As told to Parliament (April 6, 2022): Many parts of India 2-4°C hotter than normal

All that was discussedin the House through the day

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 06 April 2022

Many parts of India have been experiencing heatwave conditions since the third week of March 2022, Jitendra Singh, Union minister of state (independent charge) for science, technology and earth sciences, told the Lok Sabha April 6, 2022. 

Maximum temperatures across the country have soared part the normal by about 4-6 degrees Celsius, he added. 

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), in collaboration with the local health departments, have started a heat action plan in many parts of the country to give heat wave warnings, Singh said. They will also advise actions to be taken during such occasions. 

Heat action plan became operational since 2013, he added. 

Survey shows uranium contamination in Telangana

Much of the groundwater in the Lambapur-Peddagattu region in Nalgonda district of Telangana is contaminated with uranium, according to data collected by Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), said Jitendra Singh, Union minister of state for personnel, public grievance and pensions, told the Lok Sabha. 

The body collected groundwater samples from 25 private tubewells / hand-pumps from November 2018 to July 2019. Four of the samples were from hand pumps used for domestic purposes and the rest were from those used for irrigation, the minister said. 

The safety limit of uranium concentration is 60 parts per billion (ppb). Uranium content in the water samples from irrigation sources varied from 1-2,618 ppb. Thirteen of them had uranium content less than 60ppb, he added.

Most of the sample locations with high uranium content were in cultivated land, where the water is used for irrigation purposes, according to the minister.  

Impact of COVID-19 on handloom sector

No study assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the handloom sector has been done by the government anywhere in the country, Piyush Goyal, Union minister for textiles, told the Lok Sabha. 

Data pertaining to the sector is dispersed and largely unavailable for centralised quantification, due to the unorganised and traditional nature of the sector, he added. 

Weather forecasts for farmers

IMD and the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), in collaboration with Indian Council of Agriculture Research and State Agriculture Universities is rendering district- and block-level agrometeorological advisory services (AAS) for the benefit of farmers, said Jitendra Singh in the Lok Sabha. 

The service has been started under the Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (GKMS) scheme, the minister said. The emphasis of the existing AAS system is to collect and organise climate / weather, soil and crop information as well as to amalgamate them with weather forecasts to assist farmers to take decisions on day-to-day farm operations, he added. 

Over 2,000 annual lightning deaths

Lightning strikes killed at least 2,000 people every year in India since 2004, Singh told the Lok Sabha.

Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, an autonomous research institution under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), has established a lightning location network strategically installed at 83 places in the country to detect and locate lightning strikes with utmost accuracy, he added.

Housing for all scheme deadline deferred

The timeline for the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) has been extended to 2024 from 2022, Niranjan Jyoti, Union minister of state for rural development, told Rajya Sabha.

As on March 31, 2022, 17.7 million houses have been completed, she said, adding that 22.9 million houses have been sanctioned to beneficiaries by various states / Union territories.

In order to achieve the target of ‘housing for all’ in rural areas, the Union Ministry of Rural Development had implemented the scheme April 1, 2016. The aim was to provide assistance to construct 29.5 million crore pucca houses with basic amenities. 

A target of 27 million houses was set for states / UTs, the minister said. 

Rainwater harvesting on national highway corridors

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued guidelines for rainwater harvesting and artificial recharging on all the buildings and structures along highways, Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for road transport and highways, told the Rajya Sabha.

These include toll plazas, wayside amenities, grade separated structures and others that will be developed as part of the project corridor, he added. 

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.