Northern Plains

  • 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 w...
    Manu Moudgilposted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • India has the highest number of people without access to toilets: Report According to a report by WaterAid, the number of people having no access to a toilet in India is around 732 million which include 355 million women and girls. Despite the ongoing Swachh Bharat Mission that was launched in...
    swatiposted 1 year 6 months agoread more
  • 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 liv...
    chicuposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • 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. Barely an hour-long car ride from New Delhi, it is home to 15000...
    arathiposted 1 year 12 months agoread more
  • 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. Renuka lake, located in Sirmaur, the southernmost district of Himachal, is one of the two Ramsar wetlands in Himachal Pradesh. Situated at a rela...
    chicuposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • Cyclone Vardah makes landfall in TN, causes massive damage Very severe cyclone has hit the north coastal districts of Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu causing heavy rains in the state. There are reports of two people getting killed in the cyclone. As a precautionary measure, the power...
    swatiposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • “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. Many worked in Ludhiana's industries and Mandi Gobindgarh while others spread out to harvest wheat, sow paddy or pluck cotton over the state's 42 lakh...
    Manu Moudgilposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • The northern region of India is facing drought for the second consecutive year. The rainfall deficit is hovering around 35 percent in Punjab and Haryana and data shows that the two states have consistently registered below normal rainfall since 1998, which has put a severe strain on their groundwate...
    Manu Moudgilposted 3 years 6 months agoread more
  • 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 on fire and though no scientific assessment has yet been made, it is also believed that the smoke is causing smog as far as Delhi. But that is only...
    Manu Moudgilposted 3 years 6 months agoread more
  • 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 vil...
    Manu Moudgilposted 3 years 9 months agoread more
  • The Ramganga has many impediments in the course of its 655 kilometer stretch from its origin in the mountains of Uttarakhand to its confluence with the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh. In addition to the Kalagarh Dam, there are already two barrages along its length and now a third one is coming up a few kilo...
    chicuposted 4 years 10 months agoread more
  • The Yamuna Manifesto -or Yamuna Nama- is a bilingual book with passages in both Hindi and English, published as part of the Yamuna Elbe project. In five deceptively short sections, the book takes us from the birth to the river to its future. The Manifesto is exhaustively researched and includes in o...
    chicuposted 5 years 5 months agoread more
  • Riverside apartments are in great demand these days. This has led to a surge in the number of apartments built along rivers that flow through urban areas. These same 'premium' apartments are encroaching on the river's channel and are therefore most vulnerable to the floods that they help create by c...
    chicuposted 5 years 6 months agoread more
  • The venerable Imperial Gazetteer says, 'Viewed from a distance Lucknow presents a picture of unusual magnificence and architectural splendour, which fades on nearer view ...' (Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 16, p. 196). Nearly all the Lucknowis I met assured me that the Gomti was the same way. "The...
    chicuposted 5 years 8 months agoread more
  • Traditional water bodies such as bawdis and talabs have long since been an integral part of rural life in India providing water, fish and sometimes even just a venue for people to chit chat. The flat plains in Western Uttar Pradesh, where the Ganga and Yamuna rivers meet, is no exception. Once ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 years 8 months agoread more
  • As temple tanks go, this one is quite beautiful. It is a rectangular masonry-lined tank, about the size of a badminton court. Brick steps lead down to the water. On one of its longer sides is a lovely old temple, shaded by mango trees. Groups of men and women sit and gossip in the coolness. Facing t...
    chicuposted 5 years 8 months agoread more
  • Charba is a small village in Uttarakhand with a population of 10,000. It is located in the 'Vikas Nagar' area just beyond Dehradun - a section that the government has denoted an industrial area. This little village shot to fame when Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages (HCCB) decided to build a plant there...
    chicuposted 5 years 9 months agoread more
  • Rajkumar needs no urging to talk about Sundari. She is evidently a favourite of his. When we met, he regaled me with stories of her beauty, her smartness and her incredibly sweet nature. When he finally brought her out to meet me, I failed to see any signs of a winning personality or of towering int...
    chicuposted 5 years 9 months agoread more
  • History tells us cities were settled and abandoned several times in Delhi. But I have not come across an explanation for why the city was repeatedly established at the same site. Surely, the presence of the river Yamuna to the east of Delhi would have been a reason. The Yamuna, though is not a small...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 years 9 months agoread more
  • Environmentalist Robert Swan, the first person to walk the North and South Pole, was in Delhi last year. He launched phase IV of Project Search, which aimed to promote environmental awareness and sustainable lifestyles among students. Swan noted that not many Delhiites scored high on topics of envir...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 years 11 months agoread more

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The world may see more freak storms due to rising temperatures. Reducing pollution and protecting forests are perfect preventive measures.

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? The answer is the high temperature which, combined with other weather systems, triggered a cycle of storms which fed each other. 

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

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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.

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. Enormous pressure from faulty management practices is confining these lifelines to dams and canals, encroaching their space, pouring untreated sewage into them, and lifting sands from their banks.

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How restoration of traditional ponds, rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment saved a village from water scarcity.

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. Barely an hour-long car ride from New Delhi, it is home to 15000-odd inhabitants, mostly of the Jat community.

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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?

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.

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Cyclone Vardah makes landfall in TN, causes massive damage

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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.

“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. Many worked in Ludhiana's industries and Mandi Gobindgarh while others spread out to harvest wheat, sow paddy or pluck cotton over the state's 42 lakh hectares of farmland. Comparatively fewer worked on construction sites, roadside eateries or pulled rickshaws.

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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.

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

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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.

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 on fire and though no scientific assessment has yet been made, it is also believed that the smoke is causing smog as far as Delhi. But that is only one side of the story.

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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.

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. Amidst this prosperity however, are islands of desperation and loss. Mand is one such island which lies between two streams of the Beas. 

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