North 24 Parganas District

Living through Cyclone Amphan and Covid-19: Climate change and water security
In the face of frequent cyclones and floods in the region, investment and long term planning is needed on making basic services of drinking water resilient. Posted on 07 Jun, 2020 11:33 AM

The nomenclature of cyclones and hurricanes is developed much in advance through multilateral processes in the region. The name Amphan (Sky in Thai and Akash in Bangla) was chosen from a long list of potential disasters long back.

Millions of people in India and Bangladesh lost their means of employment, food, water and homes in one go during the cyclone (Image: Srikanth Kolari/ActionAid India)
How bio-restoration is helping revive degraded mangroves in Sunderbans
A new technology developed by Indian scientists is helping in revival of mangroves degraded due to rising sea levels, climate change and human intrusion in the Sunderbans in West Bengal. Posted on 17 Sep, 2019 06:06 PM

New Delhi, September 17 (India Science Wire): A new technology developed by Indian scientists for ecological restoration is helping in revival of mangroves degraded due to rising sea levels, climate change and human intrusion in the Sunderbans in West Bengal. 

A restored site of degraded mangroves. Image credit: India Science Wire
Ways to keep arsenic away
There are many arsenic removal technologies available to ensure safe drinking water for villages. Picking the right approach is key. Posted on 11 Oct, 2016 10:12 PM

For villagers at Madhusudan Kathi, the handpumps serving water from an unprotected source led to arsenic contamination, making water from these pumps risky to drink.

Arsenic removal unit developed by Arup Sengupta, Lehigh University, Bethlehem at Howrah, West Bengal. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Community effort saves mangroves
When climate change threatens the existence of Sundarbans’ mangroves, villagers get together to plant millions of them to protect the fragile ecosystem. Posted on 04 Aug, 2016 09:52 AM

Come monsoon, the villages in the Sundarbans islands witness nature’s fury with floodwaters overriding all boundaries and inundating huge tracts of land. As such, the earthen embankments, stretching to 3600 kms on the 54 inhabited islands out of a total of 102 in the Sundarbans, protect scores of people from floods and tidal waves.

Mangroves of Sundarbans. (Source: Nature Environment & Wildlife Society - NEWS)
After Cyclone Aila, farming nurtures food, faith in Sunderbans
In 2009, Cyclone Aila caused significant damage to livelihoods in the Sunderbans. While saline soil is subversive to agriculture in the area, integrated farming gives many the courage to start afresh. Posted on 14 Oct, 2015 09:53 PM

“Another flood like Aila should never happen again, but if it does, we have the knowledge to start working on our soil again”, remarks Binota Munda of Nebukhali village in Hingalganj block, North

Seed-banks are an effective instrument to preserve local varieties and keep people together
Bihar Government bans plastic packaged water bottles in all its departments
Policy matters this week Posted on 09 Feb, 2015 01:35 PM

Bihar's government offices to soon become free of plastic bottles

Plastic water bottles (Source:
The real picture of arsenic pollution in West Bengal, India
I visited three arsenic affected districts of West Bengal while making a documentary on arsenic pollution in drinking water in West Bengal. Posted on 17 May, 2011 11:34 AM

 Arsenic poisoning in these districts is a serious environmental problem and is affecting the health of millions of people in the State. The problem has been aggravated with increase in groundwater exploitation leading to leaching of arsenic located in upper layers of sediment down into the deep aquifers.

During my visits to these districts, I have had dreary experiences -

Cyclone Aila 2009
Cyclone Aila Posted on 01 Jun, 2009 11:27 AM

Tropical Storm Aila struck southern Bangladesh and eastern India on May 27, 2009. The New York Times reported that floods and mudslides killed at least 191 people and left hundreds of thousands more homeless. As of May 27, the death toll was expected to rise. Images from The Nasa Earth Observatory.


The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this true-color image of Aila on May 25, 2009, the same day that the storm temporarily strengthened to a Category 1 cyclone. Aila almost completely fills this scene, stretching from the Bay of Bengal deep into India, Bangladesh, and Burma (Myanmar). On May 25, Aila's wind speeds ranged from 74 kilometers per hour (46 miles per hour or 40 knots) to 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour or 65 knots). More information and detailed images can be accessed here:Cyclone Aila

Videos related to the construction and use of dugwells in the arsenic prone villages of West Bengal
Construction of modern dugwells provide arsenic free water to villagers of West Bengal Posted on 22 May, 2009 12:48 PM

Videos related to the construction and use of the treated, improved dugwells in the arsenic prone villages of West Bengal in India to provide arsenic safe water.

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