Society, Culture, Religion and History

  • Maharashtra cabinet decides on drip irrigation for sugarcane cultivation  In a bid to save water, the Maharashtra cabinet has decided to make drip irrigation a must for sugarcane cultivation. The state is estimated to save 7,500 to 12,500 cubic metre water per hectare by bringing around 3.05 l...
    swatiposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Over the last few months, we saw protests by distressed farmers of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other states over farming crisis and farmer suicides. In what seemed like a knee-jerk reaction, many state governments announced farm loan waivers without thinking if it would actually help the farmers...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Supreme Court pulls Centre over preservation of wetlands The Supreme Court has reprimanded the Centre over noncompliance with international conventions regarding preservation of wetland sites across the country. In its earlier order, the apex court has identified over two lakh wetlands and asked fo...
    swatiposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • When I meet Puran Chand, an activist in the forefront of the anti-Renuka dam struggle, he dictates from the two much-thumbed pages of his notebook the several objections he has against the government’s plan for the rehabilitation of people displaced by the Renuka dam. Here is a man who has repeate...
    chicuposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • SC stays order granting human status to Ganga and Yamuna rivers In a major relief to the Uttarakhand government, the Supreme Court has stayed the high court order which granted the status of a living human entity to Ganga and Yamuna rivers. The stay has come into effect following the government's p...
    swatiposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Uttarakhand challenges living person status to Ganga and Yamuna rivers, moves SC On the grounds that the Ganga and the Yamuna are interstate rivers, the Uttarakhand government has sought a stay from the Supreme Court on the living person status conferred to the two rivers. Earlier this year, the hi...
    swatiposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • It’s July now and the temperature is slowly dipping in Delhi. Only a few migratory birds wintered at the Yamuna biodiversity park remain. Others have left for Central Asia and Siberia. Some species of summer terrestrial migrants are expected to arrive while some others can be seen enjoying the par...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • Chennai reels under acute crisis of drinking water Tamil Nadu is witnessing the worst drought in 140 years and Chennai is reeling under an acute crisis of drinking water as all four lakes--Poondi, Red Hills, Cholavaram and Chembarambakkam--around the city have dried up. Many areas in the city ...
    swatiposted 1 year 12 months agoread more
  • Signs of mustard aphid, a key pest of the mustard crop appeared predictably in November last year in Dinesh’s farm. Drifting across the open green fields, it landed on the tender leaves of the mustard crop. “It sets in November during the flowering and pod bearing stage of the crop and lasts til...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 4 days agoread more
  • The serious implications of privatisation of natural resources like water, which is often brought under the overarching umbrella of market reforms, often evade us. There is a qualitative difference in the state withdrawing from the social sector as opposed to the economic sector, and in the increase...
    arathiposted 2 years 1 week agoread more
  • India's groundwater crisis: Gujarat's solar irrigation cooperative embarks on a solution The world's first Solar Pump Irrigators’ Cooperative Enterprise (SPICE) has been formed in Dhundi village in Gujarat's Kheda district. Members of the enterprise have not only made a switch from diesel to sola...
    swatiposted 2 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • The year 2009 was an exceptionally dry year for Maharashtra. There was an acute shortage of water. The farmlands went dry. The farmers, unable to pay their debts, were a worried lot. Lakshman Ambilkar of Kinni village in the Yavatmal district of Maharashtra was one such farmer who could not take it ...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • When torrential downpour submerged thousands of villages and claimed about 300 lives in Jammu & Kashmir in September 2014, loss of wetlands was cited as one of the reasons that aggravated the impact of the natural disaster. Wetlands are areas where the water level is close to the surface of the ...
    arathiposted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Kokapet, one of the study villages for the project ‘Ensuring Water Security in Metropolitan Hyderabad’, was the first village that we visited for field work. Even though we refer to them as ‘villages’, there was very little that we found village-like here. It’s a truly peri-urban site with...
    arathiposted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Kakkoos, a compelling documentary film on manual scavenging in Tamil Nadu is all about showing the practice as it is without any filter. The pictures are shocking and watching them is easier said than done -- toilets teeming with shit, sanitary napkins lying scattered, people collecting faeces with ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Pankaj Sekhsaria’s recent book Islands in flux--The Andaman and Nicobar Story is a collection of around 20 years of his writings on the environmental and conservation concerns faced by the indigenous tribal communities of the region. Unlike his previous book, The last wave, a factual fiction adven...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • After becoming a human entity, Ganga river receives first legal notice The Uttarakhand high court has issued the first legal notice to the Ganga river, which was accorded human status recently. The court has sought a response from the river for allowing construction of a trenching ground in its lan...
    swatiposted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana vulnerable to severe water scarcity As per the latest assessment by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana consume much more groundwater than their rechargeable limit every year, making them vulnerable to severe water sc...
    swatiposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Government releases fund for water conservation under MGNREGS Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the ministry of rural development has released Rs 23,443 crore to states to ensure priority work on water conservation measures. The ministry has also joined ...
    swatiposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • India's urbanisation continues unabated but most of its 53-million plus cities offer an appallingly low quality of life. Ten of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in India as per a report by the World Health Organization. Despite this, most of India is now aspiring to produce smart cities. Wi...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 2 months agoread more

