DPCC finds only 7 out of 400 garbage godowns fit for sealing, to impose EDC
Hearing the Execution Application No. 27/2020 in case of Original Application No. 211/2019 in the matter of Sunil Kumar versus Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) & Ors. , on Date 17th September 2021 the National Green Tribunal (NGT) observed that in view of the compliance report submitted by the respondents including DPCC, no further order appears to be necessary.
The grievance in the application was against non-compliance of order dated 21st August 2019 issued by the Green Court in the matter of O.A. No. 211/2019. The Tribunal considered the allegations that there were 400 garbage godowns where garbage is continuously burnt and high decibel noise pollution is created. In the said godowns, there was breakage of iron and steel garbage, releasing dangerous oxides. Godowns were not have Consent to Operate under the Water Act and Air Act or registration under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 and were in gross violation of general standards prescribed under Schedule VI, especifically under Serial. No. 100 (Common Hazardous Waste Incinerator) of Schedule I of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986.
In the hearing process, after considering the report filed by DPCC on 5th March 2021, NGT found that requisite action had not been taken., and fixed accountability of the Chairman and Member Secretary, DPCC.
Subsequently the DPCC filed another report on 15th September 2021 stating that a Joint team conducted door to door joint inspections of the Sonia Vihar-Sabhapur area from 15th to 17th June 2021. Total 166 premises were inspected, which included 7 premises sealed by DPCC for carrying out industrial activity in violation of the Water and Air Act, 16 premises sealed by EDMC for violation of the MCD Act. The field inspection ensured that no illegal activity has restarted, however 143 premises reported as vacant.
The report also states that the premises which were sealed by DPCC, have been issued show cause notices for imposing environmental damages compensation (EDC).
Another important point mentioned in the report is that most of the godowns are being used to store building material scraps such as tor steel, channels and shuttering material which are procured from dismantled building and are sold for re-use/ reprocess.
Rapid, sustained, and deep emission cuts, a must in this decade rather than distant targets says India at the MEF
Today, U.S. President Joe Biden convened the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate to urge fellow leaders of major economies to commit to faster climate action in this critical decade, with just 44 days left to the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.
Representing India at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) convened virtually by US President, Joe Biden, on September 17, 2021, the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadavstated that combating climate change is a shared global challenge and our response must be based on the fundamental principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
The Minister in his remarks mentioned that though India’sshare of world population is 17% but the country’sshare in cumulative historical emissions is just 4% and even the current annual emissions are only 5.2% of the global emissions and the per capita emissions are about a third of the global average. “It is clear that we are not a part of the problem, but we want to be a part of the solution to the climate crisis.” emphasised the Minister at the meeting which aimed at facilitating candid dialogue among major emitters countries, both developed and developing, to garner political leadership to advance climate action.
Expressing India’s ambitious goals under the Paris Agreement, the Environment Minister highlighted India’s target of 450 GW of Renewable Energy by 2030 and mentioned that India’s solar capacity, drawing on the collaborative spirit of member countries through the International Solar Alliance, has increased fifteen times in the last six years.
The Minister of Environment concluded his remarks by echoing global sentiments for collective intent and concrete actions in tackling climate change. “The world needs rapid, sustained, and deep emission cuts in this decade rather than distant targets” said Shri Bhupender Yadav underscoring collaborative and cohesive global efforts to keep the Paris Agreement temperature goal within reach.
The virtual meeting built on the Leaders’ Summit on Climate conducted in April 2021 and was aimed at enabling dialogue and discussion and building consensus before COP26, which will set a precedent for climate efforts in the years to come.
According to a White House release Leaders from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, the European Commission, the European Council, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and the United Kingdom as well as the UN Secretary-General joined the virtual meeting. Leaders underscored the collective urgency of taking action to meet the global climate crisis. President Biden also announced, with the EU, a Global Methane Pledge that aims to cut global methane pollution by at least 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030 through collective action. President Biden asked Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry to chair a ministerial session immediately following with China, Germany, India, and Russia.
The Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) was launched on 28th March 2009. The MEF is intended to facilitate a candid dialogue among major developed and developing economies, help generate the political leadership necessary to achieve a successful outcome at the December UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, and advance the exploration of concrete initiatives and joint ventures that increase the supply of clean energy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
India observes 27th World Ozone day
Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change R P Gupta, Atul Bagai, Head of UNEP in India, Shoko Nada, Resident Representative of UNDP in India and various representatives of Industries, Industrial Organisations, various stakeholders and over 3000 School Children participated in the event held virtually.
India and US launch the Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD)
13th September 2021, New Delhi
India and the United States of America (USA) today launched the “Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD)”. The CAFMD is one of the two tracks of the India-U.S. Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 partnership launched at the Leaders' Summit on Climate in April 2021, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joseph Biden.
The dialogue was formally launched by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Bhupender Yadav and John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC), at an event held in New Delhi.
Speaking at the launch, Yadav said that the dialogue will not only strengthen India-US bilateral cooperation on climate and environment but will also help to demonstrate how the world can align swift climate action with inclusive and resilient economic development, taking into account national circumstances and sustainable development priorities.
“India and the United States are natural partners with shared values and our agenda encompasses all major pillars of our strategic priorities - including defence, security, energy, technology, education and healthcare,” said the Environment Minister emphasizing on the deep ties shared by the two mature and vibrant democracies. Speaking at the launch of Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD), Mr. Kerry applauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for setting an ambitious target of achieving 450GW renewable energy by 2030 and congratulated India for already achieving 100 GW.
The US Climate envoy lauded India’s leadership role in demonstrating how economic development andclean energy can go hand in hand and stated that urgent Global Climate Action is the need of the hour.He stressed that India and US are working towards speedier deployment of clean energy.
The launch was preceded by a bilateral meet where both sides discussed at length a wide range of climate issues relating to COP26, Climate Ambition, Climate Finance, Global Climate Initiatives including International Solar Alliance (ISA), Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C).
Shillong remains least polluted for 4th consecutive day, Nandesari worst AQI of the day
4th Sept 2021, New Delhi
Impact of Aerosols and Clouds on Solar Energy generation leading to financial loss
Indian Scientists present an integrated sewage and organic solid waste treatment technology
Sugar industries must ensure continuous running of ETPs even during the non-crushing season to avert shock load: NGT
1st September 2021, New Delhi by firstname.lastname@example.org
Citing reference of the criteria laid down by the Supreme Court in the Goel Ganga Developers India Pvt. Ltd. vs. Union of India, and M.C. Mehta Vs. Union of India, the NGT Bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel Chairperson stated that if the judgments applied and units are imposed 10% of the turnover as environmental compensation, it would have come to approximately ₹400 Crores, since the information shown on the website of Read more
BRICS Environment Ministers adopt the New Delhi Statement
27th August 2021, New Delhi
NITI Aayog Releases North Eastern Region District SDGIndex and Dashboard 2021–22
26th August 2021, New Delhi
The first edition of North Eastern Region (NER) District Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index Report and Dashboard 2021–22 was released by NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MoDoNER), today. The Index measures the performance of the districts of the eight States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura on the Sustainable Development Goalsand their corresponding targets and ranks the districts based on the same. The index is based on NITI Aayog’s SDG India Index –the principal and official tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs at the national and State/ Union Territory levels and shares the common ethos of benchmarking performance and ranking on the SDGs to foster competition among the districts.
The index offers insights into the social, economic, and environmental status of the region and its districts in their march towards achieving the SDGs. It is a unique policy tool which has immense potential to measure district level progress, highlight critical gaps, facilitate resource allocation, and will be a handy toolfor policy makers in the eight North Eastern States, Ministry of DoNER and other Union Ministries.
NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson, Dr Rajiv Kumar; Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region, G. Kishan Reddy; and Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, B.L.Verma,launched the report titled, North Eastern Region District SDG Index & Dashboard: Baseline Report 2021-22, in the presence of Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Dr. Inder Jit Singh, Secretary, Ministry of DoNER; Nadia Rasheed, Resident Representative (I/c), UNDP; and Sanyukta Samaddar, Adviser (SDG), NITI Aayog. The launch was also attended virtually by Chief Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, and other senior State Governments officials of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. Designed and developed by NITI Aayog in collaboration with Ministry of DoNERwith technical inputs from UNDP, the preparation of the index followed extensive consultations with all the eight Northeastern States –who are the primary stakeholders of this tool.
