Maharashtra reels under drought as reservoirs dry up

first_imgEven as the water situation steadily worsens in the arid Marathwada region, districts in the ‘water-abundant’ western Maharashtra, too, are feeling the impact of the drought stalking the State.Soaring mercury levels have resulted in the rapid depletion of water stocks in the 22 reservoirs which are part of the Bhima River basin in western Maharashtra and are the potable water lifelines of Pune and the township of Pimpri-Chinchwad.Zero storageAt least five of these reservoirs including Dimbhe and Temghar have zero storage now, while the total water stocks in seven other reservoirs was less than 10% of their capacity. The remaining 10 had a collective reserve stock of a little over 20% of their cumulative storage capacity.While Pune’s Guardian Minister Girish Bapat announced that Pune city would not face water cuts, sources in the Water Resources Department said reservoirs in the Pune region had barely 18% live water stock available as on May 6, compared to 38% at the same time last year.Pimpri-Chinchwad is also going dry, with water levels of the Pavana reservoir – the township’s lifeline – rapidly declining. The Pavana reservoir water stock which stood at 31% of its capacity at the beginning of the month has now been reduced to 26%.Water in the township is already being rationed with Pimpri-Chinchwad receiving water only on alternate days.Authorities informed that more than 750 tankers were deployed to provide relief to the worst-afflicted districts in the Pune division, of which Solapur, Mangalwedha, Satara and Maan among others were the worst-hit areas.As opposed to Pune district, the water situation was far worse in neighbouring Satara and Solapur districts.The Ujjani dam, the lifeline of Solapur, currently has a water level of -34.98% (dead water stock).On Sunday, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar toured villages in Maan taluk, ticking-off the Devendra Fadnavis-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for its inadequate arrangements to combat drought.“Merely holding conference calls over phone with secretaries and other officials and taking a review will not help to provide relief to the drought-afflicted public. It is important to know the precise condition of the livestock, their owners, the fodder camps, the crops and these can only be ascertained by field visits,” said Mr. Pawar, in a strong rebuke to Mr. Fadnavis.He further pointed out that the aid of Rs. 90 per animal announced by the government was insufficient to tide the farmer in this hour of crisis as fodder and water were expensive and scarce.“The per animal monetary aid for fodder must be raised to Rs. 120. Furthermore, while the government may have arranged for tankers, water-supply through them was highly irregular at best,” Mr. Pawar said.The NCP chief said that people had complained to him during his visit that the potable water they received was of poor quality and often contaminated.“I am least interested in indulging in politics at this hour. But I urge the government to ensure that these problems are rapidly remedied and that employment opportunities be immediately created to prevent the increased migration of the rural populace,” Mr. Pawar said, urging the government to take responsibility for combating the crisis.Meanwhile, in Marathwada, despite the relief packages announced by the government, the scenario on ground remains grim as ever.Residents in pockets of Parli town in Beed district – the bastion of the Munde clan – are on a hunger strike in front of the Parli Municipal Council protesting against the acute water shortage.The groundwater table has plummeted sharply in several villages in Beed district as in other parts of rural Marathwada. In Jalna, irate residents staged a ‘rasta roko’ (roadblock) on Saturday protesting against the alleged mismanagement and theft of precious water resources.According to reports, the desperation of the people of Halsi village in Latur’s Nilanga taluk turned to bitter rage directed at their local representatives as they assaulted the village sarpanch (headman).The villagers had collected money to dig up three wells. But the headman, citing model code of conduct, refused to implement it causing the restive citizens to physically manhandle him.last_img read more

