A Permanent Body to Strengthen Environmental Compliance
UNFCCC Releases Synthesis Report on First GST
Indore Ranks First in Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan 2023
NGT Questions PCB's Procedures in Environmental Violation Case
MoEF&CC reconstitutes SEIAA and SEAC for Sikkim
WTO Chief Urges G20 to Collaborate for Positive Outcomes at MC13
Japan Begins Release of Treated Radioactive Water from Fukushima Nuclear Plant into Pacific Ocean
Environmental Violations in NH 707 Construction?
Expert Committee Contemplates Policy Shift in Infra-2 Sector: CSTPs in Focus
Indonesia Raises Concerns Over EU Biodiesel Import Duties
PM Modi's Independence Day Speech Highlights Clean Water, Environment, and Mission LiFE
Special Guests from Grassroots Witness Prime Minister's Independence Day Speech at Red Fort
EAC Recommends EC for Expansion of Sasti OCP by Western Coalfields
Lok Sabha discusses on 5 years old data on Average Temperature Rise in India
SEIAA UP gets new Chairperson
The Central Government on the 1st August 2023 notified inclusion of the name of Mrs. Mamta Sanjeev Dubey for post of Chairperson, State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) Uttar Pradesh. Mrs. Mamta Sanjeev Dubey is now replacing Dr. Rajiv Kumar Garg who was named as Chairman SEIAA, UP vide S.O. 2276(E), dated the 11th June 2021.
47 TPPs used about 1.65 Lakh Tonne Bio-mass
The Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy has informed that as of May 2023, 47 Thermal Power Plants (TPPs) across the country have successfully carried out co-firing of agro-residue-based biomass pellets with coal.
While replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister R K Singh said that the Ministry of Power has been actively working towards bolstering the use of biomass in TPPs to achieve cleaner and greener energy production. As part of this effort, the Ministry issued a modification on 16th June 2023, to revise the biomass policy dated October 8, 2021. The updated policy now mandates a minimum of 5% biomass co-firing in Thermal Power Plants starting from the fiscal year 2024-25. This obligation will be further increased to 7% from the fiscal year 2025-26.
To ensure the smooth implementation of this policy, the Government has taken several initiatives to facilitate the availability and procurement of biomass pellets for co-firing in TPPs. Some of these initiatives include:
Finance Assistance Schemes: The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have issued Finance Assistance Schemes to support biomass pellet manufacturing units.
Priority Sector Lending (PSL): The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved 'Biomass pellet manufacturing' as an eligible activity under Priority Sector Lending, making it easier for manufacturers to secure loans for their operations.
GeM Portal: A dedicated 'Procurement Provision of Biomass Category' has been created on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal to streamline the procurement process for biomass pellets.
Revised Model Contract: The Ministry of Power issued a Revised Model long-term contract for Biomass supply to establish clear guidelines for biomass procurement.
Vendor Database and Awareness Campaigns: A comprehensive vendor database has been finalized and listed on the SAMARTH website. Additionally, various awareness programs and advertisement campaigns were carried out to promote biomass co-firing.
Udyam Aadhaar: The provision of Udyam Aadhaar on the National Single Window System simplifies the registration process for biomass pellet manufacturing units.
Bankable Model Project Report: The Government has developed a Bankable Model Project Report for Biomass Pellet Plants to aid potential investors and entrepreneurs in setting up new units.
The policy also identifies various types of agro-residues that can be used for biomass pellet production and subsequently for co-firing in TPPs. These include residues obtained from crops such as Paddy, Soya, Arhar, Gwar, Cotton, Gram, Jawar, Bajra, Moong, Mustard, Sesame, Til, Maize, Sunflower, Jute, Coffee, and more. Additionally, waste materials like Groundnut Shell, Coconut Shell, Castor Seed Shell, Bamboo, Horticulture waste (dry leaves and trimmings from trees and plants), and other biomass like Pine Cone/Needle, Elephant Grass, Sarkanda, etc., can also be used for co-firing.
The implementation of this policy has led to significant progress in biomass co-firing in TPPs. As of May 2023, approximately 1,64,976 Metric Tonnes of agro-residue-based biomass have been co-fired in 47 coal-based thermal power plants.
NMCG Initiates M.Sc. Course in Freshwater Ecology and Conservation
WCCB Busts Tiger Poaching and Illegal Trade Syndicate
Delhi Witnesses Lowest July Air Quality in Four Years
EAC Industry 3 okays EC Amendment to Sarna Chemicals, Fresh EC to Huber Group
Should EACs be allowed to skip mentioning groundwater/surface water to legitimize tanker water?
5 Tiger Reserves from Karnataka Score Excellent in Management Effectiveness Evaluation
India's Tiger Census 2022 Unveiled on Global Tiger Day
G20 Environment and Climate Working Group Vows to Combat Crimes Impacting the Environment
IICA Concludes Impactful ESG Workshop with Diverse Representation
GOBARdhan Initiative Drives Rapid Growth in India's Biogas/CBG Sector
Judicial Intervention Proves Effective: Sewage Issue in a Bhopal Colony Gets Attention and Action
In a shining example of the power of legal and judicial intervention, the long-standing sewage overflow issue in the New Chowksey Nagar colony has finally received the attention it deserves. For those who may have doubted the efficacy of such interventions, this case stands as a testament to their impact.
The colony, which was developed by SBI Staff Grah Nirman Sehkari Sanstha Maryadit, Bhopal, in 1997, has been grappling with sewage overflow from manholes for years. Despite having a sewer system in place, the lack of cleaning and maintenance had rendered it ineffective, leaving the residents in distress.
However, hope arrived in the form of an Application No. 57/2022 (CZ) filed by Krishna Social Awareness Welfare Society against the State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors. The matter caught the attention of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which took cognizance of the situation and decided to intervene.
Following the NGT's involvement, the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) stepped in and served a notice to SBI Staff Grah Nirman Sehkari Sanstha Maryadit, Bhopal. The notice directed them to undertake immediate operation and maintenance work of the sewage line in the New Chowksey Nagar colony.
Moreover, realizing the urgency of the matter, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation took swift action and cleaned the sewer lines in the colony, providing much-needed instant relief to the residents.
This case serves as a powerful example for those who may have been skeptical about the impact of legal and judicial interventions. Through the application filed by Krishna Social Awareness Welfare Society and the NGT's intervention, the long-neglected sewage issue in the New Chowksey Nagar colony finally received the attention of concerned authorities.
The residents, who had been suffering due to the unsanitary conditions, now have newfound hope that their living environment will improve significantly. With the MPPCB's notice, there is a sense of accountability and responsibility on the part of the authorities, ensuring that necessary actions will be taken to rectify the situation.
It is essential to acknowledge that legal and judicial interventions can make a significant difference in addressing community issues and holding responsible parties accountable. As this case demonstrates, when citizens and organizations come together to raise their voices, the wheels of justice turn, and positive change becomes possible.
