NGT appointed Joint Committee Report suggests drone surveillance in stone quarry
AQI monitored in 137 cities, none in Poor, Very Poor, Severe
24th July 2021, New Delhi
The daily air quality data published by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for over the last 24 hours as reported at 4 PM today shows that 137 cities were monitored in comparison to 134 of yesterday.
The number of cities where ‘Good’ category AQI prevailed did not vary much from previous day's 59. Good AQI was found in 57 cities. The number of cities with ‘Satisfactory’ AQI also gone up from yesterday's 63 to 69. ‘Moderate’ air quality prevailed in 11 cities.
None of the 137 cities was in Poor, Very Poor, or Severe category of AQI.
Gorakhpur recorded least polluted city status with AQI value 12. CO was found to be the most predominant pollutant in Gorakhpur.
Sonepat, adjacent to Delhi on its North, which hubs many industrial units and also education city, got the highest AQI of 169, which is in moderate category. PM10 was noted to be the most predominant air pollutant in the city.
Among the four Metropolitan cities, air pollution was found to be least in terms of AQI value in Kolkata. Data from 6 monitoring stations in Kolkata shows AQI value of 34 with the impact of Ozone and PM10 air pollutants. With data received from 35 monitoring stations, Delhi AQI shot up to 99 from previous day's 68. On the basis of AQI data from 15 monitoring stations in #Mumbai air quality found to have bettered to 63 from previous day's 54. #Chennai, which got reports from 7 monitoring stations quoted 59 same as previous day's.
All the cities surrounding Delhi were found to have AQI values below 100. Ballabhgarh towards south of Delhi in Faridabad district of Haryana registered the lowest AQI value of 65, while maximum AQI was found to be 169 in Sonepat. There was no data from Manesar which also plays an impactful role in Delhi-NCR AQI.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe". #AQI #airpollution
Don't shift Goalposts and bring new benchmarks for global climate ambition: India at G20 Climate Summit
Developing Countries need more support than ever before, says Bhupender Yadav in his address to G20 countries
In Environment Sustainability sector, Infosys remains top CSR Funding company
20th July 2021, New Delhi
During the financial year 2019-20 a total number of 21,349 companies spent ₹21,231 Crore towards CSR funds. EA learnt that the amount spent was across 36 States and Union Territories in India in 30,987 CSR projects. The number of companies decreased by more than 14% from 24,965 during FY 2018-19, while the amount spent has increased by more than 13% from previous data of ₹18,728 Crore.
EA also learnt that 2,249 companies, which is nearly 10.5% of the total number of companies, spent in the development sector of Environment, Animal Welfare, Conservation of Resources ₹1,521 Cr during 2019-20, which is slightly above 7% of the total CSR expenditure. Out of the four sub-sectors - agro forestry, animal welfare, conservation of natural resources and environmental sustainability; the last one got the maximum share. If the whole sector is taken in to account, ITC Ltd. was the top most contributor with ₹11,684 Lakh. However, when the sub-sector of Environment Sustainability is considered, the top contributor remains Infosys with an expenditure of ₹8,040 Lakh, as compared to previous year’s ₹14,307 Lakh; followed by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. ₹7,537 lakh.
DG - NMCG inaugurates AGI report on Potetntial of Geospatial Technologies for Water Sector in India
More than Rs. 1439 Crore released during 2020-21 by Union Govt. to clean Rivers
C N Pandey led EAC finds 18 deficiencies in NABET accredited consultant's EIA Report
17th July 2021, New Delhi
The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for Industry Projects (Industry-1 Sector) constituted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) while appraising the application for proposed expansion in production from 30,000 TPA of MS Ingots to 120,000 TPA of MS Ingots/ Billets from 48,000 TPA to 120,000 TPA of Twisted and ribbed bars by Prime Gold International Ltd. located at Kalugondapalli Village Denkanikotta Taluk, Krishnagiri District of Tamil Nadu, observed that the Public Hearing was represented by a consultant called Pollucare Engineers while #EIA report is prepared by Pridhvi Envirotech.
Deliberating on the quality of reporting, several technical deficiencies enumerated and non-submission supporting documents alongwith the EC application,, and Public Hearing confusion, the EAC has recommended issuacne of Show Cause Notice to the consultant Pridhvi Envirotech with Accreditation Certificate No. NABET/EIA/1922/RA0132 valid up to 3rd June 2022.
A compliance report with regard to the conditions laid in existing Consent-to-Operate is required to be obtained from Regional Office of State Pollution Control Board, which was not submitted.
EAC also noted tha the recent water withdrawal permission from Gram Panchayat was not been submitted along with the EIA clearance application.
In the EIA Report, the cover page of was found to be not as per August 2009 Office Memorandum. The EIA Report talks about 12 chapters in some part, while EAC found 11 chapters in it. Further, the EAC observed that chapter wise contents are not as per the format given in Appendix III of EIA Notification 2006.
According to August 2009 Office Memorandum issued by the MoEF&CC, a declaration by Project proponent is required to be placed on 2nd Page of the report, which was missing in the EIA Report prepared by Pridhvi Envirotech for Prime Gold International Ltd.. It was also stated that the signature of the team involved in EIA were not original but scanned and fixed type.
The EAC also observed that the Analysis Report of Groundwater as well as Surface water and Soil presented in the Executive Summary was not complete.
There were further deficiencies noted by the EAC on the Public Hearing part. The action plan to address the issues raised during public hearing as per MoEF&CC Office Memorandum dated 30th September 2020 was not furnished.The proceedings of Public Hearing should have been reported under section 7.1, while it was submitted as Annexure.
The EIA report mentions use of bag filters only to control Particulate Matter emissions, and not wet scrubbers, yet the section 126.96.36.199 indicates the wet scrubber diagram. This shows that the EIA report was not prepared with due focus and provided impertinent and irrelvant information.
It was also noted that the interpretation of base line data for physical parameters, environment baseline and socioeconomic environment was not done. The Chapter 4 was a generic text book presentation without any quantification of impacts and mitigation measures. Data from Chapter 2 and 3 was not used to quantify the impacts except the AAQ data used in modelling.
The EIA report also contained flaws in Social Impact Assessment part. Composition of the Environment Cell was found inappropriate. The Corporate Environment Policy was not complied.
NABET, in its list of accreditated consultants should also show more information about the consultants, such as the date of first accreditation, scope of accreditation, and contact details as shared by the NABL, which is another QCI organization.
Green Court relentlessly dealing with pollution matters in Indira Gandhi Canal for over last seven years
16th July 2021, New Delhi
Disposing the Original Application No. 167/2021 in the matter of Yuva Mandal Sansthan Mithdiya versus State of Punjab & Ors. the Principal Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) said that the very same issue has been dealt with by the Tribunal for seven years.
The applicant, Yuva Mandal Sansthan Mithdiya, stated that there is pollution of Indira Gandhi Canal (INC) starting from Harike Barrage, a few kilometers below the confluence of the Satluj and Beas rivers in State of Punjab and it flows through the Ludhiana City. The canal is source of drinking and irrigation water in the north and western Rajasthan but on account of pollution flowing from Sutlej and Beas into the Indira Gandhi Canal, people living around INC have developed various health complications such as skin diseases, gastroenteritis, indigestion, loss of eyesight to name a few. The water in the canal has apparently turned black in color due to the presence of pollutants in it. The toxic water now flows through the 65-kilometer stretch putting the lives of people living around the canal on the verge of serious health perils. Failure to prevent pollution by the States of Rajasthan and Punjab is also violation of the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti v. Union of India, 2017 5 SCC 326.
In the hearing on 14th July 2021, the Principal Bench of the Green Court, chaired by Justice Adarsh Kumal Goel stated that the same matter was first taken up by the Tribunal in OA 101/2014, Sobha Singh & Ors. v. State of Punjab & Ors. and thereafter in OA 916/2018 (the new number assigned to the same matter). The NGT has also issued an Order in this regard 24th July 2018 in OA 101/2014.
In the light of previous deliberations, the NGT Bench said the problems already stand identified and directions issued. What survives is continuous monitoring which is primary responsibility of the State Authorities. In its 2nd January 2021 Order, the Tribunal has directed the Chief Secretary, Punjab to take initiative in the matter in coordination with the River Rejuvenation Committee headed by Environment Secretary in continuation of 5th report of the Monitoring Committee. The Tribunal also directed the Chief Secretary to submit quarterly reports to the Central Monitoring Committee headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) in terms of order dated 21st September 2020 in OA 673/2018 which deals with the subject of restoration of 351 polluted river stretches, including the rivers in question.
The Principal Bench of NGT directed Secretary, MoJS to take follow up action in the matter in coordination with the States concerned.
The States concerned were also directed to make available relevant information about the status of compliance of environmental norms and in case of violations, remedial action including requisite operational ETPs meeting with the standards, water quality at interstate border, arrangements for remedying impact in downstream areas, setting up of Real time water quality systems.
Daily AQI: Shillong least polluted, Alwar most polluted
16th July 2021, New Delhi
The daily air quality data published by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for over the last 24 hours as reported at 4 PM today shows that 129 cities were monitored, as against 135 of yesterday. The number of cities where ‘Good’ category AQI prevailed dropped to 53 from previous day's 62, and number of cities with ‘Satisfactory’ AQI remained at 67. In nine cities ‘Moderate’ air quality prevailed.
None was in Poor, Very Poor, or Severe category of AQI.
Shillong quoted the least AQI value of 14 with SO2 as predominant pollutant. AQi was noted to be 18 in Aizawl and Davanagere, while it was 82 in Gadag.
Rajasthan's Alwar was noted to be the worst polluted, though in moderate category AQI value of 158, which was less than yesterday's 166 in Bhwadi. PM10 observed to be the most dominating pollutant in Alwar.
Among the four Metropolitan cities, #Delhi quoted highest value, followed by Chennai and Kolkata, while Mumbai quoted the least AQI. With data from a 37 monitoring stations AQI in Delhi increased from yesterday's 83 to 90 today. AQI in #Mumbai with data from 17 monitoring stations remained unchanged at 42. #Chennai, which has got reports from 7 monitoring stations quoted 48, while AQI in #Kolkata with data from 6 monitoring locations registered AQI value to be 48. Thus in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata AQI was in Good Category.
Out of the cities surrounding Delhi, Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh quoted the lowest AQI 52, while in an industrial township in south west Haryana noted the highest AQI value 130. The most prevalent pollutant in Dharuhera was PM2.5.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".
NMCG approves new projects for rejuvenation of polluted river stretches in UK
16th July 2021, New Delhi
Union Government Issues two Gazette Notifications for Jurisdiction of Krishna & Godavari River Management Boards
16th July 2021, New Delhi
The Ministry of Jal Shakti through Gazette Notification dated 15th July 2021 has notified the jurisdiction of Godavari River Management Board and Krishna River Management Board, which provide the required authority and power to the two Boards in terms of administration, regulation, operation and maintenance of listed projects in Godavari and Krishna rivers in the two States. This step is expected to ensure judicious utilization of water resources in the two states.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014 (APRA) contains provisions for the effective management of river waters in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Constitution of the Godavari and Krishna River Management Boards and the constitution of an Apex Council for the supervision of the functioning of these Boards, is laid down in this Act.
The Central Government in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 85 of the APRA, 2014, constituted the two River Management Boards effective from 2nd June, 2014 for the administration, regulation, maintenance and operation of such projects on Godavari and Krishna rivers, as may be notified by the Central Government.
The long pending issue of notifying the Jurisdiction of the two Boards was addressed in the 2nd meeting of the Apex Council held in October, 2020, under the Chairmanship of Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. In this meeting, it was decided that the jurisdiction of GRMB and KRMB will be notified by Government of India.
In accordance with the provisions under Section 87 of APRA, 2014, Government of India has issued two gazette notifications, one for the jurisdiction of GRMB and the other for KRMB, for administration, regulation, maintenance and operation of projects in Godavari and Krishna river basins respectively, in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
This decision of the Union Government for notifying the jurisdiction of two Boards would go a long way in enabling the River Boards to discharge their responsibilities to the fullest as mandated in the APRA, 2014 and bring about efficiency in management of water resources in the two States. The Centre expects the wholehearted cooperation and assistance of both the State Governments in the smooth functioning of the two Boards, to ensure equitable benefit to the people of both the states.
