sports world

The sports wrap: Won't experiment with team combination, says Virat Kohli, and other top stories

Gujarat beat Mumbai by five wickets to clinch their maiden Ranji Trophy title.

The big story: ‘Yuvraj brought in to ease burden on Dhoni’

India’s new limited-overs skipper Virat Kohli set down the marker ahead of the One-day International series, which begins on January 15. Kohli stated his side will not be experimenting much with team selection with the 2017 Champions Trophy within touching distance.

“We are taking these three games as knockout games in our own heads because we need to prepare for Champions Trophy and we need to be in the right kind of frame because the tournament is like that - it is very competitive and very quick. So we need to be at our best from game one of the series,” Kohli said.

“So, we are not taking these games as trial games. So these three games become all the more crucial. We are not going to be experimenting much with any things. We are going to find the right combinations from game one and then stick to it till the Champions Trophy,” he added.

Kohli also shed light over the logic of recalling Yuvraj Singh back into the squad after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

“Experience is something we have discussed before picking Yuvi because we cannot leave so much burden on MS (Dhoni) alone in the middle order. I am willing to take up responsibility up the order, but there needs to be one more guy with him (Dhoni) down the order in case the top order doesn’t fire,” Kohli said.

Other top stories

Cricket

  • Gujarat beat 41-time champions Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy final to lift India’s premier domestic competition for the first time. Gujarat skipper led the chase of 312 admirably, scoring a fluent 143 as his team romped home with five wickets to spare in Indore.
  • India and Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will lead the Rest of India squad in the Irani Cup. Squad: Abhinav Mukund, Akhil Herwadkar, Pujara (c), Karun Nair, Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha, Kuldeep Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Pankaj Singh, K Vignesh, Siddarth Kaul, Shardul Thakur, Akshay Wakhare, Ishan Kishan, Prashant Chopra.
  • Former India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin’s nomination for being the president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association has been rejected
  • New Zealand fought back in the first Test against Bangladesh on day three at Wellington on the back of Tom Latham’s battling hundred. Latham was unbeaten on 119 at the close of play with the Kiwis at 292/3, still a mammoth 303 runs behind the visitors’ total.
  • Sri Lanka have been asked to follow-on in the third Test against South Africa after getting shot out for a lowly 131 on day three. Things didn’t start well for the Lankans in the second innings either with opener Kaushal Silva departing for a first-ball duck. Angelo Mathews’ side were 13/1 at Lunch, and are behind the Proteas by 282 runs.

Football

  • In the I-League, DSK Shivajians will host giants East Bengal but all eyes will be on the South Indian derby, which sees reigning champions Bengaluru FC hosts newcomers Chennai City FC.
  • After a reported bust-up with coach Antonio Conte, Chelsea striker Diego Costa has set his sights on a big-money move to China, reported The Guardian. The report stated that the Spaniard’s agent Jorge Mendes is in China to broker a deal. Costa has been dropped from the Chelsea matchday squad to face Leicester City.
  • Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho sang his midfielder Paul Pogba’s praises, calling him captaincy material. The Portuguese said that the French midfielder has the “charisma, talent and ambition” to wear the armband.
  • Indian Super League club FC Goa sacked manager Zico, who has managed the club since the inception of the tournament. Despite finishing runners-up in 2015, the Gaurs finished at the bottom of the pile in the previous season.
  • Pere Gratacos, FC Barcelona’s director of institutional relations has been given the boot by the Spanish champions after opining that five-time Ballon D’or winner Lionel Messi would not be as good without his supporting cast, “Leo is one of the most important people in the team, but it’s not just about him. He would not be as good without [Andres] Iniesta, Neymar and company, but Messi is the best,” Gratacos said.

Boxing

  • India women boxers were in fine form in the Nations Cup in Serbia. Former World Championships silver-medalist Sarjubala Devi entered the summit event. Priyanaka Chaudhary, Pooja and Seema Poonia have also reached the final in their respective weight categories.  

Tennis

  • India’s Yuki Bhambri failed to qualify for the main draw in the Australian Open, losing to USA’s Ernesto Escobedo 7-6(2) 2-6 4-6 in the final round of qualifiers  

Wrestling

  • Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav, who was slapped with a four-year ban before the start of the Rio Olympics, recorded his statement before the Central Bureau of Investigation. Yadav alleged that another wrestler mixed narcotics and banned substances in his meals and drinks, reported ANI.
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India’s urban water crisis calls for an integrated approach

We need solutions that address different aspects of the water eco-system and involve the collective participation of citizens and other stake-holders.

According to a UN report, around 1.2 billion people, or almost one fifth of the world’s population, live in areas where water is physically scarce and another 1.6 billion people, or nearly one quarter of the world’s population, face economic water shortage. They lack basic access to water. The criticality of the water situation across the world has in fact given rise to speculations over water wars becoming a distinct possibility in the future. In India the problem is compounded, given the rising population and urbanization. The Asian Development Bank has forecast that by 2030, India will have a water deficit of 50%.

Water challenges in urban India

For urban India, the situation is critical. In 2015, about 377 million Indians lived in urban areas and by 2030, the urban population is expected to rise to 590 million. Already, according to the National Sample Survey, only 47% of urban households have individual water connections and about 40% to 50% of water is reportedly lost in distribution systems due to various reasons. Further, as per the 2011 census, only 32.7% of urban Indian households are connected to a piped sewerage system.

