Who is delaying declaring polluted water yielding site as contaminated?

4th October 2022 YouTube Twitter LinkedIn

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has been delaying declaring a site as "Contaminated Site", says Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB). In a recent report, PPCB has stated that it has sought advice from the CPCB as to whether the site stands notified s contaminated site and whether the Board can proceed to implement the remediation plan, suggested by a Joint Committee. However, CPCB has not responded since last 4 months. Read more

EC non-compliance doesn’t vitiate EC, but may cause cancellation: NGT

Enviro Annotations 28th September 2022 (190) issue is available now. It covers some interesting news and articles:

(1) EC non-compliance doesn’t vitiate EC, but may cause cancellation: NGT

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Principal Bench has stated that violation of condition(s) of Environmental Clearance (EC) by itself will not vitiate the EC but may cause penal action like cancellation of EC or cancellation of mining contract and/or imposition of environmental compensation and other remedial and punitive action as provided in law. In the 212-page Order in the matter of Appeal No. 24/2022, pronounced on 28th September 2022, the NGT clearly says that ECs in question cannot be upheld. The same are accordingly set aside. However, the parties concerned may take fresh steps in accordance with law for grant of fresh EC.

(2) Cabinet okays MoU on India-B’desh Kushiyara River water sharing

(3) Union Environment Minister participates in the Ministerial Roundtable for Green Economy, World Green Economy Summit, UAE

(4) DRE playing vital role in India’s regaining employment scenario besides accelerating SDG 7

(5) Reuse 1 kg clothing, Save 25 kg CO2

(6) Climate Insurance and Loss & Damage

(7) EAC Industry 1 okays Essar Minmet’s project in Paradeep - a Severely Polluted Area, clarifies Gujarat unit not under purview of EIA Notification

(8) Infra 1 EAC makes provisions to avoid Kerala tragic tree felling like incidence

(9) Project Proponents may approach Centre in case of inordinate delay of EIA clearance by SEIAA

(10) Generator fuel conundrum during GRAP grapples NCR

(11) Vanderlande India, Shree Kalpataru Sansthan, and Pune Forest Department jointly launch “Green Lungs” Project in Pune

(12) Illegal felling of Khair Trees in Himachal

(13) Tata Nexon EV MAX scales World’s highest motorable road

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WTO DG warns against business as usual

28th September 2022 YouTube Twitter LinkedIn

The Public Forum brings together governments, the private sector, civil society, academics and consumers to consider how the trading system can help to support and sustain an inclusive economic recovery. Around 3,200 people have registered to attend this year's Forum, with 147 sessions and more than 670 speakers scheduled over the four-day event.

Speaking to CNN Anchor Richard Quest before a large audience gathered for the opening session, the Director-General noted the 2022 Public Forum is taking place at a difficult time for both global trade and the world economy as well as during a period of geopolitical instability and climate crises. Addressing these challenges will require addressing new issues and adopting new approaches, she said.

“It's not business as usual because the world is in a very difficult place at this time,” she said. “We have a situation in which we are grappling with multiple crises, which I often refer to as a polycrisis, simultaneous exogenous shocks hitting the world.”

“We have security shocks, we have climate shocks, we have energy shocks, we have food price shocks, all of this hitting countries at the same time,” the DG noted. “So we cannot afford to do business as usual. We have to be able to think out of the box and we have to accomplish things.”

The Director-General also warned that prospects for trade look dim amid growing signs of a global economic downturn.

WTO economists are currently working on a revision to the annual trade forecast issued last April, “but the indicators are not looking too good,” she said. “Global growth forecasts have been downgraded by both the World Bank and the IMF.”

Asked about the likelihood of a global recession, the Director-General said: “I think we're edging into it but at the same time, we have to start thinking of the recovery. We have to restore growth. It's too important especially for poorer members of the WTO. We have to think of what we need to do, what policies we need to pursue to restore growth.”

The Director-General said WTO members agreed on many things at the 12th Ministerial Conference in June to address current challenges, including a commitment to refrain from export restrictions on emergency food purchases by the World Food Programme, to make trade in food and agricultural inputs more predictable, to facilitate production of COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries, and to prohibit harmful fisheries subsidies contributing to the depletion of ocean fish stocks.

“All members came together, developed and developing countries,” she noted. “Everyone around the table.”

This success gives hope that the multilateral cooperation demonstrated at MC12 will continue as WTO members tackle the array of challenges remaining, she added.

“Having these successes at MC 12 augurs well,” the Director-General said. “It doesn't mean it's going to be easy, but we have quite an agenda before the WTO members. I think that helps to build the kind of confidence that may lead us to tackle the next set of problems that will help contribute to (resolving) these issues that the world is facing.”

This year's Public Forum is looking at how trade can contribute to post-pandemic economic recovery. The Forum will examine, in particular, how trade rules can be strengthened, and government policies improved to create a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive trading system.

NGT Principal Bench takes cognizance of dying Lake Chande Baba Talab

25th September 2022 YouTube Twitter LinkedIn

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken suo moto cognizance of a dying water body in Lucknow city. The NGT Principal Bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson accepted a letter petition submitted by Utkarsh Singh Chauhan, Advocate.

Advocate Utkarsh Singh Chauhan has sent an email copy of letter petition addressed to the Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh regarding conservation and development of lake named 'Chande Baba Talab' situated in village Garhi-Chunoti, Lucknow. With 10 Ramsar sites, Uttar Pradesh has India's second highest number of wetlands of international importance. In view of questions relating to environment the letter petition has been treated and registered as Original Application 602/2022.

Utkarsh Singh Chauhan has stated that the 'Chande Baba Talab' is spread over 100 acres. It is one of the biggest lakes of Lucknow City and has religious significance. During winter, the lake attracts thousands of migratory birds. However, the number of such birds is going down due to encroachments in the area of the lake and reduction in its water level.

Water source of the lake is one storm water drain named Nagwa Nala. Fresh water of said drain, which joins River Sai, is wasted. There is need to join the storm water drain to the Chande Baba Lake in order to improve its water level.

The applicant has also emphasized the urgency for desilting the lake and increase its water retention capacity, making provision for overflow, removing encroachments, measures to protect the lake from encroachments, dense afforestation on all its four sides and beautifying and facilitating the same to attract the tourists and the migratory birds.

The NGT Principal Bench has constituted a Joint Committee comprising of representative of State Wetland Authority, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Lucknow, UPPCB, DFO and District Magistrate, Lucknow.

The Joint Committee has been directed to meet within two weeks, undertake visits to the sites, look into the grievances of the applicant, associate the applicant and representatives of the concerned project proponents, verify the factual position, including any consent violation and submit its report within one month.