The NER District SDG Index aims at delineating progress at the district level on a basket of indicators and enhancing analytical understanding of sectoral issues as well as data gaps, while assisting in designing future courses of action in the region. The modular nature of the index makes it a policy tool and a ready reckoner for gauging progress of districts on the expansive set of the Global Goals, including health, education, gender, economic growth, institutions, climate change and environment, among others.
The North East as a region has shown remarkable performance in Goal 15- Life on Land, across indicators on forest cover, wasteland, and wildlife cases, with 12 districts in the Achievers category and 86 districts in the category of Front Runners. The region has also fared well in Goal 6- Clean Water and Sanitation where more than 75 per cent of the districts are in the Front Runner category across indicators on sanitation and drinking water services.
Overall Results and Findings
East Sikkim [Score 75.87] ranks first in the region followed by districts Gomati and North Tripura [Score 75.73] in the second position. The score for the 103 districts ranges from 53.00 in Kiphire [NL] to 75.87 in East Sikkim [SK].
India stands committed to working with U.S. on clean energy
Campaigns undertaken mirrors India's focus on Sustainable Development, Union Environment Minister
NTPC's 25 MW floatovoltaics in Simhadri to do away with 46k tons of CO2-equivalent, besides saving 13,640 Lakh Liter water every year
21st August 2021, New Delhi
The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC ) Ltd, has commissioned the largest floating solar PV project of 25MW on the reservoir of its Simhadri thermal station in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. This is also the first solar project to be set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme, notified by the Government of India in 2018.
Floating solar, sometimes called floatovoltaics, refers to a solar power production installation mounted on a structure that floats on a body of water.
The floating solar installation which has a unique anchoring design is spread over 75 acres in an RW reservoir. This floating solar project has the potential to generate electricity from more than 1 lakh solar PV modules. This would not only help to light around 7,000 households but also ensure at least 46,000 tons of CO2e are kept at arm’s length every year during the lifespan of this project. The project is also expected to save 1,364 million litres of water per annum. This would be adequate to meet the yearly water requirements of 6,700 households.
The 2000MW coal-based Simhadri Station is the first power project to implement an open sea intake from the Bay of Bengal which has been functional for more than 20 years.
NTPC is also planning to set up a hydrogen-based micro-grid system on a pilot basis at Simhadri.
According to a research article floating type solar photovoltaic panels have numerous advantages compared to overland installed solar panels, including fewer obstacles to block sunlight, convenient, energy efficiency, higher power generation efficiency owing to its lower temperature underneath the panels. Additionally, the aquatic environment profits by the solar installation because the shading of the plant prevents excessive water evaporation, limits algae growth and potentially improving water quality.
In Italy the first registered patent, regarding PV modules on water, goes back to February 2008. This technology has had a rapid growth on the renewable energy market since 2016. The biggest operational floating solar power plant in 2021 is in China. While China and India together account for six of the world’s ten biggest floating solar projects in various stages of development. As per Power Technology India's largest floating solar plant is 600MW Omkareshwar Dam floating solar farm.
Cabinet approves Ratification of Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on ODS for phase down of HFCs
India extends full support to UK for a successful COP26 scheduled in November 2021
18th August 2021, New Delhi
Around the world storms, floods and wildfires are intensifying. Air pollution sadly affects the health of tens of millions of people and unpredictable weather causes untold damage to homes and livelihoods too. But while the impacts of climate change are devastating, despite the opportunities the world is not acting fast enough. To avert this crisis, countries need to join forces urgently.
In 2009, rich countries promised they would work towards raising $100bn each year by 2020 to help these countries tackle climate change. This remained a mere declaration. International climate summits are complex. But COP26 can't be just yet another international summit.
Stating that India is always committed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) Framework and its Paris Agreement, and will work constructively for successful and balanced outcome at COP26, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav extended India’s full support to the UK for COP26 to be held in Glasgow in November this year.
The Environment Minister had a detailed meeting with Alok Sharma, COP26 President-Designate, UK in New Delhi today wherein they discussed on various issues pertaining to climate change, COP26, India-UK 2030 Roadmap, and other related matters.
“India believes that Climate actions must be nationally determined and strongly advocates that the differentiation and operationalization of flexibility provided in the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement for developing countries should be at the core of decision-making” emphasized Mr. Yadav reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on climate justice while fighting climate change.
