(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)
Jal Jeevan Mission: Tap water supply in tribal homes of Madhya Pradesh
Local community takes the lead in regular operation & maintenance of water supply
Morning hours are time for gratitude for Munni Devi. A resident of Kolar village of Umariya district of Madhya Pradesh, her morning hours are busy like any other village woman, but she is very particular with her prayer routine.The deck is ready for prayers, and soon her tiny house is filled with the fragrance of incense, and fresh flowers, and as Munni Bai puts tilak on the ‘tap’, her head bows with thankfulness and devotion. The well decked tap is no less than a God’s idol to her as it brings water from the holy river ‘Son’, which is like little Ganga for her. Earlier she used to travel 150 Kilometres to Amarkantak (origin of the river) in a year or two for religious rituals but now the same river water post treatment is supplied to her through household tap connection.
The Jal Jeevan Mission implemented by Ministry of Jal Shakti in partnership with States aims to provide adequate drinking water of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis to every rural household in the country by 2024. In a bid to provide adequate drinking water to all rural households in the State, the Centre has allocated Rs 1,280 Crore for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in Madhya Pradesh in 2020-21.
Out of 1.21 Crore rural households in the State, 13.52 lakh have provided tap connections, while the State government plans to provide tap water connections to 26.7 lakh homes in 2020-21. So far, 5.5 lakh tap connections have been provided.
Munni Bai’s Kolar village has 271 households. Agriculture and animal husbandry are main sources of livelihood in the village. The village has one Primary School and one Aaganwadi centre. Earlier, main source of drinking water for the villagers was a tube well and hand pumps, which usually went dry in summer season compounding the water woes of the villagers. “Before this tap connection I had to bring water from a nearby well and during summer season I used to walk 1-2 kms in the scorching heat to fetch drinking water”- says Munni Bai. The harsh summers and paucity of water has been one of the detriments of mass exodus from rural and tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh. The absence of tap connections affected the lives of many women & girls in the area, thereby, resulting in poor quality of life and higher dropout rate of girls in the schools. Water scarcity at times was so grave that it compelled the villagers to resort to open defecation, as enough water was not available.
As solution to water scarcity and to provide a sustainable drinking water scheme, MP Jal Nigam (MPJNM) executed a multi village rural water supply scheme based on surface water sources. Madhya Pradesh Jal Nigam Maryadit (MPJNM) is implementing a multi village water supply scheme (MVS) covering 19 villages of Manpur Block of Umariya district of Madhya Pradesh. This MVS is providing treated drinking water for approximate population of 61,294 through tap water connections. Manpur Multi Village Rural Water Supply scheme is one of the schemes providing sufficient drinking water to rural households. From the learnings and reviews of previously implemented rural drinking water programme in the state and in the country, it is realised that the community participation is equally important for success of rural drinking water supply schemes. MPJNM is taking measures for involving community in every level of scheme implementation.
Entry point activities like Jan Sabha, Gram-Sabha, Street Plays, School Rallies- organized by hiring services of NGOs as partnering bodies, are mobilising the village communities for their active partnership.
As an institution requirement for community participation a village level institution “Village Water & Sanitation Committee (VWSC)” is formed with the objective ‘to organise, involve and develop a sense of ownership in stakeholders’. VWSC is formed by villagers in a meeting of Gram Sabha and after the approval of Gram Sabha. The NGO partner facilitated the whole process. As per rules for formation of VWSC, the composition of VWSC ensured an equal participation of all the section of villagers like participation of 50% women, inclusion of SC/ ST and marginalized sections, and representation of elected members of Gram Panchayat. VWSC has become an authorized body for operation and maintenance of water supply scheme within the village.
The VWSC of village Kolar at present has 16 members, out of which 8 are women. VWSC is also advising, putting peer pressure and taking indicative action against households misusing water. VWSC Kolar, so far has collected Rs. 11,000 as security and new connection charges from 95 households and also started collecting Rs. 80 per month per household as water tariff. Now, Munni bai and other women are coming out of their plight of drudgery and hardship.
Jal Jeevan Mission is reaching an ‘inflection point’ as this tribal village in Madhya Pradesh has shown the way that the local community has the confidence to manage water supply as well as take care of O&M within the villages, which will have a demonstrative effect on other villages to come forward and manage their water resources as well as water supply on sustainable basis. This silent revolution happening in remote villages speaks volume of the role of local community in effective natural resource management. Jal Jeevan Mission in true sense is proving to develop responsive and responsible leadership at grass-root level.
This is the real empowerment of people, which has been envisaged under Jal Jeevan Mission. The local community needs to shoulder the responsibility of planning, implementation, management, operation & maintenance of water supply schemes in villages, so that drinking water supply can be provided to every rural household on regular and long-term basis.
(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.)
