Karnataka Current Affairs – KAS/KPSC Exams- 12th Feb 2019

The birds are not coming anymore

  • With waterbodies and wetlands disappearing fast or the lakes getting contaminated, the number of birds migrating to Mysuru has seen a drastic fall.
  • Drop in water quality (entry of sewage) is another reason cited for the drop in bird count.
  • In the last 10 years, the bird count has declined by at least 70 per cent.
  • The congregation seen in the past is a rare sight now.
  • If the trend continues, migratory birds may turn away even from the last remaining water bodies
  • Pin tailed duck, Cotton Pygmy Goose or Cotton Teal, Eurasian Teal or Common Teal, Shovelers, Common Coots were among the ducks sighted in lakes of Mysuru. Painted storks, Sandpipers, Godwits, Pelicans were the other migrant birds spotted here.
  • At least 210 bird species used to seen in the Karanji lake ecosystem during bird watching sessions about eight to nine years ago.
  • Not more than 48 species could be located now
  • People who have been engaged in bird watching sessions since many years said the development works in and around the lakes also caused the drop in bird count.
  • The lakes have to be in good health (without contamination) from sewage to support food for the winged beauties which breed on the tree top abutting the lakes.
  • Though the lakes under the care of Forest Department were more or less protected for birds, the remaining ones need to be maintained properly for attracting more winged beauties.

68% municipal waste in Karnataka untreated, worst in South India

  • As far as processing of solid waste in urban areas goes, Karnataka has the worst record in South India, and even fares poorly compared to other states like Gujarat, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.
  • The only major states that treat lesser waste than Karnataka does are West Bengal, Odisha and Jammu Kashmir.
  • According to information accessed from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the ministry of housing and urban affairs, urban areas in India generate 1.45 lakh tonnes of trash every day, of which only 50% is processed while the remaining being disposed off or dumped in landfills unscientifically.
  • As of January 2019, Karnataka generated 10,000 tonnes every day, of which only 3,200 tonne (32%) was processed.
  • In south, while Kerala—a much smaller state with only 624 tonnes of municipal waste being generated daily—may not be comparable with Karnataka, all other states, which have more garbage, process a higher percentage of it. In 2015, then Union minister for urban development (now vice-president), M Venkaiah Naidu had written to all mayors and heads of municipalities.
  • Municipal solid waste management is a big challenge that confronts our cities. Improper and unscientific handling of waste has its impact not only in terms of environmental and aesthetics of the surroundings, but also poses a threat to public health
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