Weekend Reading

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 28, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This week on the MHTF blog:We heard updates from the Young Champions of Maternal HealthHannah Knight wrote about the progress of the Global Voices for Maternal Health projectAnn Starrs told us about commitments made on maternal and child healthCEDPA asked for case studies on best practices for integrating HIV/AIDS and maternal healthWe wrote about the enhancements we’ve made to the maps on our siteSome reading for the weekendMalaria protection and pregnancy in sub-Saharan AfricaThe World Bank published an outline of the 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and DevelopmentMelinda Gates on educating pregnant women in Indiahttpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z80va7C6EQShare this:last_img read more

a month agoKlopp loving competition within Liverpool squad

first_imgKlopp loving competition within Liverpool squadby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is loving the competition within his squad.The German says his players are fighting tooth and nail in training in order to impress him.Speaking before Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Napoli, Klopp said he had plenty of players available for selection.He said: “And the competition in this team is really big, yes. If that line-up is not performing, they are really there. As an example, Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] is brought in in that position where he has been training for a couple of weeks now. He is so creative. He is a real option.”If you have one good game and another good game, the dynamic changes. Dejan Lovren is not in the squad and I have no explanation for that other than two centre-halves on the bench is probably not necessary. Naby Keita is coming, everyone knows that. “When Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] played really well at Southampton, for the all others it was ‘ooh’, but you should see training. They all want to make sure, ‘I am ready, you can use me’. “This is a really big club with competition between friends. It is not I have to kill him to play, it is really for the team. That is what the boys did so far and as long as we have that we will go for everything. Then we have to see what we get because we have really good opponents and that is the problem.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: Mississippi State May Have The Fastest 60+ Year Old Fan In The Country

first_imgMary, a 60+ year old Mississippi State fan, running the 40 yard dash.Twitter/@HailStateFBMississippi State football hosted a “ladies clinic” today, where Bulldog fans had a chance to go through drills and get coached up by the staff. Based on the many Instagram and Twitter posts we’ve seen, it looks like everyone had a great time. The day’s big winner, however, has to be Mary, the fan who has won the 60+ year old 40 yard dash seven years in a row. Mary doesn’t just edge out the competition either, she crushes everyone.VIDEO: For the seventh straight year, Mary wins the 60+ age group 40-yard dash at the Ladies Clinic #HailState pic.twitter.com/WioGhGCTNp— MSU Football (@HailStateFB) July 18, 2015We’re seriously impressed. Mary can fly.last_img read more

Rahul Got income guarantee idea from PMs 15L promise

first_imgYamunanagar (Har): Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said his idea for a minimum income guarantee scheme for the poorest of poor came from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Rs 15 lakh promise’ made ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.Gandhi said the Congress’ poll promise for the ambitious ‘Nyay’ (Nyuntam Aay Yojna) under which Rs 72,000 will be deposited each year in the bank accounts of 20 per cent of the country’s poorest is ‘historic’ and claimed that the prime minister looks ‘shaken’ ever since the announcement was made on Monday. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Accusing Modi of helping certain industrialists, Gandhi said he protects the rich while refraining from helping out the debt-ridden farmers, adding this ‘Chowkidar’ is a thief . On the contrary, Gandhi said his party bats for the poor, the weaker sections and the farmers. The 2019 polls are a fight between two ideologies. On one hand are the BJP, the RSS and Narendra Modi and on the other is the Congress,” he said. Gandhi was on a day’s visit to Haryana to be part of Congress state unit’s ongoing six-day lone Parivartan Yatra , which began from Gurugram earlier this week. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KGandhi said unlike the BJP his party keeps its promise and referred to ‘Nyay’ the Congress plans to introduce if it forms the government. “He (Modi) promised putting Rs 15 lakh into every Indian’s bank account. Did anyone get anything? he said at a public meeting in Yamunanagar district’s Jagadhri town. “Truth is when our Government is formed we will put Rs 72,000 a year into the accounts of 20 per cent of the country’s poorest. Modi spoke lies about putting Rs 15 lakh into every Indian’s bank account, However, I felt that the idea about putting money into bank accounts of the poor was a right one if implemented with sincerity. I caught hold of this idea. I spoke to Congress party’s thinktank and told them about Modi’s Rs 15 lakh promise and said he did not fulfil it, instead what he did was to do injustice to farmers, hit small shopkeepers with demonetisation, and brought Gabbar Singh Tax (GST), Gandhi said, adding he told the party’s thinktank to come out with a scheme to benefit poor and they worked out the modalities in six months. Gandhi was referring to Modi’s 2014 election speech when as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate he promised to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks within 100 days of coming to power. Modi had also said that if all the black money was brought back to the country, it would be enough to deposit Rs 15 lakh in every poor person’s bank account. “It(Nyay) is historic, so much historic that you must have seen Narendra Modi’s face on TV during the past 2-3 days, he looked shaken . Gandhi also accused Modi and BJP of spreading hatred and anger and putting real issues on the backburner. “In the last five years, Modi ji has waived Rs 3.50 lakh crore of 15 industrialists.last_img read more