The Environment Minister also mentioned about the global initiatives spearheaded by India under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for tackling climate change viz. Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT), Coalition on Coalition Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and International Solar Alliance (ISA).
COP26 President-Designate, UK, Alok Sharma sought the support of India on the COP 26 Initiatives launched by the UK and for a successful COP at Glasgow and acknowledged India’s leadership role. Both the leaders also exchanged views on important climate negotiation agenda items to be deliberated in the upcoming COP26 at Glasgow.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted Environmental Security in his Independence Day Speech
Four more sites of India in Ramsar list as wetlands of International importance
With 46 Ramsar sites, India is 3rd in Asia
Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021 notified
New Rules prohibit identified SUPs by 2022
MoEF&CC initiates evaluation of eleven NAFCC projects
10th August 2021, New Delhi
The Government of India has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) for the work of Evaluation of Eleven Projects under National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC), which are scheduled for completion during the FY 2021-22. NAFCC is a Central Scheme got operationalized in FY 2015-16 and will be continuing beyond 12th Five Year Plan. The Fund was created to assist National and State level activities to meet the cost of adaptation measures in areas that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate Change. NAFCC supports concrete adaptation activities which are not covered under on-going activities through the schemes of State and National Government that reduce the adverse effects of climate change facing community, sector and states.
The adaptation projects contribute towards reducing the risk of vulnerability at community and sector level. The activities under this scheme are in a project mode basis. The projects on adaptation in agriculture, water, forestry, infrastructure etc are being implemented under this Scheme at National and State level.
It also proposes various conferences workshops, awareness and information dissemination programmes, Research and Development activities, and establishment of a coordination and monitoring units to enhance adaptive capacity.
The scheme envisages availability of improved water and food security, improved livelihoods, improved ecosystem services, risk and vulnerability reduction and increased adaptive capacity in the project areas. Possible outputs of the project are enhancing adaptive capacity to reduce the magnitude of risk and vulnerability of climate change for maximizing multi-sectoral, cross-sectoral benefits/co-benefits to reduce key risks and adverse impacts of climate change in water and agriculture sectors. Further. integrated traditional knowledge and good practices will be inventorised; human development, poverty alleviation, livelihood security would be achieved, community awareness on climate change matters at the state-level would be enhanced. These outputs could be considered as indicators for evaluation of projects on annual and planned basis.
As per an Office Memorandum of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, till date 30 projects, including a regional project and a multi-state project, have been approved at a total cost of Rs. 847.82 Cr. 11 projects in Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Pondicherry and Uttar Pradesh are completing in FY 2021-22 for which the Ministry intends to conduct a third party evaluation of these projects.
IPCC releases 6th Assessment Report on Climate, India welcomes
9th August 2021, New Delhi
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change, released its latest Climate Report on Monday, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis. The report is the first major review of its kind since 2013, ahead of the COP26 summit in November.
The IPCC sixth assessment report, which runs over 3900 pages, said that it is not just about temperature. Climate change will increase global heat. Some areas will witness intense rains and flooding while others will face severe drought. The report has noted that a "strong and sustained" deduction in carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases will benefit the environment as air quality will improve quickly while global temperatures could take 20 to 30 years to stabilize.
India has welcome the report, in which several Indian Scientists have also participated. Union Environment Minister, Bhupender Yadav said in his tweet message that the report is a clarion call for the developed countries to undertake immediate, deep emission cuts and decarbonisation of their economies.
Developed Countries have usurped far more than their fair share of the global carbon budget. Reaching net zero alone is not enough, as it is the cumulative emissions up to net zero that determine the temperature that is reached. This has been amply borne out in the IPCC report. It vindicates India’s position that historical cumulative emissions are the source of the climate crisis that the World faces today.
The report notes that the Carbon dioxide has been and will continue to be the dominant cause of global warming under all greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.
The Environment Minister further said that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi India has taken numerous steps to tackle the global problem of climate change and is well on the path of decoupling its emissions from economic growth.
