Society, Culture, Religion and History

  • Eight-year-old Meera (name changed) got ill after eating filthy food remains from a dump at Mansarovar park in Delhi. Children like her work in filthy environments, rummaging through hazardous waste with bare hands and feet. They play in these dumping ground strewn with syringes, scrap iron, rotting...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • Indian scientists have developed a remote sensing technique that uses satellite data to delineate between various coastal landforms like beaches, mangroves and marshes. This method can help monitor and understand impacts of natural disasters as well as human activities on coastal ecosystem. Coastal...
    arathiposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • West Bengal’s tryst with dengue in 2017 could not have been more deadly. Around 13000 people were affected and nearly 100 people lost their lives to the disease. Among the worst hit was the South 24 Parganas district with every household having at least one person down with the mosquito-borne dise...
    arathiposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • According to the local legend, Mangar Bani, a green patch between Faridabad and Gurgaon, was home to a Baba (a holy man), Gudariya Das Maharaj around 500 years ago. Popular among the local Gujjar herdsmen, the dominant community of the area, the Baba asked them to treat this forest as a sacred ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • Rabindra Kumar Jena, the Member of Parliament (MP) from Balasore, Odisha knew that something was wrong with the health of people in a part of his constituency but he could not put his finger to it. By sheer chance, in 2015, he got to know that this seemed to be related to excessive fluoride in water...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • What happens after an environmental law is made or an environmental approval is granted to a project? Are all the safeguards complied with? Do the authorities in charge enforce the environmental regulations and laws proactively? What are the impacts that arise due to non-compliance with environmenta...
    arathiposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • As we sit sipping tea with him, Ugen Lepcha calmly spells out his stand. “Even if it means having to leave my (political) party, I will continue to be against dams,” he says. Ugen Lepcha, the president of Passingang gram panchayat in the Dzongu area of Sikkim, clearly has courage when it comes t...
    chicuposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Kaudikasa is a small village with a population of just 350 people in the Ambagad Chowki block of the Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh. Despite its small size, Kaudikasa village has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Severe health problems have been reported from the village, thanks to a...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Tamil Nadu objects to Kerala diverting excess water from Siruvani dam Following the Tamil Nadu government’s objection to Kerala withdrawing water over and above its share from the Siruvani dam, the latter has stopped withdrawal from the check dam at Attapadi. As per the Parambikulam-Aliyar projec...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Around 25 lakh pilgrims across the country took a holy dip in the Mahanadi during the Rajim kumbh festival held in Rajim from January 31-February 13, 2018. For this annual religious extravaganza at the confluence of the Mahanadi, Sondur and Pairi rivers in Chhattisgarh, the state government organise...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Cities like Pune are in the midst of a garbage crisis. There is garbage strewn all over which is not just unsightly, it is also found to be polluting the city's water resources.   As the city struggles with waste, some enterprising youth are turning this crisis into an opportunity--they are...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Every year, thousands of villages in Maharashtra get affected by droughts. Experts say that the reasons for recurrent droughts include a lack of policy framework, technical knowledge and community participation as well as poor implementation of government programmes. Until 1970, the residents of Ka...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • As part of Bonjour India 2017-2018, the four-months-long, ongoing Indo-French journey celebrating the Indo-French partnership, water-related issues are being highlighted through research, art and debates in cities like Jaipur, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Pondicherry and Kolkata. Encompassi...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • This year’s budget was expected to be extensively farmer- and rural-sector oriented. And that is exactly what it turned out to be. The distress in the agrarian sector has intensified and its political implications were rife this year considering the Lok Sabha elections are scheduled next year. The...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • There is a reason why water bodies are considered a resource. From the water they provide to the many living organisms they support, water bodies are constantly supplying us with things essential to our survival. They also provide livelihood as this story of some enterprising tribal women in a remot...
    arathiposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • Kashmir was once known for its pristine mountains, lakes, beautiful landscape and clean environment. In the last few decades, however, things have changed. An increasing amount of untreated garbage produced by humans is becoming a critical problem affecting not only the health of the residents of Ka...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • Pitidri is a nondescript village that dots the rainshadow area of Purulia district in West Bengal. Droughts are common here even when the area is endowed with above average rainfall of over 1300 mm a year. Until some time ago, Urmila Mahato, a 42-year-old farmer from Pitidri had been struggling to e...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • Alternative Futures: India Unshackled is a book that brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically democratic, economically sustainable and equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious. Edited by KJ Joy and Ashish Kothari, with a foreword by ...
    priyadposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • The coal mining sector is all set to receive a boost in India as the government plans to open up the sector to commercial players by 2018. Ten mines are in line for auctioning--four each from Odisha and Chhattisgarh and one each from Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. Coal remains a much-contested ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • SC refuses to lift ban on sand mining in Rajasthan  The Supreme Court has rejected the Rajasthan government's plea to lift the ban on sand mining in the state. The court has also ordered the environment ministry to explain why sand or bajri is required for construction activities and to submit...
    swatiposted 1 year 4 months agoread more

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Policy matters this week

Centre notifies minimum e-flow for the Ganga river

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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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Faulty pipelines and lack of proper sewage treatment plants are some of the causes of increasing jaundice cases in Raipur.

The family of Somesh Manikpuri of Amasivani colony in Raipur is still in shock of his sudden demise from jaundice in May this year. Six similar deaths have been reported from Raipur since April 2018. Memsingh Chandrakar, a resident of Naharpara, another locality in Raipur, was also affected by jaundice in May. He says, “We did not have an epidemic like this in Naharpara till a decade ago. The quality of drinking water was far better then than it is now and we lived a healthy life.

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While crores of rupees have been allocated for cleaning up Ganga, the river continues to flow filthy.

As the Ganga emerges from the glaciers and glides along the foothills of the mighty Himalayas through the towns and cities with their sprawling ghats, engineered embankments, hydroelectric dams, and interrupted flows at barrages, the icy chilliness of its waters is lost. Pilgrims swarm its bank to pay obeisance to the holy river but the river continues to be treated as a dump yard for human waste, dirt and rubbish.

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A study from Uttarakhand finds that water from sacred groves conforms to all WHO standards of potability and is of better quality than water from surrounding areas.

Sacred groves are undisturbed or preserved patches of vegetation or forested areas located on the outskirts of villages, towns or plains that are conserved by communities by dedicating them to local folk deities or ancestral spirits.

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Detection and attribution in case of extreme weather events play an important role in understanding climate change better.

Every time an extreme weather event like the Kerala floods occurs, there is a great demand for information on its causes. The question uppermost in public discourse is if such events can be attributed to climate change and global warming.

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News this week

Clean chit to dam management, CWC says congested Vembanad lake worsened floods in Kerala

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Frequent disasters the Kashmir Valley witnesses are both man-made and natural. What’s the solution?

Witnessing a multitude of disasters from destructive floods to catastrophic earthquakes, the vulnerabilities arising out of natural disasters are ever increasing in Jammu and Kashmir. Intensified cloudbursts, frequent flash floods, recurring landslides and avalanches pose a serious threat not only to the state’s sustainable development but human survival as well. 

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