Contamination, Pollution and Quality
Punjab no.1 in overexploitation of groundwater
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).
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.
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?
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.
NGT bans granting general permissions for groundwater extraction to commercial entities
Groundwater fulfills the drinking water requirements of nearly 85% and 50% of the rural and urban Indian population, respectively. 65% of the total irrigated area utilizes groundwater. It also caters to the water needs of the industrial sector in India.
An estimated 58,000 babies die in India every year from superbug infections passed on from their mothers, whilst drug-resistant pathogens cause between 28,000 to 38,000 extra deaths in the European Union every year.
Come monsoons and vector borne diseases start making headlines every year in many parts of India, especially mosquito borne diseases like dengue, malaria, chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis.
What are vector borne diseases
Around 1 in 3 children – up to 800 million globally – have blood lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per decilitre (µg/dL), a level that the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated requires global and regional interventions.