Notable that NGT is empowered to suo moto take cognizance of the cases involving questions relating to environment arising out of the implementation of enactments specified in Schedule I of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 as held by the Supreme Court in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai V/s. Ankita Sinha and others 2021 SSC Online SC 897. This Tribunal can also take cognizance of such cases on the basis of letter petitions in accordance with settled principles of law governing Public Interest Litigation.

"Sustainable biofuels play key role in Transport Sector GHG emissions reduction" - Dr. Jitendra Singh at Pittsburgh Global Clean Energy Action Forum, 2022

24th September 2022 YouTube Twitter LinkedIn

New Delhi: Dr Jitendra Singh, who is leading a high-level Joint Indian Ministerial Delegation of Ministry of Power, New & Renewable Energy and Ministry of Science & Technology at the “Global Clean Energy Action Forum-2022” at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States said that sustainable biofuels play key role to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector. He said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been consistently encouraging and monitoring Net Zero endeavours.

Addressing the Main Stage Summit Event on “International Collaboration to Accelerate the Clean Energy Transition” at Pittsburgh, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India, through the Department of Biotechnology, has been supporting R&D innovations in Advanced Biofuels and Waste to Energy technologies. He also informed the Energy Ministers from 30 countries taking part in the conference that India has established 5 Bioenergy Centers with an interdisciplinary team working on advance sustainable biofuels using modern biotechnology tools.

The Minister said, in April this year, when India hosted the MI Annual Gathering at New Delhi, the Mission Integrated Biorefineries was launched by Co-leads India and Netherlands, uniting key members, international organizations, the corporate sector, academic institutions, and civil society to accelerate innovation for renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials for a low-carbon future.

At another side event on “India Clean Energy Showcase” at Pittsburgh, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India being one of the founding members of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) will be hosting CEM-14 in 2023 in Bengaluru along with its Presidency of G-20 in the same year. He said, in fact, this will mean hosting the CEM meeting during the first year in the new third phase (July 2022 to June 2026) to push major acceleration in clean energy deployment, consistent with achieving the clean energy goals of its members and putting the world on track to achieve clean, affordable, reliable energy for all.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, India is among the few countries in the world to design a Cooling Action Plan (CAP) with a long-term vision (spanning a 20-year period from 2017-18 to 2037-38) that addresses cooling requirements across sectors. He said, it identifies possible actions to reduce cooling demand arising from residential and commercial buildings, cold chains, etc., covering aspects of building design and technological innovations that do not compromise on energy efficiency.

Dr Singh said, India stands at the forefront of addressing the global challenge of climate change and has committed to an ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of reducing emission intensity by 33-35% in 2030 against the levels of year 2005. He added that India has remained steadfast in its transition towards clean energy achieving the fastest pace of renewable capacity addition amongst all major economies and ambitious transition goals articulated by Prime Minister Modi, in India’s Panchamrit declaration at COP26.

The Minister also reiterated that India is also implementing the largest Renewable Energy (RE) expansion program in the world envisaging a 5-fold increase in the overall RE capacity in the country from 32 GW in 2014 to 175 GW by 2022, and further to 500 GW of renewable power in the country by 2030.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, as seen in the climate negotiations in recent times both the governments and non-governmental entities are making commitments to help countries implement their net-zero pledges. He, however, cautioned that despite these commitments, the global average temperature in 2100 is expected to rise to around 2.1°C above pre-industrial levels. The Minister pointed out that this falls short of the goals stipulated in the Paris Agreement, which calls for limiting the global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial-era levels by the end of the century. He added that in the light of this, a pivotal move to bend the global emissions curve becomes imperative and immediate climate action is especially critical for a post-pandemic future through renewable energy transition, which is vital to building a resilient and secure future energy system.

Dr Singh concluded by saying that the CEM setup has been able to provide a unique opportunity for India to showcase its contribution to clean energy development both within and outside the country. He further added that India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and has witnessed rapid increase in the energy consumption mainly due to rapid economic growth, access to affordable energy, increased industrialization, building infrastructure and other end uses of energy.

Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan- Ranking of Cities under NCAP

24th September 2022 YouTube Twitter LinkedIn

New Delhi: A two-day National Conference of Ministers of Environment, Forest and Climate Change was held in Ekta Nagar, Gujarat on 23rd-24th September 2022. The conference was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on a virtual mode.

During a parallel session on Control and Prevention of Pollution, the States were informed regarding guidelines on ‘Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan- Ranking of Cities’ released under National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

Under the guidance of the Minister for Environment, Forest and climate Change, the Ministry is going to launch Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan that promotes ranking of 131 cities in the country for implementing City Action Plans prepared as part of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) for reducing air pollution up to 40% by 2025-26.

131 cities are categorized into three groups based on population. 47 cities are in the first group having population more than 10 lakh. 44 cities are in the second group having population between 3 to 10 lakhs. Third group consists of 40 cities having population less than 3 lakh.

Cities are required to do the self-assessment as per the framework provided on PRANA online portal. This assessment is carried out annually. Cities have to report implementation of activities and measures taken in respect of solid waste management, road dust management, management of construction and demolition waste, control of vehicular emissions and industrial pollution.

It was informed that based on the self-assessment and third party assessment, 3 best performing cities in each group will be given cash award in the spirit of competitive federalism. This promotes constructive competition in the spirit of competitive federalism to take measures to improve air quality. This Survekshan provides a tool to cities to plan their actions in order to improve the air quality. It is not based on the measurement of the air quality parameters to rank the cities. It is based on the actions taken by the cities to improve the air quality in different domains. The actions taken by the cities would result in the improvement of air quality. It thus, provides a planning implementation tool to improve the air quality and the assessment of the cities regarding how better they have aligned their actions to improve the air quality.

The Ministers of Environment, Forest and Climate Change from across the country participated in the National conference organised by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. State Forest and Environment Ministers, the concerned State Secretaries as well as Chairmen of State PCBs / PCCs along with PCCFs also participated in the two-day National Conference along with senior officials of the Ministry.

Prime Minister inaugurates National Conference of Ministers of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in Gujarat

23rd September 2022 YouTube Twitter LinkedIn

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Conference of Environment Ministers in Ekta Nagar, Gujarat via video conferencing today. In his address to the gathering, Prime Minister Modi highlighted that the conference is being held when India is setting new goals for the next 25 years. Talking about the significance, the Prime Minister said that the holistic development of Ekta Nagar is a prime example of an environmental pilgrimage when it comes to forests, water conservation, tourism and our tribal brothers and sisters.

Citing examples of the International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and LiFE movement, the Prime Minister underlined Indian leading role in the world. He said, “Today's new India is moving ahead with new thinking, new approach.” The Prime Minister further went on to add that India is a rapidly developing economy, and it is continuously strengthening its ecology as well. “Our forest cover has increased and wetlands are also expanding rapidly”, he added.