US to impose Carbon Tax on Imports from Polluting Countries
16th July 2021, New Delhi
According to NYT Report, Democrats have agreed to include a tax on imports from nations that lack aggressive climate change policies as part of a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget plan stocked with other provisions aimed at ratcheting down fossil fuel pollution in the United States. The move to tax imports was made public Wednesday, the same day that the European Union outlined its own proposal for a similar carbon border tax , a novel tool that is designed to protect domestic manufacturing while simultaneously pressuring other countries to reduce the emissions that are warming the planet. The two actions in concert suggest that government leaders are turning toward trade policy as a way to attack climate change. Top Democrats called the timing coincidental but said both the United States and Europe must work together to put pressure on China and other heavy polluting countries to reduce emissions.
Will this cause impact in Indian regulations? Lately, India has shown quite a consistent liniency towards industries and businesses. Significant changes were made in consent management rules, groundwater resulations, plastic waste management rules and so on. Also, the EIA Notification is under process for a major overhauling. Will these support India's claim as a less polluting country? Whether, the import fee to be levied on the basis of a specific carbon certification? Time will tell. But one thing is clear that the developed countries are swiftly changings their positions from donors to receivers.
Delhi CM urges Center for Bharat Ratna to Bahuguna
15th July 2021, New Delhi
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday unveiled a commemorative stone portrait, and took part in a tree plantation drive at the Delhi Legislative Assembly in memory of the revered environmentalist Late Sunderlal Bahuguna, who was famous across the globe for spearheading the Chipko Movement. On the occasion, the CM appealed to the Central Government to honour Bahuguna with the Bharat Ratna award saying that giving this award upon a towering personality like Bahuguna will be an honour for the Bharat Ratna award itself.
Arvind Kejriwal also presented a cheque of Rs. 1 lac to Bahuguna's family in honour of the vast legacy he has left behind. On this occasion Kejriwal said that Bahuguna’s fight will not just be remembered by Uttarakhand and India but the entire world.
The ceremony was held in the presence of the Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly Ram Niwas Goel, Deputy Speaker Rakhi Birla, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia as well as the family and children of Sunderlal Bahuguna.
Addressing the gathering, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “It is an honour for us to have installed the portrait of Sh. Sunder Lal #Bahuguna Ji in the Smriti Gallery as well as to have this opportunity to spend time with his family. Most of us were born during the time when the Chipko Andolan was going on or we must have read about this movement as students. As much as I remember, I read about this movement when I was pursuing journalism. I was always interested and overwhelmed to know more about Bahuguna Ji and his work. Although I could never meet him, I had the privilege of seeing him from afar at an event.”
Ram Niwas Goel, Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly described that words would fall short to express Sunderlal Bahuguna's vast legacy. Goel said "His farsighted vision to take up the cause of environmentalism through the #Chipko Movement that later made huge impact through out globe. He made the entire world realise how essential it is to protect the environment.”
How sustainable is flyash handling at Sasan Power?
15th July 2021, New Delhi
Recently, Sasan Power Ltd. has submitted a 257 page document before the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in the matter of Hiralas Bais versus Union of India, Original Application No. 148 of 2020. The submission has been uploaded in the website of NGT. The document incorporates a list of concrete action taken or being taken by the company Sasan Power Ltd. for its 6x660 MW Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project. The document shows that the ash content in the coal utilized by the company is 28%. And the total fly ash generated by the company during 2019-20 was 5,244,591 MT, out of which only 2,746,403 MT was utilized. This is little more than 52%, against the requirement of 100% utilization. Interestingly, out of the 2,746,403 MT flyash utilized more than 98% is used in low lying land filling. A mere 1,264 MT was utilized in fly ash bricks, 880 MT in ready mix concrete and 45,280 MT in cement. Is this a concrete step as claimed by the company? Notable that only 1.77% of total flyash generated was utilized during 2013-14.
Another significant point is whether the report submitted by Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi is a conclusive one, based on the scope of study and findings? Whether the emergency preparedness plan requires a review by any expert who has ever been associated with an organization like National Disaster Response Force? This needs serious attention of the authorities and judiciary. Because, this time six lives lost, which was managed very cheaply with a petty amount, though it is highlighted as ₹125.3 Lakh. The one time settlement against the one life lost due to an accident by the project was ₹10 Lakh, at best. It should be ensured that such incidence does not occur again. Because, the loss to environment can’t be accountable by such companies and their reporting. #Sasan #Reliance #Power #Thermal
Increasing Forest Coverage would be a priority: Ashwini Choubey
12th july 2021, New Delhi
Ashwini Kumar Choubey has today assumed his charge as Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India.
The Minister planted a tree sapling at the premises of Environment Ministry in New Delhi today. He also holds the position of Minister of State for Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. Speaking with the media on the occasion, the Minister thanked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving the responsibility and said that in the last seven years the Environment Ministry has done many unprecedented works and emphasised that increasing the forest cover further would be a priority area.
Jal Jeevan Mission strengthens preventive measures to curb JE-AES spreading in 61 priority districts
11th July 2021, New Delhi
Jal Jeevan Mission has provided tap water supply to more than 97 lakh households in 61 Japanese Encephalitis – Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (JE-AES) affected priority districts in a short span of 22 months. This is a significant achievement in strengthening the preventive measures to reduce spread of JE-AES by providing clean tap water supply to economically poor households in the affected districts of Assam, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
On 15th August 2019, when Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) was announced, only 8.02 lakh (2.67%) households in 61 JE-AES affected districts across the five States had tap water supply. In the last 22 months, tap water connections have been provided to additional 97.41 lakh households in these districts. Now, 1.05 Crore (35%) household have assured tap water supply in JE-AES affected districts. This32% increase in household tap water connections in JE-AES priority districts is about 12% higher than the national average increase of 23.43% in tap water supply across the country during the same period.
Japanese Encephalitis – Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (JE-AES) is a serious health hazard. The disease mostly affects children and young adults which can lead to morbidity and mortality. These infections particularly affect malnourished children of poor economic backgrounds. As many as 61 high priority districts in five States are identified for strengthening prevention and control measures through five Union ministries with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as the nodal ministry. Jal Jeevan Mission is a key programme in reducing the burden of disease in these districts.
Among these five States, Bihar has performed well in providing tap water supply to rural households in its 15 JE-AES affected priority districts. On an average 85.53% tap water connection have been provided in these districts. Nalanda with 96% tap water supply connections, followed by Saran and Gopalganj 94%, Vaishali and Siwan 91%, Paschim Champaran 84%, and Purvi Champaran 80% are the leading performers in the State.
Specific funds for JE-AES affected priority districts are allocated on the basis of drinking water sources and the extent of water contamination. 0.5% budget under the Mission is allocated to carry out activities for providing potable drinking water in every rural household of JE-AES affected priority districts. Rs 462.81 Crore has been allocated to these five States as JE-AES component for 2021-22.
Jal Jeevan Mission announced by the Prime Minister on 15thAugust 2019 from the Red Fort is under implementation in partnership with States/ UTs to provide tap water connection to every rural household of the country by 2024. Goa, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have achieved 100% household connection in rural areas and has become ‘Har Ghar Jal’. At present, 69 districts and more than 98,000 villages have tap water supply connection in every household.
NGT Orders Teva API to pay 10 Crore Environmental Compensation
9th July 2021, New Delhi
The National Green tribunal (NGT) has found violations of environmental norms by Teva API Pvt. Ltd., Chandpur Road, Gajraula in Amroha district of Uttar Pradesh, resulting in incidents of gas leak on 7th June 2020 and 10th June 2020.
Teva API is stated to be a global pharmaceutical company and the largest supplier of generic medicines worldwide. The Principal Bench of NGT has said in its 6th July Order that on the basis of the principles for assessment of compensation laid down in M.C. Mehta v. UOI & Ors., Sterlite Industries (India) Limited & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors., and Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi v. Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy & Ors., the environmental compensation pegged at Rs. 10 Crores. The amount has to be deposited within one month time, in the office of the District Magistrate, Moradabad, which shall be a separate account to meet the expenses towards restoration of the environment by preparing an action plan for augmentation of the groundwater, afforestation, landscaping, restoration of the drain and offsite emergency plans.
The Tribunal has also directed to prepare an action plan for utiliszation of the compensation amount. The utilization may be ensured within six months.
The Green Court has also ordered the joint Committee of CPCB, UPPCB, and District Magistrate, Moradabad to ensure that requisite measures are adopted by Teva API to avoid violation of safety norms in future.
Disposing the Original Application No. 89/2020, I.A. No. 171/2020, and I.A. No. 429/2020, the NGT has directed Shalabh Mathur, DIG, Muradabad to submit a factual report to the Oversight Committee with regard to death of one Mohit Ranjan on account of gas leakage on 7th December 2020. If death is found to be attributable to the activities of the unit, the unit may ensure payment of requisite compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 within one month, failing which the District Magistrate, Moradabad may ensure payment of compensation of atleast Rs. 20 lacs to the next of the kin of the deceased, which amount may be recovered from the unit. If the unit is aggrieved by the report of DIG Moradabad on this aspect, it will be open to it to move this Tribunal in the matter by way of an interim application. The statutory authorities may maintain strict vigil to prevent such occurrences.
Union Cabinet Minister Bhupender Yadav takes charge of MoEF&CC
8th july 2021, New Delhi
New Cabinet Minister, Bhupender Yadav, has today assumed his charge as Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Speaking with the media on the occasion, the Minister thanked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving him an opportunity to work for the Government. The Minister said he would make all efforts to deliver on the responsibilities given to him by the Prime Minister.
Before assuming charge, the Minister planted a tree sapling at the premises of Environment Ministry in New Delhi today. The Minister was welcomed by Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, Secretary EF&CC along with other senior officials of the Ministry.
The 51-year-old Yadav, serving his second term as a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan, was sworn in as Union Minister on Wednesday.
Union Cabinet Minister R. K. Singh takes charge of MoP and MNRE
Bhagwant Khuba assumes as MoS, MNRE
Women can drive Renewable Energy and Sustainability
India gets one more Tiger Sanctuary
5th July 2021, New Delhi
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar sanctioned one more tiger Sanctuary, Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary in Rajasthan. The Minister said it will link Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in the Northeast and Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve on the southern side. He further mentioned that "Increasing numbers of Tigers and other apex predators certify our robust biodiversity."
Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary acts like a buffer for Ranthambore National Park, one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries in India. It is located almost 45 kilometers on Bundi-Nainwa Road and covers an area of 252 square kilometers approx. It is rich in biodiversity and is home to various kinds of wild animals. Ranthambhore – Ramgarh Vishdhari – Mukundra hills, is one of the three corridors of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, which was in need of restoration.
Daily AQI:Gadag least polluted for 3rd day in a row, Nandesari most polluted among 126 cities
5th July 2021, New Delhi
The daily air quality data published by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for the last 24 hours as reported at 4 PM today shows that Gadag in the state of Karnataka is least polluted for third day in a row, among the various cities monitored. Alike the previous day's impact CO remained as the most impactful pollutant in Gadag.
‘Good’ category AQI prevailed in 30 cities, while in 50 cities AQI was ‘Satisfactory’. The number of cities where ‘Moderate’ air quality prevails increased from yesterday' 32 to 42 today.
AQI was reported to be in Poor category in four cities, viz - Greater Noida, Mandi Gobindgarh, Moradabad, and Nandesari. With AQI value 231, Nandesari stood the worst polluted city in the last more than 24 hours. The most polluting parameter was PM2.5. Nandesari has a large notified industrial area consisting of large amount of chemical factories. It is said to home Gujarat's first GIDC with concrete roads and storm water drains.
None of the 126 cities monitored was in Very Poor of Severe category of AQI.
Among the four Metropolitan cities, #Delhi with 35 monitoring stations recorded to have 149, the worst AQI, due to multiple polluting parameters - PM2.5, Ozone, PM10. #Mumbai with 21 monitoring stations registered 64, which is in satisfactory category of AQI. Major pollutants in Mumbai were SO2 and PM10. #Chennai, which has 8 monitoring stations quoted 51, while #Kolkata which has 7 monitoring locations recorded to have 52. So, in none of the metro cities, AQI was in Good category. There were multiple predominant air pollutants affecting air quality in all the four cities.
In cities adjacent to Delhi, Greater Noida with AQI 209 was found to be Poor, attributed to Ozone as the major pollutant. In all other cities it was in moderate category. Except, Greater Noida, Faridabad, and Gurugram, in all other cities the air pollution was attributed to PM10. In #Faridabad PM2.5 and Ozone also contributed to the AQI, while in #Gurugram, PM2.5 in addition to PM10 contributed to the air quality.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe". #Bhiwadi
Land of Agriculture to Highway Culture
4th July 2021, New Delhi
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, New Delhi, has issued a notification dated 2nd July, 2021 vide S.O. 2685(E) with regard to land acquisition for National Highway No. 149B.
