Toilet under the open sky for 73% of rural India

Continuing open defecation in rural India, possible epidemic outbreak in Uttarakhand and draft bills on water laws are the highlights of this week’s news.
Open defecation continues due to lack of toilets Open defecation continues due to lack of toilets

Toilet under the open sky for 73% of rural India

The Planning commission has found that 73% of rural India practices open defecation despite many sanitation programmes encouraged by the government. The main reason for this is the unavailability of toilets.

Battered Uttarakhand braces for possible epidemic outbreak

The flooding in Uttarakhand now poses a different threat – one of a serious outbreak of waterborne diseases due to rotting corpses in rivers. The combination of heavy rains, dead bodies and carcasses have added to the already existing confusion, while rescue operations continue unabated in the state.

The tragedy of politics in Uttarakhand

The flooding in Uttarakhand seems to be a combination of the government’s short sightedness and nature’s fury. The Uttarakhand chief minister criticized environmental norms for being a hindrance to develop tourism infrastructure, a week before the calamity occurred. The 130 km stretch from Gomukh to Uttarkashi was declared an eco-zone by the Central government but the state government opposed the plan.

Government seeks public view on water-related bills

The Centre and States have disagreed on water-related issues, especially over water laws and river management. To end this stalemate, the government is now seeking public opinion. People can have their say on the Draft National Policy Guidelines, which hopes to ensure a fixed amount of potable good quality water per day as well as create fair pricing mechanisms for water

National Water Framework Bill says ’water for all’

Government releases the Draft National Water Framework Bill (2013) that seeks to protect people's right to water. The bill also brings to the forefront the country’s need for a sustainable, non –project centric and secure water resource management.

This is a weekly roundup of important news from June 24-30, 2013.

 

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