National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered Uttarakhand government and Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to put a ban on illegal mining in the holy city of Haridwar, a newspaper report said.
An NGT bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar took this decision after hearing the appeal filed by an NGO called Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), The Times of India reported.
In its plea, SAFE allegedly claimed that illegal mining of sand and boulders was being carried out in Kandabhagamal, Bishanpur, and Goghpur.
Calling the NGT order a welcoming step, Vikram Kumar Tongad, president of SAFE, said to TOI, “Illegal mining is rampant in the villages like Bishanpur, Goghpur, Sajjanpur Pilli, and Kandabhagamal because of which Ganga is being adversely affected. Hopefully, the order can put a curb to these activities.”
The MoEF team had submitted its recommendations on March 27 to stop all illegal mining in the area since it was severely impacting the biological diversity and wild animals’ corridor, he added.
The MoEF mentioned in its report that large scale illegal mining of minor minerals was noticed along the river bed of Ganga. Hundreds of tractors were found engaged in the transport of sand, bajri and boulders. In many places, mining was being carried out close to the spurs which were constructed to avoid flooding.
Samsung on Friday said all of its exclusive stores have been ‘Suraksha’ certified to ensure consumer safety at a time when social distancing is the new normal.
Suraksha Store is a public private initiative to ensure safe and secure environment for consumers and store employees.
The certification will ensure that consumers feel safe and confident when they visit stores to buy smartphones and other devices.
“The initiative will ensure that consumers and employees working at these Exclusive Stores feel confident about their well-being and safety,” Mohandeep Singh, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India said in a statement.
According to the company, to strictly adhere to government’s social distancing guidelines, the exclusive stores are encouraging consumers to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metre between themselves.
Meanwhile, customers are encouraged to use digital contactless payments and swiping machines will be sanitized before being given to the customer to ensure the highest standard of hygiene is maintained across our Exclusive Stores.
Only a limited number of customers will be allowed within the store at any given point to avoid crowd formation, said Samsung India. (IANS)
As social distancing and staying at home have become the “new normal” in the current scenario, it is important during pregnancy to keep a calm mind, continue their checkups with doctors on online sessions, and be open about their concerns, say experts according to Health Tips.
“With all the uncertainty around, one of the best things that you can do is be positive and practice ways that will help ensure your and your baby’s well-being,” said Dr. Prathibha Babshet, Ayurveda Expert, R&D, The Himalaya Drug Company.
“This is possible by taking care of your mental health and keeping a calm mind. Pregnancy during the pandemic is certainly hard but not impossible. It is advisable to stay home as much as possible to avoid crowded spaces and follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines,” she said.
While pregnancy care may look a little different now than it used to earlier, here are a few tips to approach these changes:
Try to establish a daily routine of activities in a way that it becomes a new normal in your life. From your diet, meditation, and yoga, to skin care, getting adequate sleep, and regular medical checkups, make a list of all the things you do in a day and prioritise them.
If you need to step out for work or a checkup, remember to maintain social distancing and wear a mask and carry a sanitizer, as this can help reduce the risk of exposure to germs and bacteria.
Frequent checkups during pregnancy is vital for the mother and baby. So, check with your gynaecologist on online sessions for these checkups. If you are due to deliver, understand and be open about the delivery options and post-natal care.
As pregnancy skin care is an important aspect of your motherhood phase, include massages and moisturisation in your daily routine to help deal with common pregnancy skin concerns, Babshet said.
Indulge in a soothing massage using a massage oil; this will help promote blood circulation. You can also opt for a body butter that will help with dry skin issues. Whatever routine you follow, do remember to use products containing herbal actives and that are free from chemicals, she added.
Your baby gets nutrients from what you eat. Avoid binge-eating. Make it a priority to stick to a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, and drink at least 8-10 glasses of water.
If you enjoy cooking, look up simple recipes online for a healthy immune system.
Manage your stress in different ways — practice breathing exercises to calm yourself and indulge in new hobbies or rediscover old ones. You can also take online courses on playing an instrument, learning a new language, or anything you have always wanted to do. You may also enjoy planning things for your baby’s arrival, like decorating a nursery.
Talk to your doctor if you are anxious about your baby being exposed to the virus during breastfeeding. Always clean your nipple area before and after breastfeeding. Sanitise your hands, and the place around your baby, frequently.
