population of the birds a day before the cyclone was about 800 and dropped to 153 a day after the cyclone. The study highlighted that the changing pattern of global climate would increase the frequency and intensity of storms worldwide, and the possibilities of cyclonic effects on birds are also likely to consequently increase. (The Hindu)

This is a roundup of important news published between November 10 - 17, 2019. Also read policy matters this week.