As told to Parliament: Assam, Bihar, Odisha get flood hazard atlases

All that was discussed in the Houses through the day

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 05 August 2021
As told to Parliament: Assam, Bihar, Odisha get flood hazard atlases

The Indian Space Research Organisation has prepared flood hazard atlases for the states of Assam, Bihar and Odisha, said Prahlad Singh Patel, the Union minister of state for Jal Shakti (water resources) and Food Processing Industries in the Lok Sabha August 5, 2021. These provide information on various categories of flood hazards — very high, high, moderate, low and very low — based on the number of times the area was inundated in the last two decades, he added.

The Central Water Commission has started issuing a five-day advisory flood forecast at 330 flood and inflow forecasting stations, the minister informed. The alerts are created using state-of-the-art rainfall runoff mathematical modelling tools. The method is based on forecasted rainfall by the India Meteorological Department.

These forecasts help in better management of floods by concerned agencies and departments, he added.

River cleaning projects take shape

The National River Conservation Plan has covered polluted stretches on 34 rivers in 77 towns spread over 16 Indian states so far with the sanctioned funds of Rs 5,965.90 crore, said Patel.

Sewage treatment capacity of 2,522.03 million litres per day has been created, he added. 

Under the Namami Gange programme, 346 projects have been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 30,235 crore. This includes 158 projects for 4,948 MLD of sewage treatment and a sewer network of 5,213 kilometres. This has resulted in reduction of pollution load being discharged in various rivers, informed the minister. 

Open defection lingers

At least 15 per cent Indians still defecate in the open, said Patel citing a report by UNICEF and World Health Organization’s Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) on water, sanitation and hygiene.

JMP does not use primary survey or research to derive the ground situation. Hence JMP at best provides an estimate derived from different reports and is not a true reflection of the ground level situation, he added.

Transitioning to hydrogen fuels

The draft National Hydrogen Energy Mission document by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is currently under inter-ministerial consultation, according to RK Singh, the MNRE minister, told the Lok Sabha. 

The mission was launched by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech this February. 

The document aims to scale up green hydrogen production and utilisation across multiple sectors, including transportation. 

Various hydrogen-powered vehicles have been developed and demonstrated under projects supported by the Government of India, Singh said. These include:

  • Six fuel cell buses (by Tata Motors Ltd)
  • 50 hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas buses in Delhi (by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd in collaboration with NCT of Delhi government)
  • Two hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine buses (by IIT Delhi in collaboration with Mahindra & Mahindra)
  • 15 hydrogen-fuelled three-wheelers (by IIT Delhi in collaboration with Mahindra & Mahindra)
  • Two hydrogen-diesel dual fuel cars (by Mahindra & Mahindra)
  • One fuel cell car (by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Chemical Laboratory, CSIR-Central Electrochemical Laboratory and CSIR-National Physical Laboratory)

872 waste management projects underway

In urban areas, 140,980 metric tonnes (MT) of municipal solid wastes (MSWs) are generated per day, Kaushal Kishore, Union minister of state for housing and urban affairs, said in Lok Sabha. 

Sewage generation from urban centres is estimated at 72,368 MLD, he added. He was quoting from a Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) report National Inventory of Sewage Treatment Plants published in March 2021. 

States / Union territories have taken up 872 sewerage and septage management projects worth Rs 33,322 crore under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). 

Of these, 839 projects worth Rs 32,742 crore have been grounded, including 323 completed projects worth Rs 7,213 crore. 

These projects will lead to an overall development of capacity sewage treatment plants with cumulative capacity of 6,067 MLD, he added. Of this, 1,634 MLD capacity has already been created. 

Further, 79 lakh sewer connections have been given under AMRUT or in convergence with the other schemes, Kishore told.

Support for COVID-19 orphans 

The online portal for the PM CARES for children scheme,, was introduced to all states and UTs Jul 15, 2021, Smriti Zubin Irani, the Union minister of women and child development, said in Rajya Sabha. 

The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to support children who have  lost  both  parents / the surviving  parent / legal  guardian / adoptive  parents  due  to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, she added. 

The scheme provides support for education and health, and will create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age. 

This corpus will be used to give a monthly financial support / stipend from age 18, for the next 5 years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education and on reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as a lump-sum for personal and professional use, the minister said.  

Central support for mid-day meal scheme

The Government of India has released Rs 12,874.01 crore as central assistance to the states and UTs that have delivered dry ration and credited money for cooking into the accounts of beneficiaries of the mid-day meal scheme, said Dharmendra Pradhan, the Union minister of education in Rajya Sabha.

The Centre has also allocated 3,445,000 metric tonnes of foodgrains to states and  UTs during 2020-21 and Rs 2,678.80 crore has been released as ad-hoc grant during 2021-22 so far, Pradhan said.

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