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Railways to launch Train for Religious Tourists in February, will cover shrines in West Bengal and Odisha

The Aastha Circuit Tourist Train will be jointly operated by the Northeast Frontier Railway and the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp

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Train journeys in India
Train journeys in India are always a part of a best travel experience. Pixabay

Agartala, Jan 19, 2017: The railways will launch a train for religious tourists on February 17 that will originate in Guwahati and cover shrines in West Bengal and Odisha, it was announced on Wednesday.

The Aastha Circuit Tourist Train will be jointly operated by the Northeast Frontier Railway and the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp.

It will “take travellers to a mix of popular pilgrimage destinations across the eastern part of the country at affordable rates”, a railway official said.

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The train will cover Gangasagar in West Bengal, Sri Swami Narayan temple, Kalighat and Birla temple in Kolkata, Jagannath temple and Konark temple in Puri district and Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar.

The train will run from Guwahati and will return in six nights and seven days. A round trip will cost Rs.6,161. (IANS)

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)