The Prime Minister remarked that today the world is joining India because of its track record of fulfilling its commitments. “Gir lions, tigers, elephants, one-horned rhinos and leopards have increased in numbers over the years. New excitement has returned from the homecoming of Cheetah in Madhya Pradesh a few days ago”, the Prime Minister added.

Reminding the net zero target for the year 2070, the Prime Minister said that the focus of the country is on green growth and green jobs. He stressed the need to maintain equilibrium with nature. He also highlighted the role of the environment ministries of the states in achieving these goals. The Prime Minister said, “I urge all environment ministers to promote a circular economy as much as possible in the states.” PM Modi supplemented his statement by mentioning that it will significantly strengthen the Solid Waste Management campaign and will free us from the clutches of single use plastic.

Continuing with the role of the environment ministries, the Prime Minister said that this role should not be seen in a restricted manner. He lamented the fact that for a long time the Environment Ministries got shaped more as a regulator. However, the Prime Minister said, “I think that the role of the Environment Ministry is more as a promoter of the environment rather than as a regulator.” He asked the states to own the measures like Vehicle Scrapping policy, and biofuel measures like ethanol blending and strengthen them on the ground. He asked for healthy competition as well as collaboration among the states to promote these measures.

Throwing light on the groundwater issues, the Prime Minister said that the states with abundant water are also facing water shortages nowadays. The Prime Minister remarked that the challenges and measures like chemical-free natural farming, Amrit Sarovar and water security, are not limited to the individual departments and the environment department will also have to consider these as an equally pressing challenge. “It is critical to work with a participative and integrated approach by the environment ministries. When the vision of the environment ministries changes, I am sure, nature will also be benefitted.”

While stressing that this work is not just limited to Information Department or the Education Department, the Prime Minister said that public awareness is another important aspect of protecting the environment. “As you all are well aware that in the National Education Policy that has been implemented in the country, a lot of emphasis has been laid on experienced-based learning”, Modi added. The Prime Minister remarked that this campaign should be led by the Ministry of Environment. This will create awareness about biodiversity among the children and will also plant the seeds of protecting the environment. “Children who live in our coastal areas should also be taught how to protect the marine ecosystem. We have to make our children, and future generations sensitive toward the environment”, the Prime Minister added. The universities and laboratories of our states should give top priority to innovations related to environmental protection, following the mantra of Jai Anusandhan. The Prime Minister also underlined the adoption of technology in protecting the environment. “Study and research on the conditions of forests in the forests are equally important”, Modi added.

Focussing on the alarming rate of forest fires in the western world, the Prime Minister remarked that India's share in global emissions may be negligible due to wildfire, but we have to stay alert at all times. The Prime Minister emphasised that the forest fire fighting mechanism in every state should be technology driven and robust. Modi also stressed the training of our forest guards, should be given special emphasis when it comes to forest fire fighting.

Pointing out the complications involved in getting environmental clearance, the Prime Minister said that the development of modern infrastructure and efforts to improve the standard of living of the countrymen is hindered. The Prime Minister gave the example of Sardar Sarovar Dam which was initiated in 1961 by Pandit Nehru. He pointed out that it took decades to complete its construction due to the conspiracies carried out in the name of the environment. The Prime Minister also identified the role of urban naxals in hindering the development of India by taking crores of rupees from different global organizations and foundations. The Prime Minister also pointed out the conspiracies of such people due to which the World Bank had refused to give a loan to increase the height of the dam. “It took some time to thwart these conspiracies, but the people of Gujarat came out victorious. The dam was being described as a threat to the environment, and today the same dam has become synonymous with protecting the environment”, the Prime Minister added. The Prime Minister also urged everyone to stay alert from such groups of urban naxals in their respective states. The Prime Minister reiterated that more than 6000 proposals for environmental clearance and 6500 applications for forest clearance are lying with the states. “Efforts should be made by the states to clear every proper proposal soon. You can guess that due to this pendency, projects worth thousands of crores of rupees will be stuck.”, he added. The Prime Minister also emphasised the need to bring about a change in the work environment so that the pendency goes down and clearance is expedited. The Prime Minister further added that in giving environmental clearance, we also take care of the rules and give priority to the development of the people of that area. “It is a win-win situation for both the economy and ecology”, he said. “It should be our endeavour that by raising the name of the environment unnecessarily, no obstacle should be allowed to be created in the quest of Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business. We have to remember that the faster the environment clearance is available, the faster the development will also take place.”

The Prime Minister gave the example of the Pragati Maidan Tunnel in Delhi that was dedicated to the nation a few weeks ago. “Due to this tunnel, the trouble of the people of Delhi getting stuck in the jam has reduced. Pragati Maidan Tunnel will also help in saving more than 55 lakh litres of fuel every year”, he added. This will reduce carbon emissions by about 13 thousand tonnes every year which is equivalent to more than 6 lakh trees, according to experts. “Be it flyovers, roads, expressways, or railway projects, their construction helps in reducing carbon emissions equally. At the time of clearance, we should not ignore this angle” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister emphasised the use of the Parivartan Portal, a single-window mode for all types of clearances related to the environment while stressing its transparency and efficacy in reducing the rush for getting approvals. “Where environment clearance used to take more than 600 days 8 years ago, it takes 75 days today”, the Prime Minister added.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the coordination in infrastructure projects has escalated while many projects have gained momentum since the implementation of PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan. The PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan is also a great tool for protecting the environment. He also stressed the need for disaster-resilient infrastructure. Mr. Modi said that we have to make good use of every emerging sector of the economy while facing the challenges related to climate change. “Both the central and the state government together have to move towards a green industrial economy”, the Prime Minister added.

In concluding his address the Prime Minister said that the Ministry of Environment is not just a regulatory body but also a great medium for economic empowerment of the people and creating new means of employment. “You will find a lot to learn, see and do in Ekta Nagar. Sardar Sarovar Dam, which gives Amrit to crores of people of Gujarat, is present here itself,” he added, “Such a huge statue of Sardar Saheb inspires us to stick to the pledge of unity.”

Pointing out the learning opportunities in Kevadiya, Ekta Nagar, the Prime Minister remarked that solutions to issues like the simultaneous development of ecology and economy, strengthening of the environment and creation of new employment opportunities, bio-diversity being a medium to increase eco-tourism, and how the wealth of the forest goes up with the wealth of our tribal brothers and sisters can be addressed here.

Chief Minister of Gujarat, Bhupendra Patel and Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupendra Yadav were those present on the occasion.

The two day Conference being organised on the 23rd and 24th of September will have six thematic sessions with topics focusing on LiFE, Combating Climate Change (Updating State Action Plans on Climate Change for Mitigation of Emissions and Adaptation to Climate Impacts); PARIVESH (Single Window System for Integrated Green Clearances); Forestry Management; Prevention and Control of Pollution; Wildlife Management; Plastics and Waste Management.

