Contamination, Pollution and Quality

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January 1, 2021 There is more to Delhi's air pollution than stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.
The small window of a fortnight between rice harvesting and wheat sowing compels farmers to burn the crop residue (Image: Neil Palmer, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY SA-4.0 Generic)
December 22, 2020 Controlling air pollution needs long-term holistic solutions such as a reduction in the usage of biomass, coal and lignite, and agricultural residues.
All Indian cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad surpass the air quality standards by a significant margin (Image: United Nations; CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
December 6, 2019 A report by the India Rivers Forum highlights the need to focus further than the main stem of the Ganga river.
Distant snow clad mountains, the smaller hills and the Ganga river (Image: Srimoyee Banerjee, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)
December 4, 2019 To adapt well & build resilience, climate change strategies need to factor in efforts towards water security, writes Vanita Suneja, Regional Advocacy Manager (South Asia), WaterAid.
Image credit: WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanathan
December 2, 2019 Water stewardship is an approach predicated on the concept that water is a shared resource and so water risks are also shared risks that everyone in a catchment will face
Picture credit: Romit Sen
Delhi smog can’t be blamed on crop fires
There is more to Delhi's air pollution than stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana. Amita Bhaduri posted 2 weeks ago

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The small window of a fortnight between rice harvesting and wheat sowing compels farmers to burn the crop residue (Image: Neil Palmer, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY SA-4.0 Generic)
Air pollution: Filling the gaps
Controlling air pollution needs long-term holistic solutions such as a reduction in the usage of biomass, coal and lignite, and agricultural residues. Amita Bhaduri posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

Air pollution killed 16.7 lakh Indians and led to an economic loss of Rs

All Indian cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad surpass the air quality standards by a significant margin (Image: United Nations; CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Lost to fluorosis
Fluoride contamination is leaving villagers in Barhet block of Jharkhand crippled, while authorities struggle to find solutions. Amita Bhaduri posted 3 weeks 4 days ago

“What should I do? I have been bedridden for two years now. My hands and feet do not work.

The state needs to play a key role in identifying fluorosis as well as in developing and executing an action plan to control it. (Image: Rab Nawaz Alam)
Study using geo-tagged bottles unravels plastic pollution
News this week Swati Bansal posted 1 month ago

Plastic pollution can travel thousands of kilometres in just a few months, finds new study using geo-tagged bottles

Plastic pollution by a river (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
New packaged drinking water rules to apply from January 1, 2021
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 1 month ago

Revised standards for packaged drinking water to apply from January 1st, 2021

Filtration plants in a packaging water units (Image source: Tushar Trivedi)
Overexploitation of groundwater highest in Punjab: Government
News this week Swati Bansal posted 3 months 3 weeks ago

Punjab no.1 in overexploitation of groundwater 

Overexploitation of groundwater highest in Punjab (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Sanitation empowered her
Community response to the slum sanitation improvement project hinges on grassroots leadership in a slum settlement in Dhenkanal. Amita Bhaduri posted 4 months ago

In a corner of the Kathagada locality in the Parhatiya Sahi slum of Dhenkanal stands a small neat house. Surrounded by a well-tended garden that is planted with fruit trees, flowers and grass, this is Reena Rani Singh’s home. She is a multi-purpose local leader and is a member of the local Self Help Group (SHG), Mahila Arogya Samiti and Slum Sanitation Committee (SSC).

As a part of Project Nirmal, community structures including Slum Sanitation Committees (SSCs) and Ward Sanitation Committees (WSCs) were constituted at the slum and ward level (Image: SCI-FI, CPR)
Ganga's riverine communities in troubled waters
The fishing community is the most vulnerable as its members come into direct contact with the river water and thus, suffer the maximum impact of pollution. Amita Bhaduri posted 4 months 2 weeks ago

A large section of the population living in the Ganga river basin still depends on the river for daily use activities and livelihood. Hence, the cleaning of the Ganga river’s water and making it safe for use remains a major goal for policymakers.

There is a need to formalise the traditional occupation of riverine fishing by providing proper licensing facilities to allow for targeted policies for the community in order to mitigate the livelihood challenges being faced by it. (Image: Pikrepo)
Holy waters, unholy outcomes!
A study found that mass bathing events in the Kshipra river not only led to high pollution, but also to the presence of multidrug resistant pathogenic bacteria in its waters, posing a risk to health. aartikelkar posted 4 months 2 weeks ago

Rivers are revered and considered holy since times immemorial in India and mass bathing in some rivers is an age-old ritual. A holy dip and a holy sip of the river waters are considered to be a highly purifying. But is the dip really cleansing at all when almost all the rivers in India are known to be highly polluted?

A priest offers water to the sun at Ramghat on the Kshipra river at Simhastha (Image Source: Makarand Purohit)
Locals struggle with WASH issues post-Amphan
Cyclone Amphan wreaks havoc in the Sunderbans at a time when the country was already battling a large spread of Covid-19. Amita Bhaduri posted 4 months 4 weeks ago

UN’s recognition of safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right recently hit a decade and this makes us ponder even more about the situation in the Sundarbans after the Amphan cyclone. The destruction caused by Amphan in the Sundarbans poses a massive threat to the very right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation of the people living there.

Having no source of water is proving to be extremely difficult for the people living in the Sundarbans. (Image: WaterAid, Subhrajit Sen)