NGT finds MoEF&CC Affidavit Carelessly Filed, Lacking Verification and Authenticity
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Eastern Zone Bench of Justice B. Amit Sthalekar, Judicial Member and Dr. Arun Kumar Verma, Expert Member, has taken cognizance of a petition regarding rampant excess mining activities in Kalinganagar by a lessee. The petitioner alleged that the lessee was involved in unauthorized extraction and transportation of over 1000 cubic meters of sand daily, utilizing approximately 200 vehicles of varying sizes and capacities. This scale of mining vastly surpassed the permitted limits.
In the Original Application No. 43/2023/EZ filed by Pradeep Kumar Dhal & Ors. versus State of Odisha & Ors., in which Sankar Prasad Pani is the Counsel for the Applicants, concerns were raised regarding the revised Consent to Operate (CTO), which restricted sand extraction to a maximum of 17 cubic meters per day for approximately 210 days in a year.
However, the joint committee appointed to investigate the matter encountered challenges during their site visit. They reported that the majority of the leased quarry area was submerged in water, making it difficult to ascertain the exact quantity of sand being extracted.
Furthermore, the joint committee, comprising the Additional District Magistrate of Kalingangar, the Regional Officer of Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB), and the Tahasildar of Vyasanagar, stated that the leased area was properly demarcated with pillar postings throughout the riverbed. This was in contrast to the petitioner's claim that there were no pillar postings in the lease area. Nevertheless, it's interesting to point out that there was no technical data provided regarding the aging of the pillar posts, raising doubts on the Committee's counter claim.
Regarding the complaint of non-compliance of CTO conditions by the Regional Offices of Kalinganagar SPCB, the joint committee stated that no violations were observed during the field visit. This contradicts the joint Committee's own statement in the same report claiming that the lease area was submerged in water during inspection.
It is significant to note that the NGT discovered that there was only one mining lease, not two, as stated in the affidavit of Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). MoEF&CC also found to have failed to provide any documentary evidence to support their claim. The NGT Bench expressed displeasure, stating that the MoEF&CC's affidavit seemed to have been carelessly filed in a cut-and-paste manner from some other affidavit, lacking proper verification and authenticity.
The NGT is actively reviewing the submissions and reports to determine the appropriate course of action against the alleged violations and excessive mining activities in Kalinganagar. The matter is further listed for hearing on 25th August 2023.
Jal Shakti Ministry Notifies Offices with Hindi Proficiency
Execution Application Against MoEF&CC Over Ghaziabad Solid Waste Burning
Govt's Initiatives in Boosting Cultivation of Medicinal Plants
Lok Sabha MP Raises Questions on Chemical and Petrochemical Accidents, Spillages in India
President to Honour Geoscientists for Contributions to Sustainable Mineral Development and Environmental Studies
Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation Meeting Focus on Sustainable Energy Transition
Halman-Aldubi Group joins hand with CEF Group to Convert Slaughterhouse Waste into Fish Food in India
Daiki Axis to Provide Johkasou Technology to Namami Gange Project in Uttarakhand
3M Releases India 3M State of Science Index 2023
Steel slag road technology fulfilling India's Waste to Wealth Mission
Dr. Jitendra Singh Calls for Affordable Clean Energy Solutions at CEM-14 MI-8 Meeting
Govt prepones last date for comments and suggestions on Green Credit Programme Draft Notifications to 31st July
Delhi Government Approves Notification to Establish Large Industrial Area in Kanjhawala
Buyofuel Introduces Sustainability Dashboard to Measure Environmental Impact of Biofuel Adoption
Controversy Surrounds Government's Explanation on Cheetah Mortalities at Kuno National Park
Delhi Zoo Observes World Snake Day to Raise Awareness and Appreciation for Snakes
Key Changes for Wildlife Conservation and Eco-sensitive Zones in Jharkhand, Punjab, and Rajasthan
India's Focus on 100 Million Tonne Coal Gasification by 2030
The Ministry of Coal aims to achieve coal gasification of 100 Million Tonne (MT) coal by FY 2030.
The proposal focuses on capitalizing on natural resources and demonstrating the financial and technical feasibility of coal gasification.
Coal gasification will reduce reliance on imports of Natural Gas, Methanol, Ammonia, and other essential products. Currently, India imports approximately 50% of its Natural Gas, over 90% of its total Methanol consumption and around 13-15% of its total ammonia consumption to cater to the domestic demand.
The initiative aligns with India's vision of self-reliance and will create employment opportunities.
The implementation of coal gasification is expected to significantly reduce imports by 2030 and contribute to environmental sustainability.
The Ministry plans to promote coal/lignite gasification projects through a comprehensive scheme with an outlay of Rs 6,000 crores.
Selection of entities for the scheme will be done through a competitive and transparent bidding process.
Budgetary support will be provided to eligible Government Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and the Private Sector.
An incentive to reimburse the GST compensation cess on coal utilized in gasification projects is being considered for a period of 10 years.
Collaborative efforts are underway for Surface Coal Gasification (SCG) projects across Coal India Limited (CIL) coalfields.
Pre-feasibility reports have been accepted for three projects, and tendering activities for Detailed Feasibility Reports (DFRs) are underway.
The Ministry aims to attract investments, foster innovation, and promote sustainable development in the coal gasification sector.
Mangrove Plantation Drive Organized in Tamil Nadu under MISHTI Scheme
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change organized a mangrove plantation program in Kovalam Panchayat, Chengalpattu District, Tamil Nadu.
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, led the plantation drive as part of the Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) scheme.
The plantation drive is a part of the ongoing "Hariyali Mahotsav" with a focus on mangroves.
Tamil Nadu has the second longest coastline in the country and is vulnerable to natural disasters like cyclones and storms.
Mangrove forests serve as a bioshield along the coastal areas, protecting lives and livelihoods, especially of fishers and local communities.
The Minister released the book "Biodiversity and Importance of Mangrove Ecosystem," prepared by M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai.
The MISHTI program aims to promote mangrove reforestation and afforestation, develop mangrove-associated ecotourism, and generate livelihoods in coastal states.
The program plans to cover an additional area of 540 sq km across nine states and four union territories, with a focus on converging CAMPA Fund, MGNREGS, and other sources.
The scheme will be implemented for a period of five years from 2023-2024 to 2027-2028.
Progress of Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region
A two-day Stakeholder Workshop Meeting recently concluded, where the progress of Phase-III of the Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) was reviewed.
The scheme aims to develop complete organic value chains in the North Eastern States. The meeting focused on assessing the progress made and planning for the next phase of the scheme. States were encouraged to suggest activities and plans that could be implemented using the available funds.
Rakesh Ranjan, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, emphasized the importance of service providers in establishing market connections and creating brand value for organic products.
