As told to Parliament (July 30, 2021): Malaria cases, deaths on the decline

All that was discussed in the Houses through the day

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 30 July 2021

Vector-borne diseases

The number of malaria cases and deaths by them has been on the decline in the country. The cases reduced by 84.4 per cent and deaths by 83.6 per cent in 2020 as compared to 2015, Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health And Family Welfare, said in the Lok Sabha.

As many as 99.82 per cent people who had dengue recovered in 2020, as reported by states / Union territories. No death has been reported by any state / UT due to Chikungunya so far, Mandaviya said.

Air quality data

The analysis of air quality data of 132 cities indicated that majority of cities showed improvement in air quality in 2020-21 compared to 2019-20, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State in the Ministry Of Environment, Forest And Climate Change, said.

Ambient air quality data of particulate matter 10 (PM10) of 36 cities showed an increase in concentration in 2020-2021 as compared to 2019-2020; 96 cities showed a decreasing trend (improvement in air quality).

As many as 18 cities were found to be within the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality in 2019-20, which increased to 27 in 2020-21, Choubey added.

Butterfly species

There are 1,318 species of butterflies recorded in India, according to Zoological Survey of India, Choubey said.

No species of butterfly has been reported to be extinct from India. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are 35 species of butterfly under Critically Endangered; 43 species under Endangered; and three species under Least Concern category, Choubey said.

Coal-based power plants

As many as 126 coal-based thermal power plant units were shut down between March 2016 and June 2021 due to various reasons viz. techno-economic and commercial considerations including compliance of emission norms, Choubey said.

Guidelines for honey in Kerala

A question was raised in the Lok Sabha asking whether the beekeepers in Kerala were able to comply with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India guideline for keeping humidity level in honey less than 20 per cent due to the natural factors.

Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health And Family Welfare said the issue was deliberated in the 15th meeting of scientific panel on sweets, confectionery, sugar, sweetener and honey and it was agreed to review the limit of moisture content in honey.

Accordingly, 50 honey samples exclusively from Kerala were collected and analysed at National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Kerala. No further relaxation was recommended by the scientific panel, Pawar said.

Damage to crops due to locust attack

Locust attacks were reported in India in 2019-20 and 2020-21; locusts migrated to India after a gap of 26 years during this period.

Locust incursion was reported in three states — Rajasthan, Gujarat and Punjab —  in 2019-20; in 2020-21, it was reported in 10 states. These were Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said in the Rajya Sabha.

There was no crop loss due to the invasion in Punjab, Gujarat, Bihar and Chhattisgarh, according to the data presented in Rajya Sabha. In Rajasthan, there was partial crop loss of above 33 per cent in 489.72 hectares; 10-15 per cent in 4,400 hectares in Madhya Pradesh; and below 33 per cent in 805.80 hectares in Maharashtra.

Landless agricultural farmers

Tomar said no specific census / survey of landless agricultural workers and migrant landless agricultural farmers has been conducted in the country so far. There is no data on the precise number of landless agricultural workers and migrant landless agricultural farmers in the country, he said.

Land under organic farming

India ranked fifth in terms of certified organic area and first in terms of organic farmers in the world (International Resource Data from Research Institute of Organic Agriculture -FiBL and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements-IFOAM Statistics 2021).

Currently, 3.8 million hectares have been brought under organic certification and 4.4 million farmers are covered under National Programme for Organic Production and Participatory Guarantee System of certification, Tomar said.

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