Gangetic dolphins under threat thanks to increased river traffic
Despite concerted efforts by various agencies to save the Gangetic dolphins, several factors, including poaching for oil, river pollution and increased traffic in water bodies, continue to pose grave threat to the species. According to river dolphin expert Sunil Chaudhary, the dolphin count rose from 95 to 273 in a couple of years in Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary. However, there was a sharp decline of nearly 20 percent in the last two years due to the introduction of inland waterways.
As per experts, water transport system and aquatic life cannot co-exist and the key to conservation of wildlife is engagement of local communities.
(The Times of India)
Surajpur district finds an effective solution to use abandoned mines
An abandoned mine of the Coal India Ltd (CIL) at Kenapara in Surajpur has been converted to yield promising scope for tourism and a good source of livelihood for the poor and tribals. The deserted mine turned into a huge water body covering an area of over 10.50 hectares with 1.75 km long stretch and a maximum depth of around 300 feet. In mid-2019, the district administration came up with an idea on fish farming through submerged cage culture, developing the site for boating with a floating restaurant for tourists. The administration is planning to execute the concept in another three abandoned open mines. (The New Indian Express)
Suku Paika river in Odisha to get a new lease of life
A petition, signed by over 7,000 people belonging to several villages located along the Suku Paika river, was submitted to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanding revival of the river. The Suku Paika river, is a distributary of Mahanadi river and in 1950, the Odisha government had blocked the starting point of the river with an embankment to check flood, without considering its consequence on the environment. The river was completely disconnected from the Mahanadi and since then, it has been lying dead. A team of officials of Revenue and Water Resources departments visited the river to take stock of the situation for its revival. (The New Indian Express)
An innovative approach by IIT Madras helps Palar river to store surplus rainwater
Researchers from IIT-Madras have designed and overseen the construction of check dam across the Palar river, which has led to a significant increase in storage of surplus rainwater in the river. The innovative design has not just helped save nearly 49.5 crores, but also helped in completing the project in just six months instead of a year. The project was funded under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities of the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) at Kalpakkam.
Speaking about the unique features of this check dam, R. Sundaravadivelu, who led the efforts from IIT Madras, said, "This unique project was implemented successfully using the diaphragm wall as a deep foundation for check dam, ensuring safety and arresting seawater intrusion."
18,034 km-long human chain formed in Bihar to create awareness on environment and social issues
Under the ‘Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali’ campaign, the Bihar government has formed a human chain to create awareness about conservation of water and increasing green cover, prohibition and the adverse impact of social evils like dowry and child marriage. Over 5.16 crore people participated in the 18,034-km long human chain, which was formed for the third time in the state. Besides this, over 57.76 lakh school children also took part in the human chain from their respective campuses and 43,445 prisoners also formed a human chain inside the jail premises. (The Times of India)
This is a roundup of important news published between January 14 - 22, 2020. Also read policy matters this week.