Maharashtra PWD withdraws Road improvement and upgradation plans due to delay in Forest Clearance

19th September 2022 Twitter LinkedIn

The Regional Empowered Committee (REC) Nagpur held a meeting on 12th September 2022 at the Integrated Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Nagpur. The meeting was conducted under the Chairmanship of V N Ambade, DDGF (Central). Among six proposals taken up by the Committee, there were three proposals involving cummulative diversion of 31.104 ha Reserved Forest land under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra for improvement/ Upgradation and maintenance of roads. The Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India has set a target for the complete of road on or before March, 2023.

The proposals were earlier taken up by the REC on 26th October 2021 and 26th November 2021, when the Committee advised State Government to obtain Wildlife Clearance from the Standing Committee of NBWL.

Taking into account, the time consuming process in forest clearance, the Central Government deadline, and also the importance of strengtheing roads to control Naxalite activities in the area for the movement of police vehicles, the Public Works Division, State of Maharashtra decied to continue with the existing width of 3.65 mtr and finish the work of black-topping. The State Governemnt expressed willing to withdraw the proposal of upgrading/ improvement of all the roads.

After detailed discussion and considering the importance of these roads, the Committee in its 12th Septemeber meeting informed if they are only strengthening the road within existing RoW, approval of NBWL is not required. Further, the Nodal Officer and the User Agency were also informed to withdraw the proposal from Parivesh portal and adjust NPV paid by the User Agency in other projects of PWD. #Maharashtra #Forest Read more in our wednesday print version

Prime Minister Modi releases eight wild Cheetahs in India under world's first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project

17th September 2022 Twitter LinkedIn

New Delhi: The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi today released eight wild Cheetahs in Kuno National Park. Cheetahs - brought from Namibia - are being introduced in India under Project Cheetah. This is world's first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project. Out of the eight Cheetahs there are five female and three male Cheetahs. The Cheetahs were released at two release points in Kuno National Park.

The Prime Minister also interacted with Cheetah Mitras, Cheetah Rehabilitation Management Group and students at the venue. The Prime Minister addressed the Nation on this historic occasion. Through this historic effort, India anticipates revitalising and diversifying its wildlife and habitat. The cheetah was declared extinct from India in 1952.

The Cheetahs have been brought from Namibia under an MoU signed earlier this year. Cheetahs will help restore open forest and grassland ecosystems in India. This will help conserve biodiversity and enhance the ecosystem services like water security, carbon sequestration and soil moisture conservation, benefiting society at large. This effort is considered to be a major thrust for environmental protection and wildlife conservation, which may also lead to enhanced livelihood opportunities for the local community through eco-development and ecotourism activities.

According to a PMO press release, the coverage of Protected Areas which was 4.90% of the country's geographical area in 2014 has now increased to 5.03%. This includes an increase in Protected Areas in the country from 740 with an area of 1,61,081.62 sq.kms. in 2014 to present 981 with an area of 1,71,921 sq.kms. Forest and tree cover has increased by 16,000 square kms in the last four years. India is among few countries in the world where forest cover is consistently increasing. Interestingly, there is also an increase in the number of community reserves from just 43 in 2014 their numbers are more than 100 in 2019.

India is home to 52 Tiger Reserves covering approximately 75,000 Sq Km area in 18 States with approximately 75% population of the wild tiger at global level. India achieved the goal of doubling the tiger numbers in 2018 itself, four years in advance from the targeted year 2022. The Tiger Population in India has increased from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018. The budgetary allocation for tiger conservation has increased from Rs 185 crore in 2014 to Rs 300 crore in 2022.

The population of Asiatic Lions has shown a steady increase with a population of 674 individuals with an increase rate of 28.87 per cent (one of the highest growth rates so far) from the 523 lions in 2015.

As per 2020 data, India has 12,852 leopards as compared to the previous estimate of 7910 conducted in 2014.

Governor, Madhya Pradesh Mangubhai Patel; Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan; Union Ministers, Narendra Singh Tomar, Bhupender Yadav, Jyotiraditya M Scindia and Ashwini Chobey were among those present on the occasion.

Notable that the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in Coordination with National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), a subordinate office of MoEF&CC, Environmental Information System (ENVIS), Integrated Regional Offices of MoEF&CC and Forest Departments of various states are taking up awareness campaign on re-introduction of Cheetah in India at Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh. The awareness campaign started on 9th Sept 2022 and will continue till 17th Sept 2022. The reach out in schools and colleges across the country has gained momentum and thus created a great enthusiasm at ground level. Till Today, the reach out is about 2,97,765 students in 2771 School across the country covering more than 24 States which is beyond the expected target and it is still on with an expectation that it may be more than 5 lakh school children across India.

NGT Principal Bench imposes Rs. 3000 Crore EC Charges against Rajasthan Govt

16th September 2022 Twitter LinkedIn

New Delhi: In the matter of Original Application No. 606/2018 the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Principal Bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel has directed Rajasthan Government to pay Rs 3,000 Crore as Environmental Compensation for improper management of solid and liquid waste. The NGT has slapped an EC charge Rs. 2,500/- Crores towards gap in treatment of 1250 MLD sewage and Rs. 255 Crore for the unremediated legacy waste to the extent of 85 lakh cu.m/MT and remaining against a per day gap of 2989 TPD untreated solid waste.

Earlier in the month, West Bengal and Maharashtra have already been penalized with Rs. 3500/- Crore and Rs. 12000/- Crore. #NGT #Rajasthan #legal #penalty

16 New Landfill Sites planned in Delhi?

16th September 2022 Twitter LinkedIn

New Delhi: 16 new garbage landfill sites to be created in Delhi? Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has stated that there is a purported plan of building 16 new garbage mountains in Delhi. Condemning the move, on Friday, the Chief Minister said "By now modern solid waste management technologies from across the globe should have been adopted to clear Delhi’s landfills, but they’ve not even tried. Despite spending thousands of crores, the height of the three garbage mountains is only increasing everyday.”

Delhi Chief Minister said "If the national capital turns into a city of garbage it will broil up anger throughout India and not just Delhi".

"We will not let Delhi turn into a city of garbage. We will not let them build 16 new mountains of garbage in Delhi.”, added Kejriwal.

Delhi Govt.'s Stubble Management Technique may be tested in Punjab cornfields

15th September 2022 Twitter LinkedIn

New Delhi: Stubble management formula established in Delhi may now reach to Punjab cornfields. Delhi Government and Punjab Government working in tandem to implementing Pusa Bio-decomposer spray solution across Punjab.

