River conservationist is new environment minister

News this week
Anil Madhav Dave (Source: Livemint) Anil Madhav Dave (Source: Livemint)

Anil Madhav Dave appointed as new environment minister

Well-known environmentalist and river conservationist Anil Madhav Dave has replaced Prakash Javadekar as the new minister of state (independent charge) for environment, forest and climate change. A driving force behind the biennial River Festival, which is one of its kinds in Asia, Dave is well known for his work on Narmada river through an organisation, Narmada Samagra. Along with him, Muzaffarnagar MP Sanjeev Balyan has also been appointed as the minister of state for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation.

Nearly 29 pc of India’s land degrading, thanks to water erosion

Going by the Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas developed by ISRO Space Applications Centre, India has lost 96.4 million hectares--almost a quarter of the total geographic area--to land degradation between the years 2011-13. The major cause for this is water erosion which accounts for 10.98 percent of degradation, followed by deforestation and wind erosion. Land degradation is found to take palace majorly in just nine states of the country--Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. The status of land degradation in the country has posed a major challenge to the country's commitment of achieving a land degradation neutral status by 2030.

Monsoon narrows rainfall deficit

The monsoon has covered nearly all of India and has delivered almost 70 percent of downpour to water farms, reservoir and aquifers. Last week, the season's rainfall deficit contracted to 2 percent owing to heavy showers in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. In Uttar Pradesh, however, the heavy rainfall has led to all rivers flowing above the danger mark. There are also reports of cloudburst claiming many lives in Chimoli district in Uttarakhand. In Assam, the over flowing Brahmaputra has wreaked havoc and floods in Jorhat district, affecting nearly 35,000 people.  

Power ministry invites proposal for basin-wise study on hydroelectric potential

The power ministry has called for proposal from THDC India Limited, SJVN Limited and WAPCOS Limited to conduct a basin-wise study of hydroelectric potential in the country. The selected consultant will be preparing the basin reports that will be submitted to the ministry by August 16. A previous study was conducted during 1978-87. The study will take note of actual site constraints, submergence and the results of cumulative basin studies, including treaty issues, tribunal awards and impacts of these projects on the environment and forests.

42 percent encroachments on stormwater drains cleared: BBMP

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has informed the Karnataka high court that so far, out of the 1,923 identified encroachments on the stormwater drains in Bengaluru city, 822 of them have been cleared. Though the authorities have now woken up to the city’s mess, a Swedish research paper has blamed the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for the pollution in the city’s lake. It has further blamed the authorities for never considering the lakes in the city as a water source. 

 

This is a roundup of important news updates from July 3 - 8, 2016. Also read last fortnight's policy matters update.

Lead image source: Livemint

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