Varanasi Current Affairs - 2019

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KVIC launches ‘Terracotta Grinder’ at Varanasi to reuse wasted pottery

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) launched first ever ‘Terracotta Grinder’ at Sewapuri in Varanasi, Uttar Preadesh. This machine will grind the wasted and broken pottery items for re-using in pottery-making.

About Terracotta Grinder

It was designed by KVIC Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena.

It was fabricated by a Rajkot-based engineering unit.

Benefits:

Earlier the wasted pottery items were grinded in normal khal-musal (mortar and pestle) and its fine powder was mixed with normal clay but now the new Terracotta grinder will make grinding of wasted pottery items faster than the traditional mortar and pestle. Mixing this fine powder is important as when the powder is mixed in stipulated ratio to normal clay, it makes resulting pottery items stronger.

It will also help in solving problem of shortage of clays.

Terracotta grinder will lessen the cost of production. The cost of one tractor trolley of clay is Rs.2,600 in the Varanasi area, therfore, by mixing 20% of this wasted terracotta powder, the potter will make a saving of at least Rs.520. This will also create more job opportunities in villages.

This will also meet the growing demand for terracotta products at Varanasi railway station following a direction by Union Ministry of Railways to Zonal Railways and IRCTC to take urgent necessary action for ensuring the use of locally produced, environment friendly terracotta products such as Kulhad, glasses and plates for serving passengers through all static catering units at Varanasi and Raibareilly railway stations.

This machine will be a boon for potters as Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Nitin Gadkari has proposed to introduce kulhads and other terracotta products at 400 prominent railway stations. However, the proposal is under active consideration of Indian Railways.

Indian Cities and Air Pollution

The Air Pollution levels at the Indian cities are at an alarming level. Various Reports have time and again tried to shed light on the quantum of the problem.

Air Pollution and Indian Cities

  • A Delhi based Environment Body claims that the Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, is ranked third on the WHO’s list of 15 most polluted cities and the situation is “deteriorating” as its MP has focused on beautification and infrastructure.
  • In the ‘Political Leaders Position and Action on Air Quality in India 2014-2019’ report, released by Climate Trends Delhi is ranked sixth on the list. The report states that there has been “laziness” on part of its elected caretakers in tackling air pollution in the city.
  • As per the World Health Organisation, (WHO) list of most polluted cities, 14 of the 15 most polluted cities in the world are in India of which four are in Uttar Pradesh.
  • WHO report states that the Prime Minister’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is witnessing a rise in the number of people suffering from allergies and respiratory problems due to a “lot” of construction in the city.
  • Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh is the most polluted city in the world. Kanpur is ranked one on the list. Faridabad in Haryana has been ranked second and Varanasi has been ranked third.
  • Gaya and Patna in Bihar are fourth and fifth on the list.
  • Delhi has been ranked sixth and Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow is ranked seventh.
  • The report by climate trends claimed MPs of Lucknow and Kanpur — Home Minister Rajnath Singh and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi respectively — have mostly been silent on the issue of air pollution in their respective constituencies.
  • Other cities in the WHO list of polluted cities are Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurugram, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.

Air Quality Index

The Air Quality Index between 0 and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”, as per pollution control authorities.