As told to Parliament (March 22, 2021): 3% of India’s COVID-19 cases among tribals

All that was discussed in the House through the day

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 23 March 2021

About 3 per cent of total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in India till June, 2020 were from 177 tribal-dominated districts, said Arjun Munda, Union minister of tribal affairs at the Lok Sabha on March 22, 2021.

The ministry assessed confirmed COVID-19 cases for 177 tribal-dominated districts based on the data mapped on a dynamic online dashboard developed and maintained by volunteers from IIT Delhi.

River beds free from contruction

No ill-conceived project or unchecked construction is underway near any river bed in India, claimed Babul Supriyo, Union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change in Rajya Sabha. 

No such case has been reported to the ministry, he added.

E-waste generation rose in 2019-20

The estimated generation of e-waste during 2019-20 for 21 types of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) was 1,014,961.2 tonnes, Supriyo said in Rajya Sabha.

The corresponding figures for 2017-18 and 2018-19 were 7,08,445 tonnes and 7,71,215 tonnes, respectively.

The rate of generation of e-waste for 2019-20 was 31.6 per cent and the rate of generation for the FY 2018-2019 was 8.86 per cent, he added.

Several villages of Kerala notified as eco-sensitive

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued draft eco-sensitive zone notifications for areas around Silent Valley National Park, Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve and Choolannur Pea Fowl Sanctuary in Malappuram and Palakkad districts of Kerala.

The draft notifications have been issued on the basis of proposal recommended by the government of Kerala, Supriyo informed the Rajya Sabha.

The implementation of ESZ notifications will neither involve displacement and evacuation of farmers or people living in such villages nor will it affect their source of livelihood in any way, the minister added.

Bt-cotton plantation increased

Around 90 per cent cotton area is under the cultivation of Bt-cotton and the productivity has increased from 191 kilogram per hectare in 2002-03 to 455 kg per hectare in 2019-20, according to agriculture ministry data, Supriyo said in Rajya Sabha.

Per hectare income of farmers has also increased, he added. “There has also been a reduction in the usage of insecticide for bollworm damage from 24 sprays to 2-3 sprays in a season.”

Long-term studies conducted by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on the impact of Bt-cotton-cultivating states have not reported any adverse effect on soil, microflora and animal health, the minister added.

Aquatic mammals killed by water vessels

About 9,000-10,000 cetaceans are killed by gillnets every year along the Indian coast, Supriyo said in Rajya Sabha. He was citing scientific studies on incidental catch of cetaceans along the country’s coast. 

The ministry has issued Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Management Guidelines on 28th January, 2021, Supriyo informed the House.

Elephant-human conflict in Chhattisgarh reduced

There was 25,563 cases of human-elephant conflict in 2019-20 down from 26,889 in 2018-19 in Chhattisgarh, Supriyo said Rajya Sabha.

Lower budgetary allocation for environment

The allocation for the scheme titled Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) for 2021-22 was done in line with actual expenditure in previous years under the scheme, Supriyo said in Rajya Sabha.

The budgetary estimate for the scheme was brought down to Rs 30 crore for 2021-22 from Rs 40 crore for 2020-21. The minister was answering a question on this reduction.

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