In the brief description the notification shows that 10.902 hectare of land to be acquired, with or without structure, falling within the stretch of land from 12.000 Km to 38.200 Km. in the Champa-Korba-Chhuri-Katghora section, Package-I of the National Highway No. 149B in the Chhattisgarh.
Out of the 10.902 hectare of land, 10.321 is stated to be agricultural land.
Haryana and Rajasthan to undertake first of its kind Aquifer Mapping
GMDA's GIS Technology to be deployed in Heliborne Survey
Jal Jeevan Mission: Haryana covers above 95% rural households
Plastic Bag Free Day: Can Municipal Bodies come out with plastic wastes data & disposal info?
3rd July 2021, New Delhi
Plastic Bag Free Day is an annual international awareness campaign held on 3rd July. This global initiative aims to eliminate the use of single-use plastic (SUP) bags. On July 3 each year, people all over the world are encouraged to not use plastic bags and to raise awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution.
Globally, million plastic bags used every minute, most of which goes to trash after about 25 minutes of use. Depending on the type of plastic, it takes between 100 and 500 years for a plastic bag to degrade. A thought provoking study by academics from the University of California and Santa Barbara and others has put together the world’s first material balance of plastics. They estimate that the world has produced some 8.3 billion metric tonnes (bmt) of plastic from 1950 — when large-scale production began — to 2015. Of this 6.3 bmt, or 80%, is plastic waste. Of the 6.3 bmt of plastic waste generated in the world, as little as 9% has been recycled, out of which a mere 10% has been recycled more than once; 12% of the waste has been incinerated. The rest, as much as 79% of the plastic manufactured in the world, is in landfills or in the environment — our oceans and waterbodies.
In India, despite the existence of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 for nearly 5 years, we still need credible data on plastic waste. However, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Annual Report for FY 2018-19) shows that Maharashtra produces maximum plastic waste. But Goa has the maximum per capita plastic waste generation 61.2 grams per day, followed by Delhi 36.7 grams per day. India started a movement to shun SUP by 2022. Recently, reiterating government’s commitment to phase out SUP items, though identified ones only, and not all, which have low utility and high adverse environmental impact, Union Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar said that plastic was a useful innovation of 20th century, which has emerged as a serious threat to the environment of today, if not managed properly. Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarion call to phase out single use plastics by 2022, Javadekar said that considering the adverse impacts of littered SUP items on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the government has taken effective measures to manage plastic waste.
Since then, plastic waste is again on high. Committees are being formed. Discussions to go on. But is there a target? On the eve of Plastic Bag Free Day whether the Municipal bodies in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa and other places have stopped plastic bag production for a day? Whether milk selling companies like Amul and Mother Dairy formulated any special campaign for those who procure milk packed in SUP?
Building narratives to influence personal contribution will not work so soon, unless plastic production is lowered, and rule implementation agencies do not display diligent working. Some municipal bodies are showing up data that some amount of plastic waste collected and handed over to an agency linked with UNDP. Where is the disclosure of disposal? And what is the impact of that further processing on the environment. People have the right no know these things.
Govt. focused on Combating Pollution & Indigenous Technological Innovations for EVs, Nitin Gadkari
REC Dehradun observes violation in Felling of 9884 Trees, 372 Saplings in Highway project
1st July 2021, New Delhi by Sunita Mishra
The Regional Empowered Committee (REC) at Dehradun Integrated Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has found felling of 9884 trees and 372 saplings in NH-21 road project without prior approval. In a proposal, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has been seeking diversion of 69.9761 hac forest land for widening and strengthening of existing 2 lane shoulder to 4 lane with paved shoulder Kiratpur to Nerchowk NH21 road in the Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh.
Unavoidable tree felling is undoubtedly acceptable based on justified clearance procedures. Why violations? After all, Forest Conservation Act is not new that one does not know about it. Failure in compliance with government rules and regulations of one department by other government departments is certainly discouraging. Does not set example of good governance. Oftentimes, the existing rules are diluted to support speedy accomplishment of projects, sidelining various scientific, logical and legal aspects. This is completely unjustified. Rules, especially pertaining to the scientific and technical works, institutionalized by the governments are made on certain basis. Violation and dilution of these rules are certainly not going to ensure sustainable development of the nation. Felling trees and clearing forest land also means huge impact on wildlife species, besides direct income loss. Impact on wildlife species should also be enumerated and discussed on the line of human rehabilitation and resettlement provisions.
Joint Committee Report incomplete in the matter of Omaxe's ravages in Sisvan River: Applicant
29th June 2021, New Delhi
In the matter of Harminder Singh & Anr. Versus Union of India & Ors., Original Application (OA) No. 980/2019 (I.A. No. 63/2021) before the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Applicant has raised objections to the Joint Committee Report. It is claimed by the applicant that the report prepared by the Joint Committee comprising of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee and Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) fails to take into consideration of the illegal acts by Omaxe Ltd. in village Kansala. It is also said that may be due to paucity of time or Covid challenges, the Joint Committee could not visit Kansala, which is unavoidable part of the entire matter.
The applicant has raised substantial questions pertaining to environment and man made damages to natural flow of river Sisvan by a building construction company in the name of Omaxe Ltd. The builder allegedly has filling-up and closing a part of the river in village Bharounjian and diverting it at another nearby place in village Kansala in SAS Nagar, Mohali. The application further alleges that builder company, #Omaxe Ltd. has thrown all cautions and rule of law to winds for its group housing project "The Lake", which has caused massive environmental damage besides severe flooding in the area damaging crops and village properties.
As the next hearing is scheduled on 2nd July 2021, the applicant has presented Objection before the NGT seeking the Green Court's direction to Monitoring Committee to visit Kansala village and examine the actual situation on the ground, before final Judgement by the #NGT.
Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and USA dumping MEG in India?
29th June 2021, New Delhi
India Glycols Ltd. (IGL) and Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) have alleged dumping of Mono Ethylene Glycols (MEG) originating from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and USA. They have raised concern of the consequent injury to the domestic industry, hence, requested the Government of India for imposition of the anti-dumping duties.
The Directorate General of Trade Remedies, Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued a notification on 28th June 2021 regarding initiation of anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of MEG from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and USA.
Both IGL and RIL have claimed that the goods produced by the domestic industry are like articles to the imported MEG from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and USA. The companies have claimed that the two are not of significant difference, and technically as well as commercially substitutable. IGL and RIL have also stated that they have not imported MEG from the countries concerned, and are not related to any exporter of the alleged dumped goods or any importer in India.
MEG is primarily used as chemical intermediate in the production of polyester fibres, polyester films, and resins such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET is converted into plastic bottles which are used globally. Further, MEG is also used in the fibre treatment of textiles, the paper industry, and in adhesives, inks, and cellophane. It is also a used as a dehydration agent in natural gas pipelines where it inhibits the formation of natural gas clathrates before being recovered from the gas and reused.
The period of investigation shall be from 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2020. The injury period under investigation will, however, cover the periods of three fiscal 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and the period of investigation. #MEG #dumping
Andhav, Ufrainkhal village water conservation model in Prime Minister's 78th MKB
Pursuing Sustainability NTPC targets 60 GW of RE capacity installation by 2032
Union Environment Minister releases DPR of LiDAR based forest survey
Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a popular remote sensing technique to be used in 10 States now, 16 more in future
25th June 2021, New Delhi
Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar today released the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of LiDAR based survey of forest areas in 10 states. The states are - Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, and Tripura.
On the eve of virtual launch, Mr. Javadekar informed that the project which was awarded to WAPCOS, a PSU under the aegis of Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS), Government of India is a first of its kind and a unique experiment using LiDAR technology.
Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a popular remote sensing technique used for measuring the exact distance of an object from the Earth’s surface. LiDAR technology will help augment water and fodder in jungles areas thereby reducing human-animal conflict, help in groundwater recharge, help local communities and also asked state forest departments to use CAMPA funds towards implementation of these projects in right earnest and in accordance with the ‘Ridge to Valley’ approach of watershed management.
WAPCOS has prepared these DPR’s using LiDAR technology in which the 3-D (three dimensional) DEM (Digital Elevation Model), imagery and layers of the project areas are used for recommending different types of Soil and Water conservation structures such as Anicut, Gabion, Gully Plug, Mini percolation tank, Percolation Tank, Field bund, Sunken pond, Farm pond etc. These structures will help in catching the rain water and prevent stream run off, which will help in recharging of Ground water.
WAPCOS with the participation of State Forest Departments identified one major ridge inside a forest block in these states with average area of 10,000 ha selected in each State for preparation of Detailed Project Reports for planning and identifying locations and structures for construction of appropriate and feasible micro soil and water conservation structures consistent with site specific geography, topography and soil characteristics.
States/UTs identified one major ridge inside a forest block with the criteria that area selected should have average rainfall of the state, and the area requires assisted natural generation which means the density of forests should be less than 0.4 or below, but should have reasonable potential to regenerate with the ANR interventions.
ARCI develops Cost-effective Catalyst for metal-air batteries
New dynamics envisaged in EVs & Renewable Energy Storage
E. K. Janaki Ammal National Award on Taxonomy
BRICS Green Hydrogen Summit
He added that for India, the transition to a hydrogen economy will not only reduce India’s import dependency on hydrocarbon fuels but also provide clean air to its citizens, reduce GHG emissions in absolute terms and fulfil India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat vision. #hydrogen
Major Land Loss envisaged in Chetlat, Amini Islands due to Climate Change
India & Bhutan agree to cooperate on environment
The MoU is a platform to further enhance Indian and Bhutanese partnership and support, exchange best practices in areas like prevention of Air Pollution, Waste Management, Chemical Management, Climate Change, etc. It also provides the possibility to have joint projects in areas of mutual interest. The MoU will also strengthen technological, scientific and management capabilities and expand the areas of cooperation in the field of environment to promote a mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries.
EIA Notification 2006 amended to boost Ethanol Blending Programme
16th June 2021, New Delhi:
Environmental Lab Recognition by CPCB now, on the basis of NABL Accreditation and ISO 45001 Certification
16th June 2021, New Delhi
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has brought a landmark notification into the process of recognizing Environmental Laboratories. According to the notification dated 16th June 2021 issued by the MoEF&CC, recognition of private laboratories under clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 12 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, as well as recognition of their Analysts as Government Analysts under section 13 of the Act shall be done by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Earlier, the private environmental laboratories were recognized by the MoEF&CC, while the government laboratories were dealt by the CPCB.
All environmental laboratories shall have to obtain accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), as per ISO 17025:2017 for all criteria of testing parameters as defined by CPCB along with ISO 45001:2018 certification for Occupational Health and Safety Management System before applying to CPCB. This is applicable to fresh or renewal of recognition of a laboratory or in case of changes in the name of Government Analysts; and also in the event of shifting of laboratory premises.
CPCB's recognition shall be granted for the validity period of accreditation under ISO 17025:2017 and ISO45001:2018 for the same premises of its operation for which the application is made. The environmental laboratories shall be recognized by CPCB for the testing parameters accredited by NABL.
The processing of application including disseminating the information on status of applications for recognition of environmental laboratories or Government Analysts shall be made operational by CPCB within three months from 16th June 2021. The web portal shall also have the provision for online submission of compliance report submitted by the recognised laboratory.
The laboratory or Government Analyst seeking recognition shall have to submit self-declaration of compliance of the requirements and submission of supporting documents for all requisite information as stipulated by the CPCB for grant of recognition by the Board. The recognised laboratories shall have to submit Compliance report, as defined by CPCB, bi-annually.
The notification mandates that CPCB shall conduct Proficiency Test (PT) and Inter-Laboratory Comparison exercise either of its own or in collaboration with National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) or such research institutes having proven capabilities for undertaking such exercise, for all recognised laboratory bi-annually, covering all parameters annually, and the cost associated in conducting such exercise shall be borne by the participating laboratories, and records and reports of such exercise shall made available in public domain.
CPCB shall make provision for surprise inspection for verification of conditions imposed on the environmental laboratories recognised under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 by constituting a joint committee comprising members of the MoEF&CC, CPCB, concerned State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) or Pollution Control Committees (PCCs). Such inspection reports shall be made available in public domain.
