Environment Environment and WIldlife Lite Blogs

Turning Concrete Jungles into Green Oases

Urban farming involves the cultivation of crops within and around cities. This practice not only provides fresh, locally grown produce but also has numerous environmental benefits…writes Maninder Singh

Climate change is no longer a distant concern but a current reality demanding immediate attention. Its effects, from extreme weather to rising sea levels and resource scarcity, are being felt globally. However, within these challenges lies an opportunity for eco-conscious decisions. Urban farming, once viewed as niche, is now recognized as a practical response to mitigate climate change impacts. By converting urban spaces into sustainable ecosystems, urban farming has the potential to transform our environmental stewardship and build a more resilient future.

The need to address climate change is urgent. The WHO estimates that by the 2030s, there could be an additional 250,000 deaths annually due to climate-related diseases like malaria and coastal flooding. Rising temperatures, melting ice caps, and more frequent extreme weather events are among the outcomes of unsustainable practices. The time to take action is now, and urban farming offers a promising path forward.

Urban Farming: A Sustainable Solution

Urban farming involves the cultivation of crops within and around cities. This practice not only provides fresh, locally grown produce but also has numerous environmental benefits. By reducing the need for long-distance transportation of food, urban farming helps to lower carbon emissions. In addition, the use of organic farming practices can improve soil health and biodiversity, further contributing to climate resilience.

Transforming City Spaces

One of the key advantages of urban farming is its ability to convert underutilized city spaces into organic food production centers. Vacant lots, rooftops, balconies, and even vertical surfaces can be repurposed for farming, creating green spaces in the heart of urban areas. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of cities but also helps to mitigate the urban heat island effect, which can exacerbate the impacts of climate change.

Community Engagement

Urban farming also promotes community engagement and social cohesion. By bringing people together to grow and share food, urban farms can strengthen social bonds and create a sense of belonging. This can be particularly important in densely populated urban areas where social isolation is a growing concern. Besides, urban farming can provide economic opportunities for local residents, especially in underserved communities.

Policy Support

To fully realise the potential of urban farming, supportive policies and incentives are needed. While some state governments have extended their support by providing subsidies and thus creating an enabling environment for urban farming, policymakers can help to scale up this sustainable practice and make it accessible to more people.

Urban farming has the potential to be a game-changer in the fight against climate change. By transforming city spaces into sustainable havens, urban farming can help reduce carbon emissions, improve food security, and enhance the resilience of urban areas. However, realizing this potential will require concerted efforts from policymakers, communities, and individuals. It is time to embrace urban farming as a solution to climate change and work towards a more sustainable future.

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Environment Environment and WIldlife USA

Power Outages Hit Thousands in Colorado Snowstorm

Over 53,000 customers lost power in Colorado on Thursday, mainly in metro Denver and the Front Range, reported….reports Asian Lite news

Colorado faced a significant snowstorm on Thursday, causing flight cancellations and the closure of a crucial highway linking Denver to ski resorts. Concurrently, severe weather struck other regions, with Kansas and Missouri experiencing hailstorms and possible tornadoes.

Over 53,000 customers lost power in Colorado on Thursday, mainly in metro Denver and the Front Range, reported

The storm, commencing Wednesday night, brought heavy, wet snow typical of March, particularly impacting the Front Range region. Accumulations reached up to 3 feet in higher elevations by Thursday, with Denver receiving around 9 inches.

Interstate 70, a primary east-west route, shut down due to stranded vehicles, primarily trucks lacking tire chains. Though no injuries were reported, the closure may extend to passenger vehicles as the storm escalates.

Motorists were advised to carry essential supplies in case of prolonged closures. Despite benefiting the ski industry, the storm prompted closures of schools and government offices. Several ski resorts ceased operations, exacerbating disruptions caused by the extreme conditions.

Matt Inzeo, spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Transportation, assured continuous efforts to maintain open roads amidst the challenging weather. While the storm was a boon for skiing enthusiasts, it posed significant challenges to residents and travelers across the region.

The aftermath of the storm underscores the importance of preparedness and resilience in facing such extreme weather events.

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Environment and WIldlife Lite Blogs

India’s Dynamic Couple-preneurs

Founded in 2013 by the power couple Swati and Rohan Bhargava, CashKaro, India’s No. 1 Cashback & Coupons app has achieved a remarkable revenue milestone of Rs 252 Crores in the fiscal year 2023…. reports Asian Lite News

The Indian startup ecosystem has seen a burgeoning trend of Couple-preneurs – dynamic duos who have joined forces to establish and steer their ventures to success.

