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Madhav Chitale Committee Recommends Measures for De-silting Ganga

The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation had constituted a committee to prepare guidelines for desiltation of Ganga River last year. The four member committee is headed by Madhav Chitale (Expert Member of National Ganga River Basin Authority). The other members of the committee include Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change and Dr. Mukesh Sinha, Director, Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune. The committee was constituted as per the commitment made by Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti while chairing the 6th meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority in New Delhi in July, 2016.

Salient Recommendations

The committee has recommended a series of measures that includes creation of sand registry for de-silting of the Ganga, study to guide de-silting activities and establishment of a technical institute to conduct the sediment budget.

The committee has recommended for the establishment of an institute for flood routing studies. 

The committee has observed that erosion, sediment transport and siltation are very complex phenomena and hence ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach cannot be applied to sediment management and control as the issues involved are regionally-specific. So, the committee suggests to evolve guidelines, better broad principles while planning and implementing de-silting works as the indiscriminate se-siltation works may cause more harm to ecology.

The committee recommends good agricultural practices, river bank anti-erosion works and reclamation of adjoining lakes along the river. The committee also favors de-silting of adjoining lakes to increase their storage capacities.

It has recommended dredging of shoals in the Farakka Barrage and usage of such sediments for re-grading the Farakka Feeder Canal. It has also suggested to modify  the bridges across the Ganga which are causing large afflux.

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National Green Tribunal Bans Open Defecation and Waste Dumping on Yamuna Floodplains

A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar has banned open defecation and waste dumping on the floodplains of the Yamuna. It has also slapped an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 for people who violated the order. Apart from this, the NGT has also constituted a committee under the head of Delhi Jal Board CEO to oversee the cleaning works of the river and ordered it to submit reports at regular intervals.

The tribunal has also ordered the Delhi government and the municipal corporations to immediately take action against those polluting industries which function in residential areas. These industries are held as the major source of pollution to the river.

NGT’s above orders were issued after hearing a plea on the monitoring of execution of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’.

Background

The NGT on May 1 ordered the inspection of the sewage treatment plants (STP) to make sure that the effluents are treated before it got released into Yamuna. Almost 67% of the wastewater reaching Yamuna are to be treated under the STPs set up under Phase 1 of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’. Out of the total 14 STP projects that are to be built for treating wastewater, seven STP projects will be built by the Delhi Jal Board with its own funds.
The central government had sanctioned the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP)-I and YAP-II schemes for the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. YAP-III projects which are to be completed by December 2018 has been introduced in Delhi with financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The project involves works like sewerage/interception and diversion of drains, sewage treatment plants, low-cost sanitation and community toilet complexes, electric and improved wood crematoria among others.

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Scientists at IIT Delhi Develops Cheapest Respiratory Filter

Scientists at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi have developed the device ‘Nasofilters’ which is capable of restricting up to 95% of dust and air pollutants. Involving a cost of Rs 10, it is the cheapest naso filter available. The nano-respiratory filter is now ready for commercialisation. The researchers involved in the project was recently awarded with the “National Startups Award” by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Salient Features

The Nasofilter employs an incredible filter technology that gives protection against the finest particulate pollutants especially the PM2.5 concentration. It offers protection for at least eight hours and therefore helps in reducing the risk of respiratory diseases.

The device has an assembly of millions of small-sized pores that creates a thin flexible membrane capable of  capturing very small particles with high efficiency. The design of the filter provides good breathability and comfort.

The filter is capable of getting struck with the user’s nasal orifice and would prevent the entry of foreign particulate matter like PM2.5 particles, bacteria and pollen allergens.

Background

According to a new study of global air pollution issued jointly by Health Effects Institute, a Boston research institute, India’s rapidly worsening air pollution has surpassed that of China’s to become the deadliest in the world. About 1.1 million people die prematurely each year in India which is an alarming increase of nearly 50% of premature deaths between 1990 and 2015 period.
Particulate Matters are fine particles, less than fraction of the width of a human hair. These particles are released from vehicles, particularly those with diesel engines, industries, as well as from natural sources. They enter the bloodstream through the lungs, and increases the risk of stroke, heart failure and cardiac disease. in addition it also results in severe respiratory problems, like pneumonia and asthma.

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