The CPCB shall constitute an expert committee comprising of members from the MoEF&CC, SPCBs, NABL, NEERI and experts as deemed appropriate, to review and revise the existing guidelines for laboratory recognition including defined criteria testing parameters, procedure, process and cost estimate for PT and ILC exercise, compliance condition for recognition and corresponding information required for online submission of compliance report by laboratories, etc., within three months from 16th June 2021. Based on the recommendation of expert committee, the CPCB shall recognise the laboratory and the Government Analysts
The expert committee shall review and reassess the procedures, guidelines and other process annually and make necessary recommendation for consideration of #CPCB. #NABL #lab #laboratory #recognition
One-time exemption for Import of Used Critical care Medical Equipment for re-use
16th June 2021, New Delhi:
Used critical care medical equipment for reuse listed against Basel No. B1110, under Schedule VI of hazardous and Other Waste (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 and prohibited for import. In a significant move in the pandemic time, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has exempted the import of such items.
Prime Minister Modi addresses Opening Segment of UNCCD meeting
G7 to end international funding for coal projects by 2022
PM participates in G-7 Summit first outreach session
Group finds ways to cooperate with China in areas like climate change, while competing in other realms and contesting China’s actions where required
It also reports that the group aired ways that the members could cooperate with #China in some areas, such as climate change, while competing in other realms and contesting China’s actions where required. Britain and Italy will co-chair a major international climate conference this year and are seeking China’s help to meet targets.
Noted Environmentalist & Educationist Prof. Radhamohan passes away
11th June 2021, New Delhi
Noted environmentalist and educationist Prof. Radhamohan has breathed his last in a hospital in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, today. He was 78.
Prof Radhamohan was an educationist by profession and an ecologist by passion, well known for his pioneering works on organic farming in Odisha. Also known for his social service and a former Information Commissioner in the State Information Commission of Odisha, Prof Radhamohan had been awarded with the prestigious Padmashree. Radhamohan and his daughter Sabarmatee were conferred with prestigious Padma Shri Award, the fourth highest civilian honour of the country, in 2020 for their contribution to agriculture sector.
The retired professor had also opened a social organisation-‘Samvab’ aiming at educating farmers regarding organic farming and exchange of seeds.
Odisha Government had also awarded him with Utkal Seva Samman for his outstanding social service. Similarly, UNEP had conferred ‘The Global Roll of Honour’ for his distinguished work for environment.
Many dignitaries including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have condoled his sad demise. In a tweet, the Prime Minister has said, Prof Radhamohan was deeply passionate about agriculture, especially adopting sustainable and organic practices. The prime minister has said he was also respected for his knowledge on subjects relating to the economy and ecology. #Radhamohan
Consultants Consortium of Chennai Celebrates WAD 2021, deliberates Sustainable Business
9th June 2021, New Delhi
To mark the World Accreditation Day (WAD) 2021, the Consultants Consortium of Chennai (CCC) has been organising series of webinars from 8th June till 11th June 2021. Two sessions scheduled every day, one from morning 11 AM to 1 PM and evening 4 PM to 6 PM.
PAT needs a pat as it saves 87 million ton CO2
Useful in 20th Century, Useless Now
Jaypee Cement plea to avoid public Hearing turned down by Expert Committee
7th June 2021, New Delhi: The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for the proposal involving violation of EIA Notification, 2006 held its 47th meeting on 2nd June 2021. The nine-member EAC chaired by Dr. Satish R Wate reviewed a proposal of Jaypee Cement Corporation for mining of Limestone from Shahabad (Bankur) Limestone Mine within mining lease area of 328.34Ha located at Villages , Tehsil Chitapur, District Gulbarga, State Karnataka.
The EAC noted that Jaypee Cement has now submitted the required details in line with the observation of EAC during the 44th EAC meeting. EAC also deliberated on the company's request regarding exemption of Public Hearing. After detailed deliberation on the project proposal including Public Hearing requirement, EAC reiterated its recommendations made in the 44th EAC meeting i.e. recommended the proposal for issuing Standard Term of Reference along with the specific Term as prescribed in the 44th meeting held during 18th – 19th February 2021, for undertaking EIA and preparation of Environmental Management Plan (EMP) along with conduct of Public Hearing. #EIA
Government has identified 11 sectors which can make good use of resources by recycling : PM
India playing a global leadership role in energy transition: Dharmendra Pradhan
1st June 2021, New Delhi: Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas, and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Government of India is committed to harness the full potential of biofuels, so as to ensure a sustainable energy future for the nation, and contain the global warming as per commitment to COP-21.
The Union Minister today presided over a virtual ceremony in which a number of initiatives were launched to provide major fillip to the SATAT initiative, and help India leap ahead towards a greener tomorrow.
This included signing of a Cooperation Agreement by Oil and Gas majors including IndianOil, HPCL, BPCL, GAIL and IGL, for the promotion and development of the SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) scheme. The SATAT scheme aims to set up Compressed Bio-Gas production plants and make CBG available in the market for use as a green fuel. 'SATAT', launched on 1st October 2018, envisages to target production of 15 MMT of CBG from 5000 plants by 2023.Besides the potential to boost availability of more affordable transport fuels, better use of agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste, the 5000 CBG plants will provide an investment of 1.75 lakh crore, an additional revenue source to farmers, and 75,000 direct job opportunities and lakhs of indirect jobs.
The Cooperation agreement provides for establishing a strong network for marketing the entire produced quantity of CBG Plants through various channels. The agreement also has provision for associate implementers to join the SATAT movement. As per the agreement, IndianOil shall act as coordinator under the SATAT scheme and liaison with the Government and other agencies on behalf of Industry members. GAIL shall serve as the coordinator for the implementation of the CBG-CGD synchronization scheme.
During the event, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas also signed MoUs with Essar Capital Limited, XEMX Projects, Knowledge Integration Services, and Global Green Growth Institute, Seoul to set up new CBG Plants across the country.
Pradhan laid the foundation stones of 5 upcoming CBG Plants. These plants are being set up across Gujarat(2), Uttar Pradesh(2) and Punjab(1) by CNM Energy Solution Pvt Ltd, Carboneu Pvt Ltd, Cities Innovative Biofuels Private Limited and CEF Budhana Energy Private Ltd.
The Union Minister also dedicated to the nation the newly commissioned CBG plants of Solika Energy Pvt. Ltd. in Hyderabad and T R Mega Foods and Beverages LLP in Ludhiana. He also dedicated new CBG selling retail outlets at Hyderabad (Masab Tank Service Station), Bengaluru (Jai Bheem) and Ludhiana (Sharma Filling Station) to the nation.
During the landmark event, Union Petroleum Minister also inaugurated the first injection of CBG into the CGD pipeline network at Govardhannathji Energies into Gujarat Gas CGD network at Nadiad Kheda Distt., Gujarat. This is in line with the recently issued policy guidelines by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas on CBG injection in the CGD network. A website to provide a digital boost to the SATAT programme was also unveiled during the event. The website www.satat.co.in shall be a resource centre for new and existing CBG Plants providing details on CBG & SATAT, enablers under the SATAT scheme and FAQs. The portal also contains a section on the learning modules where handy presentations and videos have been made accessible.
MoEF&CC rescinds 2019 Draft Amendment for fly ash utilization
31st May 2021, New Delhi: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has revoked its earlier notification vide G.S.R.157(E), dated the 25th February, 2019; which was a draft amendment pertaining to S.O. 763(E) dated the 14th September, 1999. It had proposed for effective fly ash utilization by the coal or lignite based thermal power plants.
MoEF&CC) has already notified G.S.R. 285(E) dated 22nd April, 2021 and considering the revision of the principal notification number S.O.763(E), and its subsequent amendments for consolidating the notification in the interest of effective fly ash utilisation by the coal or lignite based thermal power plants. The Ministry has invited comments on the same. The comments may be sent to the Ministry through e-mail id: "firstname.lastname@example.org”.
The new draft amendment suggests huge changes in the 2019 draft notifications.
Boom Boom Bandhavgarh
28th May 2021, New Delhi: People and big cats share an unusual relationship. We have long associated these “kings of the jungle” with courage and power. We name luxury cars and sports brands after them. And they are synonymous with high fashion. Tigers, the top predators in an ecosystem, are vital in regulating and perpetuating ecological processes. Ensuring the conservation of this top carnivore guarantees the well-being of forested ecosystems, the biodiversity they represent as well as water and climate security. As recently as a century ago, there were as many as 100,000 wild tigers in Asia. An UNEP article of March 2018 states that there remain about 3,900 of these magnificent big cats in the wild. The fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation 2018, results of which were declared to the nation on Global Tiger Day 2019 entered the Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey.
May 2021 witnessed the tragic death of two cubs in Maharashtra. And, now, in a neighbouring state, Madhya Pradesh, which is facing ire of environmentalists due to forest loss in the quest of diamond mines, a whopping 41 cubs were traced. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (BTR), once known for highest tiger density in in news again. The PTI reported today that Madhya Pradesh's Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (BTR) has witnessed a big cat boom, as foresters have spotted nearly 41 tiger cubs, from newborns to one year olds, at the sanctuary, a senior forest official said on Friday.
PTI report also states that Foresters have collected the information from camera traps and based on actual sightings of cubs in the reserve, which is a densely populated haven for big cats in the state. It is reported that Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Alok Kumar has said "The forest staff after analysing the data has found over 41 tiger cubs, from newborns to one year olds, at BTR."
As per the data, four eight to 10-month-old cubs were spotted in Kallavah beat, while 12 in the same age group were seen in Pator. Similarly, five cubs of a tigress identified as T-17 were seen in Tala beat, four six-month-old cubs were spotted in Dhamakhor, while Panpatha core and buffer areas have two three-month-old big cats each, it was stated. Apart from these, Bhanpur has two newborns, five cubs aged 10 to 12 months old were seen in Maghdi beat and four in the age group of eight to 12 months old in Khitouli, the official said, adding that two cubs were spotted in a cave in Badkheda beat.
The BTR is also known as a nursery of tigers in the state and once they grow, adult big cats are shifted to places in and out of the state, where their density is low, informed by the PCCF (WL).
Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968 and later as a tiger reserve in 1993. Spread across 716 sq km, the reserve is known for the highest density of tiger population. Bandhavgarh was placed ast 11th position in the 2018 tiger census reports.
On the eve of Global Tiger Day in New Delhi on 28th July 2020 Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, while releasing of the detailed report of Tiger Census, mentioned that India is tirelessly working with all 13 tiger range countries towards nurturing the tiger. India’s tiger population now stands at 2967, excluding cubs. There is hardly any parallel of such a focused species oriented program like Project Tiger across the world, which started with 9 Tiger Reserves, with 50 tiger reserves currently. And none of the reserves are of poor quality.
Authorities concerned should ensure the protection of the cubs and there should not be any repeat of untoward incidence that took place in Bhandara district of Maharashtra in the middle of this month.
Turtle considered extinct for 100 years, resurfaces
NGT expresses concern over Construction Projects dealt by Maharashtra SEIAA
TDB National Award 2021 to Carbon Recycling Tech Startup
Goodyear CSR Report 2020 depicts 55% reduction in water intake globally
24th May 2021, New Delhi: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, one of the world’s largest tire companies, today released its annual report on corporate responsibility performance.
According to a company release, Goodyear’s 2020 report is organized by the pillars of the Better Future framework, which are Sustainable Sourcing, Responsible Operations, Advanced Mobility and Inspiring Culture. In 2020, Goodyear introduced its fourth consumer tire line that features soybean oil as a replacement for petroleum-derived oils. Soybean oil is a bio-based, renewable resource that helps keep a tire’s rubber compound pliable in low temperatures, a key performance achievement in maintaining and enhancing grip in dry, wet and winter weather.
The company states achieving a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity, a 19% reduction in energy intensity and a 55% reduction in water intensity, all compared to a 2010 baseline.
In terms of energy efficiency programme, installation of low pressure steam turbine at Goodyear's Aurangabad, plant in India has reportedly resulted in an approximate annual savings of 480 kW. Full LED lighting installation was completed in Aurangabad and Ballabgarh units in India. The company has also installed 250 kW solar power generation in Aurangabad plant,
The CSR 2020 report depicts that steam generation and distribution projects in Pulandian, China; Aurangabad, India; Indonesia; and Thailand resulted in a combined savings of 8,821 MT of steam with GHG emissions reduction of 1,568 MT. Further, technological initiatives like centrifugal compressors in Ballabhgarh, India and Pulandian, China, resulted in savings of 2,376 MWh with GHG emissions reductions of 1,947 MT. The compnay has also implemented heat recovery system installation in Aurangabad, India, and Pulandian, China that has resulted in reduced steam consumption of 7,848 MT with GHG emissions reduction of 1,454 MT.