These remarkable partnerships have not only laid the foundations but have also skillfully nurtured their enterprises together.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we spotlight five resilient Indian businesses founded by couple-preneurs, exemplifying not only rapid growth within a short timeframe but also establishing themselves as leaders in their respective categories. Let’s dive into the inspiring stories of these entrepreneurial pairs!

Ghazal and Varun Alagh, Mamaearth

Mamaearth, a venture by the entrepreneurial duo Ghazal and Varun Alagh under Honasa Consumer Pvt Limited (HCPL), established in 2016 and achieved Unicorn status in 2022. Tailored for the personal care needs of young, ambitious, and socially conscious Indian consumers, Mamaearth has curated an exceptional product portfolio featuring over 120 items. In just four years, their offerings have reached over 2.5 million customers spanning 500 cities in India.

Swati and Rohan Bhargava, CashKaro

Founded in 2013 by the power couple Swati and Rohan Bhargava, CashKaro, India’s No. 1 Cashback & Coupons app has achieved a remarkable revenue milestone of Rs 252 Crores in the fiscal year 2023. Demonstrating its unwavering commitment to facilitating growth for its partners, the platform has recorded an exceptional Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of Rs 4,500 Crores. CashKaro is considered the country’s go-to savings destination for shoppers, offering Cashback, Coupons, and Price Comparison on a single platform. When users shop via CashKaro on sites like Amazon, Myntra, Nykaa, etc, it receives a commission from partner sites for driving the sale. A large portion of this commission is passed on to the users as Real Cashback that they can transfer to their bank. CashKaro raised Rs 130 Crores ($16 million) led by Affle Global Pte. Ltd. (AGPL), bringing their total raised thus far to Rs 250 Crores.

Anand Shahani and Mehak Sagar, WedMeGood

When Anand Shahani and Mehak Sagar decided to get married four years ago, it was the harrowing experience of organising their wedding which prompted them to launch WedMeGood. Realising the concept of a big fat Indian wedding market was here to stay, it made business sense for the young couple to start WedMeGood, a marketplace for all wedding-based products and services. WedMeGood connects users looking for wedding services to vendors who provide these services. The portal compiles a list of vendors from Photographers, Makeup Artists, Jewellery Brands, and decorators to help couples find the best professionals. Users can browse through extensive details of vendors, including reviews, prices, contact information, and other FAQs.

Kaushik Mukherjee and Vineeta Singh, SUGAR Cosmetics

Established in 2012 by the enterprising couple Kaushik Mukherjee and Vineeta Singh, SUGAR Cosmetics has emerged as one of India’s fastest-growing premium cosmetic companies, capturing the hearts of millennials. This brand of choice for independent women challenges stereotypes with its disruptive attitude, unique low-poly packaging, and chart-topping products. The CEO, Vineeta Singh, and COO, Kaushik Mukherjee, steer SUGAR’s global operations, dispatching best-selling beauty products across Lips, Eyes, Face, Nails & Skin categories from cutting-edge facilities in Germany, Italy, India, the United States, and Korea.

Shubhra Chadda and Vivek Prabhakar, Chumbak

Shubhra Chadda and Vivek Prabhakar got married in 2005 and together founded Chumbak in 2009. Chumbak is a lifestyle brand with a wide range of exquisite and unique home decor items and fashion accessories. Chumbak was founded to create fun and colourful Indian souvenirs. It has since grown into one of India’s most popular lifestyle and home decore brands with locations in Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi. Chumbak also has its flagship stores in Bengaluru and Delhi, as well as online stores. Apart from its flagship and online stores, Chumbak has 54 retail stores across India and also sells it online on various e-commerce platforms.

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Environment and WIldlife USA

Bullfighting back in Mexico City despite protests

In June 2022, a judge ordered an indefinite suspension of bullfighting in Mexico City, supporting animal rights activists….reports Asian Lite News

Mexico City’s monumental bullfighting arena saw a return of bloody spectacles on Sunday, marking the first event since the Supreme Court overturned a previous suspension, sparking protests by anti-bullfighting activists. The largest bullfighting stadium globally, Monumental Plaza de Toros, hosted the controversial event, featuring renowned bullfighter Joselito Adame. The phrase “Freedom. Bulls, living culture” adorned the arena but faded during the evening amid the bullfight.

