Citizens' Rights and Duties

  • The Palk Bay is a 15,000 sq km biodiversity conglomeration nestled between the island nation of Sri Lanka and South East Peninsula India with a coastal length of 250 km on the Indian side.  The bay is landlocked with three openings--one big eastern opening into the Bay of Bengal and two narrow...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 1 week agoread more
  • November 19th is World Toilet Day. Enormous progress has been made in the global effort to provide safe and affordable toilets for the world's poorest citizens since World Toilet Day was first declared in 2001. Significant strides have been made in "reinventing" toilet designs for low-income, water-...
    swatiposted 2 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • In the early hours, the villagers of Khalabari, a tribal-dominated village in the Dumuripadar gram panchayat of Koraput district in Odisha step out of their houses for bringing wood and drinking water. The road to the forest where the water is available is rocky. Both women and men walk a few kilome...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • Urmila Devi lives in Chaitabazaar village which is barely five kilometres from the eastern bank of the Burhi Gandak river. It is located in a particularly flood-prone area of East Champaran in north Bihar. The drinking water quality in this area is poor. The recurrent floods only make it w...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 4 weeks agoread more
  • The theme for the Conclave this year is “Water Use Efficiency: An Imperative for India” to highlight the imperative of water use efficiency in the industry, agriculture and urban contexts.  The Indian economy at present is struggling with excessive population growth and changing water reso...
    Water Awards 2016posted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Here’s some news for nature lovers. A dirty drain in Delhi could well be on its way to becoming a bird sanctuary. The Najafgarh drain or nallah that flows through the northwest part of Gurugram is becoming a new habitat for the strikingly tall Greater flamingos, a rosy-white pink billed migratory ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Pashan lake, the pride of Pune, is dying! Water hyacinth continues to invade the lake and pollution levels in the lake are high, threatening its once rich biodiversity. How did this happen? The lake was once birders’ paradise This 130-acre wetland with a catchment area of 40 square kilometres is...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Women of Podapathar village in Sundargarh district in Odisha have become an inspiration for millions of women in the country now, thanks to their determination to improve the drinking water situation in their village.  Earlier the women had to fetch water for domestic use&n...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • On January 13, 1957, the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the Hirakud dam, calling it the temple of modern India. It has submerged more than 360 villages (1,23,000 acres of land) and displaced 26,561 families. Out of these displaced families, around 11,000 families and thei...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Vrindavan, the small dusty twin town of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, has a special place in the Hindu mythology. This is where Lord Krishna is believed to have spent most of his childhood and adolescence. The river Yamuna straddles through the town, a hot destination for thousands of devotees lining up...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • India is a pioneer among developing countries in establishing a “green court” to deal with environment-related litigations. Established through an Act by the government of India, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), a quasi-judicial body has ensured speedy justice on several green cases. The NGT ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Districts with higher levels of urbanisation have a higher risk for the outbreak of cholera, a new nationwide study by the Indian and international experts has revealed.  This is because of uneven allocation of funds for water and sanitation infrastructure within districts with urban centres i...
    arathiposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • The problem of Bengaluru’s water is well known. The demand for water tankers skyrockets during the summer months, when municipal and borewell water supplies run dry, and many of the city’s lakes, actually man-made tanks, lie neglected and polluted. While legislation on rainwater harvesting ...
    priyadposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • In the afternoons these days, Basai wears a deserted look. Known as a bird’s delight and privileged by the protected status of a national park, the wetland is located just eight kilometres from Sultanpur bird sanctuary in Gurugram in Haryana. No birds can be spotted foraging the soil of the Basai ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Large swathes of cotton farms in the central India have been the epicentre of a debt crisis that has gripped the rural population. For years now, it has driven thousands of farmers to commit suicide. These suicides are not merely a loss of human lives; they are debilitating scars on a nation’s dev...
    arathiposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • Far in the distance, towards the edge of Noida and Greater Noida flows the Hindon river amidst clusters of modern highrise buildings. A few years ago, the landscape here was more countrified and quite distinct from the low rise neghbourhoods of Delhi dotted with its numerous parks and abundant insti...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • In our effort to make space for infrastructural developments, India's green cover is declining at an alarming rate. The overall mangrove cover in the country stands at 4,740 sq. km., which is 0.14 sq. km of India’s overall geographical area.  Mangroves provide the ideal space for breedi...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • Floods are generally considered destructive but in some cases, overflowing rivers have the potential to create wetlands. These wetlands can serve as agreeable landscapes that turn resourceful due to the multiple functions it can host. The Kanwar Lake in Bihar is a striking example of this shared, al...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • Decades of skating over environmental concerns have clearly cost us dear. The folly of pursuing better crop yields using chemical fertilisers in an indiscriminate manner has been surfacing lately. “Decades of agricultural abuse using fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides have taken its toll on us...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • Vasant Baburao Parkale, a 52-year-old farmer, has become a role model for many farmers in the drought-prone Marathwada region. His determination and the will to excel in life have helped him to transform his dreams into reality. In 1984, he was just another labourer working for Bhagwan Yashwantrao ...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 4 months agoread more

