Kolkata: The state government is contemplating to go for rainwater harvesting mandatory in Bengal to tide over the drinking water crisis, Firhad Hakim, urban development minister said on Thursday.He said: “Though we are fortunate to have River Hooghly from where water is being lifted and treated before supplying to individual households but steps should be taken to stop wastage of drinking water. The government is contemplating to make rain water harvesting mandatory,” he said. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaExperts have pointed out that by 2050, 40 per cent of the Indian population will be affected by drinking water crisis. Already drinking water scarcity has been reported from Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. He said awareness campaign to conserve drinking water will be launched. Drinking water is used to wash cars, water the roadside trees, cleaning, flushing and gardening. Moreover, in many areas filtered water is wasted through the roadside taps. Around 40 million gallons of filtered water is wasted every day. Many people said as there is no water tax in Bengal people waste drinking water. The KMC supplies 44.50 crore gallon of filtered water daily. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersIt may be recalled earlier, the KMC used to supply unfiltered water to clean the city streets and it was supplied to individual households from Mullickghat pumping station. There was separate overhead tanks to store unfiltered water. This water was used for flushing. The system of cleaning the city roads with unfiltered water was stopped following outbreak of Cholera in the mid 1960s after some slum dwellers consumed unfiltered water. If rainwater is harvested, then this water will be used for cleaning, flushing, gardening and washing cars. It may be mentioned that Shanta Sheela Nair, Commissioner of Chennai Municipal Corporation was first to make rainwater harvesting mandatory in India. Later, it was used by the Rajasthan government. It may be mentioned that in New Town, a pilot project on rainwater harvesting has been introduced. Around 2000 litres of rainwater is harvested and the water is used for water organic farming which is being carried out of the roof top of a commercial market. Also, the water I the Sewage Treatment plants in Sector V in Salt Lake and New Town is recycled and this water is used for watering roadside plants and tall tree gardens.
The Toronto stock market climbed higher Thursday amid a full slate of quarterly earnings from a number of Canadian heavyweights and positive economic data from China and the U.S.The S&P/TSX composite index jumped ahead 57.14 points to 12,469.87, while the Canadian dollar climbed 0.54 of a cent to 96.48 cents US.The TSX was boosted by data that showed China’s exports and imports both increased in July, beating expectations and easing concerns over the slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. Exports were up 5.1 per cent from a year earlier, while imports jumped 10.9 per cent.“It’s a combination of things. There’s some positive data out of China today that is likely supporting the commodities space, both on the materials and energy side,”said Gareth Watson, vice-president of investment management and research at Richardson GMP Ltd. “Overall, the earnings are definitely helping but there is definitely a macro story to it as well.”It was also lifted by strong gains in the metals and mining sector, as shares in Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ) climbed nearly 13 per cent to $5.13 after it announced that Rio Tinto PLC was lending it US$600 million to help it fund its $6.2 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia.Shares in HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) also rose 5.98 per cent, or 36 cents, to $6.38, while Capstone Mining (TSX:CS) shares went up 6.77 per cent or 13 cents to $2.05.The majority of sectors on the TSX saw gains, except for industrials, energy, telecom and utilities.On the commodities front, December bullion gained $20.30 to US$1,305.60 an ounce. The September crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange moved down $1.80 to US$102.57 a barrel. Copper saw an uptick of nine cents to $3.27.Meanwhile, by midday, the U.S. indexes lost some of their early gains as the Dow Jones industrials dropped 36.48 points to 15,434.19, the S&P 500 dipped 0.28 of a point to 1,690.63, while the Nasdaq was ahead 4.36 points to 3,658.37.Watson said the fluctuations in the U.S. markets shouldn’t worry investors too much, considering the indexes are faring well overall year-to date.“Sometimes, in terms of that momentum we’ve been getting based off of economic data or earnings reports, it’s just tough sometimes to keep that momentum going,” he said. “We’ve had a really good stretch here since the beginning of July up until now. I think the market is just pacing itself, more than anything else.”In economic news, the latest figures showed that the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits over the past month has fallen to its lowest level in almost six years, signalling fewer layoffs and a strengthening U.S. economy. The U.S. Labor Department says the four-week average dropped 6,250 to 335,500 — the lowest level since November 2007, the month before the Great Recession began.For the past few months, concerns have been raised about when the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin pulling back on its monetary stimulus by tapering its current $85-billion bond-buying program. Signs that this will happen sooner rather than later have prompted markets to get nervous any time the Fed gives away clues on