Uttrakhand Current Affairs

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Uttarakhand Govt sets up Committee to survey industries using silica dust

A high level committee has been constituted by the Uttarakhand government with a view to conduct a detailed survey of the industries using silica dust in the state. The panel would conduct its study and submit its report within 2 months.

The health examination of those working in industries using silica dust would be carried out to find out if they are suffering from silicosis or other respiratory diseases caused due to coming in contact of silicia dust. If a worker is found suffering from any respiratory disease or silicosis then he would be provided treatment and, rehabilitation facilities, for which Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the districts have been appointed as the nodal officer.

State’s pollution control board would keep an eye on the industries using silica dust.

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Climate change may lead India to war: UN report

UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its report evaluating affects of climate change on human health, settlements and natural resources issued a warning that if no actions are taken to limit the ill-effects of global warming, Asia may face pressure on water resources and food-grain production in the future, thereby mounting the risk of armed conflict amongst India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China.

Albeit the report doesn’t have any country-specific forecastings, the region-wise findings in the report have thrown many eye-opening conclusions for India. As per the Report, if steps are not taken to control the rise in temperature:

  • India might lose up to 1.7% of its GDP if the yearly mean temperature rises by 1 degree Celsius compared to pre-industrialization level.
  • India might face extreme weather events, viz. flash floods in Uttarakhand and cyclone Phailin in Odisha.
  • ‘Beach tourism’ in India, could be affected.
  • Increase in risk of armed conflict around the world as it aggravates poverty.

Key indications/ findings from the report:

  • In most parts of the world, coming times experience more extreme weather events viz. floods, cyclones, cloud bursts, unseasonal excessive rains and drought, etc.
  • Amongst the most affected nations in Asia would be: Bangladesh, China, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • Climate change will be an influential factor in designing of national security policies.
  • By middle of the 21st century, stern pressure on fresh water resources in South Asia and China (Himalayan river basins) may develop into a basis for armed conflict in the region.
  • Coastal flooding will affect tourism in India.
  • Fall in food-grain production (wheat in India and Pakistan; wheat and maize in China)
  • Sea-level rise will affect coastal cities like Mumbai and Kolkata
  • Fishing community will be affected, as some marine fauna will face extinction by 2050
  • Himalayan Glaciers continue to shrink, affecting water resources downstream
  • Human health will be affected by climate change, mainly by exasperating health issues.

UN IPCC Report: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability

(Source: http://www.ipcc.ch/)

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World Bank approved $250 million aid for Uttarakhand

The World Bank approved financial aissistance of $250 million for Uttarakhand, in the wake of rains and landslides that wreaked havoc in the state in June 2013. The fund would be used to help the state undertake rehabilitation work and improve its capacity for disaster management.

India had asked for assistance from multi-lateral organizations like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for undertaking rehabilitation work in Uttarakhand.

Prior to this, a joint World Bank and ADB team conducted a Joint Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (JRDNA) to rebuild Uttarakahnd’s infrastructure damaged in the calamity. As per JRDNA estimate, the total reconstruction work to repair physical damages and infrastructure loss was calculated at about $661 million.

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