Northern Plains

Storms in India: Science of Severity
The world may see more freak storms due to rising temperatures. Reducing pollution and protecting forests are perfect preventive measures. Posted on 09 May, 2018 03:26 PM

Around 127 people died and 300 others were injured during the severe dust and thunderstorms that shook north India on May 2. Winds touching a speed of 126 kilometres per hour brought down houses and uprooted trees, thus becoming the strongest storm in the last six years. What led to such a massive weather event?

Image for representation purpose only. Source: Pixabay
India ranks low on sanitation index: Report
News this week Posted on 20 Nov, 2017 02:20 PM

India has the highest number of people without access to toilets: Report

Toilets in India (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Why rivers don’t flow anymore
In a two-part series, we look at the health of rivers across India. Here’s a comprehensive assessment of the rivers of the north and the east. Posted on 07 Jun, 2017 11:13 AM

Rivers in India are always in the news whether it’s the interstate water sharing disputes, dams, sand mining or the recent order of the Uttarakhand high court declaring Ganga and Yamuna as living entities. Seven major river systems, over 400 rivers and numerous streams have sustained lives and livelihoods in India for centuries.

A villager washes utensils in the black water coming out of the coal mines at Kodkel in Raigarh district, Chattisgarh.
A village becomes water rich
How restoration of traditional ponds, rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment saved a village from water scarcity. Posted on 26 May, 2017 05:05 PM

Located in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district, with vast agricultural fields growing sugarcane, rice, wheat, jowar, chana and all kinds of seasonal vegetables, Dhikoli in Pilana tehsil comes across as a bustling and prosperous village.

A johad after restoration.
On a wing and a prayer
Renuka lake is a Ramsar site but also has a temple near it which makes it a battle site of conflicting interests. Is a solution possible? Posted on 18 Dec, 2016 06:35 AM

Renuka can be forgiven if she were to feel a bit crazy at times. Like many other women, she could be finding it hard to balance her pious and wild sides.

Peaceful on the surface, Renuka lake is a battleground between conservation and religion.
Cyclone Vardah hits TN
News this week Posted on 13 Dec, 2016 07:11 AM

Cyclone Vardah makes landfall in TN, causes massive damage

Tropical cyclone of 2013. (Source: NASA WorldView)
Bihari bait for Punjabi fish
Fish traders in the state, which has the highest freshwater fish yield at 2,500 kg per hectare, are mainly groups of Bihari migrants playing to their strengths. Posted on 20 Mar, 2016 11:56 AM

“This is my business, I am nobody’s slave,” says Kapal Nishad. He is one of the over two million migrants who came to Punjab over 20 years ago.

First half of the day is spent netting the fish which is sold in the evening.
Ponds--once a lifeline of India's agriculture--are being revived by some Punjab farmers
Farm ponds, rediscovered by a few farmers in Patiala, could be the answer to the state's growing groundwater crisis as they can harvest rainwater and cushion against flooding. Posted on 16 Nov, 2015 10:45 AM

The northern region of India is facing drought for the second consecutive year.

Harmesh Singh has taken to rainwater harvesting on his farm since the groundwater has gone down.
Let's not only blame Punjab's farmers for lighting up!
The current rice-wheat crop cycle and the cost of safe disposal of the straw push farmers towards burning, thereby causing them health issues as well as draining available natural resources. Posted on 13 Nov, 2015 11:35 PM

A few days ago, there were news items galore with NASA's images of the burning of rice straw in Punjab. The red dots were presumed to be the fields

Short period between rice harvesting and sowing of wheat forces farmers to burn straw. (Source: Neil Palmer Wikimedia Commons)
The nonexistent bridge in Punjab
At Punjab's Mand island, not many children go to school and pregnant women deliver at the river bank -- all because there is no bridge connecting it to the mainland. Posted on 10 Aug, 2015 12:14 PM

Bakshish Singh once had 13 acres of farmland; now he only has one. He lost the rest in 2013 when the Beas river changed its course and started flowing near his house. Bakshish lives at Rampur Gaura village in Kapurthala district of Punjab, the state generally known for good roads, urbanised villages and wealthy farmers.

The only connection of the island with mainland is through a pontoon bridge which the Public Works Department removes as the water level rises during monsoon.