Gopal Rai, the Development as well as Environment Minister of Delhi Government held a meeting with the Punjab Agriculture Minister Sardar Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal and experts from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (PUSA) to discuss the problem of air pollution from stubble burning. After the meeting, it was decided that in light of the successful use of bio-decomposer for stubble decomposing in Delhi, a pilot project of spraying free bio-decomposer would be run in some areas of Punjab. After evaluating the results of the pilot project, a decision regarding spraying decomposers in all the agricultural fields of Punjab will be finalised.

After the meeting, Gopal Rai said, “Paddy is cultivated in very few areas of Delhi. The Delhi Government sprayed free bio-decomposer last year to prevent pollution from stubble burning in Delhi. The initiative was highly successful. The process resulted in decomposition of stubble and resulted in an increase in soil's fertility. The Delhi Government will once again spray bio-decomposer on paddy fields, both Basmati and non-Basmati, this year. Farmers face a challenge due to only a short gap between paddy harvest and wheat planting. The Delhi Government has already begun preparing for spraying bio-decompose so that the whole process is completed smoothly and the farmers get the best possible outcomes from it."

The Minister further elaborated Bio-decomposer process stating that it works similarly to organic manure and it improves soil fertility and productivity. This reduces dependence on fertilisers and then lesser fertiliser is needed. Stubble burning not only pollutes the environment, it also lowers soil fertility as it kills beneficial microbes and fungi. Spraying bio-decomposers is not only an environmentally friendly process but it is effective, efficient, cheap, and productive as well.

Husk nets $6m to electrify 80 rural communities with solar

15th September 2022 Twitter LinkedIn

Husk Power Systems, operator of the largest fleet of solar-hybrid microgrids across rural Asia and Africa, will electrify 80 additional communities in India with $6 million in new debt financing, announced today, from the EU- funded Electrification Financing Initiative (EDFI ElectriFI).

The 80 solar microgrids will benefit an estimated 60,000 people and connect nearly 10,000 new customers. It will allow Husk to double its customer base of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which drive rural economic activity but still rely heavily on polluting and expensive diesel generation. The new microgrids will displace a significant amount of diesel generators, avoiding the equivalent of 11,640 tons of CO2.

Besides providing electricity to the communities, Husk’s platform strategy to address the entire rural energy ecosystem offers access to productive and lifestyle appliances, allowing customers to purchase affordable, modern and efficient appliances for both business and home use.

The long-term $6 million debt financing is one of the largest investments in the microgrid industry by EDFI ElectriFI, and is a clear indication that investing in leading developers like Husk allows de-risking financing facilities to scale the market at speed. This investment complements Husk!s largest-ever local currency debt financing in the microgrid industry from the India Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), announced earlier this year.

Prior to the EDFI ElectriFI debt, Husk Power already had about 150 net-zero microgrids in operation in India. Husk is also present in Nigeria, with plans to further expand in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Apart from sharing some important financial insights, Manoj Sinha, Co-Founder and CEO, Husk Power said that his company will be achieving a net zero, broad-based economic impact on businesses and households in rural India and help MSMEs double their income through reduced energy costs.

Corentin Billiet, ElectriFI Senior Investment Officer, EDFI Management Company said, “Minigrids are at the heart of EDFI ElectriFI’s strategy. We have been following Husk’s progress in the last years with attention and are very pleased to add this leading developer to our portfolio. The new facility will enable the company to reach the next stage of growth, achieve profitability and create long-term impact in rural India.”

Delhi Govt. revises Tree Plantation Target

13th September 2022 Twitter LinkedIn

New Delhi: Delhi Government has claimed to have set a history by achieving 96% of its annual plantation target way ahead of schedule. Riding on the success of the tree plantation drive, Environment Minister Gopal Rai has revised this year's target from 35 lakhs to 42.81 lakhs.

Second phase plantation scheduled from 15th October 2022. Read more

Punjab SEAC recommends grant of EC to proposal with basic technical flaw

12th September 2022 sk.mishra.ea@gmail.com Twitter LinkedIn

The Punjab State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) on 5th September 2022 has recommended a proposal containing basic technical flaw, casting doubts on its credible appraisals. The SEAC deliberated various proposals seeking Environmental Clearance (EC). Er. Yogesh Gupta, Chairman SEAC; Pardeep Garg, Member Secretary SEAC; and two other members were present in the meeting.

The SEAC recommended the proposal of Antarctic Industries Ltd. to set up a new Steel Manufacturing Unit in the revenue estate of Village Barmalipur, Tehsil Payal, District Ludhiana in Punjab; for the grant of EC. The industry shall be issued EC for manufacturing of 4,72,500 TPA of Alloys/Non-Alloys Steel billets/Round, Coil, Wire Rod, TMT Bars and Flats by installing 4 Induction Furnaces (2x15 TPH each and 2x30 TPH each), LRF of 20 TPH, Casting Machine & Rolling Mill of 60 TPH. The EC will be valid for a period of 10 years from the date of its issue or till the completion of the project, whichever is earlier.

Notable that the Punjab SEAC has decided to award 'Silver Grading' to the project proposal under category B1, Activity 3 (a).

The project has declared its total water requirement to be 106 kilo-liter per day (KLD), out of which 28 KLD to be used for domestic purposes and remaining 78 KLD for cooling makeup water. The SEAC document depicts that there will be no trade effluent generation. 22.4 KLD of sewage to be treated by means of a Sewage Treatment Plant of 30 KLD capacity to be installed at a cost of Rs. 30 Lakh.

According to the SEAC document, the salient features of the project as presented by the Environmental Consultant, Chandigarh Pollution Testing Laboratory the treated wastewater from STP will be used for plantation within the industrial premises. The total area kept for green belt development is stated to be 24038 square meter (SQM), in which 3604 trees are proposed. As depicted in the document at section 5.6 under “Details of utilization of treated wastewater into green area in summer, winter and rainy season” it’s stated that 28.4 KLD shall be utilized in summer as well as in winter, and 12 KLD to be utilized during rainy days/season.

Further, against the point “Details of utilization of treated wastewater for cooling purpose” it’s stated that during summer and winter no treated wastewater shall be utilized for cooling water make-up, while during rainy days/season, 16.4 KLD wastewater shall be utilized as cooling water make-up.

Experts say that scientifically, it is not possible to generated 28.4 KLD treated wastewater from 28 KLD raw domestic water and 22.4 KLD untreated wastewater. The SEAC and Environmental Consultant, Chandigarh Pollution Testing Laboratory, should explain this possibility.

Moreover, the industry stated to use groundwater resources to meet its water requirement. There was no approval as on the date of SEAC meeting. The industry has submitted application to Punjab State’s designated Authority seeking permission for abstraction of 106 KLD of ground water.

NYT article misses glories of Indian EVs

5th September 2022 Twitter LinkedIn

The New York Times (NYT) has published an article on e-rickshaws. NYT has mentioned that low-cost mopeds and rickshaw taxis are leading the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) in India.