The workshop also included presentations on marketing support and opportunities for convergence with other agricultural schemes. The MOVCDNER scheme has been successful in expanding organic farming and supporting Farmer Producer Organizations. The workshop provided a platform for state representatives to share progress, challenges, and success stories. The concluding remarks emphasized the need for collaboration and convergence to further promote organic farming in the North Eastern region.
Chief Secretary Punjab seeks more time to report on Flood Plain Mapping Compliance
Utilization of Crop Residue by Thermal Power Plants Regulated
Ministry Amends CRZ Clearance Provisions on Validity, Transfer and Split
Centre's Notification Mandates States to Develop Zonal Master Plan for ESZ
New Strategy Aims to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Global Shipping
Top United Nations officials have announced a new strategy to tackle the issue of greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry. They believe this strategy will help to phase out these emissions and limit the rise in global temperatures. Shipping currently accounts for about three percent of global emissions, so it plays a crucial role in addressing climate change.
The officials are urging the members of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), responsible for environmental matters under the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to agree on this strategy during their meeting in London. The MEPC deals with pollution from ships, including oil spills, chemical leaks, sewage, garbage, and air pollution.
The goal of the new strategy is to set ambitious targets that will guide the shipping industry towards reducing and eventually eliminating greenhouse gas emissions. The officials believe that this strategy will have a significant impact on future generations and the health of our planet.
During the meeting, the Committee will review ongoing efforts and is expected to adopt the strategy to combat climate change and protect biodiversity. The IMO Secretary-General has emphasized the importance of this moment, calling for global leadership in creating a greener and more sustainable future for the maritime industry.
The strategy will outline possible measures, both technical and economic, that can be implemented to achieve these goals. It will also highlight the need for concrete actions to protect biodiversity. The officials believe that the MEPC's efforts are essential in promoting a greener and more equitable maritime sector.
The adoption of this new strategy reflects the growing recognition of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry and protect our environment.
Link Between Residual Accounts and Sustainable Development Goals
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) is hosting the 'Swachhata Pakhwada 2023' (Cleanliness Fortnight 2023) from July 1st to July 15th, 2023. As part of these celebrations, the Social Statistics Division of the National Statistical Office (NSO), MoSPI, organized a one-day seminar on July 3rd, 2023, focusing on "Residual Accounts and its Linkages with Sustainable Development Goals" at the India International Centre in New Delhi.
The seminar aimed to emphasize that waste management is a crucial issue that affects various aspects of sustainable development in ecological, economic, and societal domains. It highlighted the importance of accurate and comprehensive data for effective waste management. The internationally recognized framework for compiling environmental accounts, the System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA), including Residual Accounts, was discussed extensively during the seminar. These accounts align closely with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provide a consistent monitoring framework to inform policy decisions related to climate impacts and adaptation strategies.
MoSPI has adopted the SEEA framework in 2018 and has been consistently compiling accounts on various ecosystems, including the "Solid Waste Account," which was piloted in 2022. The seminar aimed to expand the work on Residual Accounts and foster cooperation among stakeholders in this area.
Representatives from various ministries/departments of the central and state governments attended the seminar. Additionally, the event was live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook for wider access. The seminar consisted of an inaugural session followed by two technical sessions. Recordings of the seminar will be made available on the Ministry's website in the near future.
During the inaugural session, Dr. G. P. Samanta, Chief Statistician of India and Secretary of MoSPI, emphasized the Ministry's commitment to provide timely and reliable data for evidence-based decision-making. He highlighted the lateral and vertical decentralization of India's official statistics system and the importance of mutual coordination and cooperation among agencies at the central and state levels.
Eminent dignitaries, including Dr. Rajiv Sharma, Chairman of Telangana State Pollution Control Board & Chief Advisor to the Government of Telangana, Ms. Anshu Singh, Deputy Director General at the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Ms. Divya Datt, Deputy Country Head at the United Nations Environment Programme, shared their insights during the seminar. Representatives from the Central Pollution Control Board, NITI Aayog, State Pollution Control Boards, and State Urban Departments also contributed to the discussions.
The first technical session focused on policies related to waste management, NSO's efforts in residual accounting, and the linkages between residual accounts and the SDGs. The second technical session delved into data collection mechanisms and associated challenges. Representatives from Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Assam shared their experiences in collecting data on residuals.
The seminar highlighted the urgency to address the "throwaway culture" and emphasized the need for reliable data on residuals to inform effective policymaking. The increasing demand for such data necessitates considering sustainability parameters. It was acknowledged that achieving real progress in sustainability requires rethinking waste management, as sustainability is integral to prosperity and well-being.
The seminar underscored the importance of establishing robust mechanisms for developing comprehensive environmental accounts. NSO, MoSPI aims to make the environment a key dimension in the policy paradigm and seeks support and cooperation from sub-national, national, and international agencies.
In conclusion, the seminar on "Residual Accounts and its Linkages with Sustainable Development Goals" brought together stakeholders to highlight the critical role of waste management in sustainable development and stressed the need for accurate and comprehensive data. By adopting the SEEA framework and expanding the work on Residual Accounts, MoSPI aims to contribute to the development of effective policies and a sustainable future.
Global Climate Change Litigation Cases More Than Double in One Year, Surpassing 2,300
Global climate change-related cases have more than doubled since 2015, reaching over 2,341 cases between May 2022 and May 2023, according to the Sabin Centre for Climate Change Law.
The report highlights the expanding diversity of climate change litigation, with emerging cases in countries such as Bulgaria, China, Finland, Romania, Russia, Thailand, and Turkey.
Over 50% of the cases analyzed resulted in direct judicial outcomes supporting climate action. Climate litigation has influenced decision-making beyond the courtroom, with domestic legal protections playing a crucial role. Corporate actors face complex legal arguments, and notable cases against major carbon-emitting companies are likely to proceed to trial.
The rise of "climate-washing" cases challenging green claims and commitments is also noted. Litigation addressing climate policy responses and investment decisions is on the rise, demonstrating a comprehensive effort to tackle climate change concerns.
The increase in climate change litigation reflects the growing demand for action and accountability in addressing climate change.
New Defence Facility to affect 214 Trees in Delhi, gets approval from Kejriwal Govt.
Delhi is all set to witness the establishment of a new defense facility, a project that holds immense significance for national interest. However, the project encountered a green hurdle as it required the removal and transplantation of 214 trees from the proposed construction site. In a major development, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has given the green signal for the project by approving the proposal for tree removal and transplantation, with the condition that the applicant agency takes responsibility for planting 2,140 new saplings in return.
While the Delhi Government has approved this proposal, the Union Government has set a mandatory requirement of ten times compensatory plantation for every tree that is affected by such projects.
According to the Delhi Government, the transplantation process will take place in the vicinity of the identified project site, and the designated agency responsible for the project has been explicitly instructed not to damage any tree at the site other than the ones identified and approved by the government. Any unauthorized damage to trees beyond the approved list will be treated as a violation of the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act 1994, inviting severe consequences.
