States Current Affairs - 2019

Current Affairs 2019-2020 of all States with latest updates. Current Affairs will list latest developments, issues in all states and may be useful for State PCS / Civil services examinations of various states of India.

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Unique Flood Hazard Atlas: Odisha

Odisha has come out with a unique flood hazard atlas aided by satellite imagery, which is expected to help the coastal state manage floods more efficiently. The atlas was released by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the State-level Natural Calamity Meeting.

About Flood Hazard Atlas

Need: Atlas would serve as a useful resource of information for policy makers, planners and civil society groups.

Base Period: Atlas is compiled on basis of historic flood inundation captured via satellite imagery over 18 years period from year 2001 to 2018.


Firstly, all satellite data sets were analysed and flood layers were extracted from it, then all flood layers corresponding to a particular year were combined into one inundation layer, so that this layer represents maximum flooded area in 1 year period.

Then all such combined flood layers for a period of 18 years were integrated into flood hazard layer representing observed flood-inundated areas with different frequencies. This layer was integrated with digital database layers of Odisha.

Key Findings of Study

The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Hyderabad had undertaken a study on Odisha’s flood hazard zonation.

Floods in Odisha: Every year vast areas of Odisha are inundated when there is flooding in major rivers of state, viz. Mahanadi, Subarnarekha, Brahmani, Rushikulya and Baitarani. Also, as per Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), damages due to floods are mainly caused by Mahanadi, Brahmani and Baitarani, which have a common delta where floodwaters intermingle and when in series simultaneously cause havoc.

Flash Floods: Few districts in western and southern part of Odisha are prone to flash floods which are caused due to instant run-off from hilly catchments areas of rivers like, Vamsadhara and Budhabalanga.

Hazard Prone: The entire coastal belt is prone to storm surges, which is commonly accompanied by heavy rainfall which then makes estuary region vulnerable to both storm surges and river flooding. Few districts in Odisha’s western and southern part of are prone to flash floods.

Hazard Categories: As per NRSC analysis during 2001-2018, about 8.96% (13.96 lakh hectares) of land in Odisha was affected by floods. Out of this 13.96 lakh hectare flood-affected area nearly 2.81 lakh hectares of land falls under high inundated flood hazard categories (7-9 times) to very high inundated flood hazard categories (10-14 times).

Bihar Government bans Tree-Felling

The Bihar Government recently announced ban on felling of trees in different cities of Bihar, citing increasing pollution as well as a fatal heatwave in the state as reason for the ban.

Key Highlights

Background: Bihar Government has taken this decision as most cities of Bihar are ranked in list of World’s most polluted cities which includes- Patna (7th position), Muzaffarpur (13th position), Gaya (18th position) and Bhagalpur. Also, currently Bihar does not have any Tree Protection Act active, due to which people who privately own a tree in state are cutting it indiscriminately.

Note: The current order against banning tree felling was passed under Forest Conservation Act (FCA),1980. This new scheme is valid only for State Government owned properties and not for people who privately own a tree.

Changes Announced:

With this new initiative Bihar Government has put a hold on tree harvesting for at least government held projects.

Now for undertaking any development project (like road or highway tenders) if anybody now wants to remove a tree would have to translocate/shift the project or the trees to some other place. Engineers have also been asked not to cut trees while building/expanding roads.

All permissions granted to cut trees for development works, have become null and void. Trees on private land, however, can be felled in the absence of a tree-protection Act in Bihar.


The state government could also have taken this decision as a reaction to indiscriminate felling of big, old trees in Patna during last few years for construction of roads and buildings. According to official data, on Patna’s Bailey Road over 2200 trees have been chopped in last 2.5 years.

The state’s forest department also expressed its displeasure over filling roots of trees with concrete on roads in various towns for the sake of development.

Government Vision: Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar has repeatedly announced his government commitment to increase state green cover to 17%. As of date Bihar has been able to increase its green cover from 7% to 15% under the Green Mission.

What is Forest Conservation Act, 1980?

It is an Act of the Parliament of India that was enacted for providing a higher level of protection to forests and to regulate diversion of forest lands for non forestry purposes.

As per the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 Prior permission/approval of the Central Government is essential for De-reservation/ Diversion of forest land for for non-forestry purposes.

This is given on the condition that user agency will deposit required amount to undertake compensatory afforestation for mitigate negative impact of forest land diversion.

The act extends to whole of India except state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).