Though, Goodyear’s production of tires is not a water-intensive process, in 2020, the company reduced its global water usage by 55% from a 2010 baseline. The replacement of eight low-efficiency water filters with five high-efficiency ones at our plant in Adapazari, India, saves nearly 364 kilo-liter water a day and 22 tons of salt per month. The replacement filters, which also result in a savings of approximately $6,800 per year, which is more than Rs. 4.95 lakh/year. It also requires less backwashes and use less water per backwashing cycle.
International Day for Biological Diversity 2021 - a call for action to biodiversity
22nd May 2021, New Delhi: “We will all be losers if we don’t achieve peace with the planet”, Secretary-General António Guterres told a webinar ahead of the International Day for Biological Diversity, commemorated annually on 22 May. “We should all be advocates for nature”, he said.
Nature sustains life and provides opportunities, services and solutions, he explained, noting that “a healthy planet is critical for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet, biodiversity is declining at an “unprecedented and alarming rate”, and the pressures are intensifying, he warned.
“We have failed to meet any of our internationally agreed biodiversity targets”, the UN chief said.
During International Day for Biological Diversity 2020, Union Minster for Environment, Forest and Climate Change has stated that India, a mega biodiverse country, welcomes those countries who are interested in improving their biodiversity scenarios, and we are ready to share our experiences and best practices with them. On the eve, the Environment minister also laid emphasis on the need to limit our consumption and promote a sustainable lifestyle.
The United Nations proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity (Biodiversity Day) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues (UNGA Resolution 1994, COP1 Decision, UNGA Resolution 2000). Biodiversity Day 2021 is a call to action for biodiversity. Theme of this year is “We’re part of the solution”. The slogan was chosen to be a continuation of the momentum generated last year under the over-arching theme, “Our solutions are in nature”, which served as a reminder that biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges. From nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better.
Today, World Bee Day
NABL mandates QR Code for accredited laboratories
Rama Venugopal, Founder Member and President of Consultants Consortium of Chennai, also hailed NABL’s decision. She said, by this, authenticity of test reports and calibration certificates can be verified. It was long overdue. Quality and Safety is always linked to communities’ wellbeing, she added.
Dumping of dead bodies into river water must stop to protect water quality
Sand bury of dead bodies on river bank must also be prevented
16th May 2021, New Delhi: Encountering the heart-sinking view of floating dead and decomposing bodies across river Ganga is not new. It has a huge water pollution load, besides damaging the social values. When the country is facing an extraordinary situation due to increase in number of COVID-19 cases and consequential deaths, dumping of dead bodies, partially burnt or decomposed corpses in the river Ganga and its tributaries has become a matter of grave concern.
According to a shocking report by Hindi Daily Dainik Bhaskar on 14th May 2021, over 2000 bodies were found on the bank of river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh within 1140 kilometers. Bhaskar’s reporters traveled to Bijnor, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Bulandshahr, Hapur, Aligarh, Kasganj, Sambhal, Amroha, Badanyu, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Farrukhabad, Kannauj, Kanpur, Unnao, Raebareli, Fatehpur, Prayagraj, Pratapgarh, Prayagraj, Pratapgarh, Prayagraj, Pratapgarh Visited the ghats and villages along the Ganges in Varanasi, Chandauli, Ghazipur and Ballia. Ganga travels 1140 kilometers in these districts of UP and enters Bihar. This is most undesirable and alarming. As per the report, the situation was very bad in Kanpur, Kannauj, Unnao, Ghazipur and Ballia.
Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) stated that the instructions already given and wanted expeditious action and also underscored the need to give equal attention to such incidents in urban as well as rural areas along Ganga and other rivers. He stressed on stopping of dumping of dead bodies as well as their safe disposal and protection of water quality has to be attended to on war footing. In a review meeting on 15th May 2021, he mentioned that after knowing the progress from states; the Central Water Commission (CWC), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) would also be giving their feedback and action plans.
Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga said that there is need to strengthen enforcement, maintain vigil and also take proactive action to facilitate and support the families for cremation of dead bodies and asked state missions to specifically report on this. If needed, Project Directors can assess and also give support to District Ganga Committees for this out of NMCG funds available with them while keeping NMCG informed.
In UP and Bihar, district magistrates are getting patrolling carried out to prevent dumping of dead bodies in Ganga. It was informed in the review meeting that 13 crematoriums under NamamiGange in addition to existing ones are made available for cremation of dead bodies in UP. UP has also informed to have issued orders for financial support in urban areas.
Debashree Mukherjee, Addl. Secretary, MoJS stated that besides urgent assessment of the risks imposed to the river-side communities by the PCBs, there is need for spreading awareness with the river side communities on do’s/ don’t for the use of river water and to prevent such incidents of dumping of bodies in the river.
Prashant Gargava, Member Secretary, CPCB apprised that the board has forewarned all water monitoring stations along Ganga and her tributaries. The periodicity of testing water quality has also been increased.
CWC is also monitoring flow and water quality through their stations and will further increase frequency.
It was also decided that burying of dead bodies in sand along the river must also be prevented. A suitable awareness generation program needs to be taken up against the ill effects of such practices. SPCBs were directed to improve and make more frequent water quality monitoring in consultations with the health department. The CPCB was assigned the task of over-all monitoring and giving guidance to state pollution control boards and to take up advanced analysis in the matter. Support for cremation needs to be given top priority for safe and dignified cremation. Effective implementation of the Govt orders needs to be ensured and no loss of time should take place in implementation.
Centre issues advisory to States & UTs for safe drinking water supply
15th May 2021, New Delhi: The National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) has issued an advisory to the States and UTs to carryout water quality monitoring and surveillance (WQM&S) activities. This is essential to ensure potable drinking water to every rural home and public institution in all villages across country.
In the wake of CoVid-19 pandemic, criticality of public health including preventive action, is well understood, making safe drinking water, improved sanitation and better hygiene a pre-requisite for improved public health. Further, a number of water-borne diseases can be prevented with regular water quality testing and timely remedial action.
Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is being implemented across the country in partnership with States/ UTs. The Mission aims at providing assured tap water supply to every rural home by 2024. Under JJM, up to 2% of total fund allocation is to be used on water quality monitoring & surveillance activities, which primarily comprise of water quality monitoring by Department through laboratory testing and water quality surveillance by community through testing local water sources using Field Test Kits (FTKs). All drinking water sources are to be tested once a year for chemical contamination and twice a year for bacteriological parameters (pre and post monsoon). It is also emphasized that the fund should be utilized for setting up of laboratories, its upgradation, hiring human resources, procuring FTKs/ vials, equipment/ glassware, provide training/ capacity building, carry out IEC activities, etc. on urgent basis.
With a view to empower the local community on water quality surveillance, States have been advised to identify and train 5 persons especially women in each village from local community, viz. ASHA workers, health workers, VWSC/ Pani Samiti members, teachers, SHG members, etc., to conduct water quality tests using FTKs/ bacteriological vials at village level, schools and anganwadi centres. FTKs/ vials are procured and provided to every Panchayat to enable them conduct tests on regular basis.
Further, Jal Jeevan Mission – Water Quality Management Information System (JJM-WQMIS) has been developed in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dept of Health Research (DHR) as an online portal along with mobile application for water quality management. All water quality testing data i.e. sample collection, tests results both in laboratories including mobile labs and through water quality testing kits, are uploaded on this portal. The availability of all water quality related data at one place will be helpful in easy access and tracing the history of every drinking water source so that timely remedial action is ensured for every home. The link to access the portal is https://jaljeevanmission.gov.in/ or https://neer.icmr.org.in/website/main.php.
The advisory also stated that every State/ UT is to have at least one State/ UT level laboratory and region-wise laboratories in bigger States/ UTs so that all nearby sources are tested regularly. Similarly, all districts to have a district-level laboratory and setting up of the same to be accorded highest priority. All State/ regional and district level laboratories are to be made fully functional and it is mandatory to get them NABL accredited. All sub-division/ block level laboratories are to get NABL accreditation.
Further, all laboratories are to be opened for public to test their water samples at a nominal rate. This will instill confidence in public on the quality of water supplied and the demand for water purification devices will be curtailed.
The motto of the Jal Jeevan Mission is service delivery and not just infrastructure creation. Empowered and enabled Panchayats as well as community, who will ultimately be the custodian of the infrastructure created, will be in a position to operate, maintain and sustain the water supply system created in each village for its entire design cycle.
Gas Cylinder Rules, 2016 relaxed amid Medical Oxygen Crisis
15th May 2021, New Delhi: Government of India has reviewed the existing procedure for approval of global manufacturers for importing oxygen cylinders by Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organization (PESO). In view of the COVID pandemic, PESO shall not carry out physical inspection of global manufacturers' production facilities before grant of such approval. Now, such approvals shall be granted online without any delay on submission of manufacturer’s particulars; ISO certificate of manufacturer; List of Cylinders their specifications, drawings & batch number; Hydro test certificate and Third-Party inspection Certificate. Every foreign manufacturer/importer who wants to import oxygen cylinders is required to apply for import permission through PESO online system.
PESO Certification will not be mandatory pre-shipment. However, the certification of PESO will be required before use of the oxygen cylinders, which entails weight and hydro testing. The Indian Missions should however ensure that the oxygen cylinders should comply with India or International standards before shipment. In case of filled cylinders, the agency exporting to India shall certify that the oxygen filled in the cylinder is of such purity and concentration that is fit for medical use. The certification shall be attested by the Indian Mission in the exporting country. Further, soon upon receipt in India, such filled cylinders shall be inspected on sample basis by an empanelled agency of PESO and certified as fit for medical use. The following relaxations have been initiated by the Central Government.
Design approval prior to import of oxygen cylinders under Rule 3(3) of the Gas Cylinders Rules, 2016 has been relaxed and now cylinders manufactured with any international code without TPIA appraisal shall be acceptable.
Recognition of Original Equipment Manufacturer with 10 years experience under Rule 3(3) of the Gas Cylinders Rules, 2016 and Filling permission as required under Rule 43 & 45 of the Gas Cylinders Rules, 2016 has been exempted with conditions that conformity of weight reduction not more than 5% of tare weight and must pass hydro static test at a pressure of 225 Kg/Cm2 for 30 seconds.
PSA installations and other COVID centres installations with cylinder filling facilities as required under Rule 50, 51 & 54 of the Gas Cylinders Rules, 2016 has been exempted to obtain E&F licence with moderate guidelines prepared by PESO to be followed.
All the filled cylinders must be verified for quality of gas filled therein under the supervision of medical/ Food and Drugs Controllers and if quality of gas conforms to their requirement of medical oxygen, cylinder may be sent directly to hospitals for use. On emptying out the oxygen, cylinder shall be sent to filler and the process as given above shall be followed.
The government has also issued guidelines for PSA installations at hospitals with filling facility or at COVID centers, as follows:
Manufacturing of zero pollution paper sizing products needs EC?
Production of Bitumen Emulsions, Modified Bitumen & Road bond from Bitumen needs prior EC
14th May 2021, New Delhi: The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for Industry-2 sector projects, set up by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has clarified that prior Environmental Clearance is required for the production of Bitumen Emulsions, Modified Bitumen and Road bond from Bitumen. The EAC, chaired by Dr. J. P. Gupta, decided that the activity falls under category 4(a) [Petroleum Refining Industry] of Schedule of EIA Notification, 2006.
The EAC decision came during their 33rd meeting while discussing a case of Hindustan Colas Pvt. Ltd., which plans to produce Bitumen Emulsions, Modified Bitumen, and Road bond from Bitumen.
In another similar event, the EAC for Industry-3 sector projects, set up by the MoEF&CC, in its 9th meeting, deliberated on a proposal to set up zero pollution paper sizing products (formulation type) Manufacturing Unit by Sree Padma Industries. The EAC, chaired by Dr. Rajashekar P. Mandi, after a detailed deliberation opined that the instant process falls under Synthetic Organic Chemical and should require prior Environmental Clearance as per the provisions of the EIA Notification, 2006 amended time to time.
DST's SATHI may scale India's high-end testing capacity, reduce foreign dependence
CPCB's role in dealing Green issues for Green Court and the Nation
13th May 2021, New Delhi: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), was instituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Since then, the Board, an apex statutory institution, has put forward many technical advisories and countrywide plans for execution on various facets of abatement of pollution. CPCB is not only functioning as main arm of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change but, it has worked as technical arm of India's Green Court, the National Green Tribunal ( NGT).