The Delhi Government has revealed that the 2,140 trees will be planted on identified land parcels within a three-month timeframe, starting from the date of permission issuance for tree shifting. Furthermore, the applicant agency will be accountable for maintaining these trees for the next seven years in adherence to the guidelines set by the Delhi Government. The proposal, approved by the authorities, emphasizes the plantation of tree species that are well-suited to Delhi's soil and climate. This includes Neem, Amaltas, Pipal, Pilkhan, Gular, Bargad, Desi Kikar, Arjun, and other such species. The saplings of these trees, ranging from 6 to 8 feet in height, will be planted on non-forest lands.
Regarding the transplantation process, the applicant agency has been directed to commence the process immediately after fulfilling all the necessary conditions. The transplantation is required to be completed within six months, and the agency will be obliged to submit a comprehensive report on the progress to the Tree Officer for supervision. The Delhi Government has laid out stringent compliance with the Delhi Tree Transplantation Policy 2020 for the project, and the applicant agency is expected to submit regular progress reports accordingly.
In instances where transplanted trees do not survive, the Delhi Government mandates that indigenous tree species, with a minimum height of 15 feet and a diameter of at least 6 inches, be planted at a ratio of 1:5. Moreover, if any tree is found to have a bird's nest, it will not be permitted to be felled or transplanted until the birds abandon the tree. Additionally, the lops and tops of the felled trees must be sent to the nearest crematorium within 90 days, at the applicant agency's expense.
The project's approval for tree transplantation comes as a significant step in balancing the requirements of development and environmental conservation, ensuring a sustainable future for the city of Delhi.
Union Minister Bhupender Yadav Affirms: Preserving Nature - an Indulgence Bestowed upon Ourselves, Not a Benediction to Nature
Kolkata witnessed the commencement of the three-day celebration program of the 108th ZSI (Zoological Survey of India) Day, graced by the presence of Union Minister for Environment & Forest and Climate Change and Labour and Employment, Bhupender Yadav, and Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey.
In his address to the gathering, Minister Yadav extended his congratulations to ZSI on completing 108 remarkable years dedicated to the preservation of our faunal diversity. He shed light on the significance of the number 108, which holds great symbolism in the practice of japamala, where 108 repetitions are counted, focusing on the sounds, vibrations, and meaning of what is recited. Yadav also highlighted the number's association with the Sanskrit alphabet, consisting of 54 letters, each possessing masculine and feminine attributes.
The Minister emphasized the need to protect India's faunal diversity as a means to safeguard ourselves, as climate change has shattered the misconception that humans are superior to nature. Drawing from the work of Anthropologist Eduardo Kohn, Yadav pointed out that forests possess a thinking capacity, as trees interact with their environment through specialized characteristics of pest resistance. This attribute serves as a reminder of Mahatma Gandhi's belief that "In nature, there is enough for everyone's need." Yadav further illustrated this point by referencing the discovery of the pesticide DDT during World War II and how biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson raised awareness about its detrimental effects on the environment in her book "Silent Spring" in 1958, highlighting human arrogance towards nature.
Yadav underscored that working towards the protection of nature is not an act of favoritism but rather a favor we do for ourselves. He commended ZSI's efforts in establishing globally renowned protected areas, including the Silent Valley National Park (Kerala), Namdapha Tiger Reserve (Arunachal Pradesh), Nilgiri and Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserves, among many others. The Minister also acknowledged ZSI's significant role in providing technical inputs for amending the Wildlife Protection Act.
Union Minister of State Ashwini Kumar Choubey urged ZSI to focus on the research and conservation of vital wetlands in the Gangetic plains of India. He proposed the initiation of a program for citizen scientists, titled 'Sarovar Mitra,' aimed at better data dissemination and conservation awareness.
As part of the event, six books were released by the dignitaries, including titles like "Animal Discoveries: New Species and New Records 2022," "Plant Discoveries 2022," "Faunal Diversity of 75 Ramsar Wetlands of India," "Records of Zoological Survey of India-Special Issue of ATS 2023," "75 Endemic Birds of India," and "Fauna of India-108 DNA Sequences."
ZSI also signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) for research and academic collaboration. The first MoU was with the Royal Government of Bhutan to conduct a non-invasive population assessment of the Red Panda. The other two MoUs were signed with IIT Jodhpur and the University of Burdwan for research collaborations and student exchange programs. Additionally, awards were presented for various competitions held during the World Environment Day, Mission Life, and International Day of Biodiversity.
As part of the ongoing celebrations, the first two-day Animal Taxonomy Summit, scheduled for July 2 and 3, 2023, will witness the participation of 400 delegates from India and abroad, including representatives from the Natural History Museum, London. Eminent speakers will deliver talks on various aspects of animal taxonomy, biodiversity conservation, and biogeography. The event commenced with a welcome address by ZSI Director, Dr. Dhriti Banerjee, followed by an inaugural address by Director General of Forests and Special Secretary, Chandra Prakash Goyal. The Director of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Dr. Ashiho Asosii Mao, was also present at the event.
Government Revises Crop Residue Management Guidelines for Efficient Paddy Straw Utilization
In a significant move towards combating stubble burning and promoting sustainable agricultural practices, the Indian government has introduced revised Crop Residue Management guidelines. The new guidelines focus on enabling efficient ex-situ management of paddy straw generated in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi.
Under the revised guidelines, techno-commercial pilot projects for the Paddy Straw Supply Chain will be established through bilateral agreements between various beneficiaries and industries involved in utilizing the paddy straw. The beneficiaries include farmers, rural entrepreneurs, cooperative societies of farmers, farmers' producer organizations (FPOs), and Panchayats.
To facilitate the implementation of these projects, the government will provide financial assistance for the capital cost of machinery and equipment. The working capital required can be financed jointly by the industry and beneficiaries or through the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), NABARD Financial, or financing from financial institutions by the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries will also be responsible for arranging and preparing land for the storage of collected paddy straw, guided by the end-use industry.
Financial assistance will be extended for procuring essential machinery and equipment such as higher horsepower tractors, cutters, tedders, medium to large balers, rakers, loaders, grabbers, and telehandlers, which are necessary for establishing the paddy straw supply chain.
State governments will play a crucial role in approving these projects through a project sanctioning committee.
The funding for these projects will be divided as follows: the government (jointly by the central and state governments) will provide 65% of the project cost, the industry as the primary promoter will contribute 25%, and the direct beneficiaries, such as farmers, rural entrepreneurs, cooperative societies of farmers, farmers' producer organizations (FPOs), or Panchayats, will contribute the remaining 10%.