It has given some cost comparison of Indian two- and three-wheeled vehicle pricing versus that of Teslas of U.S. Citing India's median income is just US$2,400, NYT states competition and subsidies have made electric mopeds and rickshaws as cheap as or cheaper than internal-combustion models.

In India the EC market is growing. Indian automakers sold 430,000 EVs in the 12 months that ended in March, more than three times as many as they sold a year earlier. Most were two- and three-wheeled vehicles.

According to NYT, Environmentalists and the government in India are celebrating the scooters as a way to clear oppressive smog. Their success could serve as a template for other developing countries — supplied, perhaps, by Indian manufacturers.

The article doesn't share insights of car sales, nor cites any reference to the successful development of EVs by India's Tata Motors and some other companies.

New UN University report brings out solutions to reduce disaster impacts

1st September 2022

Climate has become the biggest fear factor in the contemporary world. While talking on the grim flood situation in Pakistan, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres linked the disaster to climate change and made the devastation a prime exhibit in the case against climate change. "South Asia is one of the world's global climate crisis hotspots" and "people living in these hotspots are 15 times more likely to die from climate impacts", he said.

After a summer of climatic extremes across the world, a new United Nations University report looks at how the right solutions can reduce the risk of such hazards turning into full-blown disasters, or in some cases eliminate them altogether.

As climate change continues to accelerate and its impacts are increasingly felt, the challenges for disaster risk reduction in the future will only grow and be intensified by the impacts of nature and biodiversity loss. Solutions are already being implemented around the world to address risks, but interconnectivity is not yet placed at the heart of solution design and implementation.

“Interconnected Disaster Risks Report 2021/2022” by the United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) analysed 10 disasters from around the world, which were selected to be representative of a larger global issue, to identify shared root causes and drivers of disasters, and came up with eight solutions which can prevent or reduce a number of disaster risks.

The solutions are: - 1. Let nature work (coexist with natural processes) 2. Innovate (using new ideas) 3. Work together (enhancing collaboration) 4. Secure livelihoods (establish safety nets to protect people) 5. Consume sustainably (modify our consumption patterns) 6. Strengthen governance (increasing capacity of institutions) 7. Plan for risks (being risk-aware in designing and building infrastructure) 8. Boost early warning (enhancing our capacity to predict and communicate risks).

In the past year alone, disasters caused the loss of around 10,000 human lives and over $280 billion in damages worldwide.

“The good news is that just as the disasters are interconnected, so are the solutions,” stated Dr. Jack O’Connor, Senior Scientist at UNU-EHS and Lead Author of the Interconnected Disaster Risks report. “One type of solution can prevent or reduce a number of different disaster risks, and through our research we were able to identify solutions which can prevent or drastically reduce the impacts of disasters to help us save lives and avoid costly damages.”

Launched two months ahead of the UN Climate Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the report demonstrates that by looking below the surface and identifying the drivers that cause disasters to develop, such as deforestation or urbanization, we can decrease the risk of disasters before they occur. For example, deforestation leads to soil erosion, where a lack of trees and roots means that there is no protection from wind and rain and the soil is easily washed or blown away. This creates ideal conditions for multiple disasters, such as the devastating landslides during the Haiti earthquake, the formation of sandstorms in southern Madagascar and the sedimentation of water reservoirs contributing to the Taiwan drought, leading to lives lost or people’s homes and income opportunities being destroyed. By applying the solution “Let nature work”, we can harness nature’s processes to reduce hazards; for example, by restoring forests to stabilize the soil and prevent land degradation.

The solutions identified in the report are most powerful when implemented in “solution packages”, where multiple solutions work together to address the different elements of each interconnected disaster. For example, a solution package to address the looming extinction of the vaquita is to work together with local fisher communities to comanage conservation areas, to innovate and implement more sustainable fishing methods, to raise awareness for sustainable consumption and to enforce regulations to prevent harmful overfishing and illegal trade. This solution package has a better chance of addressing the problem than if any of the solutions are implemented in isolation.

“The research on this is clear. Without investing and scaling up smart solutions, the disasters of 2021/2022 are just the beginning of a new normal. The responsibility to make changes rests with all parts of society: the private sector, governments, regional and local decision makers, but also with us as individuals. All of our actions have consequences for all of us. In an interconnected world, we are all part of the solution,” concluded Dr. Zita Sebesvari, Deputy Director of UNU-EHS and Lead Author of the Interconnected Disaster Risks report

Sweet Taste of Tata Chem initiatives in Salty Land area

22nd August 2022, sk.mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: 20th August edition of "Stories from Tata.com" contains an interesting article "A Forest Grows Queitly". It's written by Cynthia Rodrigues. Though the communication doesn't offer details of author, ostensibly Cynthia Rodrigues works with Tata Services and is the Author of Re-learning the ABC with Mamma.

The write up shows that Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD), the CSR arm of the company, initiated efforts towards biodiversity conservation by strengthening the local ecosystem in Okhamandal tehsil of Jamnagar district in Gujarat, home to its Mithapur plant and township. Mithapur is the birthplace of Tata Chemicals. Its importance stems from its massive salt reserves. Due to this it has become the centre of salt and soda ash production in India.

The Okhamandal region, spread across 717 square kilometer, is almost completely surrounded by the ocean. Only a thin strip of about 500 meters of land connects it to the mainland. Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development started the project with just 15 acres of land. Today it has expanded to 170 acres.

The salinity ingression in the land is quite high due to the geographical position and geological conditions. Low incidence of rainfall and the drought prone region add to the challenges affecting the soil. The restoration of the natural forest required it to thrive on its own, while developing its inherent abilities to adapt to the climatic conditions.

As lucidly described in the article Tata Chemicals people observed a steady decline of the indigenous flora of Okhamandal region. Some of various possible reasons explored by the Company's ThinkTank are those including the exploitation of the medicinal plants, development activities, and the proliferation of some alien invasive weeds, such as prosopis juliflora and parthenium hysterophorus, one of the world’s seven most notorious weeds. These invasive species grew at a faster rate while the rate of growth of the native species was slow. Over time, the grassland (open scrub forest), which was the native ecosystem of the area, began to decline.

Cynthia Rodrigues has mentioned "An unfortunate consequence of this decline was the steady decline of native species, particularly gugal, which was designated as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 2021."

As conservation measures, the project initiated dugging of pits those were kept uncovered for a while to enable the soil to be enriched by the sunlight and to absorb the nutrients through rainwater. The saplings and plants were nurtured till their successful growth and acquaintance to the conditions to survive with minimal watering, thereby sustaining a natural habitat.

