Thursday October 19, 2017

’40 percent people in India may not have water to drink by 2030′ (March 22 is World Water Day)

0
60

Ruwa Shah

Forty percent of India’s population may not have drinking water by 2030, if the water crisis in the country is not met seriously, a study has warned.

With the country facing a grave water crisis and lack of water conservation, the availability of potable water and groundwater has decreased over the years which would result in severe situation in the country after a decade, said an activist for water conservation on the eve of World Water Day (March 22) observed to create awareness about water-related issues and for action to deal with the global water crisis.

“By 2030, 40 percent of the total population in the country will not have drinking water if the situation remains same,” Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan’s national convenor Sanjay Singh told the agencies, quoting a research published recently by 2030 Water Resource Group (WRG).

“The ground water is depleting, the small tributaries have dried up to 90 percent and the flow of rivers has reduced by 60-65 percent. This will lead to a severe situation in the coming years reducing water availability to a great extent,” he added.

He also said that the per capita demand has increased whereas the availability is very less. In fact, a report on ground water published by PRS Legislative Research –a non-governmental organisation — says: “Due to increasing population, the national per capita annual availability of water has reduced by 15 percent from 2001 to 2011.”

It also said that India uses almost twice the amount of water to grow crops as compared to China and the US.

“The gap between the availability and demand is increasing at a greater pace. Cities like Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and other metropolitan cities consume water in huge quantities due to changed lifestyle of people. This must be looked into,” Singh told the agencies.

He also said that the efforts done by the government were not enough to meet the crisis.

South Asia Network on Dam, Rivers and People coordinator Himanshu Thakkar says water crisis in the country is multidimensional and is aggravating fast because of various factors including mismanagement of the resource.

He anticipates big problems based on the water crisis looming large in the country if the situation continues.

“Ground water is the lifeline of the country which is depleting very fast. Water is part of the ecological system as every living thing on earth needs water so if not dealt with properly the perennial water crisis may lead to more serious problems like food crisis, livelihood crisis, social conflicts,” Thakkar told the agencies.

He said that social conflicts based on water crisis have already started in the country. The tension between Haryana and Punjab over Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal project and conflicts in Marathwada region of Maharashtra over water are the latest examples.

“In terms of the water crisis in India things have now come to such a pass that a district collector in Latur district in Maharashtra had to implement section 144 to avoid clashes between people due to the water crisis,” Thakkar told the agencies.

Blaming the government, in general, being the major contributor towards the crisis, Thakkar said the government machinery was solely responsible for failing in water management.

“Government is responsible for the water crisis in terms of mismanagement. The government does not involve people in the management of water. This year is a drought year so the problem has increased manifold but the efforts of the government does not seem sufficient to deal with the crisis,” he said.

About the water crisis in Delhi, he said that mismanagement on the part of governments can be seen easily as in February, Jat protesters took over Munak canal in Haryana stopping water supply to the national capital and it took over a fortnight to deal with the consequences.

Ruwa Shah can be contacted at ruwa.s@ians.in and Ashish Mishra can be contacted at ashish.m@ians.in)

Next Story

India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

0
4
United nations
India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Indo-Pak Peace Talks Futile Unless Islamabad Sheds Links with Terrorism, says Study

A Study by a U.S. think tank calls India and Pakistan talks futile, until Pakistan changes its approach.

0
52
India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.

A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.

A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.

The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.

Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.

Also ReadMilitant Groups in Pakistan Emerge as Political Parties : Can Violent Extremism and Politics Co-exist? 

New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.

The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.

Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.

-by Megha Acharya  of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya. 

Next Story

Delhi University Students Win the Enactus World Cup 2017

India wins the Enactus World Cup 2017

0
29
Delhi University
India wins Enactus World Cup 2017. Twitter.

New Delhi, Sep 30: After an extremely tough competition between different students across the world in the Enactus World Cup 2017, Team India, represented by Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS), Delhi University emerged as the winner. The winning projects were project UDAAN and Mission RAAHAT.

Supporting the Government of India’s Digital India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan mission, RAAHAT strives to effectively eliminate open defecation and provide safe sanitation in the urban slums; whereas, UDAAN aims at narrowing the digital divide between rural and urban India by setting up computer centres.

The Delhi University college team was led by the college’s faculty advisor, Anuja Mathur and student president of SSCBS Student President Aditya Sharma. The winning projects included 34 more members. The Enactus India and Enactus SSCBS were presented the Ford Better World Award of USD 50,000.

Also Read: Three Indian Women on Fortune’s Most Powerful Business Women

President and Global CEO, Enactus, Rachael A. Jarosh congratulated the Indian for winning the world cup and called the projects- RAAHAT and UDAAN, inspirational success stories of Enactus students, who are sowing businesses. She said that the projects address the real world challenges efficiently and innovatively. Enactus India President Farhan Pettiwala said that the two projects created by Delhi University students contribute to the country’s betterment, as they support the Government’s civil and social agenda.

Enactus is an international nonprofit organisation, with 72,000 students from 1,700 universities in 36 countries, which held its annual global event in London from September 26 to 28. A selected group of 3,500 students, business, government leaders and academicians across the globe were present at the event. Participants for the final competition round are qualified from over 72,000 university students. Each team has about 17 minutes to present their projects of entrepreneurial action.

Enactus works to nurture the entrepreneurial skills of students, and to address fundamental, social and economic challenges by developing innovative and experiential learning opportunities for students.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.