IMD working at faster pace to issue blocklevel weather forecast by next

first_imgNew Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Tuesday said it is working at a brisk pace to issue localised weather forecasting to all 6,500 blocks across 660 districts in the country by 2020 and help as many as 9.5 crore farmers deal with the vagaries of weather.However, the most challenging task would be to enhance the accuracy of weather forecasts and to make agromet advisory services (AAS) more useful and user friendliness, it added. At present, IMD issues district level advisories. In 2018, it tied up with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to extend weather forecast and AAS at the block level. “A lot of progress has been made since signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ICAR. The work is at a faster pace…. We are recruiting and training people,” IMD Deputy Director General S D Attri said on the sidelines of a Ficci event. The pilot study is underway in 200 blocks. The target is to cover 6,500 blocks in 660 districts by 2020, he said, adding that this will help farmers minimise weather-related crop losses. Attri said that the IMD has a network of 130 agromet field units at district level for dissimilating the weather-based advisories. Efforts are being made to set such units in additional 530 districts in the country under the ‘Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa’ at Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs). As of now, 4 crore farmers are receiving the district level weather forecast through SMS and mKisan portals. “The target is to cover 9.5 crore farmers by 2020 by extending the services at a block level,” he added. Earlier, addressing the event on agriculture extension, the IMD official stressed on the need for dissemination of AAS to farmers on a “wider scale” and convincing them about its positive impacts on a sustainable basis. He also talked about the need to focus on awareness programmes to help farmers to become more self-reliant in dealing with weather and climate issues that affect agriculture production and also assist the farmers to further develop their adaptive capacity with improved planning and better management decisions. -Attri observed that IMD alone cannot reach all farmers and emphasised the need to take private sector and their innovative technologies in this area.last_img read more

Leopard forges friendship with mare at Guj farmhouse

first_imgVadodara: Hard as it may be to imagine, a young leopard has forged an unlikely bond with a mare at a farmhouse in Gujarat.The around one-and-a-half year old leopard has been visiting the farmhouse, located near a forest at Virod village on Vadodara’s outskirts, for last four-five days apparently after taking a liking for the mare kept tied there to a tree. The farmhouse and the mare belong to villager Jagdishbhai Patel, who said the leopard has been coming to his field everyday during the night time. “The leopard rolls on the grass and plays near the mare, who has not resisted the big cat’s move and keeps standing near the tree without any sign of panic,” he said on Wednesday. He said while his family members were worried about the unusual visitor at their field, the other villagers were flocking the place to catch a glimpse of the camaraderie between the two animals. “The leopard has been coming to the farmhouse, located just about 25 metres from my house, after sunset and sits near the mare for some hours before disappearing. The carnivore has not attacked any human being though it bit a dog a couple of days back,” Patel said. He said his farm labourers were scared of going near the mare to feed it and as a precaution, he has shifted his other cattle behind the house. He also requested the forest department to catch the spotted animal. Arvind Pawar of the city-based NGO Wildlife Rescue Trust said they have installed two night vision cameras to capture the leopard’s images. The district forest department’s rescue team member Nitin Patel said the young leopard’s mother was also seen near the farmhouse in a video footage. “While the young feline sits in a water pit dug up near the spot where the mare is tied, its mother was seen climbing a nearby tree,” he said. A cage along with a bait was placed nearby, but the leopard was yet to be caught, he added.last_img read more