India notes that the climate change is impacting the South Asian Monsoons. The report brings out that the monsoon rainfall is expected to intensify in all ranges of the projected scenarios. Intensity and frequency of heavy rainfall events are projected to be on the rise. India notes that the rising temperature will lead to increased frequency and intensity of extreme events including heat waves and heavy rainfall.
India also notes that the GHG warming is assessed to be partially offset by aerosol cooling by almost 30%. India’s cumulative and per capita current emissions are significantly low and far less than its fair share of global carbon budget.
In a release, the Government of India stated to have taken tremendous actions under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tackle the global collective action problem of climate change by taking several initiatives including, inter-alia, setting up of International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, raising the domestic renewable energy target to 450 GW by 2030 and putting in place an ambitious National Hydrogen Mission and continuing efforts to decouple its emissions from economic growth. India’s actions to address global climate change are 2°C compliant and rated highly by several independent agencies of the world.
The report is a ‘reality check,’ giving a clearer picture of the climate in the past, present and future, says the IPCC. It has deliberated that climate change is widespread, rapid, & intensifying. It has emphasized on scientific observations about changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system.
"Today’s IPCC Working Group I Report is a code red for humanity... Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible", said United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.
"Nobody is safe and it's getting worse faster. We must treat climate change as an immediate threat", said United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, Inger Andersen.
Two more reports are scheduled in 2021. In September 2021, the Working Group III Report on Mitigation of Climate Change, and in October 2021, the Working Group II report regarding Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability shall be released. The Synthesis Report is due to be finalized in the first half of 2022 in time for the 2023 Global Stocktake by the UNFCCC, when countries will review progress towards the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.
IPCC was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and UNEP to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.
The IPCC does not conduct its own research. It identifies where there is agreement in the scientific community, where there are differences of opinion and where further research is needed. It is a partnership between scientists and policymakers and it is this that makes its work a credible source of information for policymakers. IPCC assessments are produced according to procedures that ensure integrity, in line with the IPCC’s overarching principles of objectivity, openness and transparency. IPCC has stated that its reports are policy relevant, but not policy-prescriptive.
ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India drops all projects but 12MTPA Pellet Plant in Odisha, EAC recommends EC
7th August 2021, New Delhi
Dr. C N Pandey led Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) recommends Environmental Clearance (EC) to ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India's proposal for completion of balance work of 6 MTPA Pellet Plant (Unit-2) of 12,000,000 TPA Pellet Plant at Udayabata, Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha. The Rs. 1450 Crore project site is located within Paradeep Severely Polluted Area, which has CEPI Score 60.61.
The existing EC was originally issued to Essar Steel Orissa Ltd. on 29th May 2008 for installation of Integrated steel plant 6 MTPA (including Pellet plant 12 MTPA) along with 225 MW captive power plant. The EC was transferred to the ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Ltd. on 24th June 2021.
Three rivers flow within 5 km from the project; Mahanadi River at 0.2 km towards North, Athrabanki Riverat about 2.7 km towards South and Nuna River at about 4.02 km toward North West of the project.
The report shows that total water requirement for the project is estimated as 20,448 kilo-liter per day (KLD), out of which 17,856 KLD of fresh water requirement will be obtained from the slurry pipeline and the remaining requirement of 2592 KLD will be met from the Taladanda Canal. The permission for drawl of groundwater / surface water is obtained from Mahanadi South Division, Jobra vide Lr. No. 6598/WE, dated 16.07.2020 having validity till March 2021. Application for rephrasing of allocated water is submitted to Mahanadi South Division vides Lr. No. AMNS/PDP/03 dated 12th March 2021, which is under process.
According to information provided, the Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) for Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, which was issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) vide S.O.1601 (E) dated 16th June 2015, the ESZ varies from 560 meters to 2 kms width from the boundary of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. It is stated that the project site is located at a distance of 5.39 km from the boundary of the ESZ and permission from Standing Committee for National Board of Wildlife is not applicable.
All other units except for the 12 (2x6) MTPA Pellet plant from the original EC of 2008 have been dropped. In view of this, the total project area has reduced to 61.132 ha. The project has dropped several scopes from its Phase-2, such as; Blast Furnace with Pig Casting Machine, Basic Oxygen Furnace, Steel Melting & Continuous Casting shop, Ladle Furnace, RH-TOB, Slab Caster, Oxygen Plant (BOO Basis), Lime Point, Dolomite Plant, Captive Power Plant and Sinter Plant.
