India’s Cape Town moment? Shimla’s water crisis points to a nation-wide catastrophe in the making

ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE: Heat Wave deaths, Water crisis, Forest fires

From The Regional Press: Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh

Jagran reported about the revival of 52 dying streams in Uttarakhand, thanks to the initiative of Himalayan research institute Hisco, Bhaba Atomic centre and local inhabitants. The work began in 2002, today there has been increase of water flow by 50 to 250 litres per minute in the streams, according to the report. A study by Centre’s planning body Niti Aayog says around 300 natural water sources of Uttarakhand have dried up.

Korba, in Chhattisgarh, launched its first state survey on impact of air pollution. Health issues faced by locals living in the coal power hub have been drawn up for the first time, Bhaskar reported. In 2009, the coal hub, was categorised as “critically polluted” district by Central Pollution Control Board. As part of the survey 14 air pollution monitors, and 5 real-time pollution monitors are been set up in the region. The findings will be released in November.

Heat wave, water crisis, wildfires hit India, 65 die in Pak

North and Central India is reeling under deadly heat wave, with maximum temperatures ranging 3.1°C to 5.0°C above normal. On May 26, the highest of 47.5°C was recorded at Churu (West Rajasthan). The heat wave has worsened water shortages in Shimla10 of 13 Uttarakhand districts are burning in forest fires. Heat waves are lasting longer because of climate change, 2017 was India’s 4th hottest year on record. Conditions may “abate gradually from May 28 onward, with easterly winds likely to set in on the plains”.

Across the border, heat wave killed at least 65 people in Karachi, with temperatures exceeding 44°C. Over 22,000 people died in heat waves in India between 1992-2005, as per state data.

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