Any comprehensive solution to address the water problem in urban India needs to take into account the specific challenges around water management and distribution:

Pressure on water sources: Rising demand on water means rising pressure on water sources, especially in cities. In a city like Mumbai for example, 3,750 Million Litres per Day (MLD) of water, including water for commercial and industrial use, is available, whereas 4,500 MLD is needed. The primary sources of water for cities like Mumbai are lakes created by dams across rivers near the city. Distributing the available water means providing 386,971 connections to the city’s roughly 13 million residents. When distribution becomes challenging, the workaround is to tap ground water. According to a study by the Centre for Science and Environment, 48% of urban water supply in India comes from ground water. Ground water exploitation for commercial and domestic use in most cities is leading to reduction in ground water level.

Distribution and water loss issues: Distribution challenges, such as water loss due to theft, pilferage, leaky pipes and faulty meter readings, result in unequal and unregulated distribution of water. In New Delhi, for example, water distribution loss was reported to be about 40% as per a study. In Mumbai, where most residents get only 2-5 hours of water supply per day, the non-revenue water loss is about 27% of the overall water supply. This strains the municipal body’s budget and impacts the improvement of distribution infrastructure. Factors such as difficult terrain and legal issues over buildings also affect water supply to many parts. According to a study, only 5% of piped water reaches slum areas in 42 Indian cities, including New Delhi. A 2011 study also found that 95% of households in slum areas in Mumbai’s Kaula Bunder district, in some seasons, use less than the WHO-recommended minimum of 50 litres per capita per day.

Water pollution and contamination: In India, almost 400,000 children die every year of diarrhea, primarily due to contaminated water. According to a 2017 report, 630 million people in the South East Asian countries, including India, use faeces-contaminated drinking water source, becoming susceptible to a range of diseases. Industrial waste is also a major cause for water contamination, particularly antibiotic ingredients released into rivers and soils by pharma companies. A Guardian report talks about pollution from drug companies, particularly those in India and China, resulting in the creation of drug-resistant superbugs. The report cites a study which indicates that by 2050, the total death toll worldwide due to infection by drug resistant bacteria could reach 10 million people.

A holistic approach to tackling water challenges

Addressing these challenges and improving access to clean water for all needs a combination of short-term and medium-term solutions. It also means involving the community and various stakeholders in implementing the solutions. This is the crux of the recommendations put forth by BASF.

The proposed solutions, based on a study of water issues in cities such as Mumbai, take into account different aspects of water management and distribution. Backed by a close understanding of the cost implications, they can make a difference in tackling urban water challenges. These solutions include:

Recycling and harvesting: Raw sewage water which is dumped into oceans damages the coastal eco-system. Instead, this could be used as a cheaper alternative to fresh water for industrial purposes. According to a 2011 World Bank report, 13% of total freshwater withdrawal in India is for industrial use. What’s more, the industrial demand for water is expected to grow at a rate of 4.2% per year till 2025. Much of this demand can be met by recycling and treating sewage water. In Mumbai for example, 3000 MLD of sewage water is released, almost 80% of fresh water availability. This can be purified and utilised for industrial needs. An example of recycled sewage water being used for industrial purpose is the 30 MLD waste water treatment facility at Gandhinagar and Anjar in Gujarat set up by Welspun India Ltd.

Another example is the proposal by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to recycle and reclaim sewage water treated at its existing facilities to meet the secondary purposes of both industries and residential complexes. In fact, residential complexes can similarly recycle and re-use their waste water for secondary purposes such as gardening.

Also, alternative rain water harvesting methods such as harvesting rain water from concrete surfaces using porous concrete can be used to supplement roof-top rain water harvesting, to help replenish ground water.

Community initiatives to supplement regular water supply: Initiatives such as community water storage and decentralised treatment facilities, including elevated water towers or reservoirs and water ATMs, based on a realistic understanding of the costs involved, can help support the city’s water distribution. Water towers or elevated reservoirs with onsite filters can also help optimise the space available for water distribution in congested cities. Water ATMs, which are automated water dispensing units that can be accessed with a smart card or an app, can ensure metered supply of safe water.

Testing and purification: With water contamination being a big challenge, the adoption of affordable and reliable multi-household water filter systems which are electricity free and easy to use can help, to some extent, access to safe drinking water at a domestic level. Also, the use of household water testing kits and the installation of water quality sensors on pipes, that send out alerts on water contamination, can create awareness of water contamination and drive suitable preventive steps.

Public awareness and use of technology: Public awareness campaigns, tax incentives for water conservation and the use of technology interfaces can also go a long way in addressing the water problem. For example, measures such as water credits can be introduced with tax benefits as incentives for efficient use and recycling of water. Similarly, government water apps, like that of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, can be used to spread tips on water saving, report leakage or send updates on water quality.

Collaborative approach: Finally, a collaborative approach like the adoption of a public-private partnership model for water projects can help. There are already examples of best practices here. For example, in Netherlands, water companies are incorporated as private companies, with the local and national governments being majority shareholders. Involving citizens through social business models for decentralised water supply, treatment or storage installations like water ATMs, as also the appointment of water guardians who can report on various aspects of water supply and usage can help in efficient water management. Grass-root level organizations could be partnered with for programmes to spread awareness on water safety and conservation.

For BASF, the proposed solutions are an extension of their close engagement with developing water management and water treatment solutions. The products developed specially for waste and drinking water treatment, such as Zetag® ULTRA and Magnafloc® LT, focus on ensuring sustainability, efficiency and cost effectiveness in the water and sludge treatment process.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of BASF and not by the Scroll editorial team.