Rabi crop damaged in north and central India
Unseasonal rains have damaged rabi crops, estimated to be worth Rs 10,000 crore, in north and central India. Per the initial assessment, crop loss upto 20% of total production could have been damaged. The Centre has ordered all impacted states to assess the total damage at the earliest. The affected regions are Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha region of Maharastra, Saurashtra region of Gujarat, and Punjab and Haryana.
Farmers' body demands scrapping of mega dams over the Siang river
The Siang Indigenous Farmers' Forum has threatened to launch agitation if the construction of Stage I and II Mega dams by NHPC and NEEPCO over the Siang river is not stopped immediately. It has alleged that the Arunachal Pradesh Government has given a go ahead to these projects without carrying out proper survey or social assessment and that it also didn't take the consent of affected land owners before signing the MoUs with the power companies. Several other associations have also come forward in support of the agitation.
'India tops the list of 163 nations affected by river floods'
As per the World Resources Institute (WRI), India is the number one nation among 163, which is at risk from floods in terms of number of people impacted. Every year, floods disrupt the lives of 4.85 million of Indians while putting USD14.3 billion of Gross Domestic Product at risk. India is followed by Bangladesh and China with 3.47 million and 3.27 million people respectively, facing flood risk every year.
Rajasthan drinking water crisis remains, despite huge fund allocation
According to the Centre, the Rajasthan Government has failed to spend the Rs 1,195 crore allocated to it under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) in the financial year 2014-15. The Minister of State for Drinking Water has claimed that a total of Rs 622.62 crore is lying unspent with the State Government. Despite this huge allocation, only 22.8% of rural habitations in the state are partially covered under the drinking water scheme while the quality of water is affected in 19.12% of habitations.
Andhra to complete the 75 year old Polavaram project in 2018
After receiving a meagre allocation of Rs 100 crore in the Union Budget, the Andhra Pradesh Government is now aiming to complete the Polavaram irrigation project by March 2018. The state's dream project has been jinxed for 75 years, which has led to the escalation of its estimated cost from Rs. 6.5 crore in 1941 to over Rs. 16,500 crore in 2010-11. Despite being declared as a National project, the Polavaram project could not attract the Centre's attention in terms of fund allocation.
This is a roundup of important news from March 3 - 8, 2015. Also read last week's policy updates.