All that was discussed in the House through the day
There were 75 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) in India across 18 states and the Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Renuka Singh Saruta, minister of state for tribal affairs told the Rajya Sabha March 18, 2021.
The Yamuna river had almost no fresh water downstream of the Wazirabad barrage in Delhi except during the monsoon season, according to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) report of January 2021. Eighteen major drains discharged into the river in a 22-kilometre stretch within Delhi, Rattan Lal Kataria, minister of state in the Union ministry of Jal Shakti (Water) told the Lok Sabha.
The estimated sewage generation in Delhi was about 3,273 million litres per day (MLD). The installed sewage treatment capacity was about 2,715 MLD, of which about 2,432 MLD of sewage was being treated in Delhi.
Thus, about 941 MLD of sewage was finding its way into the river through various drains. There were 13 common effluent treatment plants of 212 MLD capacity for 17 industrial clusters in Delhi. All were non-compliant to standards according to the DPCC report, Kataria added.
Kataria also said 13 projects had been taken up in Delhi under the Namami Gange scheme, with a sanctioned cost of Rs 2,419 crore to stop pollution in the river. These projects were at various stages of implementation. Sewage treatment capacities of 1,384.5 MLD will be created in Delhi through these projects, Kataria said.
There was no proposal by the government to provide sachets and cubes of honey in place of refined sugar along with tea / coffee in airlines and hostels, Nitin Gadkari, Union minister of micro, small and medium enterprises told the Lok Sabha. Airlines served on-board meals according to their commercial policies.
COVID-19 vaccine distribution
A total of 5.85 crore (58 million) domestically manufactured novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines had been exported till March 12, V Muraleedharan, minister of state in the Union ministry of external affairs told the Rajya Sabha. India started export of domestically-made vaccines January 20, 2021, he added.
Green energy corridor projects
The government was aware that the role of the renewable energy sector was coming into increasing focus in the context of climate change, as far as energy security was concerned, RK Singh, minister of state (independent charge) for new and renewable energy, told the Lok Sabha.
India had committed to achieve about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030, as part of its nationally determined contributions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Singh said.
Augmenting water table
The government had not constituted an expert committee / task force for suggestions on augmenting the water table by harnessing rain water, Kataria said .
An ‘Inter Ministerial Committee’ under the chairmanship of the secretary of the department of water resources had been constituted to take forward the subject of ‘Water conservation-related activities for optimum utilisation of monsoon rainfall’.
This committee met regularly to discuss the issue of water conservation. It included officers from different states and Union territories as well, Kataria said.
The quality of water from several rivers in the country had been monitored by state pollution control boards and pollution control committees during March and April last year. This was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on river pollution, Kataria told the Lok Sabha.
Nineteen major rivers were assessed as part of the exercise:
Some rivers — Brahmani, Brahmputra, Cauvery, Godavari, Krishna, Tapi and Yamuna — showed improvement in water quality that could be attributed to minimal industrial effluent discharge, no human and / or anthropogenic activities, cattle movement, etc.
There was no improvement in the water quality of the Beas, Chambal, Ganga, Satluj and Swarnrekha rivers. Water quality remained unchanged in the Sabarmati and Mahi rivers. No definite trend was observed to substantiate the impact of the lockdown, Kataria said.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
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.