In June 2022, a judge ordered an indefinite suspension of bullfighting in Mexico City, supporting animal rights activists. However, the Supreme Court’s recent decision to revoke the suspension has reignited the debate. Protesters, prevented by police from entering, expressed their opposition with some donning bull masks and red paint, symbolizing blood.

Spectators inside, like Alejandra Diaz, celebrated the return of bullfighting, emphasizing its cultural significance. Meanwhile, anti-bullfighting groups anticipate a final decision in their favor soon, seeking to end the centuries-old tradition permanently.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has suggested a potential referendum on the future of bullfighting in Mexico City following the high court’s decision. While four Mexican states have already banned bullfighting, proponents argue that the practice contributes significantly to the economy, generating millions in revenue and employing around 80,000 people in 2018.

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Environment Environment and WIldlife India News

Assam’s ‘Elephant Girl’ Gets Padma Shri

Parbati Baruah spent 40 years addressing and reducing human-elephant conflicts and fought against gender stereotypes in this profession….reports Asian Lite News

Parbati Baruah, aged 67, affectionately dubbed the ‘Elephant Girl’ (Hasti Kanya) in Assam, has been honoured with the Padma Shri. She holds the distinction of being India’s pioneer female mahout, or elephant keeper.

Baruah got the award in recognition of her work in animal conservation and dispelling preconceptions to make a name for women in a field that has historically been dominated by men.

Born into the Gauripur royal family in the Goalpara district of Assam, Barua and her father Prakritish Barua caught their first elephant together when Barua was 14 years old in the Kachugaon woods of Kokrajhar district.

She spent 40 years addressing and reducing human-elephant conflicts and fought against gender stereotypes in this profession. Human-elephant confrontations have a long history in Assam, and Baruah was instrumental in developing government regulations to keep them under control.

She developed into a master at taming wild elephants. Her expertise on the behavior of elephants made her well-known not just in Assam but also in nearby states — West Bengal and Odisha.

Baruah also assisted the forest authorities in driving the troublemakers back into the forests from agricultural fields.

‘Queen of the Elephants’ is the title of a book written about her by British travel writer and naturalist Mark Roland Shand, published in 1996. Later, the BBC produced a documentary that was widely praised.

Following at least 40 years of continuous service as a mahout, Parbati committed her life to animal conservation, and she is presently a part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Asian Elephant Specialist Group (IUCN).

This is her family’s second Padma honor. The central government earlier also awarded the renowned folk singer Pratima Pandey Barua, her sister, a Padma Shri.

Pramathesh Barua, an award-winning filmmaker, is also related to this family.

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Environment Environment and WIldlife India News

Kashmir Gripped by Harsh Winter Chill

Demands for potable water have started pouring in from places otherwise believed to be sufficiently provided through water supply schemes by the Jal Shakti department….reports Asian Lite News

Intense dry cold wave continued in Kashmir on Wednesday as most water bodies froze in part recording alarmingly low discharge.

Kashmir is reeling under intense dry cold wave as Dal, Nigeen, Wullar and all other lakes, streams and rivers froze in parts while the water level in these dropped alarmingly low due to very scant snowfall and that too only in the mountains so far this season.

Demands for potable water have started pouring in from places otherwise believed to be sufficiently provided through water supply schemes by the Jal Shakti department.

Weather office has forecast cloudy weather from January 4 to January 6, adding that this is unlikely to result in rain/snowfall in the plains.

Srinagar city had minus 4.8 degrees Celsius on Wednesday as the minimum temperature while Gulmarg and Pahalgam had minus 3.8 and minus 6.6 respectively.

In Ladakh region, Leh town had minus 15.2, Kargil minus 12.4 and Drass minus 14 as the minimum temperature.

Jammu city had 7, Katra 4.4, Batote 2.6, Bhaderwah 0.3 and Banihal minus 1.6.

Meanwhile, with a drop in the maximum temperature, the Reasi district in Jammu and Kashmir experienced extreme cold conditions on New Year’s Day. The visibility in the area was near zero due to thick fog on Monday evening.

The fog in the area was caused by a change in the wind pattern from dry, cold north-westerly to moisture-laden easterly due to a weak western disturbance.