the timing of this pullback.There was also a flurry of financial reports from across various sectors released Thursday.Tim Hortons Inc. (TSX:THI) says it’s going to borrow up to an additional $900 million to fund the repurchase of its shares. It says it has received regulatory approval to buy back up to 10 per cent of its publicly traded shares, raising a previous spending limit set at $250 million.The Canadian restaurant company reported a 14.5 per cent increase in its second-quarter net income, which rose to $123.7 million from $108.1 million in the previous year. Total revenue for the company was $800.1 million, up 1.9 per cent from $785.6 million. Its shares rose 51 cents, or 0.86 per cent, to $60.BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) reported $571 million of net income attributable to common shareholders, or 74 cents per common share. That was down from $732 million or 94 cents per common share a year earlier.On an adjusted basis, the media and telecommunications giant earned $594 million or 77 cents per common share — down from $747 million or 97 cents per share in the second quarter of 2012, when BCE’s profit was boosted by non-recurring items. Its shares fell 58 cents to $41.97.Meanwhile, shares in media giant Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) dipped 14 cents to $46.71 after it reported a $45.1-million net loss attributable to shareholders and $52.9 million of adjusted income from continuing operations for its second quarter. The adjusted earnings equal 85 cents per basic share, up from 72 cents per share or $46.1 million in the second quarter of 2012. Its shares were up 25 cents to $47.10.Quebecor is the majority owner of Quebecor Media, which owns a variety of telecommunication, broadcasting and publishing businesses. The CRTC rejected its Sun News Network’s request to be carried on basic cable Thursday, saying that the upstart network does not meet the criteria for a mandatory distribution order.Sun News Network went on the air in April 2011. Three months ago, Sun News executives told the commission that anything short of mandatory carriage would spell the end of the channel. Last year, it lost $17 million, a situation Quebecor calls clearly unsustainable.
Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell shoots a shot during the Buckeyes’ game against Washington on Nov. 19. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorAfter an 84-75 loss to No. 19 Michigan Tuesday night, the No. 8 Ohio State women’s basketball team (16-3, 5-1 Big Ten) will head on the road for a Monday night game against No. 14 Maryland (16-3, 5-1 Big Ten). In the last matchup between the two teams, the Buckeyes upset the No. 2 Terrapins 98-87 at the end of the regular season last year. In recent years, Maryland has been the Big Ten’s powerhouse, winning the conference the past two years. Though this year’s Terrapin team lacks the star-power of recent years, Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff stressed his team’s need to be prepared for another top-25 team.“They’re good, they’re talented, they’re well coached, they’re used to winning,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said. “They have an expectation to win. They’re gonna be ready. We’ll have to be really good on Monday.”The Terrapins have won 14 of their last 15 games with the lone loss coming Jan. 11 against the Michigan State Spartans.Redshirt senior guard Linnae Harper said the team will need to come in with the same level of intensity if it hopes to come away with a win against the Terrapins, like it did last year.“The amount of focus that we had, the amount of intensity and effort we brought, all of us that played that game we just brought it,” Harper said. “We played together, our chemistry was great and we really wanted to win. We have to approach this upcoming game the same way we approached it last year and make sure that we’re doing everything we have to do to get the win.”Maryland sophomore guard Kaila Charles, who leads her team in scoring with 17.1 points per game, must pick up the workload offensively. The Terrapins’ second-leading scorer, sophomore guard Blair Watson, suffered a torn ACL in a January practice that will force her to miss the remainder of the season. Watson was averaging 13.8 points per game prior to the injury.The Terrapins’ depth has helped them absorb the loss of Watson this season. Maryland has six active players who put up at least 10.5 points per game, and would have been seven had Watson not suffered a season-ending injury.This game will have major implications on which team takes the edge in the Big Ten. Ohio State and Maryland are tied for first atop the conference and both are the only teams with one loss. Conference control is not McGuff’s main focus, though.“I just think it’s about us being prepared for this game and putting our best foot forward here, as we saw Tuesday anything can happen,” McGuff said. In the Big Ten there’s a lot of parity this year. We need to take this game first and go from there.”The Buckeyes will need to find a way to put up points on a night when the 3-pointer does not fall. While they were aggressive and hit 17-of-22 free throws the previous game, they shot 36 percent from the field, which hindered their second-half productivity. McGuff said he would like to see his team stay patient, even when shots aren’t dropping for the team. “One, continue to take good shots no matter what,” McGuff said. “Two, just continue to work [on it]. I think we’ve, knock on wood, done a better job recently getting some balance in our offense, scoring a little bit more around the basket and I think we need to continue to do that.”