This year witnesses record agricultural output

News this week
A farm in India. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos) A farm in India. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

Normal monsoon leads to record agricultural output this year

This year, India is set to stage record agricultural output of 270 million tonnes due to normal monsoon and more money on agriculture. As against the government target of 132 million tonnes, India is set for a kharif output of 135 million tonnes. It seems the rabi target will also be met. Even the water available nationwide in 91 reservoirs is 25 percent more than the amount that was available at the same time last year. Except for Karnataka and Gujarat, the India’s agricultural economy looks positive this year. 

Three hydropower projects launched in Himachal Pradesh

Prime minister Narendra Modi has launched three flagship hydropower projects—NHPC’s 800 MW Parbati-III, NTPC’s 800 MW Koldam and SJVNL’s 412 MW Rampur project—in Himachal Pradesh. Along with this, to fully utilise the country’s rights over river water going to Pakistan, the government is also planning to harness the hydropower potential in the northeast region which faces hurdles due to environmental concerns. However, the government is considering the option of easing the green process to overcome the environmental issues.  

Punjab faces acute groundwater depletion

Experts have warned of a drastic decline in the agricultural output in the state due to rapid depletion of groundwater in the recent years. Also, the experts have recommended to shift from water-intensive rice and wheat crops to less-thirsty crops to safeguard the state’s economy. Even the Centre has expressed concern over the depleting groundwater levels in the state and has stressed on the need to make water conservation and management the top priority of the state government. 

UN recommends scrapping Indo-Bangla power plant

The United Nations (UN) has recommended to scrap the Maitree Super Thermal Power Project, a joint venture between India and Bangladesh. The project will pose a serious threat to the World Heritage Site in Sunderbans which is just 65 kilometers from the project site. UN has identified core potential threats to the plants in Sunderbans which includes pollution from coal and waste ash, wastewater, increased shipping and dredging and the cumulative impact of industrial and related development infrastructure.

Sardar Sarovar dam rehabilitation: Multi-crore compensation scam exposed

A multi-crore compensation scam worth Rs 1,785 crore for the rehabilitation of people living around Sardar Sarovar dam has been exposed. It has come to the notice of the Gujarat government that the compensation amount it paid to Madhya Pradesh for the rehabilitation of the dam outsees has gone into fake land registrations. Although the former plans to recover the amount from the latter, the issue has spoiled Gujarat's chances of getting permission to close the erected gates for more water storage.

This is a roundup of important news from October 17-22, 2016. Also, read the policy matters this week.


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