Meanwhile, the Kashmir Valley witnessed a bone-chilling first day of the year as the minimum temperature dropped several degrees below freezing point in many areas on Monday.

The minimum temperature in the summer capital of Srinagar dropped to minus 5.2 degrees Celsius in the morning, a weather official said.

As Kashmir grapples with the extreme cold, its impact on daily life and infrastructure is palpable.

The freezing temperatures have made daily activities a challenge for residents.

“The temperature in Jammu and Kashmir was minus 5.4 at night. Wherever we pour water, it freezes. People are coming in large numbers to enjoy the weather. Yesterday, there was a big celebration in front of Lal Chowk. We pray that if there is snowfall, then the cold will subside a little because our children and elders have fallen ill,” a local in Srinagar said while speaking to ANI.

Dal Lake and other water bodies, which attract tourists and locals for rides, have frozen. (IANS/ANI)

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COP28 Urged to Prioritize Ending Fossil Fuels

The study highlights the amount of damage caused to their GDP by climate change, compared to a scenario where climate change didn’t take place…reports Asian Lite News

Nations represented at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) that is taking place in Dubai must prioritise ending the age of fossil fuels, says a new report that lays out with stark details the economic impact of rising temperatures on one of the hottest regions of the world.

The analysis presented in the report, titled Mercury Rising: The Economic Impact of Climate Change on the Arabian Peninsula, was steered by Marina Andrijevic, an economist at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna.

Estimates based on a peer-reviewed methodology show that if the global temperature rise reaches 3 degrees C by the end of this century, Gulf countries could expect to suffer an average GDP hit of 69 per cent by 2100. COP28 hosts UAE and Saudi Arabia both face the likelihood of a 72 per cent GDP growth reduction.

If countries keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees as set out in the Paris Agreement, these countries face an average GDP growth reduction of minus 8.2 per cent by 2050 and minus 36 per cent by 2100.

This highlights the threat posed to the region from the expansion of fossil fuels which make up 75 per cent of greenhouse gases.

The findings have sparked calls from climate scientists and campaigners in the region for a fossil fuel phase out date to be agreed at COP28 this week.

By 2050 and 2100 the economies of these countries are still expected to be higher than they are today.

The study highlights the amount of damage caused to their GDP by climate change, compared to a scenario where climate change didn’t take place.

The report also shows that countries in the region have some of the highest per capita emissions on the planet, even before factoring in the large amounts of fossil fuels created in these countries.

The average resident of the COP28 host nation UAE is responsible for 25.8 tons of CO2 per year. That is 645 times more than the average person in Congo, whose per capita CO2 emission is 0.04 tons.

Shady Khalil, Campaigns Lead at Greenpeace Middle East and North Africa, said: “As one of the region’s most acutely threatened by climate change, the Middle East and North Africa face a future where rising temperatures could render vast areas uninhabitable, exacerbating the vulnerabilities of countless communities and leading to displacement, wars, and premature deaths.”

“At COP28, we must commit to a just and equitable phase out of fossil fuels. This commitment isn’t just for the sake of our region; it’s a clarion call to the world to acknowledge and act upon the urgent need to transition to renewable energy sources. Our actions today will determine the liveability in this region and around the world for generations to come, he added.”

Lead researcher on the report, Marina Andrijevic said: “The analysis shows the grave economic harm that will be posed to life in the Arabian Peninsula if temperatures continue to climb in an already baking hot region.”

“It’s a tragic irony that much of this global heating will be caused by oil and gas burned from this very part of the world. Agreeing to phase out all fossil fuels is the single most significant thing that COP28 could achieve in reducing emissions and turning the tide on climate change. It’s not just the Arab world which faces big economic headwinds if emissions grow, other vulnerable countries will also be affected with some of the poorest people bearing the greatest cost.”

Joab Okanda, Senior Climate Advisor, Christian Aid, believes this year is set to be the hottest on record and fossil fuels are directly to blame.

“They make up 75 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions which are fuelling the climate crisis. For people living in places already facing extreme heat, like the Arabian Peninsula, continued growth of the fossil fuel industry is a threat to life. Vulnerable people around the world have been calling for a phase out of fossil fuels for many years and until now the issue has been brushed under the carpet at COP summits.

“That needs to end here in the UAE. What better place to usher in the dawn of a new age than in one of the biggest oil producing countries on earth.”

