UP's rivers and groundwater are loaded with harmful effluents: CPCB
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has told the National Green Tribunal that the groundwater as well as the rivers flowing through six districts of western Uttar Pradesh--Muzzafarnagar, Shamli, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad and Saharanpur--contain large amounts of industrial effluents. The CPCB has also said in its report that the water is so dirty that it does not even meet the prescribed standard of Primary Water Quality Criteria for Bathing Water as per Environment Protection Rules 1986.
1,735 small dams are lying under-utilised in Marathwada: RTI
An RTI query has revealed that as many as 1,735 small dams are lying under-utilised in Beed, Jalna and Aurangabad districts of Marathwada in Maharashtra. There is a requirement of Rs 171 crore to repair these dams, which can potentially irrigate 25,128 hectares. Once repaired, these dams that come under the Mini Irrigation (Water Conservation) project will increase the irrigation potential by 17,543 hectares.
81 cities across 5 states will invest over Rs 5700 crore to improve water and sewerage systems
81 mission cities in Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Mizoram will make an investment of Rs 5748 crore under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) to enhance their drinking water supply and sewerage systems. The Centre will provide nearly 40% of the funds to these cities while the rest will be contributed by the State Governments and the Urban Local Bodies. Also, to address the issue of water logging, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha and Mizoram have proposed to invest Rs 242 crore under AMRUT for construction of stormwater drains.
Centre to initiate study to find the medicinal value of the Ganga
The Health Ministry will take up a study to explore the medicinal properties of the Ganga that can destroy germs and microbes present in it. This will be a first of its kind in-depth study to check whether the sacred waters of the Ganga river can be utilised for holistic health purpose. Researchers from AIIMS, IITs Kanpur and Roorkee, Banaras Hindu University, NEERI and National Botanical Research Institute will participate in the detailed study on the self-purifying power of the Ganga.
Centre to develop Nagaland's Doyang Lake as an eco-tourism spot
The Environment Ministry has decided to develop the Doyang Lake in Nagaland as an eco-tourism spot. Every year millions of Amur Falcons arrive at the lake during their flight from Mongolia to South Africa. Pangti village in Nagaland has already been recognised as the world's Amur Falcon capital. Conservation of the Amur falcon is a great success story involving people's participation as until recently, Naga tribesmen hunted thousands of them for meat. Vigorous campaigns by wildlife activists have changed their mindsets.
This is a roundup of important news updates from November 17 - 23, 2015. Also read last week's policy matters update.