It is stated that a greenbelt will be developed in an area of 60.57 acre, which is about 40% of the total project area. 62,200 samplings shall be planted in 2 years with a density of 2500 trees per hectare. However, in the condition specified by EAC states that the greenbelt area also includes green belt development of 20-meter-wide towards Udayabata Village which is 600 m from the plant boundary. In addition to the 40% greenbelt mentioned above, green cover shall be developed in 16 acres of buffer area created between plant boundary and Mahanadi River as committed by the project proponent. The EAC has also asked the industry to prepare GHG emissions inventory for the plant and submit the programme for reduction of the same including carbon sequestration including plantation.
During appraisal of the project on 29th July 2021 in its 41st meeting, the EAC also laid a condition that the project has to switch over to Natural Gas fuel from LSHS/LDO by December, 2022.
MoEF&CC amends discharge and emission standards for Pharmaceutical industry
7th August 2021, New Delhi
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has amended the standards for effluent discharge and air emissions Bulk Drug and Formulation (Pharmaceutical) industries. The new standards prescribed by the Ministry vide its notification bearing GSR No. 541(E) dated 6th August 2021 shall come into force after one year from the date of publication.
COD and Ammoniacal Nitrogen are the two compulsory parameters are added in the new effluent discharge standards. So, according to the the new effluent discharges, an industry shall have to maintain pH between 6.0-8.5, BOD less than 30 ppm, COD within 250 ppm, TSS and Ammoniacal Nitrogen, each should be less than 100 ppm, and Oil & grease with in 10 ppm. The Bio - Assay Test of the effluent should result 90% survival of Fish after first 96 hours in 100% effluent.
The effluent discarge standards cited above shall not be applicable to the industries discharging to CETP, and shall be applicable to all discharge to land and surface water bodies including use of treated wastewater for horticulture or irrigation purposes.
Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Sodium Absorption Ratio (SAR), Benzene, Xylene, Methylene Chloride and Chlorobenzene are added to the previous list of additional parameters. The additional parameters shall be prescribed by State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or Pollution Control Committee (PCC) depending on the process and product. The monitoring frequency shall be monthly/quarterly as decided by SPCBs /PCCs. The limits specified for Benzene, Xylene, Methylene Chloride and Chlorobenzene shall be applicable only if the industries use these chemicals.
The discharge norms for industry connected with CETP and of CETP shall be governed by MoEF&CC notification S.O. 4 (E), dated the 1st January 2016. SPCBs shall prescribe additional relevant parameters as per 6th August 2021 notification as per needs and discharge potential of member industries and specify the frequency of monitoring considering the receiving environment conditions.
The new GSR does not mention about the standards for air emissions and effluent discharge from incinerators, which was available in earlier standards. However, a new emission standard has been prescribed for "Tank farm Vents". The parameters specified are Chlorine (15 mg/Nm3), Hydrochloric acid vapour (35 mg/Nm3), Ammonia (30 mg/Nm3), Benzene (5 mg/Nm3), Toluene (100 mg/Nm3), Acetonitrile (1000 mg/Nm3), Dichloromethane (200 mg/Nm3), Xylene (100 mg/Nm3), and Acetone (2000 mg/Nm3).
It is also specified that tThe total cumulative losses of solvent should not be more than 5% of the solvent on annual basis from storage inventory.
One more important standard is that Chemical and Biological sludge or any residue, reject, concentrate generated from wastewater treatment or its management facility at Industry or CETP catering to industries engaged in manufacturing of bulk drug or formulation of Pharmaceuticals, shall be classified as Hazardous Waste as per the provision of clause 17 of sub-rule (i) of rule 3 of the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 and shall be subject to the provision made therein.
India's Green Port initiatives
Water Month starts in Ladakh
The Union Territory of Ladakh has also announced an award of Rs. 5 lakh per village for the first 5 ‘Har Ghar Jal’ villages of each district in UT and Rs. 25 lakh to the first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ block in each district. Outstanding PRI members, BDOs, AEEs and other concerned stakeholders will be honoured on Republic Day 2022 for their contribution towards making villages, blocks and districts, ‘Har Ghar Jal’.