The article throws delighting insights that in 2004, 40 types of birds were traced in the area, and now increased to 118 species of birds, including migratory species, as well as 28 species of butterflies. The birds, butterflies, bees etc are pollinators, and their return to the fragile ecosystem is a sign that restoration is happening. The pollinators, in turn, help increase the production of the crops. The ecosystem has also witnessed the return of the wild boar, the Indian pangolin, Jungle cat, fruit bat, pale hedgehog, small Indian civet, mongoose, neelgai, Indian porcupine, jackals, striped hyenas etc. Cynthia Rodrigues has described "Every morning, the area around Tata Chemicals’ township is filled with the squawks of peacocks."

TCSRD project has received the “Achievement in Biodiversity Award,” a national level certificate, from the Confederation of Indian Industry in 2019. But the success of the project can also be seen in the myriad shades of green that dot this arid landscape.

FAC defers Bhushan Power & Steel Proposal, desires Top Officials' report on Elephant Distribution & possible impacts

19th August 2022, sk.mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: Proposal for permission under clause - (iii) of section 2 of Forest Conservation Act, 1980 for grant of lease over 112.621 ha of forest land in village Baldihi of Netrabandha Pahar Iron Ore Block allotted to Bhusan Power and Steel Limited under Bonai Forest Division of Sundargarh District was deferred by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) in their 1st August 2022 meeting.

The total lease is 139.223 ha. It consists of 112.621 ha of forest land, and 13.994 ha of Govt non-forest land and 12.608 ha of tenancy land.

The forest land proposed for diversion supports vegetation density of 0.5 and 4038 trees will be affected by the project. This land is covered with Tropical Moist Deciduous Forest.

After detailed discussion and deliberation on the proposal with the Nodal Officer (FCA), Odisha and Regional Officer, IRO, Bhubaneswar on the observations of Project Elephant Division, the FAC deferred desired that a team of officers, may visit the area and submit the report: The team comprises of Preet Pal Singh, Dy. IGF, MoEF&CC, New Delhi; Dr. Bilal Haib, Faculty, Elephant Cell, WII, Dehradun and Dr. K Muthamizh Selvan, Scientist ‘E’, Project Elephant Division, MoEF&CC, New Delhi.

The Team of Officers has to ascertain

(1) Status of elephant distribution and movement in the area

(2) Holistic assessment of likely impact of the mining leases operational and proposed to be granted in the area on the elephant habitat and movements; and

(3) Mitigation measures, if any, required to be undertaken for the conservation and protection of elephants in the area.

Notable that Ministry's Bhubaneshwar IRO carried out an inspection of the area and has recommended the proposal for approval under clause (iii) of section 2 of the FC Act. However, the FAC has information that the mining project is located at a distance of 13.31 km and 79.50 km from the Karo-Karampada Elephant Corridor and Simplipal Wildlife Sanctuary, respectively. The proposed area completely falls in the elephant distribution range.

Environment friendly eradication of invasive inspect pest

8th August 2022 Sunita.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

One of the most devastating insect pests infesting fruits and vegetables in Mexico has been eradicated in the state of Colima, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Colima outbreak was detected in April 2021 in the Mexico’s largest port, Manzanillo. It posed an immediate risk to crops, including guavas, mangoes, papaya, and oranges.

According to UN, if not managed promptly, it would have been a significant blow to Mexico's trade across the sector overall, which generates over more than $9.2 billion, annually in exports as well as millions of local jobs.

In cooperation with IAEA and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), scientists there was able to use a UN-developed nuclear-based sterile insect technique (SIT) to eradicate the medfly, more commonly known as the fruit fly.

As per one UN communication, when medfly females lay eggs in ripe fruit the quality of products can be impacted, making them inedible and unfit to be sold. Scientists released more than 1,450 million sterile male flies in Colima with the environmentally-friendly SIT insect pest control method, that uses irradiation to sterilize insects. When the males mated with wild females after their release, no offspring were produced – eventually leading to eradication of the insects.

NGT Orders RSPCB for imposition of Rs. 5 Lakh per month environmental compensation charges from Rathi Special Steel

4th August 2022 sk.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) to allow Rathi Special Steels Ltd. (RSSL) to resume its functioning Unit at plot no. SP-29 & F-20-24, RIICO Industrial Area Khushkhera, District-Alwar, initially for a period of one week. After testing the air quality of the running unit if no emission beyond permissible limit is found and other environmental norms are also complied, unit may be allowed to continue but under strict monitoring and supervision by RSPCB. However, since on and after 11th February 2021 when direction of Tribunal granting indulgence with regard to prior EC to be obtained by the units like RSSL, expired, yet the company continued to function, NGT has imposed environmental compensation of Rs. 5 lakh/month for the period of violation i.e., for the period unit has run, on and after 11th february 2021 till date. If appellant decides to resume its production as permitted above, the same amount of compensation shall also be paid for the period unit continued to run without EC.

RSSL is engaged in manufacturing and trading of thermo-mechanical treatment (TMT), reinforcement steel bars and low carbon billets. It is manufacturing the product with brand name of ‘Rathi Shaktiman Construction Steel Bars’. The company has in-house capacity of producing mild steel billets as raw materials for producing steel bars. ‘Rathi Shaktiman Excel’ (another brand name of product) is hot rolled from steel billets and subjected to programmable logic controller (PLC) controlled online thermo-mechanical treatment in three stages, which include quenching stage, tempering stage and cooling stage. Under quenching stage, water spray is used as a cooling treatment to hot ribbed bar at controlled temperature and pressure. Rathi Shaktiman Excel has double rib pattern. Rathi Shaktiman Thermax is available in a range of sizes. RSSL is manufacturing Rathi Shaktiman Excel at its manufacturing plants in North India. Company has steel rolling mill at Khushkhera, Alwar district, Rajasthan.

NGT, in its order dated 12th February 2020 passed in Gajubha Jesar Jadeja vs. Union of India & Others, OA 55/2019(WZ), took a view that rolling industries had to obtain EC. The Tribunal granted time to obtain EC, but, during this period, industries were allowed to operate.

The Green Court has directed Competent Authority under EIA 2006 to take a final decision on the application for EC submitted by appellant within 3 months.

Expressing dissatisfaction over RSPCB, the NGT Principal Bench has stated that "Unfortunately, role of RSPCB in this case, is also dubious. Though things were made clear long back, RSPCB also knew that appellant’s unit had to obtain EC, no effective action was taken on its part except of simply issuing some letters. No strict action was taken though it had enough powers under the Statute. We have no hesitation in observing that RSPCB has miserably failed as a Statutory Regulator to take such steps as and when necessary for implementation of environmental laws."

Access to clean and healthy environment a universal right

29th July 2022 sk.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

The UN General Assembly adopted a historic resolution on Thursday, declaring access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, a universal human right. The resolution, based on a similar text adopted last year by the Human Rights Council, calls upon States, international organisations, and business enterprises to scale up efforts to ensure a healthy environment for all.