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Environment Environment and WIldlife India News

Delhi to Start Odd-Even System to Curb Pollution

Under this plan, vehicles with odd-numbered license plates can drive on odd dates, and those with even-numbered plates on even dates….reports Asian Lite News

In bid to combat the worsening air quality in the national capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal chaired a high-level meeting on Monday, focusing on addressing the air pollution crisis, and decided on various measures, including launching the odd-even scheme next week.

Expressing his deep concern about the situation, Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues, including Environment Minister Gopal Rai, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj, and Education Minister Atishi, deliberated on key decisions to mitigate the issue.

Addressing the media on the government’s strategy after the meeting, Rai said that the government has decided to implement the Odd-Even scheme from November 13 to 20, post-Diwali, in response to the anticipated surge in pollution levels.

Under this scheme, vehicles with licence plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, and 9) will be allowed to operate on odd days, while vehicles with even-numbered plates (0, 2, 4, 6, and 8) will be permitted on even days.

“A comprehensive action plan, developed in collaboration with relevant departments, including Transport and Traffic Police, will be formulated during a meeting on Tuesday,” he said.

“Furthermore, the government has extended the closure of schools for students in Classes 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11 grades until November 10, in addition to the existing closure of schools up to Class 5. Notably, board exams for Classes 10 and 12 will proceed as scheduled,” said Rai.

In response to concerns raised about the efficacy of pollution control efforts, Rai said that the Delhi government’s continuous year-round commitment to reducing pollution through various long-term initiatives, such as the Summer and Winter Action Plans.

“According to scientists and the meteorological department’s analysis, the main reason for the rise in pollution within Delhi is the continuous drop in temperatures and very low wind speed. The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was 347 on October 30. Subsequently, it increased to 359 on October 31, 364 on November 1, 392 on November 2, 468 on November 3, and 415 on November 4. Then, on November 5, it increased further to 454, and on Monday, it was recorded at an AQI of 436, which had peaked at 468 in between,” he said.

“To reduce vehicular pollution in Delhi, the Transport Department and Traffic Police have conducted campaigns to check Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates. A fine of Rs 10,000 is imposed for violating PUC norms, and 28,471 fines have been issued to vehicles during the periods of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) levels I, II, and III,” said Rai.

“This has helped in controlling vehicles that contribute to pollution in Delhi. Moreover, an anti-dust campaign was conducted in Delhi, where 12,769 construction sites were inspected. Violations of norms were found at 324 locations, resulting in fines of around Rs 74 lakh. Complaints related to the increase in pollution have been received through the Green Delhi app. From October 3 until now, 1,646 complaints have been registered, and 1,581 of these complaints have been resolved with the cooperation of various departments.”

“Additionally, 233 smog towers have been installed at various projects, and 106 anti-smog guns have been installed on government buildings to control pollution. Mobile anti-smog guns have been spraying water on the roads at 192 locations,” Rai claimed.

“Various teams have been deployed for different tasks, such as addressing open burning, checking vehicle emissions, and enforcing restrictions on fireworks. In total, 611 teams are working in the field to address open burning, 385 teams are checking vehicle emissions, and 210 police teams have been formed to control the use of firecrackers.

“Furthermore, 82 MRTs (Multi-Tasking Resource Vehicles) are cleaning the roads through water sprinkling and cleaning. An additional 345 water sprinklers from various departments are working on the roads to mitigate pollution in different areas. The concerted efforts include the installation of 233 smog towers at different project sites and 192 mobile anti-smog guns spraying water on the roads. Additionally, 106 anti-smog guns have been installed in various government buildings to combat pollution,” he added.

The Environment Minister further said that in Delhi, there is a complete ban on fireworks.

“Last time, despite the ban, fireworks were set off in various places. In this regard, the police have been instructed to keep their teams on alert, as Diwali is just a few days away.

“Additionally, there are World Cup matches, and Chhath Puja is also approaching.”

The Environment Minister urged the BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to impose a ban on fireworks in their states as well and monitor the situation to prevent it from deteriorating further.

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Environment Environment and WIldlife India News

Delhi Stops Entry of Diesel Buses into City From Today

A decision was taken to stop construction work within a one-kilometer radius in hot spots where the AQI level continuously remains close to 400…reports Asian Lite News

Environment Minister Gopal Rai chaired a review meeting at the Delhi Secretariat on Wednesday on the rising pollution level and implementation of Graded Response Action Plan-II.