On 15 August, 2019, at the time of launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, out of 18.98 Crore rural households in country, only 3.23 Crore (17%) had tap water connections. Despite Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission provided 4.65 Crore tap water connections in last 23 months. As a result, today, 7.89 Crore (41.27%) households have tap water supply. Goa, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, and Puducherry have achieved 100% household connection in rural areas and has become ‘Har Ghar Jal’.
Following the principle of Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’, the motto of the Mission is that ‘no one is left out’ and every household in a village should be provided with tap water connection. At present, 78 districts, 906 blocks, over 53 thousand Gram Panchayats and more than 1.06 lakh villages have achieved the target of ‘Har Ghar Jal’.
DRIP To Make Existing Dams Safe & Resilient
In addition to physical rehabilitation, as mentioned before, equal emphasis has been given for capacity building of dam owners in order to ensure availability of trained and skilled manpower for better operation of dams during all seasons in a year. Customized training programmes for various technical and managerial aspects will assist dam owners to create a pool of knowledge to deal with matters of dam safety confidently and scientifically.
Tiger Conservation, a symbol of Forest Conservation: Union Minister Bhupender Yadav
Manuals on Management of Grey Water, Plastic Waste, Faecal Sludge, Biodegradable Waste & IEC released
28th July 2021, New Delhi
Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and the Minister of State for Jal Shakti & Food Processing Industries, Prahlad Singh Patel released the ODF Plus Manuals under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase -II at an event here today organized by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS). The launched manuals pertain to key components of ODF Plus, which include Grey Water Management, Plastic Waste Management, Faecal Sludge Management, Biodegradable Waste Management and IEC. The document also provides detailed information on technologies, technical specifications of assets, estimated costs and possible O & M arrangements. DDWS has developed manuals to support states, districts, and rural local bodies implement solid and liquid waste management initiatives.
Addressing the media after the release of Manuals, Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that taking forward the extraordinary success, Phase -II of the SBM (G) aiming at achieving ODF Plus goal was launched early last year, which focuses on ODF sustainability and Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) aiming at comprehensive cleanliness in villages.
The Union Minister stressed the importance of access to safe sanitation facilities in terms of social, economic and health benefits to rural community members especially the vulnerable and marginalized community. The manuals launched today will contribute significantly towards capacity building and knowledge enrichment at various levels strengthening SBMG Phase II initiatives.
Shekhawat also added that for FY 2021-22 as part of the approved Annual Implementation Plan (AIP); SBM (G) Phase -II is poised to support over two lakh villages achieve solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) arrangements through an investment of over Rs. 40,700 crores. While the Central share would be around Rs. 14,000 crores, the States shall spend over Rs.8300 crores. Funds to the tune of Rs. 12,730 crores will be made available through the Fifteenth Finance Commission and over Rs.4,100 through convergence with MGNREGS. Programme Implementation this fiscal year will see construction of over 50 lakh Individual Household toilets (IHHLs), one Lakh Community toilets, Plastic Waste Management Units in over 2400 Blocks of India, Grey Water Management in around 1.82 lakh villages, Gobardhan projects in 386 Districts, and Faecal sludge management arrangements in over 250 Districts.
Addressing the media, Minister of State, Prahlad Singh Patel said India achieved the massive challenge of ODF declaration of all villages in mission mode in five years (2014-19). As Swachhata is an eternal journey, the Phase II of SBM (G) aims at achieving the goal of complete cleanliness or Sampoorna Swachhata by addressing ODF SLWM issues. This can be achieved by ensuring collective responsibility and commitment. The manuals released today will equip all with relevant and necessary technical information, technologies, and references.
NGT appointed Joint Committee Report suggests drone surveillance in stone quarry
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 22.214.171.124 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: "email@example.com”.
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).
Want to comment on fly ash utilization draft notification?
Two Tiger Cubs die in Bhandara, Maharashtra
Union cabinet extends PLI Scheme to ACC Battery Storage
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.
NGT vigilant on Industrial Accidents
Assam Girl develops Biodegradable Yoga Mat
Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil
Asiatic Lions tested positive for SARS-CoV2, recovering
April 2021 Air Quality Index
Good News on Medical Oxygen Supply
Industries producing Medical Oxygen by Converting Nitrogen Plants
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.