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SC gives Sahara 18 months to pay up Rs. 36,000 crore

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New Delhi: The Supreme court on Friday gave 18 months to Sahara to repay Rs. 36, 000 crore of the investors’ money which its two companies, SIRECL and SHFCL, had collected in 2007-08 through OFCDs.

However, an apex court bench headed by Justice T. S. Thakur reiterated a March 26, 2014 order saying that Sahara chief Subrata Roy and two directors will only be released from Tihar jail, where they are in judicial custody, after Rs.5,000 crore in cash and a bank guarantee of like amount is deposited.

The court also approved the format of the bank guarantee given to it by Sahara.

The court said that Sahara will deposit the Rs. 36, 000 crore in instalments of Rs. 3, 000 crore every two months and the balance amount will be deposited in the last instalment.

In case Sahara defaults in paying two instalments, which may not be consecutive, SEBI will then encash the bank guarantee of Rs. 5, 000 crore, the court added.

If Sahara defaults on the payment of three instalments, which may not necessarily be consecutive, then Subrata Roy and two directors will surrender before Tihar jail authorities, failing which the police will arrest them, the court said.

The court has said that Roy will deposit his passport within 15 days before his release, will not leave the country and will also inform the police about his whereabouts.

However, the possibility of Subrata Roy coming out of jail has diminished as Kapil Sibal, appearing for him, informed the court that the financial institution backing the bank guarantee has withdrawn. He said that they will be arranging a fresh bank guarantee, for which efforts are on. (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.

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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)