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IREDA gets Green Urja Award
BIS to release Indian Standards for Low-cost EV Charging Points
12th May 2021, New Delhi: Chasing a reduction in the dependence on import of crude oil, India is promoting use of Electric Vehicles (EVs). This transformative mobility program is also expected to reduce carbon emissions, and improve air quality. Several initiatives, such as, Mission for Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage, are being taken by the NITI Aayog. The launch of FAME-2 incentives are intended to stimulate the production and demand for EVs in India. Yet, the consumer adoption of EVs will also depend on the easy availability of EV charging infrastructure. Potential buyers must be confident of finding chargers for their vehicles when they are away from home.
In India, the share of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) two-wheelers & three-wheelers is ~84% of total vehicle sales. Therefore, the fastest adoption of EVs is expected to be in two-wheelers and three-wheelers. By 2025, forecasts expect up to 4 million of such vehicles could be sold each year, growing to almost 10 million by 2030. This needs a cost effective and easily accessible charging infrastructure.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India, in close co-ordination with NITI Aayog team had taken on this challenge. A committee involving all the key stakeholders including EV manufacturers, auto and electronic component suppliers, power utilities, and communication service providers has worked in fast-track mode to develop specifications, prototype products, and undertake testing and validation of the proposed standards. These will be formally issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
The Group had set a target price of less than Rs. 3500 for a smart AC charge point operated with a smartphone, for a global breakthrough in affordable EV charging infrastructure. Fast-track development of the standard, close working between industry and government, and diligent testing and validation has met with success. This Low-Cost AC Charge point (LAC) allows up to 3 kW of power to be drawn charging eScooters and eAutorickshaws. The user’s smartphone will communicate with the LAC via low-power Bluetooth and links up to a back-end where transaction payment and analytics are enabled. The user’s smartphone can be used for multiple accounts and payment options.
Several Indian manufacturers are already on board to make this Charge Point Device, as per Indian Standards, with target prices starting as low as Rs. 3500. The LAC device is intended to be highly scalable and deployed in any place where a 220V 15A single phase line is available – mainly targeting parking lots of metro and railway stations, shopping malls, hospitals, office complexes, apartments and even kirana and other shops.
The draft Indian Standard has been taken up by the BIS Committee on Electromobility Standards. The formal release of the standards will be done within next two months, after completion of field and durability trials of sample products. It is expected that a new industry sector will emerge catering to the high volume, low-cost charging infrastructure for EVs.
4 States & UTs have become Har Ghar Jal under Jal Jeevan Mission
11th May 2021, New Delhi: Puducherry has become the 4th among States and Union Territories (UTs) to provide every rural household a tap water connection under the Union Government’s flagship programme, Jal Jeevan Mission. Earlier Goa, Telangana and Andaman & Nicobar Islands have already attained this feat.
All 1.16 lakh rural households in Puducherry have tap water supply now. The UT has achieved the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ status much ahead of the target fixed. During Annual Action Plan finalization of the UT in April, 2021. The UT is also planning to get NABL accreditation for its water quality testing laboratories and take up testing of all drinking water sources on a campaign mode. The National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is the leading under organization to offer ISO 17025: 2017 in India
The UT of Puducherry is now planning for effective treatment and reuse of greywater coming out of homes. The UT is actively working towards water source sustainability. The four regions, namely Pondicherry Region, Karaikal, Yanam and Mahe region are at different locations, geographically separated from each other. Puducherry is blessed with various rivers and tributaries. Five rivers in Puducherry district, seven in Karaikal district, two in Mahé district and one in Yanam district drain into the sea, but none originates within the territory. Puducherry has 84 irrigation tanks and more than 500 ponds which are the lifeline for groundwater recharging systems, drinking water and agriculture. Puducherry has been consistently working towards de-silting of ponds & rejuvenation of its local water bodies, which is crucial for drinking water supply schemes. An effective community mobilisation & participation is achieved through a well-charted IEC plan by the UT.
Jal Jeevan Mission is a flagship programme of the Union Government, which aims to provide tap water connection to every rural household of the country by 2024. Under Jal Jeevan Mission, in 2021-22, in addition to Rs 50,011 Crore budgetary allocation for JJM, there is also Rs 26,940 Crore assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied-grant to RLB/ PRIs for water & sanitation, matching State share and externally aided as well as State funded projects. Thus, in 2021-22, more than Rs. 1 lakh Crore is planned to be invested in the country on ensuring tap water supply to rural homes. This kind of investment in rural areas will boost the rural economy.
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C. N. Pandey led EAC recommends Show Cause Notice to EIA Consultants
EAC observes several flaws in reports submitted by EIA consultants Ardra Consulting Services, GreenC India Consulting
29th April 2021, New Delhi: The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for Industry Projects (Industry-1 Sector) constituted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) while appraising the application for expansion of a steel plant project by AMMAN-TRY Sponge & Power Pvt. Ltd. found several flaws in the EIA report. The EAC has recommended to issue Show Cause Notice to the Bhubaneshwar based EIA consultant, Ardra Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd.
Rail Double-tracking in Goa seems iffy
27th April 2021, New Delhi: According to PTI, the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee has recommended revocation of the permission granted by the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) for double-tracking the South-Western railway track which runs through Bhagwan Mahaveer wildlife sanctuary and the National Park at Mollem.
The double-tracking project has been strongly opposed by environmentalists who claim that it will threaten the ecologically sensitive Western Ghats.
The panel, in its 23rd April report, has stated that it did not find any justification for undertaking the rail double-tracking project which will destroy the fragile eco-system of the Western Ghats- an internationally recognised biodiversity hotspot and also one of the most important wildlife corridors of the country.
Citing that the doubling project will only be marginally enhancing the capacity of the most inefficient section of the railway network passing through the ecologically sensitive and bio-diversity rich tiger reserve, two wildlife sanctuaries, and a national park; the committee has submitted a 110-page report recommending Supreme Court to consider revocation of the permission granted by the standing committee of the NBWL.
Several locals groups had raised objections over three linear projects, including double-tracking of the South Western Railway line, four-laning of a national highway and laying of a power transmission line by the Goa Tamnar Transmission Project Limited (GTTPL).
The projects were cleared by the NBWL's standing committee despite apprehensions that they would severely affect the bio-diversity of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and the National Park at Mollem, both located on the Goa-Karnataka border.
The committee was formed following an application filed before the Supreme Court by the Goa Foundation NGO.
MoEFCC brings back CAQM through fresh Ordinance
26th April 2020, New Delhi: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has brought back the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas through a new Ordinance vide S.O. 1687(E) Dated 23rd April 2021.
Dr. M. M. Kutty, Ex-Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas will act as Full-time Chairperson, while Ramesh K. J., Ex-Director General, IMD will be the Full-time Technical Member. Arvind Kumar Nautiyal, Joint Secretary has been named as Full-time Member Secretary.
Ashish Dhawan, Air Pollution Action Group is a NGO Member. There are nine ex-officio members from MoEFCC, Central Pollution Control Board, National Institution for Transforming India Aayog, Secretaries from Govt. of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana & Rajasthan. Alongside, the commission has also got five associate members from different ministries of the central government.
Earth Day 2021: Restore Our Earth
22.04.2021, New Delhi: The United Nations General Assembly designated 22nd April as International Mother Earth Day through a resolution adopted in 2009. However, the original roots go back to the 1970s when environmental protection was not yet a priority of the national political agendas.
The Day recognises the Earth and its ecosystems as humanity's common home and the need to protect her to enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity. The theme for 2021 is Restore our Earth.
On this eve, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the Leaders’ Summit on Climate at the invitation of President of U.S.A. Joseph R. Biden, being held virtually on 22-23 April 2021. Prime Minister will make his remarks in the Leaders’ Session 1 on 22 April 2021 from 5.30 to 7.30 pm IST on "Our Collective Sprint to 2030”.
Nearly 40 other world leaders are participating in the Summit. They will represent countries which are members of the Major Economies Forum (India is a member), and those vulnerable to climate change, among others. The Leaders will exchange views on climate change, enhancing climate actions, mobilising finance towards climate mitigation and adaptation, nature based solutions, climate security as well as technological innovations for clean energy.
The Leaders will also deliberate on how the world can align climate action with inclusive and resilient economic development, while respecting national circumstances and sustainable development priorities.
The Summit is a part of a series of global meetings focusing on climate issues, being held in the run up to COP26 in November 2021.
All sessions will be live streamed and open to the media and public.
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MoEFCC extends last date for Medini Puraskar 2020-21 Application
14.04.2021, New Delhi: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has extended the last date for application submission under its Medini Puraskar Yojana 2020-21.
The objective of Medini Puraskar Scheme is to encourage Indian authors to write books originally in Hindi on the subject Environment and related subjects such as . (i) Environment Protection; (ii) Pollution Control; (iii) Environmental Impact Assessment; (iv) Ecological Restoration and Development; (v) Forest Conservation; (vi) Forest Resources and Development; (vii) Protection of Wildlife; (viii) Biodiversity; (ix) Climate Change; (x) Conservation of Nature and Biosphere Reserve; (xi) Environment Education; and (xii) Nature & Environment related topics/subjects etc.
Original books published after 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2021 for the last three consecutive years and at least 100 printed pages of dimai size would be accepted for consideration for awards.
Cash awards to be given under the scheme are :- First prize Rs. 1,00,000/- (one) Second prize Rs. 75,000/- (one) Third prize Rs. 50,000/- (one) Consolation prize Rs. 25,000/- (one)
Any book which has received any award, subsidy or any financial assistance under any similar scheme, being operated by Government of India or any State Government or any organisation would not be eligible for consideration for the said award. Authors, whose books have already been awarded by the Ministry, would not be eligible for participating under the scheme for the next three years.
Any Indian author may send his/her entries, duly filled in the prescribed proforma, alongwith seven copies of his/her book, latest by 15th May, 2021 (revised date) to the Director (OL), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Room No.P227, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, Jor Bagh Road, Aliganj, New Delhi-110003.
Detailed proforma can be had from website http://www.envfor.nic.in
Hydrogen Roundtable on 15th April
Amidst growing pressure on climate commitments, Hydrogen is gaining increasing importance as a source to bridge energy gaps and also as a standalone source to conventional fuels.
To discuss emerging hydrogen ecosystems and exploring opportunities for collaboration, cooperation and coalition, a virtual Hydrogen Roundtable is being organized on 15th April 2021 by the Energy Forum (TEF) and the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPI), under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India. The Roundtable event titled “Hydrogen Economy- the Indian Dialogue-2021” can be accessed from www.futureenergyasia.com/hydrogen-economy, from 2 pm (IST) on 15th April 2021.
3000 participants expected.
5th Annual Apex India Awards and Conference on Health & Safety
Environment (Protection) Amendment Rules, 2021
No import of PVC pipes & fittings using lead or lead compounds as stabilizer
7th April 2021, New Delhi: Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India has brought two important notifications. G.S.R. 243(E) , called the Environment (Protection) Amendment Rules, 2021, which comes into force on the date of publication that is 31st March 2021 - pertains to Thermal Power Plant (TPP). The notification has provision for the formation of a task force shall be by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) comprising of representative from MoEFCC, Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and CPCB to categorise TPPs in three categories on the basis of their location to comply with the emission norms within the time limit.
TPPs within 10 km radius of National Capital Region or cities having more than a million population will be reckoned as Category A, while within 10 km radius of Critically Polluted Areas or Non-attainment cities (as defined by CPCB) to be categorized as Category B. In Category C will fall all other than those included in category A and B.
For Category A, the time line for compliance shall be up to 31" December 2022 irrespective of Retiring or Non-retiring units, while for the Category B, the time line for compliance shall be 31st December 2023 for non-retiring units and 31st December 2025 for retiring units. Compliance timeline for Category C, shall be 31st December 2024 for non-retiring units and 31st December 2025 for retiring units.
There will be Environmental Compensation Charges for Non-Compliant operation beyond the Timeline 0 to 180 days, 180 to 365 days and above 365 days. The rates based on per unit electricity generated has been notified for different categories.
Another one is G.S.R. 228(E) called the Lead Stabilizer in Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Pipes and Fittings Rules, 2021, shall come into force six months after the date of publication that is 30th March 2021. This notification pertains to compliance with the limits of the lead extraction, as specified for the Indian Standards by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). According to the rules, the manufacturer shall obtain a licence from BIS within a period of six months from the date of publication of the rules (30th September 2021) in accordance with Scheme-I of Schedule-II of the Bureau of Indian Standards (Conformity Assessment) Regulations, 2018. Further, the manufacturers shall have to mark the "Standard Mark" on all the PVC pipes and fittings in accordance with the specification provided in the licence issued by the BIS.