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Watershed management is not just to harvest and store water but also to create democratic processes at the village level and enable inclusive, sustainable development that meets the people's needs.

In India, although we have approximately four months of monsoon (which is basically 45 days of effective rainfall), in drought prone areas, there are only 10-15 days of harvestable rain in the entire season. If you don't get enough rain during those days, it's a cause for worry.

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A temple trust revives an ancient stepwell, comes to the rescue of a water-starved village.

Long before piped water supply became the norm, groundwater got extracted for use and rivers neglected, stepwells served as a major source of water for people.

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To make access to water adequate and equitable, the focus must shift from water sources to water resources. Science, community participation and cooperation, are key to addressing our water woes.

A growing demand for water implies the need for an improved understanding of our resources, and the ability to manage that demand in an equitable and sustainable way.

Wells, not dams, have been the temples of modern India

India is a groundwater economy. At 260 cubic km per year, our country is the highest user of groundwater in the world - we use 25 percent of all groundwater extracted globally, ahead of USA and China.

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Under UNICEF’s initiative to mitigate disaster risk, community leaders are created to make villages disaster ready.

Tired from the Baidyanath dhamyatra (pilgrimage) in the nearby town of Deoghar, Nunlal Kamath is stealing a quick nap on a charpoy outside his house. His house is right on the western bank of Kosi, north Bihar’s river of sorrow, in a particularly flood-prone area where there are no high grounds or flood platforms nearby.  

Much of the district floods every year during the monsoon season. In August 2017, Kamath’s village at Basipatti in Madhepur block of Madhubani district saw the worst flooding after the 2007 deluge.

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The ongoing conflict between India and Bangladesh over the Teesta is political with little to do with the river itself. Is there any hope for the river?

River Teesta originates at Tso Lamo, Sikkim, flows through West Bengal and then enters the Rangpur division in Bangladesh. It is the fourth largest among 54 rivers shared by India and Bangladesh. The river basin is populated with over 30 million people who depend on the river water for drinking and domestic use, irrigation, industry and religious activities. Besides fishing, agriculture is one of the important sources of livelihood in the basin and sustains more than 90 percent of the rural population. 

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Indore became the cleanest city in India for the second time in a row, thanks to the untiring efforts of its municipal corporation and residents. A video tells the success story.

Indore has retained its cleanest city tag in the clean India survey 2018. Before it was praised for its cleanliness drive in 2017, the city was just like any other urban city in India dealing with its mounting garbage problem. In 2016, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) was criticised by pollution control boards, green bodies and environmentalists for not treating its garbage properly.

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Medicinal herbs, edible greens and fruits thrive in and around Chennai’s Sembakkam lake, reveals a study.

The districts of Tiruvallur, Chennai and Kanchipuram once boasted of a landscape densely dotted with wetlands and a lifestyle that was closely linked to the survival of these water bodies. With the boundaries of the Chennai metropolitan area considerably distended and concrete slowly creeping into the city’s many tanks and ponds, there is an urgent need to retain whatever little waterscape we are left with. 

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Look beyond protected areas for conservation of endangered hangul in Kashmir, says a study.

For the long-term conservation of critically endangered red deer or hangul in Kashmir, it is necessary to take up conservation efforts beyond protected areas, a new study has suggested.

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Yamuna water taxi project could cut down the travel time and congestion on Delhi roads. But does the river have enough water for it?

Here's some good news for the people of Delhi. If the Centre is to be believed, Delhi is going the Kochi way and Yamuna waters will keep the traffic burden off the road much like Kochi’s backwaters and rivers. A water taxi from Wazirabad in Delhi to Palla in Haryana is soon going to be operational.

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Livelihood and education affected, villagers of a marooned land look for solutions.

“Our village is also called the swimmers’ village because almost all of us including small children know how to swim. To learn swimming is not a luxury but a necessity for us.

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