Ten more taankas ?
Taankas – underground water storage tanks surrounded by rainwater catchment areas – make a huge difference to the lives of people in the Thar desert.
Unfortunately, this year there has been a sudden, steep rise in the cost of building taankas.
Rajasthan’s State Mine department has clamped down on unofficial mines, leading to an increase in the cost of the stone used in taanka construction. At the same time, fuel price increases mean greater transportation costs.
Dire water situation in Rajasthan.
A draft report, the Rajasthan State Action Plan on Climate Change, prepared by the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board, highlights the dire water situation in the state and affirms that there is already enough evidence that climate change is affecting farming in the state to require action to be taken.
- Groundwater is being over exploited.
- Concentration of natural contaminants such as fluoride, nitrate, and chloride salts are increasing in groundwater.
- Based on the WHO guidelines for drinking water quality, 56% of the water sources in the state are unpotable (not safe to drink).
GM mustard concern.
India’s science and environment magazine Down to Earth reports that the state government of Rajasthan has launched an enquiry into unauthorised fields trials of transgenic mustard which flouted the moratorium on GM crop trials in the state.
The government has, however, been criticised for failing to start monitoring the fields where the trials were taking place as soon as the issue came to light. Alok Vyas of Cecoedecon, a non-profit organisation in Jaipur that works on sustainable agriculture, says, “This shows lack of commitment from the Rajasthan government and its insensitivity towards GM contamination.” Mustard is a major concern for Rajasthan. [/toggle]