The rules have the provision that manufacturers of PVC pipes and fittings shall be prohibited to use lead or lead compounds as stabilizer in manufacturing of such PVC pipes and fittings as provided in column.
Further, as per the rules, no importer of the PVC pipes and fittings shall be allowed to import such PVC pipes and fittings manufactured using lead or lead compounds as stabilizer for items specified in the Schedule after expiry of three months from the date of publication of these rules. Sale and import of the PVC Pipes and Fittings falling under category A, B and C in the Schedule shall be regulated through this notification, except export.
India's One Year of CMS COP Presidency
6th April 2021, New Delhi: Government of India, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has brought details of the actions undertaken during year 2020-21 with the help of the Scientific communities, Civil Society Organizations; as was promised during the COP at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The report "First year of CMS COP Presidency" mentions about the launch of ‘National Marine Turtle Action Plan (2021-26)’ on 28th January 2021. It also deliberates on the release of the guidelines for managing marine megafauna stranding, viz., ‘The Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Management Guidelines’ which is the first of its kind in the country. The Guidelines have taken into account the global best practices in management of marine mega fauna stranding. This guideline is in sync with various decisions of CMS COP-13 pertaining to Cetacean conservation and reducing by-catch.
The report also lists “Eco-Friendly Measures to Mitigate Impacts of Linear Infrastructure on Wildlife” and Prime Minister's announcement of National Programme ‘Project Dolphin’ aimed to bring more focussed conservation of Dolphins (both riverine and marine) on the eve of 74th Independence Day celebrations on 15th August 2020.
For conservation of Elephants, including their safe natural migration across international borders, as well as to mitigate Human-Elephant Conflicts, India initiated a series of dialogues with the Government of Bangladesh on trans-boundary conservation of elephants which resulted in drafting a Protocol on Trans-boundary Elephant Conservation between Republic of Bangladesh and Republic of India. The Protocol was signed by both the countries on 17th December, 2020.
The report highlights Government of India signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Myanmar for cooperation on combating of timber trafficking and conservation of tigers and other wildlife. Actions initiated for the conservation of Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), a critically endangered bird, Vultures, Migratory Birds, and Snow Leopards are also listed in the report.
During this pandemic year, India has issued an Advisory for Voluntary Disclosure of Exotic Live Species, with the objectives of creating a unified information system of the stock of exotic live species at the State/Central level through voluntary disclosure and the use of that database towards controlling and management of zoonotic diseases, and for facilitating better management of the species and providing guidance to their holders for their proper care and well-being. This initiative is also in sync with CMS COP 13 Decision 13.16 to 13.19 in connection with international trade in Appenix –I listed migratory species. .
During the first year of CMS COP Presidency, India has developed its National Action Plan for conservation of migratory birds along the Central Asian Flyway. In pursuance of UNEP/CMS/Resolution 12.11 (Rev. COP 13) on flyways and CMS COP 13 decision - 13.46, India has taken initiatives for creating a common platform for promoting research, capacity building and conservation initiatives and is finalizing a programme in association with the CMS Secretariat to build the capacity of CAF range countries for preparation of thier respective National Action Plans for conservation of migratory birds along the Central Asian Flyway.
The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) came into force in November 1983. India became a Party to the CMS in November 1983. The 13h Conference of Parties (COP) to the CMS was held in Gandinagar, Gujarat in February 2020.
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Javadekar urges States to aptly utilize FAME Fund
29.03.2021, New Delhi: Representatives of State Pollution Control Boards, Urban Local Bodies and Institutes of Repute signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 26th March 2021 for 132 identified cities for the implementation of city specific action plans under National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar was also present on the occasion. Javadekar said that concerted efforts are required by the State Governments and all concerned for improving air quality in the country towards realizing the vision of ‘Swatch Bharat, Swatch Vayu’ and exhorted all to work in mission mode.
"Today's initiative is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi of curbing air pollution by 20% in the next 4 years in over 100 cities… it is not an easy task but a tough challenge which we all need to achieve together." said the Union Environment Minister.
The Minister urged the States to quickly procure e-buses for public transport purpose sanctioned under the FAME Scheme. Regretting that despite allocation of funds for 6000 e-buses to different cities across the country only 600 buses have been procured and are operational, he said if any city fails to utilise the funds sanctioned for procurement of e-buses the allocation will go to other cities.
The city action plans have been prepared to control specific air pollution sources through multidimensional actions by brining several implementation agencies together. Expansion of ambient air quality network, source apportionment studies, public awareness, grievance redressal mechanism and sector specific action points are part of these action plans.
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Where to raise voice to protect waterbody in your area?
23.03.2021, New Delhi: Coincidentally, on the eve of World Water Day 2021, the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) passed an Order pertaining to remove encroachments from a water body near HSIIDC, Village Sersa, Tehsil Rai, District Sonipat. Smt. Neelam, Sarpanch, in her Original Application No. 69/2021 has stated that the water body was earlier source of water for the village but in the course of time, sewage wastage is being diverted to the water body. Finally, the same has been trespassed for illegal constructions but no action has been taken.
The Principal Bench of NGT headed by Chairman Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel noted that the matter of restoration of water bodies has been dealt with by the Tribunal vide order dated 18.11.2020 in O.A. No. 325/2015, Lt. Col. Sarvadaman Singh Oberoi v. UOI & Ors. Any individual grievances may be first raised before the appropriate Grievance Redressal Mechanism (GRM) or by moving the concerned District Magistrate, which may be looked into on merits.
In the Order pertaining to O.A. No. 325/2015 the NGT has directed all States and UTs to designate a nodal agency for restoration of water bodies, if no such agency exists. The designated nodal agency, under the oversight of the Chief Secretaries of the States, UTs should hold meeting before 31st January 2021 to take stock of the situation and plan further steps, including directions to District Authorities for further course of action up to Panchayat levels and to evolve further monitoring mechanism as well as Grievance Redressal Mechanism (GRM).
The designated nodal agency was also directed to submit periodical reports to the Central Pollution Control Committee (CPCB) and Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India. First such report may be furnished by 28th February 2021.
Prime Minister addresses Nation on World Water Day 2021
22.03.2021, New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan-II: Catch the Rain’ campaign on World Water Day 2021 via video conferencing. On this eve, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Union Minister of Jal Shakti and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to implement the Ken-Betwa Link Project, the first project of the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers, in the presence of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister also interacted with sarpanches and ward panches in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said on International Water Day, a major step has also been taken for the Ken-Betwa Link Canal along with the introduction of the Catch The Rain campaign. He added this agreement is important to realize Atal ji's dream in the interest of millions of families of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. He opined that rapid development is impossible without water security and effective water management. He added that the vision of India's development and India's self-reliance, is dependent on our water sources and our Water Connectivity.
The challenge of the water crisis is increasing equally with India’s development said the Prime Minister. He said it is the responsibility of the present generation of the country to fulfill its responsibility for the generations to come. Highlighting programmes like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna, water campaign to every farm - Har Khet ko Paani, 'Per Drop More Crop' campaign, Sahi Fasal and NamamiGange Mission, Jal Jeevan Mission or Atal Bhujal Yojana, Prime Minister Modi asserted that the government has made water governance a priority in its policies and decisions in the last 6 years.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the better India manages rainwater, the lesser the country's dependence on groundwater. Therefore, success of campaigns like 'Catch the Rain' is very important. He noted that both urban and rural areas have been included in the Jal Shakti Abhiyan. He called upon to step up water conservation efforts in the days leading up to Monsoon. Emphasizing the importance of sarpanches and DMs/DCs, The Prime Minister said that the ‘Jal Shapath’ which is being organized all over the country should become everybody’s pledge and second nature. He said when our nature changes with respect to water, nature will also support us.
The Prime Minister noted that apart from rain water harvesting, the management of river water in our country has also been discussed for decades. To save the country from a water crisis, it is now necessary to work rapidly in this direction. He said the Ken-Betwa Link Project is also part of this vision. He lauded both the Government of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for making this project a reality.
The Prime Minister said just 1.5 years ago, just 3.5 crore out of 19 crore rural families in our country, got piped drinking water. He expressed happiness that after the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, about 4 crore new families have piped drinking water connections in such a short time. He noted that public participation and local governance model are at the core of the Jal Jeevan Mission.
The Prime Minister remarked that for the first time after independence, a government is working so seriously with regard to water testing. He pointed out that rural sisters and daughters have been made stakeholders in this campaign of water testing. He said during the Corona period itself, about 4.5 lakh women were trained for water testing. Every village is getting at least 5 trained women for water testing. Better results are a certainty with increased participation of women in water governance, the Prime Minister concluded.
By 2030, India to cut emission intensity up to 35%
19.03.2021, New Delhi: As per the report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the average global temperature for 2015-2019 is currently estimated to be 1.1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels. This was informed by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar in the Lok Sabha.
The Minister also said, according to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the surface air temperature over India has risen by about 0.7°C during 1901–2018 which is accompanied with an increase in atmospheric moisture content. The sea surface temperatures in the tropical Indian Ocean have also increased by about 1°C during 1951–2015. On an average, at present, the sea level along the Indian coast is estimated to be rising at about 1.7 mm/year.
Under the Paris Agreement, India has submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) outlining eight targets for 2021-2030, including (i) to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35% by 2030 from 2005 level, (ii) to achieve about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030 with help of the transfer of technology and low-cost international finance, (iii) to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.The other targets pertain to sustainable lifestyles; climate friendly growth path; climate change adaptation; climate change finance; and capacity building and technology. These goals have to be achieved between 2021 and 2030.
National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) provides an overarching framework for all climate actions. Implementation of the NAPCC and other measures has led to a reduction in emission intensity of GDP by about 24% between 2005 and 2016. 24.56% of geographic area in the country is under forest and tree cover and carbon sink in India’s forests is increasing. Cumulative electric installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources stands at 38.5%.India is on track to achieve its targets under the Paris Agreement for combating climate change.
Programmes to Conserve Waterbodies in India
19.03.2021, New Delhi: Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar has informed the Lok Sabha that rapid urbanization, developmental activities and anthropogenic pressures do stress water bodies. Though, works related to water resources development, and management are planned, funded, executed as well as maintained by the State Governments themselves as per their own resources and priorities; various departments in the Central Government and the State Governments are engaged in restoration, conservation and preservation of lakes and wetlands.
Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is currently implementing a centrally sponsored scheme namely, National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems (NPCA) for conservation and management of identified wetlands, includes lakes in the country on cost sharing basis between Central Government and respective State Governments. The scheme covers various activities such as interception, diversion and treatment of wastewater, shoreline protection, lake front development, in-situ cleaning i.e. desilting & deweeding, storm water management, bioremediation, catchment area treatment, lake beautification, survey & demarcation, biofencing, fisheries development, weed control, biodiversity conservation, education and awareness creation, community participation, etc. Under the NPCA scheme, the central assistance is based on the proposals received from the State Governments, conformity with the guidelines and budget availability.
The Union Minister informed that so far, MoEF&CC has sanctioned projects for conservation of 157 wetlands in the country and released an amount of about Rs. 1039.0 crore as central share.
He further said that in order to supplement the efforts of the State Governments, the Ministry of Jal Shakti provides technical and financial assistance to State Governments to encourage sustainable development and efficient management of water resources through various schemes and programmes such as Surface Minor Irrigation (SMI), Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies Schemes etc. under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) – Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP).
The RRR of Water Bodies scheme mainly aims at expanding cultivable area under assured irrigation by improvement and restoration of water bodies thereby increasing the tank storage capacity and revival of lost irrigation potential along with other objectives like improving water use efficiency, ground water recharge, increased availability of drinking water, improvement of catchment of tank commands etc. water bodies included under the scheme are encroachment free. It covers rural water bodies having minimum water spread area of 5.0 hectare and urban water bodies having water spread area from 2.0 hectare to 10.0 hectare.
Under the RRR of Water Bodies scheme, since 12th plan onwards, 2228 water bodies are covered with an estimated cost of Rs. 1914.86 crore. Central Assistance (CA) of Rs. 433.9 crore has been released to states up to March, 2020. Further, 1465 water bodies have been reported to be-completed up to March, 2020. Target irrigation potential restoration of these schemes is 1.89 L Ha and out of this, 1.319 L Ha is reported to be restored till March, 2020. In the current financial year, Rs. 35.79 crore has been released to RRR of water Bodies schemes till date.
