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Unplanned urbanisation, encroachment blamed for Srinagar flood

In flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir, the streets of the state’s summer capital, Srinagar, resemble surging streams. River Jhelum has been flowing 1.5 metre above the danger mark. Chief engineer with Flood Control and Irrigation Department, Javid Jaffer, says that the state’s river and flood channels could carry 65,000 cusecs (cubic…

J&K was unprepared for flood fury

    The devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir that has so far claimed 150 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands was unforeseen. The state, because of its history of conflict, was not as privileged as the other Indian states to have a flood forecast system or a disaster management…

Wheels of pollution

THE CAMPAIGN against lead-based products has failed to target one of the biggest sources of lead pollution— weights used for wheel balancing. The weights, which are put on tyres so that they do not vibrate, often fall off during driving. They then get crushed by cars and contaminate air and…

Pilgrims discounted

    A MILLION-ODD pilgrims visit the holy shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri during the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand from May to October. When flash floods occurred in the state in June last year, these geologically sensitive pilgrim destinations were brimming with devotees. There were as many…

Ready for only tourists

  More than a year after Uttarakhand witnessed one of the worst natural disasters in the country, several flood-hit areas in the state are still waiting for government assistance. One such village is Sumdum in Pithoragarh district. The 120-odd families there live in the fear that floods will strike again…

Flat in 20 days

Authors: Soma Basu, Aparna Pallavi, Kundan Pandey, Jitendra     Raghveer Lal was 22 and full of life. Standing amid the fast ripening crops of peas, pigeon pea and black gram in village Ramgadha in Damoh district of Madhya Pradesh, he would often dream of a bumper harvest and a…

Desperately seeking skills & jobs

Authors: Latha Jishnu, Alok Gupta, Soma Basu NAHID Ali, 25, and his brother Wasim, 22, are knocking at the doors of a hole-in-the-wall enterprise in a New Delhi suburb that supplies security guards to shops. The brothers are from Moradabad, an industrial-commercial town in western Uttar Pradesh that’s synonymous with…

Unaware and unprepared

The chances of a “city-killing” asteroid striking Earth are much higher than scientists previously thought. A recent report has found that more than 26 asteroids reached Earth’s atmosphere between 2000 and 2013—a number much higher than estimated. The findings released by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization on April 24,…

Yours unilaterally

The river has narrowed down and changed its course as repair work is being done for the Dhauliganga power project in Elagad, Dharchula (Photo: Santosh Dariyal) Floods in the Mahakali, on the Indo-Nepal border, swept away 148 houses and displaced more than 500 people of Nepal’s Darchula district in June…

WTO 9th ministerial: victory or compromise deal for India?

(Photograph: Rediff/Reuters) The World Trade Organization (WTO) reached its first ever trade reform deal today after it buckled to the demand on food security that allows developing nations to stockpile grains for food security purposes. The deal was struck with approval from about 160 ministers after Cuba, that had consistently…