Low ozone over Brahmaputra River Valley brings good news for health of people
There is good news for the Brahmaputra River Valley (BRV). Researchers have found that the concentration of near surface ozone in this region in the North-East corner of India is low compared to the other urban locations in India
Scientists at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital an autonomous research institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Govt. of India have evaluated the near surface ozone in the Brahmaputra River Valley (BRV) and found relatively low concentration of Ozone over Guwahati compared to the other urban locations in India. Their present work has been published recently in the journal ‘Atmospheric Pollution Research’.
Tropospheric, or ground-level ozone, is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). It usually increases when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources chemically react in the presence of sunlight, impacting human health.
In the study led by Dr. Umesh Chandra Dumka (Scientist, ARIES, Nainital, India) along with contributions by Dr. A. S. Gautam (Professor at Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University), Dr. Suresh Tiwari (Scientist Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, New Delhi Branch) and Prof. Philip K. Hopke (Adjunct Professor, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, USA) and Prof. R. K. Chakrabarty (Washington University, USA) and other team members analysed the variability of ozone and other air pollutants over Brahmaputra River Valley region. It also assessed seasonal, day of week, and characteristics of ozone to identify the emission source of ozone and its precursors, especially methane (CH4) and NMHCs, along with study the relationships between the meteorological parameters, ozone and its precursors in a tropical setting.
The examination of nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone concentrations in this study suggested that this site is well influenced by local sources such as adjacent major national highway. During the daylight hours, the site is in or nearly in a photo-stationary state, indicating a low impact of organic species on the ozone concentrations.
Figure 1: Median ozone concentration as a function of hours of the week. Error bars represent the 25th and 75th percentile values (courtesy Dumka et al., 2020,
Figure 2: Daily and 20 days moving mean of O3 (ppb), CO (ppm), CO2 (ppm), NOx (ppb), CH4 (ppb) and NMHC (ppb) from January 1st, 2013 to June 30, 2014, in Guwahati, India (courtesy Dumka et al., 2020,
Figure 3: Spatial Variability of Ozone over IGP (Indo-Gangetic Plain) and Guwahati (Brahmaputra Valley Region).
(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)
Machine learning solution can make exploring geo-resources simpler
Scientists have developed a neural-based (machine learning-based) practical approach for automatic interpretation of 3D seismic data
This first of its kind approach has been developed by computing a new attribute called meta-attribute
Scientists struggling with the manual interpretation of growing seismic data to explore causes of earthquake, particularly when the area is geologically complex, are now armed with a machine learning-based solution that can help in automatic interpretation of this data.
Effective detection of subsurface geologic features from surface seismic data is very important for understanding the geotectonic, basin evolution, resource exploration, and process that causes earthquakes (seismogenesis) of an area. For this, acquisition of seismic data keeps on growing, making the processing computationally intensive and interpretation tedious. Thanks to high-performance computing systems, that have allowed analysis of such voluminous data within a reasonable time after receiving guidance and inputs from interpreters. However, human analysts struggle for manual interpretation, particularly when the area is geologically complex and data is copious.
To automate the process and accelerate the interpretation, Scientists from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology(WIHG), an autonomous Institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, have developed a neural-based (machine learning-based) practical approach for automatic interpretation of 3D seismic data. This first of its kind approach has been developed by computing a new attribute called meta-attribute.
The tabular sheet intrusions between older layers of sedimentary rock or beds of volcanic lava (sill complexes) significantly contribute to the transport and storage of hot magma, and leading to overburden. This acts as plausible structural traps for hydrocarbon accumulations in sedimentary basin. The petroliferous (petroleum containing) Canterbury basin off New Zealand is a classic example, where saucer-shaped magmatic sills are embedded within the Cretaceous to Eocene (geological period that lasted from about 145 to 33.9 million years ago) succession resulting into forced folds and hydrothermal vents above the sill terminations.
Scientists from WIHG captured this scenario by designing a workflow and computing Sill Cube (SC) and Fluid Cube (FC) meta-attributes. These are hybrid attributes that are generated by amalgamating a number of seismic attributes (associated with the geologic targets) using a neural-based approach. This study is published in the research journal ‘Tectonophysics’. The WIHG team prepared the meta-attributes following supervised neural learning (machine learning), where computing systems are trained under the guidance of a human analyst.
According to the findings of this study, individual sills cover from 1.5 km2 to17 km2 areas, respectively. Moreover, the fluxed-out magmatic fluids from the tip of the principal sills vertically rise to a height of around 800 m through hydrothermal vents and uplift the overburden. Such an interpretational approach is automated and effectively narrates subsurface magmatic activities from 3D seismic data.
This work is an important step forward towards application of machine learning to address geological problems and looks promising in understanding complex geological processes in an active mountain belt such as the Himalaya.
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