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MoEFCC issues Draft Notification on Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021
14th March 2021, New Delhi: Draft version of Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021 notified vide GSR 169 (E) dated 11th March 2021 in furtherance to Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The draft PWM Amendment Rules 2021 proposes expanding the applicability as in Rules 2(1) to brand-owners, plastic waste processor (recycler, co-processor, etc.).
Under Rule 3, 5 new definitions are proposed in the amendment rules.
After (n), (na) Non-woven plastic bag-Non-woven plastic bag is made up of sheet or web structured fabric of entangled fibers or filaments (and by perforating films) bonded together by mechanical or thermal or chemical means. The Non-woven fabric is a flat or tufted porous sheet that is made directly from fibres, molten plastic or plastic films.
After (q), (qa) Plastic Waste Processing - means any process by which plastic waste is handled for the purpose of reuse, recycling, co-processing or transformation into new products.
After (v), (va) Single-use plastic item - is a plastic commodity intended to be used once for the same purpose before being dispose of or recycled. And, (vb) Thermoset plastic- is a plastic which becomes irreversibly rigid when heated, and hence cannot be remoulded into desired shape. And, (vc) Thermoplastic – is a plastic which softens on heating and can be moulded into desired shape.
Carry bag made of virgin or recycled plastic, shall not be less than 120 (previously 50) microns in thickness with effect from 30.9.2021.
Carry bags and commodities made from compostable plastics shall conform to the Indian Standard: IS 17088: 2008 titled as Specifications for Compostable Plastics, and/or commodities, as amended from time to time. The manufacturers or seller of compostable plastic carry bags and/or commodities shall obtain a certificate from the Central Pollution Control Board before marketing or selling.
A new clause shall be inserted in rule 4 (1) as (j) Each sheet of non-woven plastic carry bag shall not be less than 60 (GSM per square meter) or 240 microns in thickness with effect from 30.9.2021.
Under rule 4, two more sub-rules are proposed as follows:
(2) The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of following single-use plastic commodities shall be prohibited from 1st January, 2022: Ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene [Thermocol] for decoration.
And (3) the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of following single-use plastic commodities shall be prohibited from 1st July, 2022: (i) single-use plastic (including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene) items: plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping/packing films around sweet boxes; invitation cards; and cigarette packets, plastic/PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers. (ii) the above provision shall not apply to commodities (including carry bags) made of compostable plastic material.
Rule 5(d) shall be read as "The inert from recycling or processing facilities of plastic waste shall be disposed of in compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 or as amended from time to time".
Under the "Responsibility of local body" in rule 6, sub-rule (2), after clause (a), it is proposed to insert - (a1) Ensuring that provisions pertaining to restrictions/prohibition on single-use plastics are adhered to.
Under the "Responsibility of Gram Panchayat" in rule 7, sub-rule (1), after clause (a), fit is proposed to insert - (a1) Ensuring that provisions pertaining to restrictions/prohibition on single-use plastics are adhered to.
Under the "Responsibility of producers, Importers and Brand Owners" in Rule 9, under sub-rule (1) after the words, ―local body concerned, the words, ―as per guidelines issued from time to time under these Rules is inserted.
In rule 11, which deals with Marking and labelling sub-rule (1). Each plastic carry bag, plastic packaging and multilayered packaging shall have the following information printed in English namely:
a.name, registration number of the manufacturer/producer/ brand-owner and thickness in case of carry bag, plastic packaging used by the brand owner
b. name and registration number of the manufacturer in case of multilayered packaging (excluding multilayered packaging used for imported goods); and
c. name and certificate number of producer [Rule 4(h)] in case of carry bags made from compostable plastic
Under rule 12, which deals with Prescribed authority sub-rule (2) will be changed to "The concerned Secretary-in-charge of Urban Development of the State or a Union Territory shall be the authority for enforcement of the provisions of these rules relating to waste management by waste generator, restriction/prohibition on use of plastic carry bags, plastic sheets or like, covers made of plastic sheets and multilayered packaging".
Rule 12, sub-rule (2) will be read as " The concerned Gram Panchayat shall be the authority for enforcement of the provisions of these rules relating to waste management by the waste generator, restriction/prohibition on use of plastic carry bags, plastic sheets or like, covers made of plastic sheets and multilayered packaging in the rural area of the State or a Union Territory".
Shekhawat launches WQMIS under Jal Jeevan Mission
13th March 2021, New Delhi: Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat stated that ‘Har Ghar Jal’ is not just a one-time infrastructure creating programme. It will go a long way in building the capacity of the frontline workers, empowering women and creating employment in villages. The Union Minister stated this while chairing a webinar with all States and UTs Ministers in-charge of rural water supply. The webinar was to review progress made under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) - a flagship program of the Central Government for providing tap water connection in every rural household by 2024.
Shekhawat also released the ‘Drinking water quality testing, monitoring & surveillance’ framework and also launched the Water Quality Management Information System (WQMIS) of JJM. The WQMIS online portal & mobile app has a full automated data management related to water quality. (Click here to see the framework document)
The Union Budget 2021-22 has witnessed a quantum increase in the budgetary provision for Jal Jeevan Mission, from Rs 11,500 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 50,011 crore in 2021-22. Shekhawat rolled out the roadmap for more efficacious utilization of the nearly five-fold increased JJM’s Budget by States/UTs. Being the 3rd year, 2021-22 is a crucial year for the Mission. He said that this is the time to speed up implementation, strategically create systems and processes for proper operations and maintenance for assured water supply to every household on long-term basis.
Addressing the media after the webinar, Shekhawat said that since the announcement of Jal Jeevan Mission by the Prime Minister on 15th August, 2019, significant progress has been made across the country and so far, more than 3.77 Crore rural households have been provided with tap water connections. In total, more than 7 Crore rural families (36.5%) have now started getting clean water in their homes, i.e. more than 1/3rd of rural household are getting potable water through taps. The Minister further added that every family living in 52 districts, 670 Blocks, 42,100 Panchayats and 81,123 villages are getting assured tap water supply in their homes now.
The Union Minister explained how despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21, necessary groundwork for effective and efficient implementation of the mission has been laid. As the whole country is slowing trying to return to normalcy, Jal Jeevan Mission is putting in untiring efforts for ‘provision of safe drinking water in rural areas’ by providing tap connections in rural households.
Rattan Lal Kataria, Minister of State for Jal Shakti in his address recalled the times when the women of his village in Haryana were subjected to struggles and pain, due to unavailability of potable water sources near homes. he said that he feels proud to be the part of this mission as it is bringing a huge change in the life of rural women & children of country.
Secretary DDWS, Pankaj Kumar; Additional Secretary & Mission Director- Bharat Lal, were also present in the virtual conference.
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Similipal Biosphere Fire under Control
05.03.2021, New Delhi: Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar has said that the fire at Similipal forests is now under control. No loss of life has been reported due to the incident.
A massive wildfire broke out in Simlipal National Park in Odisha. It raged the biosphere for about a week, and now reported to be under control.
The Director General of National Tiger Conservation Authority, S.P. Yadav, told IANS that all the forest fires are recorded as the ground fire in the deciduous Sal forest of Simlipal Tiger Reserve. He further said that the forest fire season in Simlipal Tiger Reserve usually starts in February and continues till May.
Simlipal, a National Park and Tiger Reserve covering 2,750 sq km area, is situated in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. The harbours unique melanistic tigers, rare and endemic orchids, 1,352 species of plants, 55 species of mammals, 361 species of birds, 62 species of reptiles and 21 species of amphibians. Similipal comes under the Deccan Peninsular Biographic zone, Chhotangpur Province, in the Mahanadian region. The forest is a predominantly moist-mixed deciduous forest with tropical semi-evergreen patches in areas with suitable microclimatic conditions and sporadic patches of dry, deciduous forest and grassland.
On 2nd March 2021, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had directed the officials concerned to take immediate steps to control the wildfire. He had issued directions in response to a tweet by Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on the issue.
Javadekar has stated "The Similipal forests are invaluable, not just for India but for the entire world. I appreciate the efforts of forest officials to contain the fire". He has sought a report on the forest fire from the concerned authorities.
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MoEFCC's New Handbook on Chemicals and Hazardous Waste Management and Handling in India
01.03.2021, New Delhi: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has come out with a new publication - "The Handbook on Chemicals and Hazardous Waste Management and Handling in India". The publication is an outcome of the research works by the Centre for Environmental Law, Education, Research and Advocacy (CEERA), National Law School of India University, Bengaluru.
Containing six chapters, the Handbook endeavours to give a broad overview of the legislative and regulatory framework governing the chemical sector in India. It is designed to serve as a ready reckoner for stakeholders working in the field of chemicals and hazardous waste, such as members and officers of the Pollution Control Boards, allied institutions of the MoEFCC, other regulatory authorities, officials and employees of hazardous waste management companies and chemical industries, importers and exporters of chemicals and wastes.
Though it is priced Rs. 500/-, the entire soft copy of the handbook is available on the Ministry's website.
"Water" mostly used word in PM's 21st MKB
by Sanjaya K. Mishra
01.03.2021, New Delhi: Oftentimes, water and environment has got importance in various speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Water was taken 34 times by Prime Minister Modi, in his 21st Episode of Mann Ki Baat 2.0. Water as a single word was there 28 times in the address. He said that there must not be a single day in India, when there is no festival connected with water in some corner of the country or the other. The Prime Minister described water as life; faith too and the flow of development as well. He mentioned "In a way, water is more important than PARAS, the philosopher’s stone. It is said that with the touch of a PARAS, iron gets turned into gold. Similarly, the touch of water is necessary for life; imperative for development."
He opined that one reason to associate the month of Magha with water – after this, winters come to an end and summers start knocking. Hence, for the conservation of water, we should begin efforts right away. A few days later, just on the 22nd of the month of March, it’s World Water Day.
In his address, the Prime Minister quoted the name of Aaradhya from Uttar Pradesh in the context of significance of water. He also quoted the name, Sujit of North Dinajpur who described water as Nature's collective gift, hence a collective responsibility for its saving.
The Prime Minister shared the example of Thiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu, where, local people have been running a campaign for the conservation of their wells. These people are rejuvenating public wells in their vicinity that had been lying unused for years. The endeavour of Babita Rajput of village Agrotha in Bundelkhand, Madhya Pradesh also got place in the Prime Minister's address. Babita Rajput mobilized women of her village and built a canal to bring water to a dying lake, close to her village. Through this canal, rainwater started flowing directly into the lake. Now this lake remains filled with water.
Works by Jagdish Kuniyal of Bageshwar, Uttarakhand also shared by the Prime Minister. He orated how Jagdish Kuniyal solved water crisis by planting thousands of trees over the entire area, along with his fellow villagers and today, the dried up water source at the place is filled to the brim once again.
With these examples, Prime Minister Modi reminded collective responsibilities of People of India with regard to water. He stressed on a 100 day campaign for the sake of cleaning up water sources and conserving rainwater during May - June, when rain starts in most parts of India. He also enlightened on ‘CATCH THE RAIN, WHERE IT FALLS, WHEN IT FALLS’ programme initiated by the National Water Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
Mayur, a passionate bird watcher and a nature lover from Gurgaon, Haryana was also named in the Prime Ministers' February MKB. Modi also informed that Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve Authority has been carrying out its Annual Waterfowls Census for some time. This Census reveals the population of water birds and also about their favorite Habitat. Just two-three weeks ago, the survey was conducted again. He stated that the number of water birds has increased by about 175% compared to last year. A total of 112 Species of Birds have been sighted in Kaziranga National Park during this Census. And of these, 58 species happen to be winter migrants from different parts of the world including Europe, Central Asia and East Asia. The most important reason for this is that here, there is better water conservation along with very little human interference. However, in some cases, positive human interference is also very important.
Citing example of wealth creation from agricultural waste, the Prime Minister said Murugesan from Madurai made a machine to make ropes from waste of banana, which could solve the issues of environment and filth too, vis-a-vis increasing additional income for the farmers. He also mentioned about Urugen Futsog of Ladakh, who is growing about 20 crops organically, that too in a cyclic way, that is, he utilises the waste of one crop as manure for the other crop.
Prime Minister Modi highlighted about The Hayagriva Madheb Temple at Hajo, the Nagashankar Temple at Sonitpur and the Ugratara Temple at Guwahati having many ponds in their surroundings, which save near extinct species of turtles. Assam is home to the highest number of species of turtles. The ponds of theses temples can becom