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Ashwani KumarRSS Feed of this column.

Professor Emeritus ,Former Head of the Department of Botany, and Director Life Sciences, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. 302004, India At present freelance consultant with Bioenergia. Spain and... Read More »

I wrote some time back of bad quality water causing soil damage. Hinduatan Times (02.05.2012 confirms the same with findings placed at highest level.

Ground water pockets in 158 out of 639 districts have gone saline. I may add at this point that as we go deeper in drilling in soil crusts we encounter exposed rocks which add salinity and heavy metals to ground water. Moreover, in Nagaur district of Rajasthan two wells dug at close distances of 100 m can show good or bad quality water.

In 267 districts, ground water contains excess of fluoride, in 385 nitrates. 53 districts show arsenic and 63 districts contain heavy metals such as lead , chromium and cadmium. East Delhi water contains chromium.
Fertilizers producing wastelands in semi arid and arid regions. Some months ago I attended a conference in Germany where excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers was a cause of concern for the European Nations. Back home there is report that excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers ( Ideal broad generalization is N:P:K: 4:2:1) has resulted in ration of N:P:K 15:9:1. Excessive use of nitrogen and phosphorus in state of Rajasthan. Agriculture department as per recent report (Rajasthan Patrika. 28/04/2012) has accepted that this is causing danger of wasteland development and reduced yield of crops. The use of fertilizers which was 2.4 million tones in 2010-2011 has increased to 2.7 million tones in 2011-2012.
Pollution in holy rivers is going to higher levels and it is threat to mankind. Arsenic once reported from West Bengal waters is deadly poison to human health. Recently a report said arsenic level in river Yamuna has risen to 20 times. Rivers and water bodies during festival season see lot of religious people immersing idols. Idols are huge and colored with various paints and decorations and made of material which may not be biodegradable. It is sentimental issue for some but immersing idols in rivers or small ponds is increasing in alarming proportions as religious fervor is gaining momentum. Rivers already facing threat from municipal wastes and industrial waste have to bear the colors and materials of idols which kill the water animals and microorganisms.
I was very happy to note that recently there were important meetings in India held at highest level and some movements of some groups to save Yamuna. What makes me wonder all these groups look towards some agencies for saving something ? if you are in front of a moving train will you apply to some agency to save ? Give some funds to save you from drowning ? Or if you are dying in Shara desert of heat and winds will you make proposal to be sent to some agencies and look for their grants to come to solve the problem . Save Ganga Project or save Yamuna project have consumed billions of rupees. What is the outcome. My submission is save yourself. Over 180 drains come in river yamuna in Delhi alone and on way to Mathura and Mathura itself .
The problem of microbial resistance is growing and the outlook for the use of antimicrobial drugs in the future is still uncertain. This problem can be reduced by controlling the use of antibiotic, develop research to better understand the genetic mechanisms of resistance, and to continue studies to develop new drugs, either synthetic or natural. The ultimate goal is to offer appropriate and efficient antimicrobial drugs to the patient. From centuries, plants have been a valuable source of natural products for maintaining human health (Kapoor, 1990). Many plants have been used because of their antimicrobial traits, which are due to compounds synthesized in the secondary metabolism of the plant.
Euphorbia tirucalli L.: Family: Euphorbiaceae Genus: Euphorbia Species: tirucalli, insulana Common names: English: Indian tree spurge, Milk hedge, Petroleum-plant, aveloz, milk bush, pencil tree, Sehund, Thohra, and Konpal-sehnd. E. tirucalli is a succulent cactus-like plant growing to a height of about 10 m. It was introduced from Africa as a garden plant; and it is now naturalized in tropical areas and rainforests in the Amazon, Madagascar, and South Africa. The main trunk and branches are woody and brown, but the younger branches are green and cylindrical, looking like many pencils and earning the plant its common name - pencil tree. Leaves are minute and are shed early, and the function of the leaves is taken over by the green branches.