The implementation of these interventions is expected to yield several positive outcomes. It will supplement the existing in-situ options for paddy straw management, resulting in the collection of approximately 1.5 million metric tonnes of surplus paddy straw over three years, which would have otherwise been burned in fields. Around 333 biomass collection depots with a capacity of 4,500 metric tonnes will be established in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. This proactive approach will significantly reduce air pollution caused by stubble burning and generate employment opportunities for approximately 900,000 man-days.
Moreover, these interventions will encourage robust supply chain management of paddy straw, making it available for various end uses such as power generation, heat generation, and bio-CNG production by power/bio-CNG/bio-ethanol producers. This will lead to new investments in the biomass to biofuel and energy sectors, promoting sustainability and driving economic growth.
The implementation of the revised guidelines marks a crucial step towards addressing the issue of stubble burning, mitigating environmental pollution, and fostering a sustainable agricultural ecosystem.
DPIIT Successfully Orchestrates National Workshop on Industrial Park Rating
New Delhi witnessed the successful organization of the National Workshop on Industrial Park Rating System (IPRS) by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) today. The event, aimed at advancing India's industrial competitiveness and promoting sustainability, brought together government officials, industry experts, and stakeholders in a collaborative effort to enhance the country's industrial infrastructure.
Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary of DPIIT, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the crucial role played by industrial parks in attracting investments and increasing the share of the manufacturing sector in the overall GDP. He expressed his gratitude to the participating states, union territories, the steering committee, and the collaborating teams for their dedicated efforts in making the IPRS exercise and the workshop a resounding success.
The Industrial Park Rating System (IPRS), a major initiative by DPIIT, was a focal point of the workshop. Launched on October 5, 2021, IPRS 2.0 rates industrial parks across four pillars: internal infrastructure and utilities, external infrastructure and facilities, business support services, and environmental and safety management. The system received nominations from 31 participating states and union territories, along with 50 additional Special Economic Zones (SEZs) nominated by the Department of Commerce (DoC).
The workshop provided a platform for knowledge-sharing and capacity building, enabling the exchange of best practices observed during individual workshops conducted in collaboration with states and union territories from November 2022 to March 2023. Participants shared initiatives such as sustainable water supply systems, local self-governance models, industry-focused plug-and-play facilities, and the provision of common facilities, all aimed at promoting ease of doing business and improving the lives of citizens.
A panel discussion on "Creating Smart, Resilient, and Eco-Industrial Parks with Innovative Financial Solutions" added further depth to the workshop. The panel comprised experts from the industry, government, think tanks, and multilateral organizations, who explored innovative approaches to park management and governance, environmental performance, efficiency enhancement, sustainability promotion, and industrial park competitiveness.
DPIIT has undertaken various initiatives to transform the business ecosystem and attract investments. These efforts include the establishment of the Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS), Project Development Cells (PDCs) to expedite investments, the Investment Clearance Cell (ICC) with the National Single Window System (NSWS) for streamlined facilitation, the One-District One-Product (ODOP) scheme, and the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes, all aimed at strengthening India's position in the global supply chain.
The National Workshop on IPRS served as a significant step towards enhancing India's industrial competitiveness, fostering sustainability, and promoting a conducive environment for investments.
Delhi Government to Transform Non-Conforming Industrial Areas for Growth and Development
In a significant move, the Kejriwal government in Delhi has announced a comprehensive plan to transform non-conforming industrial areas into conforming zones. This initiative aims to provide recognition to these areas and support the growth and development of industries within them. To kickstart the process, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting with industrialists on June 30, 2023, to initiate the layout planning phase for these areas.
During the meeting, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal underscored the importance of uplifting the non-conforming industrial areas and emphasized the positive impact this step would have. Through this project, the government intends to completely redevelop these areas, fostering the growth of existing industries and generating a significant number of new employment opportunities.
The redevelopment plan will be executed in three phases. The initial phase will focus on developing layouts, followed by the construction of necessary infrastructure in the second phase. In the third and final phase, essential public facilities will be established to cater to the needs of the transformed zones. To ensure the successful implementation of the project, a panel of consultants will be formed. The Delhi Government will bear 90 percent of the consultancy cost, with the remaining 10 percent shared by the industry associations. This collaborative effort aims to leverage expertise and resources from both the public and private sectors.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has stated that the redevelopment of non-conforming industrial areas will create employment opportunities for an estimated 10-15 lakh people, making a significant contribution to the economy and improving the lives of countless individuals and families.
Addressing the industrialists, the Chief Minister acknowledged the unplanned nature of development in Delhi, where residential, commercial, and industrial establishments have spread without adequate infrastructure such as sewer networks, water, and electricity availability. As a result, these areas were designated as non-conforming industrial areas. The government identified 26 such notified areas, including a godown cluster, as non-conforming industrial areas. Two decades ago, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) issued an order requiring the creation of layout plans and the commencement of redevelopment in these areas.
The Chief Minister explained that failure to comply with the DDA's order resulted in the directive to shut down non-compliant units and areas. However, the industrial units faced difficulties in meeting the requirements, leading to a legal quagmire and unfavorable court rulings.
Recognizing the importance of these industrial units in providing employment opportunities, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal stressed the need for an alternative approach that would not unjustly affect employees. Understanding the ramifications of closing down these units, as they employ over 5 lakh people across the 26 notified areas, with an additional 10 lakh employed informally, the government decided on the Redevelopment of Non-Conforming Industrial Areas policy.
The 26 non-conforming industrial areas in Delhi that will undergo redevelopment include Anand Parbat, Shahdara, Samaypur Badli, Jawahar Nagar, Sultanpur Majra, Hastsal Pocket-A, Hastsal Pocket-D, Naresh Park Extension, Libaspur, Pira Garhi Gaon, Khayala, Shalimar Gaon, New Mandoli, Nawada, Rithala, Swarn Park Mundka, Haiderpur, Karawal Nagar, Dabri, Basai Darapur, Prahlaadpur Bangar, Mundka Udyog Nagar Dakshin, Firni Road Mundka, Nangli Sakrawati, and Tikri Kalan. Additionally, the Mundka (North) cluster, which consists of godowns, is also planned for resettlement. The notification process for these non-conforming industrial areas began in 1990 and continued until 2021.
Under the Delhi Master Plan 2021, notifications have been issued for the redevelopment of non-conforming industrial areas and industrial and warehouse clusters. To qualify for redevelopment, a non-conforming industrial area must cover a minimum of 4 hectares of land, with industrial activity present on over 70% of the land within the cluster. The redevelopment plans will be prepared based on advice from society, local authorities, and land-owning agencies. Warehousing clusters with an area of around 2 hectares and more than 55% industrial plots can also be identified and redeveloped based on an actual survey. As per this provision, the Mundka (North) warehouse cluster has been notified for redevelopment.
