Yamuna river water quality improves, thanks to floodwater: Experts
According to experts, the Yamuna river is at its healthiest state this year. This has been attributed to the improved water quality in the river due to a rise in the inflow of floodwaters. Increased flow in water leads to more oxygen content; it also helps in cleansing the river and keeping the pollutants in check. However, it has been highlighted that the improvement could be temporary.
Dismissing fears of a sub-par monsoon, IMD retains its original forecast of a ‘normal’ monsoon
According to the latest India Met Department (IMD) forecast, rains in August are expected to be normal at 96 percent. The latest forecast has dispelled the fears raised by the private forecaster Skymet that the overall monsoon performance would be 92 percent and there will be an expected prolonged weak phase in August. The IMD has also predicted that El Nino-La Nina won’t have any impact on the Indian monsoon as the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) will neutralise any adverse impact of a warming Pacific.
Maharashtra lake conservation plan: No major progress observed in 10 years
Despite having a fund of Rs 115.08 crore for the cleanup of 40 lake projects under the state lake conservation plan, the Maharashtra government has been able to conserve only three lakes in the past 10 years. Moreover, funds amounting to Rs 27.23 crore have been blocked due to poor implementation and monitoring of the scheme. Out of 40 lakes, works are in progress on 26 lakes while works on five lakes were cancelled after spending Rs 4.66 crore due to many reasons including the inability of the implementing authority to execute the project.
Bhakra and Pong reservoirs are at their lowest
As compared to last year, the reservoir levels of Pong and Bhakra are lower by 44.18 ft and 63.43 ft respectively. This has set alarm bells ringing at Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB). The reason behind the low storage in Bhakra and Pong reservoir is the monsoon deficit by about 11 percent in the catchment area of Satluj and Beas river in Himachal and normal rains in Punjab and Haryana. The BBMB had held an emergency meeting with the principal secretaries of partner states and have instructed them to conserve and utilise monsoon water as much as possible.
Excess water from NEEPCO dam floods 116 Assam villages, general manager detained
Thousands of people in the 116 villages of Assam’s Golaghat district have been affected after the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) released excess water from Doyang Hydroelectric project located at Nagaland’s Wokha district. Blaming NEEPCO for releasing water without informing the villagers, the Assam police detained the NEEPCO general manager. However, the NEEPCO has clarified that due to incessant rain in the upper catchment area and the abrupt increase in the reservoir water level, the release of excess water became necessary and that they had informed the Golaghat district administration about it.
This is a roundup of important news published between August 1- 7, 2018. Also, read policy matters this week.