Anurag Thakur treads path cautiously father backsup

first_imgShimla: The old saying – “once bitten, twice shy” can’t have the best frame-fit slot other than Hamirpur parliamentary constituency.A BJP stronghold for over two-decades, Hamirpur has much at stake for young MP Anurag Thakur, who fights Congress’s five-time MLA Ram Lal Thakur to defend a political legacy that opponents of his father and two-time Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal are trying to covertly question. Dhumal, who led the BJP to the victory in 2017 poll, lost his assembly election by a slender margin of 1,919 votes and missed his third Chief Minister term at a moment when things looked all done for him. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThat’s why neither Dhumal nor Anurag Thakur is publically boasting of impending win except that BJP’s national president Amit Shah reaching out them to declare to the voters –a predictable “bigger role” for Anurag Thakur after his victory. “We are happy that Amit Shah acknowledged the potential in Anurag Thakur. It has boosted our prospects. But we haven’t forgotten how the finest victory turned bitter for people of Hamirpur on December 19, 2017, when sahib (Dhumal) lost his Sujanpur seat,” says Sanjeev Katwal, BJP leader and staunch Dhumal loyalist. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadThus, Anurag is playing safe and focussing on the campaign. The poll narrative is just confined to development issues. The constituency having a large presence of ex-servicemen and serving soldiers and para-military personnel has an advantage factor for the BJP. “We want Modi to come back. He has raised the morale of forces and hit Pakistan hard,” says Subedar (Retd) Harish Patial of Bhota, near Hamirpur. For Anurag Thakur stakes it’s not alone his victory but also to prove that Dhumal still commands his influence in the constituency, where he had won the elections in 1989,1991 and 2007. Anurag Thakur, 44, had stepped into the shoes of his father in 2008 when Dhumal had become Chief Minister. He won the seat with a record margin of 1.74 lakh votes and never lost thereafter. Biggest criticism about Anurag Thakur is his high profile image when he headed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) but was removed later by the Supreme Court following a controversy for not implementing the reforms recommended by Lodha Committee. The young BJP politicians, however, is credited with building a world-class cricket stadium at Dharamshala, a landmark even his critics in the Congress appreciates. Challenging him is Congress’s former minister and five-time MLA Ram Lal Thakur, who had been his strong critics ever since Anurag Thakur became Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) president. Thakur alleges, “Anurag did nothing in the constituency. He is also jumblebaaz like Modi. Most of the time he had been travelling abroad or attending high profile parties. He (Anurag) has not replied to my single question as to why he was removed by the Supreme Court from the post of BCCI president?” Congress candidate told the Millennium Post. Ram Lal Thakur, 67, never wanted to contest the poll but the party pushed his name after former PCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu and Congress Legislature Party leader Mukesh Agnihotri declined. But Anurag says, “My work in the constituency and Modi ji’s five years are strong points. Hamirpur is the only constituency, which has got new projects worth hundreds of crores.” He counts on Railway expansion projects, AIIMS, PGI satellite centre, Central University, Medical college, IIIT and National Highways. My mobile ‘Sawsathya Sewa hospital’ has been a big draw, besides “cricket Mahakumbh” for youths and claims having fully utilised the MPLAD. His campaign is supplemented by social media war while Congress has a problem of resources and top campaign strategists due to factionalism in the party.last_img read more