UNOOSA Raises Global Awareness on Potentially Hazardous Near-Earth Objects
The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is intensifying efforts to draw attention to the presence of nearly 18,000 near-Earth objects (NEOs), with approximately 2,000 classified as potentially hazardous. On the occasion of International Asteroid Day, celebrated annually on Friday, UNOOSA aims to increase public awareness worldwide about the existence and potential risks associated with NEOs. These NEOs include asteroids and comets that come within a proximity of approximately 50 million kilometers from Earth's orbit, with some classified as "potentially hazardous objects" (PHOs) due to their even closer minimum distance of less than 7.5 million kilometers in interstellar terms.
Of particular concern are PHOs measuring over 140 meters across, as they possess the capacity to cause regional devastation with potential global consequences. However, even smaller NEOs can still inflict significant localized damage. For instance, the Tunguska event on June 30, 1908, which occurred over Siberia, is believed to have resulted from an object with a diameter of up to 60 meters. This catastrophic incident, recognized as the largest recorded asteroid impact event, inspired the selection of its anniversary as the date for International Asteroid Day in 2017.
Smaller NEOs also pose risks, as demonstrated by the incident in Chelyabinsk, Russia, on February 15, 2013. A sizable fireball approximately 20 meters across disintegrated in the skies above the city, releasing energy equivalent to about 440,000 tons of TNT. The resulting shock wave shattered windows and damaged buildings, leading to over 1,600 injuries primarily caused by shattered glass.
The majority of these NEOs originate from the inner portion of the Solar System's main asteroid belt. Formed due to gravitational influences from Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, as well as collisions between larger celestial bodies, these NEOs present a global challenge that necessitates a robust international response. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, UNOOSA has established the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) and the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG) to coordinate worldwide efforts in planetary defense.
IAWN's role entails equipping member states with comprehensive communication plans and protocols to aid in making informed decisions in the event of an asteroid impact. On the other hand, SMPAG serves as an inter-agency forum that selects technologies required for NEO deflection and facilitates consensus on planetary defense measures.
In practical terms, if a credible impact threat emerges, IAWN would issue an alert. For objects larger than 50 meters with a probability of impact exceeding one percent within the next 50 years, SMPAG would evaluate potential mitigation options and develop an implementation plan.
Government Notifies Draft Green Credit Programme Implementation Rules 2023
The introduction of the Green Credit Programme marks a significant step towards promoting sustainable lifestyles and encouraging environmental actions across various sectors. By creating a competitive market-based approach, the programme aims to incentivize individuals, communities, and organizations to actively participate in initiatives that contribute to a healthier, more sustainable future. The government welcomes public feedback on the proposed rules as it moves towards implementing this voluntary market mechanism.
Read more in our print version. DOWNLOAD NOTIFICATION
NGT Chairperson Emphasizes Significance of District Environment Plan for Environmental Protection
Justice Adarsh Kumar Goyal, Chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), addressed the importance of the District Environment Plan (DEP) as a crucial tool for environmental protection and waste disposal. Speaking at a one-day training camp held at the Haryana Institute of Public Administration in Gurugram, Justice Goyal stressed the need for collaborative efforts among various stakeholders including government agencies, local officials, citizens, social organizations, educational institutions, and community representatives.
The DEP serves as a comprehensive document that fosters cooperation among stakeholders to effectively address environmental concerns. Justice Goyal emphasized its role in integrating environmental considerations into different developmental activities at the district level. He explained that the DEP involves analyzing the existing environmental conditions, identifying district-specific challenges, and assessing the potential impacts of developmental projects. These assessments serve as the basis for setting goals and objectives that promote sustainable development and tackle environmental challenges within the district.
Justice Goyal further highlighted that the DEP plays a vital role in formulating action plans designed to achieve the established goals and objectives. These plans encompass measures for pollution control, waste management, conservation of natural resources, promotion of renewable energy, and environmental education and awareness.
The establishment of a robust institutional framework within the DEP was also emphasized by Justice Goyal. This framework identifies responsible agencies, coordination mechanisms, and the roles of various stakeholders involved in the implementation and monitoring of the DEP. He stressed the importance of incorporating a monitoring and evaluation mechanism within the DEP to ensure continuous improvement and adaptability to emerging environmental challenges and district priorities.
Addressing the training program focused on the implementation of District Environment Plans, Sanjeev Kaushal, Chief Secretary of the Haryana Government, highlighted the state's efforts in ensuring the scientific handling and disposal of municipal solid waste, hazardous waste, biomedical waste, and enforcing a ban on single-use plastics. As per the directives of the NGT, all Deputy Commissioners of the state have been instructed to prepare DEPs, covering various thematic areas such as solid waste management, air quality, industrial wastewater treatment, water quality, mining activity, and noise pollution. These comprehensive plans will be made available on the Environment Department's website. Kaushal added that these plans will play a vital role in addressing environmental challenges, ensuring compliance with environmental norms, and contributing to the sustainable development and progress of the state.
Furthermore, to ensure the efficient utilization of environment compensation funds collected from violators, a high-powered committee has been constituted. This committee will undertake environment restoration activities outlined in the DEPs, further strengthening environmental protection measures.
The training camp and the commitment of stakeholders to implement the DEP reflect a collective effort to safeguard the environment, promote sustainable development, and ensure a greener future for the state of Haryana.
Prestigious International Award for CSIR-CRRI's Steel Slag Road Innovation
(This news article is already published in our print version dated 21st June 2023)
In a moment of pride for the Central Road Research Institute (CSIR-CRRI), their Delhi Steel Slag Road Technology has been honored with a prestigious award from Germany. Principal Scientist Satish Pandey has become the first Indian scientist to receive the Global Slag Personality of the Year Award 2023, recognizing CSIR-CRRI's significant contributions in promoting the environmentally-friendly use of iron and steel slag generated as solid waste in the steel industry since 2007.
The technology developed by CSIR-CRRI has played a crucial role in the construction of India's first steel slag road in Surat, Gujarat in 2022. Following this success, the technology was utilized in the construction of NH-33 and NH-66 in Jharkhand and Maharashtra, respectively. Moreover, the Border Roads Organization successfully implemented the steel slag road technology in the construction of roads near the China border in Arunachal Pradesh.
These roads, built using the innovative technology, not only exhibit greater strength compared to conventional roads but also prove to be cost-effective by utilizing steel slag waste from steel plants.
The development of steel slag road technology by CSIR-CRRI aligns with the Indian government's vision of turning waste into wealth.
Dr. Satish Pandey's leadership in the steel slag road research project has made a significant contribution to the construction of steel slag roads across the country. It is noteworthy that India produces around 19 million tons of steel slag as solid waste from various steel plants each year, with this number expected to reach approximately 60 million tons by 2030. Effectively utilizing steel slag in an environmentally friendly manner remains a major challenge for the steel industry.