A decision was taken to stop construction work within a one-kilometer radius in hot spots where the AQI level continuously remains close to 400, he said.

“The entry of diesel buses into Delhi has been stopped from today as per the directions by CAQM (Commission for Air Quality Management). 18 teams have been formed for this…It is my request to the state governments to ply only CNG, Electric or BS-VI buses from their depots so that passengers do not face any trouble,” the Delhi environment minister said.

Taking account of the poor air quality situation of the national capital, Rai said that the next 15-20 days from November 1 onwards would be critical in the context of the air quality index.

Speaking to ANI, Rai said: “From November 1, the next 15 to 20 days are critical. Scientists are saying that the temperature is dropping and the speed of air has decreased, so pollutants are at a lower level. Yesterday, AQI was nearly 350. Due to the work going on in the 13 hotspots in Delhi, the situation is fairly under control. At some hotspots, vehicle pollution’s contribution is high.”

The Environment Minister further said that different departments will convene a meeting later in the day to analyse the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)-II.

“Today there is a meeting of different departments to analyze GRAP-II, which was implemented in all of Delhi. We have asked for reports from different places to know what the sources of local pollution are. We have requested that the state governments send CNG or BS-VI buses from the depot itself. The report released by the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) shows that stubble burning has reduced, but its impact can be seen on Delhi pollution,” the minister added.

Meanwhile, the air quality index in the national capital was recorded at 336 on Wednesday morning bringing the air quality under the ‘very poor’ category for the fourth day in a row and the third straight day this week.

As per the SAFAR-India, the city’s AQI has been in the ‘very poor’ category since Sunday (309).

The AQI was recorded at 322 on Monday and 327 on Tuesday, as per the data provided by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India. (ANI)

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Environment Environment and WIldlife India News

‘No Data on Natural Calamities With Himalayan States From Govt’

Another astounding fact is that while there are 694 glacial lakes in Sikkim, the number of flood forecasting stations there, are only eight…writes Animesh Singh

Even as Sikkim was devastated by flooding of a glacial lake owing to a cloudburst earlier this month leading to several casualties, the Centre in a recent report accepted that it has failed to provide any data related to avalanches, landslides and even cloudbursts to the state in the last 10 years. In fact not even any advisory was issued to the Himalayan states (including Sikkim), in anticipation of floods.

Another astounding fact is that while there are 694 glacial lakes in Sikkim, the number of flood forecasting stations there, are only eight.

Arunachal Pradesh has 1,602 glacial lakes while it has only three flood forecasting stations. Similarly, Himachal Pradesh has only one station to monitor 513 glacial lakes, while Uttarakhand has six flood forecasting stations to monitor 347 lakes.

This was informed by the Union Jal Shakti Ministry to a Lok Sabha Parliamentary panel on water resources in a report titled “Glacier management in the country – Monitoring of glaciers and lakes including glacial lake outbursts leading to flash floods in the Himalayan region”.

Incidentally, the report was presented in Parliament in March this year during the budget session.

“When asked whether any data has been made available to state governments or local authorities in respect of avalanches, cloudbursts and landslides in Himalayan region during the last decade and advisories, if any, issued by the Central Water Commission (CWC) in anticipation of the floods, the department replied in negative,” the report stated.

To a query on whether India has any data sharing policy with the Himalayan-Karakoram countries so that large-scale modelling of future glacier and runoff evolution can be done with improved accuracy, the ministry informed the committee that “so far as data sharing policy with the Himalayan-Karakoram countries is concerned, no specific information is available in respect of data sharing policy so that large-scale modelling of future glacier and runoff evolution can be done with improved accuracy”.

When asked to furnish details of those glacial lakes which are increasing not only in numbers but also in size in the Himalayan region because of retreating glaciers, the ministry in its written submission stated that no such study on temporal changes in glacial lake number and their extent has been carried out by ISRO and Geological Survey of India (GSI).

On October 4, heavy rains caused the glacial South Lhonak lake in Sikkim to breach its banks, causing a glacial lake outburst flood. The flood reached the Teesta III Dam at Chungthang at midnight, before its gates could be opened, destroying the dam in minutes. Several people died in the flash floods, while several hundreds are missing, even as rescue operations are on.

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