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Policy matters this week

CWC allows preparation of DPR while TN objects to the Mekedatu project on the Cauvery river

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The polluted Erai river needs to be restored before it completely dies and leaves the people dependent on it searching for drinking water.

The Erai river, the main tributary of the Wardha river, is the lifeline for the people of Chandrapur in Maharashtra. It primarily supplies water to the Chandrapur city and Chandrapur super thermal power station (CSTPS). Since 1984, after the initiation of operations of M/s CSTPS and Western Coalfields Limited (WCL), the river has begun to get polluted and is now gasping for breath.

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While potable water dispensing units provided under WASH has come as a boon to Kalikapur slum residents, they struggle to meet other water needs due to lack of piped water.

Basanti Haldar (45) has been living in a slum at Kalikapur in Kolkata for over two decades. She works as a domestic help in an upscale locality in the neighbourhood. She is happy nowadays due to an increase in her income. 

The installation of Automated Dispensing Units (ADU) has not only provided her with clean potable water but have also saved her from the cumbersome job of standing in long serpentine queues for a bucket of water. She has time for more work that has also helped her earn better. 

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Will Saharanpur city’s proposed smart city tag help revive the Paondhoi river once again?

River Paondhoi is best known today as a sewer running through Saharanpur city. Originally, however, it was an important source of drinking water for the city. In its heyday, the water of the river ran ankle deep, just enough to wash one’s feet. People coming into the city would wash their feet in the river giving it the name, Paondhoi.

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Farmer Thangavel tastes success with date farming in the drought-prone region of Vidarbha.

In a drought-prone region like Vidarbha in Maharashtra, mostly in the news for water scarcity and farmer suicide, it is not every day that you hear the success story of a farmer. That's why the story of Savi Thangavel, 69, a resident of Mohegaon village which is just 22 km from Nagpur, is special. He took up date farming when nobody even thought about it and became the first successful date farmer in the region.

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With government apathetic towards sewer deaths from manual scavenging, individuals and organisations are coming up with tech solutions to stop the practice.

Anil (40) died on September 14, 2018 while clearing a block in a sewage line at Dabri, a locality in north-west Delhi. Cleaners hired by state governments and civic bodies are supposed to be provided safety equipment like gas masks, goggles, gumshoes, gloves, safety belt etc. Yet, Anil was unprotected when he died of asphyxiation due to the presence of poisonous gas in the gutter. Delhi saw a wave of anger around official apathy on the issue despite 10 similar deaths were reported in the capital before this.

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Dr G.D. Agarwal fought to protect the river Ganga till his last breath.

Dr G.D. Agrawal passed away on October 11, 2018. He was 86 years old. But he didn’t die of old age. After 111 days of fasting, he died of a heart attack. Why was he fasting? We will come to that in a while. 

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The CAG’s performance audit on Rajasthan observes various deficiencies in the implementation of drinking water supply schemes.

On March 16, 2017, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India began a performance audit of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) by discussing with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation the scope and methodology of the performance audit. Records relating to the implementation of the programme in 27 states for the five-year period (2012 to 2017) were examined.

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As Swachh Bharat Mission is racing towards its 2019 deadline, a CAG report reveals that sanitation is not a one-time exercise and there is a need to look beyond the deadline.

We have just a year to go for Swachh Bharat Mission’s (SBM) deadline of making India open-defecation free (ODF). In the last four years, the government has built 86.08 million toilets (as on September 26, 2018) throughout the country as a part of this flagship programme on providing safe sanitation to all by October 2019.

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The reason behind Kerala floods is a lot more than what the CWC wants us to believe.

Every time there is a huge flood in India with massive loss of lives and extensive physical damage, there is a hue and cry. Especially, if this takes place in an area not normally prone to such floods. Assam and Bihar, for instance, are regularly laid waste by floods and so, there is not much agitation over that anymore.

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