Rajasthan

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Pollution index no more includes human health and environmental degradation

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Ghadsisar pond in Jaisalmer holds many tales of dedication and love from an era gone by. It also symbolises how water was valued over caste and class.

Western Rajasthan is dotted by thousands of ponds, many of which are architectural wonders. Among these, Gadsisar (also called Gadisar) stands out. Besides its unparalleled expanse and architecture, the pond narrates tales of sacrifice, dedication and ingenuity but more importantly, it upholds water as being superior to any class and caste divide.

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With its low rainfall, western Rajasthan might seem like a prime candidate for drought, but the combination of old age wisdom and new age techniques have helped Barmer access fresh water continuously.

Women in bright, colourful clothes carrying pots on their heads -- this is how popular media often depicts the women of rural Rajasthan. This is what I expected to see in the Bakhasar region of Barmer district, which borders the famous salt desert, the Rann of Kutch. The groundwater is often saline and rainfall does not exceed 250 mm. Last year the monsoon was erratic yielding even lesser water. Water sources were not replenished and hence dried up faster.

So why isn't the lead image of this piece one of women walking miles to get water? Because that's not what I saw.

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Rajya Sabha passes the Mining Bill

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News this week

Rabi crop damaged in north and central India

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Union Budget 2015-16 reduces funds for Water and Environment Ministry 

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Rainwater harvesting is a cost effective solution to bridge the gap between water availability and demand. Jodhpur and Goa, areas with low and high rainfall, have shown how.

As the race to bridge the gap between limited water availability and increasing demand for water narrows in India, rain water harvesting has been increasingly recommended in urban areas to harness the available water, rather than relying on expensive and unsustainable means of procuring water.  

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

As part of its green initiatives, Bihar Government has prohibited all its offices from using or buying plastic packaged water bottles. Officials have been advised to serve purified water in steel tumblers and glasses in place of plastic bottles. Moreover, no bills related to the purchase of packaged water bottles will be cleared, in order to ensure strict implementation of the ban. 

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NGT announces heavy fines, bans farming to clean up Yamuna

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Cities may not be able to lessen their 'concrete footprint', which prevents groundwater from entering the soil but maybe more city spaces can use porous surfacing to deal with this problem.

Despite its shrinking greens, Delhi has significant tree diversity. Pradip Krishen, a naturalist, author and filmmaker, identifies around 250 tree species in the concrete jungle, in his book titled ‘Trees of Delhi’ published in 2007. But these trees do not have the breathing room they need as the Public Works Department's (PWD) pavement tiling projects enclose trees completely in concrete.

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