Watch: Italy’s Mount Etna Volcano Erupts, Spews Lava Into Night Sky

first_img Italy’s Mount Etna launched streams of lava into the night sky in the early hours Friday.The volcano, located on the east coast of Sicily, began erupting at 3 a.m. local time following an increase in seismic activity over the last week.The eruptions sent rivers of smoking red lava streaming down its southeastern slope. The smoke did not affect nearby Catania airport and flight continued as normal, according to reports.Boris Behncke, from Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), posted a series of photos on Twitter of lava taken from nearby towns. He said the eruption on Thursday night is considered a “subterminal eruption,” meaning it is occurring close to the summit craters, generally at an elevation of around 2900-3000 meters (9,514-9,842 feet).Scenes of #Etna‘s new, sub-terminal eruption, during the night of 30-31 May 2019, seen from Santa Venerina, Fiumefreddo and (last photo) Tremestieri Etneo. “Sub-terminal” means the eruption is occurring close to the summit craters, generally at around 2900-3000 m elevation pic.twitter.com/6uBXJTShkV— Boris Behncke (@etnaboris) May 31, 2019According to the INGV, the nascent eruption began on the night of May 29. Starting off by producing a thick column of ash rising from the New Southeast Crater, it gave way on May 30 to a far more lava-heavy display in the area, featuring two fissures blenching out lava.The northern lava flow extended toward the northern wall of the Valle del Bove and subsequently turned eastward, reaching a maximum distance of about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) on the morning of May 31, at an estimated altitude of about 6,075 feet (2,050 meters).New eruption near the summit of #Etna: two eruptive fissures have opened early on 30 May 2019 on the northeastern and south-southeastern sides of the New Southeast Crater, producing modest Strombolian activity and little lava flows. View from Tremestieri Etneo pic.twitter.com/Htl90nUYbL— Boris Behncke (@etnaboris) May 30, 2019Mount Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe at two-and-a-half times the next largest, Mount Vesuvius.Fissures in the 10,912 feet-tall peak can flare into action several times a year, although the last major eruption was in 1992.More on Geek.com:Watch: Mexico’s Popocatépetl Volcano Explodes in One of Largest Eruptions in YearsWatch Bali Volcano Spew Ash 18,000 Feet Into the Air in Incredible Timelapse Video35 Incredible Images of Earth’s Mountains and Volcanoes From Space Man Critically Injured After Falling Down Volcano on HoneymoonAstronauts Capture Incredible Photo of Volcanic Eruption From Space Stay on targetlast_img read more

Experimental Spotify Stations App Launches in US

first_imgStay on target Spotify’s experimental listening app Stations is now available in the US.Introduced in Australia earlier this year, the Pandora knock-off is free to download for iOS and Android.“With the world’s music at your fingertips, finding the right thing to play can feel like a challenge,” according to an app-store description. “Stations gets you to music instantly—no searching or typing needed.”Like the long-running Internet radio service it apes, Spotify Stations relies on user feedback—in the form of a thumbs up or thumbs down—to create personalized playlists.Easily tune your stations by adding or removing artists.Since moving to the UK and losing access to my curated Pandora channels, I’ve learned to lean on Spotify’s pre-generated playlists and artist radio stations for effortless listening.But there is only so far “similar to Elton John” can take you.Spotify’s stand-alone radio app is now available in the US (via Spotify Stations)Open Stations for instantaneous tunes—occasionally disrupted by advertisements for free users; premium subscribers can enjoy an ad-free experience, while skipping an unlimited number of tracks, Billboard revealed.The platform, which requires a Spotify account, also incorporates popular features like Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Favorites.“At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of experiments to create better listening experiences for our users,” a company spokesperson told Geek in an email.“Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important [lesson],” the statement continued. “Spotify Stations is one of those tests.”Another experiment, reported this week by The Verge, involves the creation of podcast playlists (another Pandora dupe): Citing a source close to the company, the tech blog tipped curated episode suggestions around specific genres.Five playlists themed around comedy, true crime, “geek culture,” “walking (motivational),” and mindfulness are rolling out to a handful of users in North America, South America, the UK, and Spotify HQ Sweden.“It’s unclear how the curators are choosing the episodes,” The Verge said, wondering if they’re working from network deals or picking personal recommendations.“This test aims to make it easier for users to discover new podcasts while giving creators another mechanism to connect with new fans,” according to Spotify. “We have no further information to share at this time.”More on Geek.com:This Device Lets You Play Your Spotify Music Without a PhoneSpotify Is Testing a New Feature That Will Let You Block Music ArtistsBuild Spotify Playlists With Friends in MessengerEditor’s note: This article was updated at 7:05 a.m. ET with comment from Spotify. Spotify’s Rise to Power Dramatized in TV Mini-SeriesDisney Soundtracks Now Live in Special Spotify Hub last_img read more