CAG report blames Uttarakhand Government for 2013 flash floods
Per the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, the Uttarakhand Government's unpreparedness and failure to learn from previous natural disaster aggravated the 2013 flash floods in the State. Before that, the State had witnessed two major landslides in Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag districts in 2012 resulting in 92 deaths. The State Government failed to take note of the underlying risk factors then. The report further states that if the State had a functional Disaster Management Authority and took the recommendations on the need of banning construction seriously, then the impact of the disaster would have been far less.
Bengaluru residents to pay fine for not harvesting rainwater
The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has decided to levy an incremental penalty from December on those who have not installed rainwater harvesting units at their houses. The fine on defaulters for the first three months is 25% of the water bills, and 50% from the fourth month on. The Board announced the guideline in 2009 but nearly 14% of property owners are yet to comply with the rule.
Indian Railways packaged water can make you sick
Water samples of Rail Neer have failed the tests conducted by the Baroda Food and Drug Authority. The aerobic microbial count was found at 39 cfu/ml as against a maximum permissible value of 20 cfu/ml. Post the CBI raids, Rail Neer is now the only packaged drinking water available at train stations. However, all the other parameters were well within the standards but the high aerobic microbial count can cause diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, stomach ache, vomiting etc.
Telangana launches the second phase of Mission Kakatiya
Following the huge success of Phase I of Mission Kakatiya that aimed at rejuvenating 8,217 lakes in the State, the Telangana Government has launched the ground work for the second phase of the scheme. However, the work of the first phase is still underway, but the Government is all set to complete it by March 31, 2016. Phase II will take off by January 22 for which a loan approval of Rs 389 crore is under consideration.
Smog envelops Delhi NCR thanks to Punjab farmers burning paddy
Last week the air quality index of Delhi had dropped dramatically by 60-80 points due to uncontrolled burning of paddy stubble by farmers in Punjab. To tackle the practice that causes great risk to human health, the Environment Ministry has ordered the Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan Governments to launch an intensive drive to monitor crop residue burning and take action against violators. Along with this, the National Green Tribunal has directed Delhi and its neighbouring States to stop the age-old practice and has also announced a fine of Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 15,000 on farmers found indulging in straw burning.
This is a roundup of important news updates from November 2 - 9, 2015. Also read last week's policy matters update.