Expressing his elation, Dr. Satish Pandey described the recognition as a proud moment for the CSIR-CRRI team. He emphasized the importance of steel slag valorization through processed steel slag aggregates and its utilization in constructing the world's first heavy-duty 100% steel slag road in Gujarat, as well as the high-altitude border road in Arunachal Pradesh. The esteemed "Global Slag Personality of the Year Award 2023" was conferred upon him at the Global Slag Conference in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The recognition bestowed upon CSIR-CRRI not only acknowledges their accomplishment but also underscores the immense potential of steel slag road technology in revolutionizing sustainable infrastructure development, not only in India but also globally. This achievement showcases the true essence of the circular economy and the concept of turning waste into wealth.
Mercury Concentration in Boiler Emission?
Delhi Government Implementing European Standards for Water Supply Management in Delhi
The Kejriwal Government in Delhi has stated of adopting European Standards and implementing state-of-the-art SCADA systems to revolutionize water supply management. The installation of flow meters throughout the city is said to be underway and expected to be completed by December 31, 2023.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, according to a Delhi Government press release, emphasizes timely execution to enhance water distribution and track usage. Starting from July 1, 2023, central monitoring of water supply is slated to be initiated by the Delhi Jal Board. This would streamline management, improve efficiency, and ensure equitable distribution.
The government aims to conserve water resources and accurately record water supply to address shortages and wastage. The installation process is being closely monitored, and flow meters will be connected to SCADA systems for comprehensive data analysis. The initiative aims to meet the diverse water supply demands of different areas in Delhi.
Delhi Govt to allow 15 years permit to Taxis running on CNG and other cleaner fuels
In a significant development, the Delhi Transport Department has issued an order to allow extension of permit validity, for all taxis plying on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or other clean fuels, and possessing a Contract Carriage permit, to 15 years. The extension, however, is subject to the fulfillment of all other prescribed conditions as stipulated in the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, CMVR, 1989, and DMVR, 1993.
Revised CPHEEO Manual on Water Supply and Treatment under finalization
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, in collaboration with the Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organization (CPHEEO) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), successfully organized a two-day national workshop to finalize the revised and updated manual on water supply and treatment. The workshop, held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, aimed to gather feedback, suggestions, and comments from states, cities, and other stakeholders regarding the contents of the manual.
The inaugural session, chaired by Manoj Joshi, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, saw Dr. M. Dhinadhayalan, Adviser (PHEE) of CPHEEO, deliver the welcome address. D. Thara, Additional Secretary & National Mission Director (AMRUT), also delivered a special address during the session.
The existing manual on water supply and treatment, published in 1999, and the operation and maintenance manual, published in 2005, have served as guidance documents for planning, designing, and implementing urban water supply systems under various programs such as AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) and AMRUT 2.0. However, considering technological advancements and the challenges faced in the urban water supply sector, the Ministry decided to revise and update the manuals.
To accomplish this, an expert committee was constituted under the chairmanship of the Adviser (PHEE) of CPHEEO, in coordination with GIZ. WAPCOS was appointed by GIZ as the study team to draft the manual. The draft manual, divided into three parts covering engineering, operation and maintenance, and management, was reviewed and approved by the expert committee, along with input from water experts from the United States.
The revised manual provides guidelines for planning and designing water supply systems based on operational zones and District Metered Areas (DMAs). Its aim is to improve water supply services, transition from intermittent to 24x7 water supply with "Drink from Tap" facility, and incorporate GIS hydraulic modeling. The manual also covers various aspects such as water treatment technologies for different water qualities, water quality monitoring protocols, SMART water solutions, operation and maintenance guidelines, financial and asset management, stakeholder engagement, public-private partnerships (PPP), and climate-resilient water supply systems.
In his keynote address, Secretary Manoj Joshi emphasized the importance of providing safe and reliable water that meets the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) quality standards to every household in urban areas. He highlighted the financial burden placed on households due to coping costs such as storage facilities or household treatment plants. Secretary Joshi advocated for direct water supply to households on a 24x7 basis to eliminate the need for additional storage, which can lead to water deterioration and financial losses. He expressed confidence that the revised manual, incorporating the latest technologies and design procedures after 25 years, would prove beneficial to states and urban local bodies (ULBs).
During her special address, D. Thara, Additional Secretary & National Mission Director (AMRUT), suggested including the design of water supply systems for slum areas, mapping human resources within the water supply system, and empowering women in the water sector.
Laura Sustersic, Project Director of the India EU Water Partnership at GIZ, emphasized the importance of addressing gender aspects within the manual.
The conference was attended by technical heads, chief engineers, city engineers, senior engineers responsible for water supply, representatives from Public Health and Engineering Departments/Corporations/Boards/Jal Nigams, experts, public-private partnership partners, manufacturing firms, and consultants. Approximately 300 participants took part in the workshop.
The revised and updated manual on water supply and treatment is expected to provide comprehensive guidance for the planning, design, and management of water supply systems, enabling safer and more efficient water supply services across urban areas in India.
National Workshop Explores Integrated Sediment Management for Sustainable River Development
ESG, Sustainability & Impact measurement market to cross $30bn by 2030; India a leader in Asia-Pacific with $500mn share
Ashwini Kumar Choubey Urges Adoption of Environment-Friendly Lifestyle to Safeguard Earth from Natural Calamities and Disasters
The Lalit New Delhi Leads the Way Towards Sustainability with Acquisition of Cutting-Edge Electric Vehicle Fleet
CAQM Issues Revised Schedule for Regulated Operations of Diesel Generator Sets to Control Air Pollution in Delhi-NCR
Oceans in Peril: UN Secretary-General's Plea for Urgent Ocean Conservation
NGT CZ Grants Liberty to Raj Govt Dept to Address Urgency of Adverse Impacts on Dam Storage Capacity During Rainy Season
NGT seeks reports from MoEF&CC and HP Govt on Kufri's degrading environment
The Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board has reported to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) several violations causing damage to the environment, including the degradation of natural vegetation. It has observed that more than a thousand horses and ponies are employed in a small area, which exceeds the carrying capacity of the area. In addition, solid waste management is not scientific, leading to significant pollution in the area.
World Migratory Bird Day 2023 Celebrated, Emphasizing Water's Significance for Migratory Birds
Ministry Notifies Rules for Sections 49N and 49-O of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, Amended in 2022
NLCIL EIA Report reaches NGT in Appeal No. 2/2021/EZ seeking Quashing of EC
MoEF&CC amends provisions under Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016
Farmers liable to pay environmental compensation on stubble burning
NGT Quashes Sand Mining EC granted by SEIAA, UP in natural habitat of crocodiles
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Principal Bench quashes and sets aside the (Environmental Clearance (EC) dated 03.12.2021 granted by State Level Development Impact Assessment Authority, Uttar Pradesh in favour of R.N.S. Pvt. Ltd. The NGT, after a thorough deliberation of various legal perspective and considering duly verified factual positions of the proposed mining site being natural habitat of the crocodiles, stated that the EC suffers from patent illegality and is liable to be quashed/set aside.