In addition to following these tips, read and be aware of the potential symptoms of the virus and take preventive measures.
Avoid reading negative news about the current situation, which might cause anxiety.
Instead, use the screen time to talk to your friends and family, or watch something you enjoy. This will keep you happy and occupied. (IANS)
After the Uttarakhand High Court banned the practice of using red chillies and chilly bombs to drive away the elephants, the local people are at their wit’s end now.
Sackfuls of chilli powder and chilly bombs were used by people living on the outskirts of the 11 elephant corridors in the state to shoo away elephants and reduce man-animal conflict in the region. However, the High Court put a stop to this on Tuesday.
The elephants from Nepal, as well as the Terai region in Uttar Pradesh, travel to Ramnagar, Corbett and the Kosi river, crossing the patch of the National Highway 121 along which the three elephant corridors — Kota, Chilkiya – Kota, and South Patlidun – Chilkiya are located.
With increasing human population, the corridors have shrunk over the years, bringing the elephants closer to human habitats.
The people living on the outskirts of these corridors, over the years, devised a method of warding off the wild Tuskers. They used to place bags of chilli powder on the outskirts of the settlement and the moment they saw a herd of pachyderms, they would fling the chilli powder into the air. The elephants were forced to retreat.
“The elephants do not come back for a week or so. For the past few years there has been an increase in the elephant population in the area and the animals not only destroy our crops but also attack people. We have no option but to use chili powder because the government is doing nothing,” said Ramesh Tiwari, a resident of Nandpur village.
He admitted that the use of chilli against the elephants was the ‘cheapest and safest option because it did not kill the animal.’ Most of the farmers in the region plant sugarcane which, in turn, attracts the elephants.
In the past one year, there have been over 20 incidents of elephants attacking people.
However, a Public Interest litigation (PIL) was recently filed by a Noida based non-government organisation called ‘Independent Medical Initiative Society’.
The petition alleged that the forest department, instead of controlling the human activities on the road passing through these elephant corridors, is trying to control the elephants’ movement by allowing cruel means such as feeding chilli powder-filled flour balls to the wild elephants, putting chilli powder-filled bags on the edge of the road and by firing shots and burning firecrackers to keep them away from the road passing through the elephant corridor.
Dushyant Mainali, the counsel for the petitioner, said: “The division bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma has banned the use of chilli powder and any other such cruel means against the elephants. The court has also issued directives to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The Ministry has been directed to file the reply within two weeks.”
The petitioner told the court that the “disappointment and frustration due to difficulties in crossing the corridor, are changing the behaviour of elephants in the entire area. The chief reason of concern is the changing behaviour of the baby elephants, which are becoming aggressive day by day and have been found to be involved in most of the incidents of charging.”
According to reports, the corridors are also facing the threat from sand mining in nearby areas, and also a large number of resorts have come up which have increased the traffic flow through the river corridor, thereby disturbing the elephants.
The petition claimed that in the past one year there has been tremendous rise in the human-elephant conflict in the corridors passing on the edge of Corbett National Park and especially on the patch of the Mohaan-Ramnagar Road which is part of NH-121.
Wildlife expert S. R. Rahi said that an elephant requires about 225 litres of water per day and for this the herd of the wild elephants have to travel towards river Kosi and mostly in the night time when it is believed to be safe for them to cross the corridors, but now they are facing the wrath of fast-moving vehicles even during the night time.
The three major elephant corridors of Golapar, Fatehpur-Lamachaur and Lalkuan near Haldwani have seen mushrooming of human settlements, thus reducing the age-old path of the elephants.
The Surai-Kilpura elephant corridor near Khatima is also witnessing an increase of human settlement. Three of these corridors adjoining the Ramnagar-Mohaan border include 27 kms of highway.
The elephant corridor in Dhikuli area has more than 150 commercial constructions due to which it is completely blocked. Construction in the Mohaan area and vehicular traffic during the night time is hampering the elephants from reaching the Kosi River.
Marriages, parties and the noise generated at commercial buildings and resorts at night is also causing disturbance to the wild animals.
Instead of preventing human interference in the forest areas, the forest department is allowing chili powder and crackers to prevent the pachyderm from coming onto the highway.
“There are 11 functional corridors in Uttarakhand, but human activities are increasing around the age-old corridors. Elephants are distance migratory animal with sharp memory and if someone attacks them, they remember to return the attack,” said Rahi. (IANS)