Last October, for the first time, the United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world, passed a resolution recognising access to a healthy and sustainable environment as a universal right. The text, originally presented by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland last June, and now co-sponsored by over 100 countries, notes that the right to a healthy environment is related to existing international law and affirms that its promotion requires the full implementation of multilateral environmental agreements.

It also recognises that the impact of climate change, the unsustainable management and use of natural resources, the pollution of air, land and water, the unsound management of chemicals and waste, and the resulting loss in biodiversity interfere with the enjoyment of this right - and that environmental damage has negative implications, both direct and indirect, for the effective enjoyment of all human rights.

The recognition of the right to a healthy environment by these UN bodies, although not legally binding— meaning countries don’t have a legal obligation to comply— is expected to be a catalyst for action and to empower ordinary people to hold their governments accountable.

Three main interlinked environmental threats that humanity currently faces: climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss - all mentioned in the text of the resolution. Each of these issues has its own causes and effects and they need to be resolved if we are to have a viable future on Earth.

The consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, through increased intensity and severity of droughts, water scarcity, wildfires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice, catastrophic storms and declining biodiversity.

Meanwhile, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the largest cause of disease and premature death in the world, with more than seven million people dying prematurely each year due to pollution.

Finally, the decline or disappearance of biological diversity - which includes animals, plants and ecosystems - impacts food supplies, access to clean water and life as we know it.

EAC Industry-1 seeks Govt. Institution report on Ratnamani Metals and Tube manufacturing process

27th July 2022, New Delhi

The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for Industry Sector-1 Projects, chaired by Rajive Kumar, IFS (Retd.), has sought a report prepared by any reputed government institution or government undertaking institution to examine the process of Ratnamani Metals and Tube Ltd., located at Vastrapur, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

The Institutions has to report on whether process adopted in the industry falls under the purview of Primary or Secondary Metallurgy process or not as per provision of the EIA Notification, 2006 and

Technical Guidelines issued under thereon.

Based on the submission of the report, the EAC may give its opinion whether the process requires prior EC under EIA Notification, 2006 and amendments thereof.

The industry is involved in manufacturing and export of Carbon steel, Stainless-Steel Pipes and Tubes. Gujarata Pollution Control Board has interpreted that for making of Pipe/tubes, it is mandatory to seek prior Environment Clearance, taking a view that such activity I falling under metallurgical process Para 3 (a) Metallurgical Industries (ferrous & non-ferrous) of the EIA Notification 2006. Subsequently, the company approached the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change seeking expert opinion, or clarification.

NCR Districts attain only nearly 54% of Plantation Target

23rd July 2022, New Delhi

The National Capital Region (NCR) Districts of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi have achieved plantation target of around 54% as on 20th July.

According to a government communication, continuing its efforts to abate air pollution in the NCR through enhanced green cover and large-scale plantation, the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) has been reviewing the progress of plantation in the NCR districts of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and NCT of Delhi. As against the revised plantation target of 3,34,56,541, the NCR Districts of Haryana, Rajasthan, U.P. and NCT of Delhi have achieved plantation of 1,81,90,447, i.e., an achievement of more than 54% as on 20th July.

The plan for the year 2022-23, mandates enhanced plantation targets as compared to the previous year and State Governments of Haryana, Rajasthan, U.P. and GNCTD have set increased plantation targets for the year 2022-23. As on 20th July 2022, NCT of Delhi has done 8,38,416 plantations as against the plantation target of 35,06,900; NCR Districts of U.P. has done 1,52,36,379 plantations as against the plantation target of 1,87,39,565; Haryana (NCR) has done 17,06,152 plantations as against the target of 1,01,56,447; and two NCR districts of Rajasthan have done 4,09,500 plantations as against the target of 10,53,629. The percentage achievement, as compared to the revised target, as on 20th July by NCR Haryana, NCR Uttar Pradesh, NCR Rajasthan and NCT of Delhi is 16.7%, 81.3%, 38.8% and 23.9 % respectively.

The NCR States of Haryana and Rajasthan and GNCTD need to gather further momentum and were directed to expedite the plantation drive to achieve their respective targets and send an updated status as on 31.07.2022 by early August. The Commission has also taken an initiative to engage various major stakeholders including from Universities, Higher Education and Research Institutions to push the plantation drive in the National Capital Region.

The plantation progress will be reviewed again by the Commission with the NCR States and NCTD in August.

Standalone Re-rolling units, Cold rolling units need EC

22nd July 2022

On 20th July 2022, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has directed all the standalone re-rolling units or cold rolling units, which are in existence and in operation as on the date of the notification dated 20th July 2022, with valid Consent to Establish (CTE) and Consent to Operate (CTO) from the concerned State Pollution Control Board or the Union territory Pollution Control Committee, as the case may be, shall apply online for grant of Terms of Reference (ToR) followed by Environment Clearance. #EIA #MoEF To get such updates Subscribe to Enviro Annotations.

Manufacturing of Phosphoric Acid and Sulphuric Acid doesn't require EC

New Delhi: Manufacturing of Phosphoric Acid and Sulphuric Acid, as standalone or within the existing premises of the project/activity for which prior Environment Clearance (EC) has already been granted, does not require prior EC.

Notable that manufacturing of synthetic organic chemicals are covered under the schedule 5(f) of the EIA Notification 2006 and require prior EC. However, Office Memorandum dated 8th June 2022 issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) describes Phosphoric Acid and Sulphuric Acid as inorganic compounds. Therefore, manufacturing of Phosphoric Acid and Sulphuric Acid is not covered under the extant provisions of the EIA Notification, 2006 as amended from time to time, and shall not require prior EC.

The OM further states that in case, the Phosphoric Acid plant and/or Sulphuric Acid plant which are set up within the existing premises of the project/activity for which prior EC has already been obtained, it shall be ensured that inclusion/expansion/modernization of the said plant shall not result in increase in the production level of the project beyond the sanctioned capacity stated in the prior EC.

Consent to Establish/Operate from the concerned State Pollution Control Boards/State Pollution Control Committees as per Air Act, 1981, and Water Act, 1974 shall be required for manufacturing Phosphoric Acid and Sulphuric Acid. #EIA #EC #Acid

“Jurisdiction of Green Tribunal is not dependent on MoEF&CC’s decision alone”: NGT Principal Bench

25th May 2022 sk.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has stated that “Jurisdiction of this Tribunal is not dependent on MoEF&CC’s decision alone”. The NGT stated this while hearing a review application by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), on 24th May 2022. MoEF&CC has filed a Review Application No. 14/2022 to review the Tribunal’s Order dated 6th April 2022 in the matter of Original Application No. 136/2020 pertaining to Veterans Forum for Transparency in Public Life versus State of Himachal Pradesh & Ors. Read more