R.N.S. Pvt. Ltd. is held to be entitled to refund of the amounts deposited/paid with interest at the rate of 7.5% from the date of deposit/payment till realization/repayment thereof and the concerned respondents are directed to pay the amount deposited/ paid by R.N.S. Pvt. Ltd. with interest at the rate of 7.5% from the date of deposit/payment till realization/repayment thereof within three months from the date of receipt of a copy of the order dated 27th April 2023.
In Appeal No. 07/2022 (I.A. No. 50/2022 & I.A. No. 51/2022), Ghanai S/o Binde, a resident of Naroghat, Kotra Jalaun, Uttar Pradesh, filed the appeal challenging the EC dated 03.12.2021 for proposed River Sand/Morrum mining, with sanctioned Lease Area 8.502 ha., at Gata No. 03GA, Khand No.-03, Village-Nandha, Orai, Jalaun, Uttar Pradesh. A Public hearing was conducted on 20.07.2021 by the project proponent through Green Enviro Engineers Pvt. Ltd., a Kanpur based EIA consultant.
Ghanai, the Appellant challenged the EC for proposed mining on two grounds that the proposed mining leased area is habitat of crocodiles who use the area for nesting and any mining at the site would be highly detrimental to the wild fauna and their nesting grounds and that the leased site is a rocky terrain with rocks exposed therein and there is no sufficient mineable mineral deposit which would suffice for the volume approved for mining in the impugned EC which would lead to illegal mining from nearby areas and adjoining land of the appellant.
Interesting to note that during the process of hearings the Appellant stated that now he does not apprehend any loss to him and illegal mining in his land and he does not want to continue with the present appeal. The appellant has accordingly prayed that the appeal may be dismissed as withdrawn.
The NGT perorated on various aspects including the question which first arises for consideration is as to whether the appellant is entitled as a matter of right and as being dominus litis to withdraw the appeal at the present stage of the proceedings.
EC Splitting Provision in EIA Notification
Emaar MGF withdraws EC expansion application as SEIAA seeks site inspection
State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Haryana has released the Minutes of 156th Meeting held on 19th April 2023.
Emaar MGF Land Limited has withdrawn its application seeking Environment Clearance (EC) for the expansion of Group Housing Colony, Sector - 62, in Gurugram, Haryana. The company had submitted that construction has been carried out as per the condition of EC granted. No violation of condition has been done. However, due to the change in planning, the company has planned for the expansion. The matter was again taken up during 156th Meeting of SEIAA, Haryana held on 19th April 2023. The Authority decided to constitute a sub-committee comprising of Member Secretary, SEIAA, Dr. R. Baskar, FGS (Ind), Member, SEIAA and Concerned Regional Officer, HSPCB to carry out inspection at the site to see the status and level of compliances in regard to the stipulated conditions, imposed in the EC letter dated 31st July 2017. Subsequently, Emaar MGF Land Limited has withdrawn its application.
Decision on several other projects were deferred, some more withdrawn.
Neverthrless, the SEIAA decided to Grant Environment Clearance (EC), under Category 5 (g) within the scope and meaning of EIA to the proposal of Panipat Coop. Sugar Mill. The Sugar Mill has planned to set up new 90 KLPD distillery consisting of 60 KLPD new plant based on B Heavy molasses from the new Sugar Mill and 30 KLPD grain Based distillery as supplementary raw material and with option of Spent Wash in specially designed Incineration Boiler. The Sugar Mill is located in -Dahar Village, Gohana Road, Panipat.
Mallans get respite from NGT Southern Zone
In the Appeal No. 02 of 2023 (SZ) pertaining to Muraleedhara Mallan and Sreenivas A. Mallan versus Kerala State Pollution Control Board and Others, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Southern Zone Bench, today, pronounced the Judgment Reserved on 17th April 2023.
In the Judgment, the Bench comprising, Smt. Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana, Judicial Member and Dr. Satyagopal Korlapati, Expert Member hold that the consent issued in favour of Mukkath Fuels by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is not in conformity with the criteria prescribed in the office memorandums referred in the case and also the circulars of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the KSPCB. In such circumstances, unless the siting criteria prescribed therein are satisfied by the Mukkath Fuels, the consent issued by the KSPCB in PCB/ALP/ICE-1917/2020 dated 20th January 2020 cannot be sustained and the same is liable to be set aside.
The appellants, Muraleedhara Mallan and Sreenivas A. Mallan, residents of Alappuzha District, were aggrieved due to the proposed construction by Mukkath Fuels at a distance of hardly 20 meters from their properties, residential buildings and wells. Hence, directly affected by the establishment of petrol pump by Mukkath Fuels.
According to the appellants the guidelines of the CPCB dated 7th January 2020 laid down the siting criteria that new retail outlet shall not be located within the radial distance of 50 meters from schools, hospitals and residential areas. The said guidelines specifically stated that in case there is constraint in providing 50 meter distance, additional safety measures prescribed by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO). However, in no case the distance between the new retail outlet and school, hospitals and residential areas shall be less than 30 meters.
The Appellate Authority passed an order in the matter on 20th January 2023 finding that "consent to establish" was issued on 20th January 2020 before the guidelines of the CPCB dated 7th January 2020 was issued under circular dated 24th February 2020.
It was observed that the the petrol pump company has obtained the consent from the KSPCB based on the circular dated 9th August 2004, which provides the siting criteria for industries other than stone crushers. It states that: “it is desirable to have a minimum set back of 3 meters between the boundary and the plant building to avoid construction of factory buildings along or too close to the boundary wall. The setback can be utilised for the development of greenbelt. In case of industries falling in green/orange categories of small scale industries, the requirement of minimum set back may be dispensed with. Where necessary, the minimum distance may be enhanced for reasons to be recorded in writing. The above criteria will be implemented with immediate effect and will be reviewed after 6 months”.
In the meanwhile, the office memorandum issued by the CPCB clarifying that cut of date for applicability of siting criteria referred in the guidelines for setting up of new petrol pump dated 7th January 2021 was issued on 29th January 2021. The said clarification states: “In this regard, it is clarified that the siting criteria for new retail outlets is to be complied with in cases where construction of retail outlets by oil marketing companies commenced on or after 7th January 2020. In other words, the siting criteria will not apply to those cases where PESO prior clearance/initial approval has been obtained and subsequently construction has been started by the OMC before 7th January 2020”.
It was relied that the CPCB office memorandum dated 29th January 2021 followed by the circular of KSPCB dated 4th February 2021 make it amply clear that unless and otherwise the retail outlets have commenced their constructions on or before 7th January 2020 the circulars would be made applicable.
However, in the instant case of Mukkath Fuels, KSPCB admitted, and it was also apparent from the building permit issued to the company, the commencement of the construction, if any, could be possible only after the cut off date of 7th January 2020.